Marie Stewart

Executive Director

With more than two decades of fundraising, marketing, special events, public relations and senior management experience in the not-for-profit sector, Marie has raised millions of dollars for diverse organizations in the worlds of science, technology, and social services. As Group Director at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, she marketed and managed one of the world’s largest tradeshows and was instrumental in establishing the organization’s charitable foundation. Following AIChE, she served as the first Director of External Relations for the Chemical Heritage Foundation and then moved to the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club where she was responsible for all fundraising programs, public relations, communications, and events including the prestigious Kips Bay Decorator Show House. Most recently, Marie has been working with philanthropists to facilitate their giving priorities and with non-for-profit organizations in a variety of advisory roles. While attending Briarcliff College and Yale University, Marie interned at both UNESCO and the Jeu de Paume. 


Funda Akin

External Relations Manager

Funda Akin is a multilingual communications professional with more than eight years of experience in the public and private sectors, having worked in leading outreach and corporate communications campaigns with international clients. Her prior experience in the field of journalism and public relations has provided substantial knowledge in working with diverse stakeholders, such as journalists, clients, and educators. In addition to her extensive experience in communications, she completed a traineeship in the European Parliament and has volunteered with several not-for-profit organizations, including lecturing on marketing in a college in Ethiopia and supporting refugees in Germany. Her mother tongues are Turkish and German. Funda has a Master of Arts in Communication from the University of Duisburg-Essen and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University. 


Brian Seavitt

Program Officer

Brian Seavitt is an experienced sales professional with a B.S. in Communications from the University of Miami and a M.S. in Global Affairs from New York University with a concentration in environment and energy policy. He has taught English in Turkey at Yeni Yuzyil University in Istanbul and spent time in India as a Fellow at Pollinate Energy, a social enterprise creating opportunity and access to sustainable goods in poor urban markets, after interning for Congressman Hansen Clarke in Washington, D.C. His other related experiences include public outreach, policy development and analysis, research, customer relations, and event management.