Our team’s strength is in its diversity, but we are united by our passion and commitment to effecting social impact.
- Jane Leu Founder & CEO
Jane Leu is an internationally recognized serial social entrepreneur and Ashoka Fellow with 20+ years of experience with building successful start-up ventures, including Smarter Good, Upwardly Global, Ashoka U, craigslist nonprofit venture forum, RefugeeWorks, and Harvard’s Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations. Passionate about bringing more socio-economic, ethnic and geographic diversity to the social sector, Jane is an avid coach and mentor to emerging social entrepreneurs in the US and globally. She holds a MA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a BA cum laude from Tufts University. When she is not working across every global time zone, she enjoys hiking in the hills of California with her husband, Ted Levinson, a social finance professional and their dog, Tully.
- Nicole LevineManaging Director
Nicole Levine brings more than 20 years of experience bridging the nonprofit and private sectors, with a focus on women’s empowerment and microfinance. Nicole’s executive experience includes serving as interim CEO of a national women’s microenterprise organization, and as Executive Director of San Francisco Bay Area nonprofits Wardrobe for Opportunity, Urban Solutions (interim), and the Oakland Ballet. After completing an MBA from University of California at Davis, Nicole worked with Hewlett Packard, Agilent and Chevron to strengthen their community giving programs. When Nicole isn’t working, she is most likely riding one of her three bicycles or trying to perfect her handstand.
- Byron AbadezaWriter & Researcher
Byron Abadeza worked as a researcher for 15 years for the academe, government, international organizations, and the nonprofit sector. He has extensive experience in writing concept papers, proposals, and reports to different funding agencies including bilateral and multilateral organizations, and foundations. He also worked for an international organization providing business intelligence for the development sector before moving back to development research in the Philippines. He earned his degree in Political Science from the University of the Philippines-Diliman.
- Raja AishahResearch Associate II
Raja Aishah joined Smarter Good from a budding career in entrepreneurship education where she worked as a teacher and mentor for the Kiddie and Teen-preneur program at the Asian Academy for Applied Entrepreneurship. In college, Aishah was finance manager of her own clothing line while also serving as Editor-in-Chief of the San Beda College literary folios. She holds a BS in Entrepreneurship from San Beda College. When she isn’t spending her free time discovering new music, she is likely to be dabbling in the art of creating it or volunteering for a crisis intervention and recovery center for abused and formerly prostituted girls.
- Geo CornebyAssociate Development Manager
Geo brings more than four years of experience in corporate philanthropy to Smarter Good. For outsourcing firm MicroSourcing, she built a CSR arm that raised resources for education and disaster rehabilitation and created a company culture of giving and volunteering. In that role she created a signature “impact sourcing” program that connected out-of-school youth to stable, higher-paying employment. Most recently she was with Microsoft where she managed their grant giving strategy and implemented nation-wide projects that leveraged technology to create opportunities for schools, NGOs, and communities. Geo holds a BS Management from the Ateneo de Manila University. In her spare time, she writes and reads human stories and spends time with her favorite Gawad Kalinga communities.
- Isabella Franchesca GarciaResearch Associate
Chaia joins Smarter Good as a Research Associate. Her experience in research is rooted in field studies on action research, community development, and corporate social responsibility. A Development Studies graduate cum laude of De La Salle University, she is building a career in international development. She served as former president of the Kapatiran ng mga Kabataan para sa Kaunlaran, a student organization that empowers youth to realize their potential as catalysts for change. Outside of the office, you’ll find her listening to an indie playlist and daydreaming of working for the United Nations.
- Friena GuerreroWriter & Researcher
Friena Guerrero is a literature graduate who leveraged her love for the written word into a career as a reporter covering national issues for a daily broadsheet before joining various international organizations in writing and editing roles. For UNICEF Philippines, she traveled across the country to interview and share stories of Filipino families benefiting from education and disaster relief activities. She also helped formulate and implement the communications plan of the International Organization for Migration relative to issues of migrant workers and displaced people. Her deeply ingrained interest in social causes has been a common throughout her career. In her spare time,Friena enjoys playing with her dogs, surfing, and dabbling in various forms of martial arts.
- Priscilla HeffelfingerEditor
Priscilla Heffelfinger is excited to share her 20+ years of development expertise with Smarter Good’s clients. She arrived in Manila following having a lead role on USAID-funded project at James P. Grant School of Public Health at BRAC University in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Priscilla is the co-founder and President of Thrive, a non-profit organization that delivers healthy food to hungry schoolchildren living in the street and slums of Dhaka. When not at work, you will most likely find Priscilla seeking outdoor fun in the Philippines with her family of six and their two big dogs.
