The Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund announced today that it has hired Sepi Aghdaee as program officer. Sepi joins the Fund after a two-year fellowship with the San Francisco Foundation for emerging leaders in philanthropy. In her new position, Sepi supports grantmaking toward the Haas, Jr. Fund’s mission to advance rights and create opportunities, with a focus on the Fund’s work with anchor Bay Area partners.
Sepi was born in Iran and immigrated to the United States with her family at age 12. She attended community college and transferred to UC Berkeley, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. Sepi also holds a master’s degree in public policy and business administration from Mills College.
“Sepi’s life story is a reflection of the values at the heart of the Haas, Jr. Fund’s work,” said Vice President of Programs Cathy Cha. “She brings a wonderful mix of skills and experience to the Fund, along with a deep commitment to improving the lives of low-income families and children.”
Sepi has worked for more than a decade in various roles focused on advancing equity and achieving better outcomes for young people and their families. She has managed health education services in high school-based health centers and worked as a community relations coordinator focused on organizing childcare workers. Working for Oakland City Council member (now Mayor) Libby Schaaf, Sepi helped shepherd a redistricting law that will bring more power and voice to low-income residents of color in the city.
“Throughout my life, I have seen firsthand the transformational power of supporting people and organizations working on the front lines of social change,” said Sepi. “I am honored to be working for an organization that is laser-focused on issues of equity and opportunity for everyone.”
In 2016, Sepi was selected as the Equity Agenda Fellow at the San Francisco Foundation; the fellowship is aimed at supporting people of color to develop their leadership and enter the field of philanthropy. While at the San Francisco Foundation, Sepi was deeply involved in the community foundation’s efforts to improve racial and economic outcomes in the Bay Area.
About the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund
The Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund seeks to fulfill its founders’ vision of a just and compassionate society where all people have the opportunity to live, work and raise their families with dignity. The Fund’s program areas include: Immigrant Rights; Gay and Lesbian Rights; Education Equity; the Haas Leadership Initiatives; and Community Partnerships and Initiatives.