Acting Director and Visiting Professor
Margaret McKenna is an educator and lawyer who has spent her career advocating for social justice. McKenna began her career as a civil rights attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice. Later in her career, she served as the Deputy Counsel in the White House and as Undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education, and led the education transition team for President Clinton. McKenna’s experience in higher education includes serving as Vice President of Radcliffe College and as President of Lesley University for twenty-two years. She also served as a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University. During her tenure at Lesley, the college grew from 2,000 to over 10,000 students, from a college to a university, and from a small regional college to a nationally recognized leader in teacher education. While leading the Walmart Foundation from 2007 - 2011, she created a strategy that emphasized hunger relief, education, and the economic empowerment of women. During her term, the Foundation provided more than $900 million in grants annually. McKenna is an author, speaker, and expert on issues of educational access, women’s economic empowerment, hunger, and social change leadership. She has served on five corporate boards and dozens of non-profit boards and is the recipient of ten Honorary Degrees. She currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Board and sits on the Commonwealth's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Sheryl Seller B.A. '11, M.A. '13
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.
Andrew B. Hahn, PhD '78
Former Director and Senior Fellow
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
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 appell.writersresidence.com.
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.