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Maria Nakae


Investment Committee

As Senior Director of Just Transition Investing, Maria leads Justice Funders’ integrated capital strategy of supporting foundations to divest their endowments from the dominant financial system and reinvest in BIPOC-led, movement-aligned Just Transition projects and loan funds that build local, regenerative solidarity economies.

She brings 20+ years of experience in expansive roles as movement builder, organizer, trainer, fundraiser, communications strategist, capacity builder, community educator, researcher and direct service provider.

Prior to Justice Funders, Maria served as Development Director for Forward Together where she led a team that tripled the organization’s institutional and individual fundraising revenue, significantly grew its grassroots donor base, established the organization’s first major donor program, institutionalized the participation of the Board of Directors in individual fundraising efforts, and shifted the culture and practice of fundraising from isolation to integration into the overall organization and its programs. She is passionate about mobilizing resources to support thriving movements for racial, gender and economic justice.

Maria is a 2006 New Voices Fellow and holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley with an emphasis in maternal and child health. She loves reading food blogs but can’t find time to cook most of the recipes she wants to try. Instead, you’ll find her baking mochi muffins on repeat, having living room dance parties and hanging out at playgrounds all over Oakland with her three spunky girls.