Home Team

Oak Foundation is governed by a six-member Board of Trustees that includes: Caroline Turner (Chair), Kristian Parker (Vice Chair), Natalie Shipton (Vice Chair), Christopher Parker, Jette Parker and Alan Parker.

An Advisory Panel also supports the Foundation’s work on a range of grant-making issues. Current members are Douglas Griffiths (President of Oak Foundation), William Norris, Julie Sandorf and Barbara Rothschild.

Our working environment is diverse, inclusive and engaging. Our team of approximately 80 staff members has a mix of expertise and experience in philanthropy and other sectors including: not-for-profits, finance, development, government, media, law and academia, among others. Together we represent over 20 nationalities.

Our main administrative office is located in Geneva, Switzerland. We also have offices in Denmark, India, the United Kingdom, the United States and Zimbabwe.

Meet our leadership team

Adrian Arena


International Human Rights

Adrian Arena started the International Human Rights Programme on joining Oak Foundation in February 2003. In its first year of operation, the programme had an annual budget of USD 2 million and largely focussed on supporting international NGOs. Since then, it has expanded to a programme with six staff and an annual budget of around USD 30 million, operating in diverse geographies with both local and international organisations.

Adriana Craciun

Senior Adviser for Capacity Building and Organisational Development

Adriana Craciun leads Oak’s organisational development and capacity building work; an area of work that she set up after joining Oak in February 2013. Capacity building is an essential part of Oak`s support to our partners because it helps strengthen their grant objectives and fulfil their missions. Oak uses approximately 15% of its annual budget to support grantee organisational development and capacity building initiatives.

Brigette De Lay


Prevent Child Sexual Abuse

Brigette joined Oak Foundation in 2012 as a programme officer for the Prevent Child Sexual Abuse Programme. She currently holds the position of director. The programme has an average grant-making budget of USD 35 million and has ten staff. The programme takes a global approach and funds where it can have the greatest impact and in specific geographies that build on our experience and advance our vision.

Cheryl Chang

Chief of Staff

President's Office

Cheryl joined Oak Foundation as Chief of Staff in 2019. In this role, she supports the president, coordinates organisational strategy and planning, and serves as a liaison between various foundation functions.

Douglas Griffiths


President's Office

Doug joined Oak Foundation in January 2019. In his role as President, he is thrilled to knit together his professional experiences advocating for human rights, humanitarian relief, social development and environmental protection. The president’s office includes a team of six that work to ensure that we have: robust monitoring, evaluation and learning systems; efficient communication practices; and a strong foundation working to achieve our mission.

Esther Nørregård-Nielsen


Oak Foundation Denmark

Esther Nørregård-Nielsen joined the Oak Foundation Denmark programme in 2007. The programme currently has an average grant-making budget of USD 6 million and has two staff. The Oak Foundation Denmark Programme supports innovative solutions to improve the lives of socially vulnerable and marginalised groups at the community level. As well as supporting not-for-profit organisations in Denmark, it also support organisations in Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

Heather Graham


Learning Differences

Heather joined Oak Foundation as the director of the Learning Differences Programme in December 2017. The programme has an average grant-making budget of USD 18 million in 2019 and has four staff.  It supports organisations in the United States as well as in a limited number of countries around the world. The programme partners with and invest in not-for-profit organisations that improve education for all students, particularly those with learning differences.

Katharina Samara-Wickrama


Issues Affecting Women

Katharina joined Oak Foundation in 2013 as a programme officer for the Issues Affecting Women Programme. She currently holds the position of director. The programme has an average grant-making budget of USD 25 million and has six staff. The programme envisions a world where women have the rights, capacity and opportunity to live their lives free from violence and enjoy their full and equal human rights.

Leonardo Lacerda



Leonardo joined Oak Foundation as the director of the Environment Programme in 2008. The programme has an average grant-making budget of USD 45 million and has thirteen staff.  The programme has three sub-programmes (climate change, marine conservation, and wildlife conservation and trade). The programme envisions a world where our children will grow up in a clean, safe climate, our oceans are healthy and free of plastic, and endangered wildlife are protected from cruel and illegal trade.

Marta Arranz

Senior Advisor, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning

Marta joined Oak Foundation in January 2019 to create Oak’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning function. She supports programmes and their partners to use evidence, evaluation and reflection for more impactful grant-making. She also drives organisation-wide efforts to improve learning practices and build a culture of enquiry, curiosity and knowledge sharing.

Rachel Quick


Special Interest

Rachel joined Oak Foundation as the director of the Special Interest Programme in 2014. The programme has an average grant-making budget of USD 50 million and has six staff. Special Interest grants cover a wide range of fields, including health, humanitarian relief, education and the arts. They are made to organisations whose activities the Trustees wish to support, irrespective of country or region.

Raji Hunjan


Housing and Homelessness

Raji joined Oak Foundation in 2020 as the director of the Housing and Homelessness Programme. The programme has an average grant-making budget of USD 30 million and has six staff. It partners with organisations working both nationally and locally in Boston, New York and Philadelphia in the United States and in London, Belfast, South Wales, Glasgow and Birmingham in the United Kingdom.

Vinit Rishi



Vinit joined Oak Foundation in 2006 as director of Administration. Vinit is responsible for the foundation’s operations as well as administrative oversight for offices in India, the UK, and the US. Vinit leads the teams responsible for Finance, Grants Administration, Information Technology, Human Resources, and Organisational Development & Capacity Building. He also oversees real estate and facilities.

Virginia Ruan

Head of communications

Oak Foundation

Virginia joined Oak Foundation as a communications officer in 2011. Her current position is head of communications. In this role, she works in collaboration with staff, Trustees and partners to develop communication strategies that support internal and external goals. She is the main media contact for the Foundation. There are also two other full-time staff members in the communications team (Rachel McKee and Mia Moore).