AlumniCorps Welcomes New Executive Director, Kef Kasdin ’85!

On behalf of the Princeton AlumniCorps Board of Directors, Board Chair Liz Duffy ’88 and the Executive Director search committee are excited to announce that Kef Kasdin ’85 has been hired as the next Executive Director of Princeton AlumniCorps.  Kef has immediately transitioned from serving as Interim Executive Director to this new role. 

Kef began working with AlumniCorps as a volunteer in 2010 after reading about the organization in the Princeton Alumni Weekly.  She piloted and led the expansion of AlumniCorps’ ARC Innovators program, which provides opportunities for experienced professionals to do meaningful pro bono projects in the nonprofit sector.  She oversaw the expansion of the program from a pilot in New Jersey to full-fledged operations in New Jersey, New York, and Washington, DC, as well as a doubling of the number of ARC Innovator annual projects.  Kef joined AlumniCorps’ Board in 2012 and became active in all of AlumniCorps’ programming. She was instrumental in developing two strategic plans for the organization, including the most recent plan approved in February 2017, as well as a campaign plan approved in June 2017. Kef was elected Board President in May 2016 and has served as Interim Executive Director of AlumniCorps since the departure of former Executive Director Andrew Nurkin in mid-April 2017.  

Kef has a breadth of nonprofit board leadership experience.  She is currently Board Chair at Rachel’s Network, a vibrant community of women at the intersection of environmental advocacy, philanthropy, and women’s leadership, and she has previously served on other nonprofit boards including Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Mercer County and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Kef also created and has taught the introductory course, “Foundations of Entrepreneurship” at Princeton University, where she has mentored 50 Princeton undergraduates each semester, inspiring them to launch innovations that can create value and make a difference in the world. Earlier in her career, Kef held senior leadership roles at 3Com Corporation (a data networking company) including a term as general manager of a $1B division. She became a technology-startup consultant in the late 1990s, a venture capitalist in 2000, and a founding general partner of Battelle Ventures, where from 2003 to 2015 she led the firm’s investments in clean energy and started several companies based on U.S. Department of Energy Lab technologies.

Originally from Israel, Kef grew up on Long Island. She holds a B.S.E degree in operations research from Princeton University, with a certificate in science and policy from the Woodrow Wilson School, and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University.  Kef’s husband Jeremy, also Class of ’85, is a Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton and their twin daughters, who both graduated from Princeton in 2014, are pursuing careers in the nonprofit and government sectors.

The search committee included AlumniCorps Chair Liz Duffy ’88 and board members Dale Caldwell ‘82, Kirk Davidson ’55, Debra Kushma ‘80, and Andrew Protain ‘08. According to Duffy, “Even though Kef served as interim executive director, she went through the application process along with several other highly qualified candidates. Kef not only had the deepest understanding of Princeton AlumniCorps and Princeton among the finalists, but she also had the broadest leadership experience and very savvy insights about what it will take to move the organization to the next level of impact and sustainability. We are confident that under Kef’s leadership, we will both realize the aspirations of the strategic plan and have a successful capital campaign.”

Kef commented, “I firmly believe AlumniCorps has an important part to play in expanding our society’s collective capacity to address the world’s most pressing challenges. I look forward to helping us fulfill our new mission: to mobilize people, organizations, and networks for the public good; and to helping to secure the resources to ensure Princeton AlumniCorps’ next quarter century is as impactful as its first 27 years have been.” Kef can be reached at kkasdin@alumnicorps.org or 609-921-8808 x2.

New Staff at 12 Stockton!

Kimme Carlos, Office Administrator at 12 Stockton as of August 2016
Kimme Carlos, Office Administrator at 12 Stockton as of August 2016

Kimme Carlos joined Princeton AlumniCorps as Office Administrator in August, 2016. Prior to joining Princeton AlumniCorps, Kimme founded the NJ nonprofit, Urban Mental Health Alliance, where she continues to contribute her time as the volunteer Executive Director. She has also held several positions in nonprofit leadership as Association Manager with Creative Marketing Alliance and Program Manager, Annual Meetings with the African Studies Association.

Kimme is a strong advocate for urban community and social issues and has served on several boards in and across Mercer County, NJ, including Children’s Futures, NAMI Mercer and Oaks Integrated (formerly Greater Trenton Behavioral Health). Kimme was honored in 2009 as New Jersey’s Woman of the Year by the Garden State Woman Education Foundation for her dedicated volunteer work and she is a graduate of Regent University with a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and Psychology. She has two children, five grandchildren and lives in New Jersey. She brings to AlumniCorps a passion for and experience in nonprofit administration and operations.


Mikaela Levons '04 joined the staff at 12 Stockton as the Development & Communications Associate in August, 2016
Mikaela Levons ’04 joined the staff at 12 Stockton as the Development & Communications Associate in August, 2016

Mikaela Levons ’04 is a native of Jamaica who has been passionate about civic engagement since high school. She has worked in the charitable sector since receiving a B.A. from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School in 2004. Mikaela served as the grant writer for New Jersey After 3 and The Martin House in Trenton. Most recently, she was the Membership and Communications Coordinator for the Center for Non-Profits. She received her M.Sc. in Non-Profit and NGO Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, and currently serves on the board of a non-profit operating in rural Jamaica. She and her husband live in Ewing with their three young daughters. She is excited to return to ‘Old Nassau’ as AlumniCorps’ Development and Communications Associate.

