Our History

The CFE Fund’s mission is to leverage municipal engagement to improve the financial stability of low and moderate income households by embedding financial empowerment strategies into local government infrastructure. The Fund works with mayoral administrations and those interested in supporting them to implement innovative programs and policies—and measures its success accordingly.

Launched at the New York Stock Exchange in April, 2012, the CFE Fund provides funding and technical assistance to mayors and their teams to develop, launch, replicate and test financial empowerment strategies.

Support Our Work

The CFE Fund is a 501(c)3 corporation; our programmatic, research, and policy efforts focus on designing, embedding and replicating financial empowerment initiatives within the fabric of local government. Click here to partner with us.

 

To request a copy of our IRS Form 990, contact us.

Board of Directors

  • José Cisneros

    ex officio, Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition | Treasurer, City and County of San Francisco

    José Cisneros is the elected Treasurer for the City and County of San Francisco. As Treasurer, he serves as the City’s banker and Chief Investment Officer, managing all tax and revenue collection for San Francisco. Appointed in 2004, and first elected in 2005, Cisneros has used his experience in the technology and banking industries to enhance and modernize taxpayer systems and successfully manage the City’s portfolio through a major recession.

    Treasurer Cisneros believes that his role of safeguarding the City’s money extends to all San Francisco residents, and continues to expand his role as a financial educator and advocate for low-income San Franciscans through award-winning programs like Kindergarten to College and Bank On San Francisco. Cisneros serves as Vice Chair on the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans, and is a founding co-Chair of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition.

  • Michael Dubin

    Board Treasurer | Managing Director, Silvercrest Asset Management Group

    Michael Dubin heads up the alternatives group within Silvercrest, a $20B wealth management firm managing private investor and institutional portfolios across all asset classes. The alternatives group advises on $2 billion in hedge fund-of-funds, customized portfolios and alternatives investment consulting. Previously, as a Partner at Powers & Dubin for over 15 years, he developed their expertise in hedge fund-of-funds. Prior to that, Michael held leadership positions at Morgan Stanley/GFTA, GFTA Services, and the International Financial Advisory Service at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. He authored the book, Foreign Acquisitions and the Growth of the Multi-National Firm, and lectures frequently on alternative investments and financial markets issues. He has a Doctorate of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School, a BA from Yale University and holds a Series 3 Registration with the NFA/CFTC. He was Chairman of the Endowment Committee, a Trustee and Treasurer of the Town School, and currently serves as a Director & Treasurer for PlaNet Finance Corp., a non-profit NGO in global microfinance.

  • Cathie Mahon

    Board Secretary | President and CEO, National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions

    Cathie Mahon oversees all of the Federation’s programmatic and investment activities. She is committed to continuing the Federation’s role of bridging the credit union movement to the community development field, promoting financial inclusion and identifying and connecting credit unions to unserved and untapped markets and communities.

    Ms. Mahon most recently served as Deputy Commissioner at the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs where she started and led the Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE). Ms. Mahon was a co-founder of the CFE Coalition and Fund, and has worked to integrate financial capability programming into municipal service delivery systems. Prior to joining the Department, Ms. Mahon worked as a private consultant on issues of community development, financial empowerment and asset building, launching and directing the Asset Funders Network and serving as a lead researcher for the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. She previously served as a Program Officer and then Director of Policy and Program Development at the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions and served on the Boards of the Lower East Side People’s FCU and Transfiguration Parish FCU. Ms. Mahon has a BA from Duke University and a Master’s of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  • Jonathan Mintz

    Board President | Chief Executive Officer, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund

    Jonathan Mintz is the Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the CFE Fund. He also founded and co-chaired the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition (CFE Coalition), which brings together pioneering municipal governments from across the country to advance innovative financial empowerment initiatives on the municipal, state, and national level.

    Jonathan was previously the longest-serving Commissioner in the history of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, having been appointed to the role by former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. During this time, he redefined the Department’s regulatory enforcement powers toward a focus on consumer financial stability, re-envisioning consumer rights in fields such as debt collection, process serving, employment, and finance. While there, he launched the NYC Office of Financial Empowerment, which has been replicated by local governments across the nation. Jonathan holds a BA from Indiana University, an ME from Bank Street College of Education, and a JD from Cornell Law School.

