About Us

Mission and Vision

The Boston Women’s Fund (BWF) is a progressive foundation that supports community-based organizations and grassroots initiatives run by women and girls in order to create a society based on racial, economic and social justice. We strive for a world free of racism, poverty, sexism and other oppressions.

Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, Wilma Mankiller
Boston Women’s Fund’s Take A Stand Event, 1998

Our History

The Boston Women’s Fund (BWF) was founded in 1984 by a group of progressive women who sought to support marginalized women and girls in achieving racial, social, and economic justice. BWF was the first women’s foundation in Massachusetts and is one of the oldest of the over 145 nonprofit women’s foundations in the United States.

Our founders recognized that a funding gap existed for women’s and girls’ organizations seeking foundation grants, especially for low-income women and women of color. Today, research has shown that national funding for women and girls among traditional foundations and public institutions is less than 7.5% of grants awarded.*

Over the past 34 years, BWF has granted more than $6.3 million to over 335 grassroots organizations. We believe that change begins with women and girls in their own communities, and that with the necessary resources these women and girls are able to implement their ideas. We believe that women and girls can and must be leaders within all movements if progressive change is to occur.

Since its inception, a core value of BWF has been the principle that decisions would be made by a racially and economically diverse group of women and that money would be raised by a broad group of donors across all economic backgrounds.

*Women’s Funding Network, Accelerating Change for Women and Girls: The Role of Women’s Funds, 2009. Washington, D.C., Foundation Center.


Janet Santos

Executive Director

Janet is a first-generation Afro-Latina originally from the Washington-Heights/Inwood section of upper Manhattan. She is passionate about improving the lives of women and girls and supporting the next generation of leaders. Janet’s personal and lived experiences inform her commitment to social, economic, gender and racial justice.

Janet brings a broad range of professional skills and expertise to the Boston Women’s Fund including research, policy and advocacy, program design and development, and an understanding of systemic inequality the women and girls of Greater Boston face.

As a senior policy analyst at Jobs for the Future (JFF) and a program associate at the Education Alliance at Brown University, she co-authored over a dozen high profile reports on state policies to support college-readiness and success, alternative education models (e.g., high school and GED programs), pre-service and in-service experiences of teachers, educational financing, career and technical education, and family and community involvement in education reform.

Janet earned her MA in Urban Education Policy and a BA in Contemporary Latin American History and Portuguese and Brazilian studies from Brown University. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese, and enjoys traveling abroad.

617.725.0035 x 3002

Nickey Nesbeth

Boston Girls Empowerment Network, Director

Nickey Nesbeth is the Director of The Boston Girls Empowerment Network (BGEN). As BGEN’s Director, she convenes, supports, and continually builds the Network’s membership, partners,resources and community and political champions base. She oversees the all aspects of the Networks’ management including: advocacy campaigns, fundraising activities, engaging the Steering Committee, and training network members.

Nickey is a multi-skilled executive, with 17 years of experience in human service and educational environments. She earned a B.S. in Human Service Planning and holds a Master of Science in Human Service Administration from the University of Massachusetts. Over the course of her career, she has designed 10 programs to serve immigrants and at-risk youth in Boston and managed 2 women and girl serving networks. She has a demonstrated ability to train and lead diverse teams of service
professionals to high levels of success and organizational improvement. She also has the proven ability to collaborate with a wide range of community based and municipal agencies to address critical community service needs. In addition, she works to successfully analyze community and organizational needs and develop innovative solutions to improve community impact and operations and capitalize on opportunities to effectively utilize resources.


Board of Directors

Claudia Thompson

Board Chair

Claudia Thompson is a sales/marketing executive with Kyocera Document Solutions. She is a Director Consultant and Chapter Launch Director with the International networking referral organization BNI for the past two years. Through BNI she helps people grow and develop their businesses, while helping them build relationships.She serves as the Director of Member Relations for the Boston Business Women. Claudia also is the Founder and Organizer of Single Mothers United and is a mentor in the Mother Caroline Academy Mentoring Program.