- Carl JavierEditor
Carl Javier joined Smarter Good as Editor and Writer after serving as a professor of Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines. Beginning his writing career as a beat reporter when he was a college freshman, over the past 15 years he has written for numerous print and online publications and contributed to a wide variety of projects ranging from technical writing like process manuals and reports, to biographies and coffee table books, to work in television and film. He has authored books of fiction, essays, and poetry. He has been at the forefront of Filipino Comicsomiks. He holds a BA in English Studies and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of the Philippines.
- Leslie LiscanoSenior Accounting Associate
Leslie brings three years of accounting experience to Smarter Good. She handles nonprofit operations, including accounts payable/accounts receivable process, payroll management and preparing monthly Financial Reports. Since her student days she has been involved with several community outreach programs, especially those focused on children. Leslie holds a BS in Business Administration – Major in Accounting, Holy Angel University. In her spare time, Leslie watches movies and Korean TV shows.
- Michelle MaglasangResearch Associate
Michelle Maglasang joins Smarter Good as a Research Associate. She is excited to build on her leadership roles in numerous university organizations to establish a career in the social sector. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Science from the University of Santo Tomas and after graduating completed an internship with AIESEC in Brazil. She currently writes for online lifestyle publications and is working with a partner on an environmental education initiative called Project Kaliklasrum. When she’s not busy traveling, trying out a new restaurant, or doing volunteer work, she is most likely engrossed in a book or movie.
- Mirel ManapatWriter & Researcher
Mirel is eager to join the international development community after a decade of experience in both public and private sectors. Most recently, she worked at the central bank of the Philippines, drafting in-depth interview assessments, memoranda, ISO quality manuals, and process improvement reports. Prior to that, she was an Associate Team Lead at IBM Business Services where she managed international relocations of P&G expatriates, developing her client relations skills in the process.
Mirel holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the Ateneo de Manila University and a scholarship for a Master of Arts in Development Policy from De La Salle University. By interrelating these fields of study, she aims to gain a deeper insight into philanthropic behavior. In her free time, Mirel enjoys movie marathons and food tripswith her husband, Chad.
- Jason MargesWriter & Researcher
Jason Marges brings a decade’s worth of experience in writing, editing, and research to the team. A Development Studies graduate from the Ateneo de Manila University, he has worked in the social development sector as a project monitor and liaison officer for Sa Aklat Sisikat Foundation, Inc. and as a communications officer for both the Foundation for the Philippine Environment and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. Jason is also a former writer and editor for a consumer technology magazine. Beyond office walls, Jason is a passionate marine biodiversity advocate and an aspiring underwater photographer.
- Eka MesionaDevelopment Associate
Eka Mesiona has experience in research methods in the social sciences, having conducted field studies in cultural and social anthropology in rural communities around the Philippines. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of the Philippines and is a member of Pi Gamma Mu, the international honor society in the social sciences. On the weekends her research skill becomes relevant as she searches for new bands and new music to listen to – a human Spotify.
- Jam MutucSenior Writer and Researcher
Jam Mutuc brings seven years of combined writing and management experience. She developed research and writing skills as the second-in-command of a writers’ team at outsourcing company Total Net Research and Marketing. With Smarter Good since the day our service launched, Jam has gained extensive writing experience across all facets of the development process. A journalism graduate cum laude of University of the Philippines, she thrives on constantly strengthening client language, refining Smarter Good’s writing tools, and passing on knowledge and strategies to other writers. When Jam is not writing, she is thrift shopping, island hopping, or hanging out with daughter Jelena.
- Cara O’ConnorEditor
Cara O’Connor has more than 10 years of experience in research, monitoring and evaluation, and grant writing and reporting, with an expertise in public health. Prior to joining Smarter Good, Cara managed a clinical research unit for HIV/AIDS at UCLA, and led M&E for a large HIV treatment project in South Africa. She has been engaged in human rights, environmental, and political activism since 2002. Cara completed a Master of Public Health at UCLA and a Bachelor of Anthropology magna cum laude at the University of Arizona. Cara is an avid scuba diver and an adventure travel buff.