Princeton AlumniCorps Welcomes Our New Development Director

Sandy J. Fernandez

Princeton AlumniCorps is pleased to welcome a new staff member to 12 Stockton. Sandy J. Fernandez is our new Development Director.

Sandy came to AlumniCorps earlier this week,  after five years on the Princeton University development staff, where she worked in the Office of Development Priorities. As Associate Director for International Priorities for the Aspire Campaign, Sandy served as the development liaison to the Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School and other faculty and staff associated with international programs. She previously worked for the national headquarters of Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic—now Learning Ally—serving for a time as Director of Corporate Giving and later managing the organization’s national volunteer program. With significant experience in higher education administration and nonprofit management, Sandy has had the opportunity to work with a wide range of constituents from faculty, students, and staff to volunteers, alumni, prospects, and donors. Sandy is a life-long resident of New Jersey and earned a BA degree in political science with a minor in public administration from Kean University.

If you’d like to welcome Sandy to the AlumniCorps team, she can be reached at sfernandez@alumnicorps.org.

Princeton AlumniCorps Welcomes New Executive Director, Andrew C. Nurkin

On behalf of the Princeton AlumniCorps Board of Directors, President Kathy Miller ’77 and Chairman John Fish ’55 are thrilled to announce the hiring of Andrew C. Nurkin as the next Executive Director of Princeton AlumniCorps.

Andrew joins Princeton AlumniCorps after four years on the staff of the Pace Center for Civic Engagement at Princeton University, where he developed and managed public leadership and civic action programs that engage undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff, and alumni. He previously served as the Executive Director of Fine By Me, an organization dedicated to promoting equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people on campuses and in communities across the country. Andrew has also worked as an organizer with national campaigns to end poverty and comes to Princeton AlumniCorps with extensive experience in mobilizing individuals to take shared action on issues of public concern. Originally from Atlanta, Andrew holds a M.Div. from Yale Divinity School, a MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and a BA in English from Duke, where he served a three-year term on the Board of Trustees. He also volunteers as a writing instructor at Garden State prison.

Andrew writes, ” Over the past four years it has become clear to me that Princeton AlumniCorps is not simply another elevation in the civic engagement landscape. AlumniCorps is doing something different and particularly compelling, and if civic engagement has now become a defining feature of Princeton, then AlumniCorps (and its earlier incarnation as Project 55) deserves a heap of the credit. You have built an entire organization devoted to maximizing the positive social impact of that unique network known as Princeton alumni, and in the process you have enriched the ways generations of graduates think about the purpose of their Princeton experience. The methods are as inspirational as the aims: intergenerational mentorship, responsiveness to community-identified needs and broader trends in the nonprofit sector, a collaborative ethic, and a humility that opens the way for energy and good ideas to become visible outcomes. The word catalyst seems apt for this organization that does indeed precipitate and accelerate change.”

AlumniCorps President, Kathy Miller ’77 writes, “Andrew has the skills needed to successfully work with our large cadres of volunteers and board members and relevant to furthering the growth of our programs through expanded alumni engagement. I am personally looking forward to working closely with Andrew in my role as President, and am confident that you will find him to be thoughtful, intelligent, articulate and sincerely passionate about the work of the organization. ”

Andrew begins at the Princeton AlumniCorps offices on Monday,  June 25, 2012. He can be reached at ANurkin@alumnicorps.org or 609-921-8808 ext. 2.

Princeton AlumniCorps Welcomes Our New Project 55 Fellowship Program Manager

Paul Nehring '10, PP55 Fellowship Program Manager

Princeton AlumniCorps is pleased to welcome a new staff member to 12 Stockton, Mr. Paul Nehring ’10. Paul will be responsible for overseeing the Project 55 Fellowship Program.

Paul joined the Princeton AlumniCorps staff in June of 2012 as the Program Manager for the Project 55 Fellowship Program. He previously worked at iMentor, on organization organization dedicated to improving the lives of youth from under-served communities through mentoring. At iMentor he managed a high school partnership and supported students as they transitioned to college. Paul originally came to iMentor as a Project 55 Fellow and brings this perspective to bear on his new role. Paul has also acted as assistant camp director for the Triangle YMCA Camp in Minot, North Dakota, and more recently, as director of the Adventure Program at Camp Heartland, a camp committed to serving children affected by or infected with HIV/AIDS. He serves as a volunteer mentor with iMentor, as an alumni interviewer for Princeton University, and as a member of the Friends of Princeton Outdoor Action. Paul is a former PP55 fellow and current Emerging Leader. He earned his B.A. in Politics from Princeton in 2010 and is a native of Bismarck, North Dakota.

If you’d like to welcome Paul to the AlumniCorps team, he can be reached at pnehring@alumnicorps.org.