Chi Bahk

Co-Vice Chair

Chi is a business operations manager and public health professional with expertise in utilizing big data for health intelligence. She currently works at Booz Allen Hamilton, overseeing the building, marketing, sales, and delivery of a health informatics software. Chi received her master’s degree from the Harvard School of Public Health, where she also served as the Student Body’s VP of Student Life, organizing student events and initiatives for 1000+ students of wide-ranging demographics and backgrounds as well as shaping student affairs policies. Prior to that, she studied biology and business management and dabbled in Parkinson’s research, private equity investing, and journalism before landing on health tech as her field of choice.

Natalicia Tracy

Co-Vice Chair

Natalicia Tracy is the Executive Director of Boston’s Brazilian Worker Center. Natalicia is a co-founder of the Massachusetts Coalition for Domestic Workers, and helped lead the campaign to pass the state’s 2014 Domestic Worker Bill of Rights. She writes and teaches about race, power, and immigration in the United States at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is the co-author of Invisible No More: Organizing Domestic Workers in Massachusetts and Beyond (2014). In 2015, she was named one of the nation’s 25 most significant Black women labor leaders in the Institute for Policy Studies’ “And Still I Rise Project.” She serves on the City of Boston’s Living Wage Advisory Committee. She received her Ph.D in Sociology from Boston University

Nicole Peterkin


Nicole is the owner of Peterkin Financial, where she provides comprehensive financial planning for a flat fee that isn’t tied to assets or income in an effort to make financial advice more accessible. In six years in business, she has helped over 500 clients improve their financial lives. Most of Nicole’s clients are sole-proprietor and closely-held businesses looking for planning that balances their competing business and personal needs. Nicole is also an author and speaker. Her first book, If You Love Your Family, Save Like It is Nicole’s take on modern money management for America.

Dinah Olanoff


With both entrepreneurial and senior management experience, Dinah combines her creative energy with more than 20 years of experience in non-profit management. Currently working with healthcare service organizations, she supports initiatives designed to increase access to services and improve patient outcomes.

Virginia Meany

Past Board Chair

Virginia is a consultant in financial services. Prior to this role, she served as an assistant director in the Office of Risk Management at the Securities and Exchange Commission. She has had extensive experience in executive management, back office operations and regulatory compliance and has also served on several corporate and nonprofit boards.

Virginia has been employed in senior management roles at Fidelity Investments, J.P. Morgan and State Street Corporation. She has also served as independent trustee on the board of Old Mutual Global Funds Shares, and chair of the board of the New England College of Business. Virginia has long been a proponent of gender equity and children’s literacy.

Akosua Ampofo Siever


Akosua has dedicated her career to supporting girls and women living in resource poor settings build a better quality of life. She is experienced in collaborating with diverse teams here in the U.S., Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, to secure new funding, leverage community resources, and implement federally and privately funded programs.

Katherine Symmonds


Katherine is a Program Associate for the Barbara Lee Foundation working on non-partisan grant-making initiatives that expand women’s participation in American politics and contemporary art. Previously she worked as a California trial attorney focused on protecting elderly and dependent people from abuse and neglect. She is co-chair of the Legislative Policy Committee of the Women’s Bar Association, and she is co-VP of Legislation for the Massachusetts chapter of the National Organization for Women. Katherine has an undergraduate degree in Political Science, and a Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law.

Magalis Troncoso Lama

Magalis Troncoso Lama is a veteran community organizer. She has worked with the Boston Tenant Coalition where she coordinated leadership trainings and initiatives to engage immigration organizations and tenants in affordable housing campaigns. Magalis is the founder and Executive Director of the Dominican Development Center which supports justice for immigrants. Magalis has researched, supported and anchored news broadcasts for Vida Hispana on local Channel 9. She is Vice Chair of the Board for City Life-Vida Urbana and serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Greater Boston Legal Services.

Working at the Boston Women’s Fund

Permanent Employment
The Boston Women’s Fund (BWF) is committed to fostering a workplace where all employees feel valued and respected. We seek employees who believe in the mission and values of BWF and are willing to devote their talents and energies to improving the lives of women and girls in the greater Boston area.

There are currently no openings at the Boston Women’s Fund. As positions become available, a description of the job as well as qualifications will be posted to our website.