- Nikki Pascual-SeraficaOffice Manager & HR Associate
Nikki Pascual-Serafica brings nearly 20 years of local and international experience providing administrative support to senior executives. After earning her degree in Political Science from University of Philippines, she launched her career at the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL). Rising to the position of Director of Operations for the National Capital Region, her responsibilities spanned administrative operations, project and event management, and managing deployment, training, and mobilization of volunteers for Namfrel’s local and international election-observation missions. After 7 years working in Qatar, she recently returned to the Philippines and continued her passion for the social sector at Smarter Good.
- Mark PinedaFinance and Accounting Manager
Mark brings nearly 15 years of experience to Smarter Good’s clients. He has provided accounting, auditing and advisory services to nonprofit and for profit companies, both start-up and established, with multinational operations across an array of issue areas and industries. Mark worked for Ernst & Young for more than seven years in the United States and abroad. Some of his nonprofit clients included the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, The Parish of Trinity Church in the City of New York, Books for the Barrios, among others. Mark has extensive experience helping organizations and companies to effectively outsource their accounting function, using it as an opportunity to implement efficient business processes and best practices in accounting. Mark Holds a BS in Business Administration And Accountancy (Cum Laude), University Of The Philippines. When he’s not changing the world through finance, he enjoys reading, golfing, biking, gardening, and hanging out with his wife and two kids.
- Diosa QuiñonesWriter & Researcher
Diosa Quiñones brings experience in facilitating cross-cultural understanding and community development. Prior to Smarter Good, she played a leadership role at AIESEC, a global organization that coordinates exchanges for students and young professionals. She also worked on a USAID project to promote and scale innovation in financial inclusion in the Philippines. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines. In her free time, she dabbles in amateur stand-up comedy.
- Charis RayaDirector of Operations
Charis Raya brings over 10 years of entrepreneurship and management experience to her role. Charis started and managed her own marketing and corporate communications company for six years. She moved on to manage a national advertising and fundraising campaign for the Philippine national boxing team, the beginning of her career in the social sector. Charis applies her business acumen to Smarter Good’s Manila operations to serve client organizations from around the world. She holds a degree with honors in Film and Audio-Visual Communication from the University of Philippines. Charis lends her filmmaking experience to local youth groups, advising them on community video projects.
- Laurence Cristopher RueloAccounting Supervisor
Laurence joined Smarter Good with 3 years of experience in accounting, as well as 1 year as a Professor of Accounting. He supervises the accounting team, working closely with clients to ensure that they have the finance and accounting information they need to inform their decision-making and planning. He enjoys working with clients’ management and internal staff to build annual budgets and track progress of actuals against budget, as well as helping staff to improve their accounting and bookkeeping skills and execution. Working with nonprofits he has travelled around Asia, including India, Nepal, and Bhutan. He holds a BS in Business Administration – Major in Accounting from Holy Angel University. He is also an MBA candidate, currently working on his master thesis. In his spare time you can find Laurence catching up on his favorite TV shows.
- Aiz Santiago-ManalotoAssociate Development Manager
Aiz Santiago has 7 years of experience working with nonprofits in the area of research and project management. Prior to joining Smarter Good, she worked with World Vision’s Global ICT Project Management Office for three years. She is also a certified PRINCE2 PM practitioner. Her desire to contribute in the social sector was cemented when she volunteered with VSO’s Global Xchange youth program. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of the Philippines and also studied in Fudan University in Shanghai as a recipient of the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation’s China scholarship program.
- Justin UmaliWriter & Researcher
Justin’s passion for writing developed out of his experience as a campus journalist in college. Fueled by his keen interest in issues concerning international relations, he seeks to inspire positive change through the promotion of liberty, individual rights and environmental awareness.
With a wide variety of interests, from government policy to NBA statistics, Justin is looking forward to honing his writing and research skills while making an impact in the social sector. Justin graduated from De La Salle University with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies Major in European Studies.
Justin devotes his spare time for endurance sports, particularly trail/mountain running.
- Hannah WilsonDevelopment Manager
Hannah joins Smarter Good with ten years of program management experience in International NGOs. She started her career at Oxfam where she designed, implemented, and evaluated youth empowerment projects. She joined Amnesty International UK in 2009 to lead their youth campaigning program and work on women’s rights, refugee rights, free speech, and other human rights issues. As Community Organizing Manager, Hannah also led a team tasked with inspiring the UK public to campaign for human rights. Most recently she was with Amnesty International Philippines, where she worked on reproductive rights and a campaign against police violence. Hannah has extensive experience of strategy development, team management, campaigning, and advocacy. Hannah graduated from Oxford University with a first class degree in Modern History. In her spare time, Hannah loves to travel and explore the great outdoors. Scuba diving, surfing and trekking are particular passions.