The WCF staff has a profound knowledge of the region, its one million people, institutions, and resources. WCF staff bring an understanding of public policy and the ability to see "the big picture," expertise in examining nonprofit credentials and assessing local efforts, and ingenuity to help initiate new and innovative collaborations to resolve regional problems.
Emilia Jourdain joined the Westchester Community Foundation in 2023. She works closely with the program team to manage the budgeting and processing for the competitive grants program. Emilia also oversees the Foundation’s scholarship programs and office operations. A graduate of Pace University, Emilia has conducted investigative work for the New York Department of Health and has served in an administrative capacity for Yonkers-based organizations.
Robin Melén joined the Foundation in 2013. She is responsible for the Foundation’s grantmaking programs in the areas of youth development, arts and culture, health, and technical assistance and capacity building for Westchester nonprofits. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Sing Sing Prison Museum. She holds a B.A. from Syracuse University, and an M.A. in writing from Manhattanville College. Professional certifications include a certificate in nonprofit management from Manhattanville College. She is a graduate of Leadership Westchester.
Lauren Perkins joined the Foundation in 2023. She is responsible for the Foundation’s grantmaking programs in the areas of early childhood education, Native American youth, access to legal services, basic human needs and self-sufficiency, and health. She also is responsible for managing the Westchester Index. Previously, Lauren served as Chief Operating Officer of the Great Oaks Foundation and held leadership roles at the Fund for Public Schools and the New York City Department of Education. Lauren received a B.A. from Hamilton College and a M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Laura leads the Foundation’s efforts to address community needs by bringing together donors, funders, nonprofit leaders, and other partners to better understand the root causes of persistent challenges and emerging needs and develop a shared approach to improving the quality of life in Westchester.
She began her career at WCF in 2007 as a program officer. She holds a J.D. from New York Law School and a B.A. from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM. She is a graduate of Leadership Westchester. Prior to her career in philanthropy, she practiced law , worked for local and statewide nonprofits, and taught at local colleges.
Laura serves as a board member of the New York Funders Alliance. In 2019 she was appointed to the Westchester Housing Opportunity Commission by County Executive George Latimer.
Tara Seeley has been with WCF since 2016. She is responsible for the Foundation’s grantmaking programs in the areas of workforce development and job placement, community development, access to legal services, basic human needs and self-sufficiency, social justice, and conservation and environment. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was a program officer at the Central Indiana Community Foundation. She has held professional and volunteer leadership positions in Montgomery County, MD, and Indianapolis, IN, in community development, with a focus on affordable housing and economic and workforce development.
She holds a J.D./M.Div. degree from Vanderbilt University and a B.A. from Sewanee: The University of the South.