The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy

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Leadership Team

Susan Eaton

Susan Eaton


Dr. Susan Eaton is Director of the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy at the Heller School. At the Sillerman Center, Susan and her colleagues engage funders and their advisors, socially concerned scholars and non-profit practitioners to increase and enhance grantmaking to social justice causes. Susan is also Professor of the Practice at the Heller School and an Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

Susan is an author, most recently, of the forthcoming book, Integration Nation: Immigrants, Refugees and America at Its Best (The New Press, 2016), about myriad efforts that welcome and incorporate immigrants into their new communities across the United States. She also is the author of the critically acclaimed, The Children In Room E4: American Education on Trial (Algonquin, 2007), which chronicles a landmark civil rights case and life in a classroom and neighborhood in Hartford, Connecticut and The Other Boston Busing Story: What's Won and Lost Across the Boundary Line (Yale, 2001), a qualitative interview study of the adult lives of African Americans who had participated in a voluntary school desegregation effort in suburban Boston. She is co-author, with Gary Orfield, of Dismantling Desegregation: The Quiet Reversal of Brown v. Board of Education. (New Press, 1996).

Prior to her appointment at Heller in 2015, Susan was research director at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, Susan also founded and co-directed the storytelling project One Nation Indivisible, which amplifies the voices and work of people creating and sustaining racially, culturally and linguistically integrated schools and other social institutions. She has also been a frequent advisor, consultant and writer for national and regional foundations in the United States. For the first decade of her career, Susan was a newspaper reporter for dailies in Massachusetts and Connecticut where she covered public schools, city government and housing. 

Her writing has appeared in numerous scholarly and popular publications including the New York Times, the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, the Nation, Education Week, Education Next, Virginia Quarterly Review, Harvard Law & Policy Review, Race Poverty & The Environment and many others. 

Susan holds a doctorate in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

Sheryl Seller

Sheryl Seller B.A. '11, M.A. '13

Program Administrator

Sheryl Seller holds an M.A. in Global Studies with a concentration in Immigration Patterns and Policy; and a B.A. in Global Studies and Hispanic Studies, from Brandeis University. She has a strong background in marketing and communications. Sheryl has also worked as an adult ESOL instructor and holds a TEFL certificate. She has been recognized for her commitment to volunteerism. Sheryl also sits on the Steering Committee of the Social Justice Funders Network.


Andrew B. Hahn, PhD '78

Former Director and Professor Emeritus

Andrew B. Hahn is a professor with the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. In 2007 he was appointed to direct the new Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy.

A leading expert on youth development for international donors, multi-national corporations and American foundations, Hahn directs the Center which enriches the Heller School's educational offerings with research and teaching about contemporary philanthropy and stimulates the growth of effective philanthropy among foundations and philanthropists. Hahn teaches courses on social policy and program evaluation, youth policy, community building and others.   more

Michael Appell

Michael Appell

Senior Lecturer and Project Specialist

Michael Appell is a Senior Lecturer at Brandeis and has been teaching at the university since 2003. He developed and taught the university’s first courses in corporate social responsibility: Corporations and Communities and Managing the Triple Bottom Line. He is also the faculty advisor for the Brandeis chapter of Net Impact, which he organized in 2005. In addition to his work with the Sillerman Center, Michael serves as Assistant Director for the Heller MBA Program in Nonprofit Management and as Senior Advisor to the Dean. Michael is particularly engaged in projects that connect funders – individuals, foundations and corporations - to worthwhile organizations that can advance their common vision. He sees the expertise of the Heller faculty as a key resource for the broader community in its quest for quality research and policy direction.

Michael served as President of the Two/Ten International Footwear Foundation from 1985-2001 and as Executive Director of Development and External Affairs at the Brandeis International Business School from 2001-2011. He began his career at the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston.

Mr. Appell is a graduate of Brown University (Phi Beta Kappa) and earned his M.A. from Brandeis University. You can read some of his writings at


Kaleigh Behe

Graduate Research Assistant

Kaleigh Behe is a dual MPP/MBA candidate at the Heller School, concentrating in Poverty Alleviation. Her research interests include federal housing policy and integrating asset-building frameworks into philanthropy. Prior to Heller, she worked as a fair housing advocate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has also served as a contributor to the Center for American Progress "TalkPoverty" blog. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Vassar College, with a correlate in Creative Writing. 

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