  • Leigh Phillips

    CEO, EARN

    Leigh Phillips is the CEO and President of EARN, the nation’s leading microsavings provider. EARN gives families the tools to achieve life-changing goals by helping establish a habit of savings and empowering families to save for their dreams. Since 2002, EARN has helped 6,000+ Savers save $6.8 million of their own money.

    Prior to joining EARN in September 2015, Leigh was the Director of the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment (SFOFE), playing an instrumental role in the emergence of municipal government as a strong leader in national efforts to build a safe and inclusive financial system for all consumers.

    Under Leigh’s leadership, the SFOFE spearheaded several “first in the nation” programs to reduce financial exclusion, including Bank on San Francisco, the first municipally led effort to bank the unbanked, and Kindergarten to College, the first universal and automatic college savings program for public school children. On the national level, Leigh was instrumental in the creation of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition.

    Leigh received both her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Social Sciences and a Masters of Economic and Social Sciences in Women’s Studies from the University of Manchester, in her native United Kingdom.

  • Herb Sturz

    Senior Advisor, Open Society Foundations

    Mr. Sturz is a Senior Advisor of the Open Society Foundations. He serves as the Chairman of the Center for New York City Neighborhoods and is the Founding Chairman of The After-School Corporation.

    Mr. Sturz has served as Founding Director of The Vera Institute of Justice, New York City Deputy Mayor for Criminal Justice, Chairman of the New York City Planning Commission, and as a member of the editorial board of The New York Times.  He currently serves on the board of Single Stop USA.

    Mr. Sturz received a BA from the University of Wisconsin and an MA from Columbia University. He has received various honorary degrees and is the recipient of the Rockefeller Public Service Award, The Roscoe Pound Award from National Council on Crime and Delinquency, The August Vollmer Award, American Society of Criminology, and others. He is the subject of a biography by Sam Roberts: A Kind of Genius: Herb Sturz and Society’s Toughest Problems (2009).

Staff

  • Kelsey Bradley

    Associate

    Kelsey Bradley is an Associate at the CFE Fund where she supports the organization’s communications and fundraising efforts. Previously, she served as the Assistant to the Mayor of the City of Poughkeepsie, New York. Kelsey has also provided communications and community impact assistance to the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley and United Way of New York’s Dutchess-Orange Region. Kelsey holds a BA in Communications and Political Science from Marist College.

  • Kant Desai

    Principal

    Kant Desai is a Principal at the CFE Fund, where he focuses on policy, research and evaluation. Previously, he served as Chief of Policy for Chicago City Treasurer Stephanie Neely, where he developed and launched the City’s first Office of Financial Inclusion. Previous to that, Kant spent eight years as an Economist at RCF Economic Consulting where he focused on Energy and Environmental issues. He has a BA in Chemistry from Kalamazoo College and an MPP from University of Chicago.

  • Paige Diner

    Associate

    Paige Diner is an Associate at the CFE Fund, where she provides technical assistance to Bank On coalitions looking to increase access to safe and affordable financial services in their communities. Prior to this, Paige served as a Teach for America corps member in District of Columbia Public Schools. Paige holds a BA in Sociology from Vanderbilt University and an MSW from Columbia University.

  • Amelia Erwitt

    Managing Director

    Amelia Erwitt is the Managing Director of the CFE Fund.  Amelia provides leadership to CFE Fund staff in the development and execution of programs, technical assistance, research, policy and communications. She also manages organizational development, fundraising, administration and infrastructure. Previously, Amelia was the Associate Commissioner and Executive Director of the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) where she worked closely with government agencies, communities, and the private sector to implement OFE’s critical initiatives.  Amelia has also worked for the United Nations, USAID, and the White House. She holds a BA from the George Washington University and an MPA from Columbia University.

  • Nicky Grist

    Principal

    Lisa-Nicolle (Nicky) Grist is a Principal at the CFE Fund. Her portfolio includes evaluation, research, and managing the CFE Fund’s finances. Previously, Nicky served as Senior Director of Evaluation for the National Urban League, as the Executive Director of a national social policy advocacy organization, and as the Executive Director of a community-based housing counseling agency. Nicky has a BA from Yale College, a Master’s in Public Affairs and Urban and Regional Planning from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, and an Executive Certificate from Harvard’s Kennedy School.

  • Mark Hunter

    Associate

    Mark Hunter is an Associate at the CFE Fund. He is responsible for managing all of the CFE’s vendor relationships, providing administrative support to all program functions and logistics support for special events. Previously, Mark worked at the Doe Fund as the Director of a social enterprise that taught basic office skills to homeless and formerly incarcerated people.

  • Tamara Lindsay

    Principal

    Tamara Lindsay is a Principal at the CFE Fund where she oversees the Financial Empowerment Center initiative and provides technical assistance to municipalities looking to launch and implement financial empowerment programs for residents with low incomes. Previously, she was the Director of Programs at the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment. Tamara holds a BA from Syracuse University, an MSc from the London School of Economics and an MPA from Baruch University, City University of New York.

  • Jonathan Mintz

    President and Chief Executive Officer

    Jonathan Mintz is the Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the CFE Fund. He also founded and co-chaired the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition (CFE Coalition), which brings together pioneering municipal governments from across the country to advance innovative financial empowerment initiatives on the municipal, state, and national level.

    Jonathan was previously the longest-serving Commissioner in the history of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, having been appointed to the role by former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. During this time, he redefined the Department’s regulatory enforcement powers toward a focus on consumer financial stability, re-envisioning consumer rights in fields such as debt collection, process serving, employment, and finance. While there, he launched the NYC Office of Financial Empowerment, which has been replicated by local governments across the nation. Jonathan holds a BA from Indiana University, an ME from Bank Street College of Education, and a JD from Cornell Law School.

  • Katie Plat

    Senior Associate

    Katie Plat is a Senior Associate at the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund where she oversees the organization’s communications and fundraising efforts. Previously, she was the Chief of Staff at the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment. Ms. Plat holds both a BA and an MPA from New York University.

  • David Rothstein

    Principal

    David is a Principal at the CFE Fund, where he leads the national Bank On initiative. Previously, he served as Director of Resource Development and Public Affairs for Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland providing fund development and policy leadership. He also served as a research fellow for the New America Foundation in asset building and the Program Director for the Ohio CASH Coalition with Policy Matters Ohio. He has a BA in Political Science from John Carroll University and an MPA from Kent State University.

  • Matthew Spring

    Senior Associate

    Matthew Spring is a Senior Associate at the CFE Fund, where he provides technical assistance to municipalities interested in replicating financial empowerment programs and launching innovative pilots that support the financial stability of their residents. Previously, he worked at the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment managing financial counseling initiatives and partnerships across the city. Matthew has a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles.

  • Fernanda Villaseñor

    Associate

    Fernanda Villaseñor is an Associate at the CFE Fund, where she provides technical assistance to municipalities looking to replicate financial empowerment strategies. Previously, she served as a Planning Fellow for the Fund for the City of New York and as a Project Associate for the World Bank. Prior to that, Fernanda was the Strategic Alliances Coordinator for the Office of Civic Innovation of the Mexico City Government. She holds a BA from the Monterrey Institute of Technology, a Certificate of Political Science from Science Po, and a MUP from New York University.

  • I-Hsing Sun

    Chief Program Officer

    I-Hsing Sun serves as chief program officer and leads the development and implementation of the CFE Fund’s programmatic work. Ms. Sun also teaches financial management to graduate students at the Columbia University School of Social Work. Prior to joining CFE Fund in 2013, Ms. Sun was the Assistant Commissioner for Financial Empowerment Programs at the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs. Previously, Ms. Sun managed a $6 million portfolio at the Robin Hood Foundation, and has also worked at Goldman Sachs and Price Waterhouse. She received a BS from New York University and an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Career Opportunities