Opening Keynote
The Clarion Call for Social Sector Leaders to Advance Humanity

Michael McAfee

Headshot of keynote Michael Mcafee

Founded in 1999, PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity by Lifting Up What Works®. PolicyLink is guided by the belief that the solutions to the nation’s challenges lie with those closest to these challenges: When the voice, wisdom, and experience of those traditionally absent from policymaking drive the process, profound policy transformations can emerge.

In this keynote address, PolicyLink President Michael McAfee will share his leadership journey and what he’s discovering are essential skills for leaders dedicated to advancing equity—just and fair inclusion into a society in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. He’ll inspire you to step into your power, embrace radical imagination, and unleash your gifts so that our world is better for you having been in it.

About the Keynote

As president of PolicyLink, Michael McAfee oversees strategy development, the alignment of PolicyLink assets, and the achievement of policy wins that ensure all people in America have economic security, live in healthy communities of opportunity, and benefit from a just society.

He came to PolicyLink in 2011 as the inaugural director of the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink. Under his leadership, PolicyLink emerged as a national leader in building cradle-to-career systems that ensure children and youth in our nation’s most distressed communities have a pathway into the middle class. His partnerships with local leaders in more than 60 communities contributed to significant improvements in the educational and developmental outcomes for more than 300,000 children and helped attract public and private investments that exceed $1 billion. Because of the focus on results, Promise Neighborhoods became a permanent federal program through the 2015 authorization of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

McAffe is also the catalyst for the creation of the Corporate Racial Equity Advantage, the first comprehensive tool to guide private sector companies in assessing and actively promoting equity in every aspect of their business operations and strategy.

Before joining PolicyLink, McAffe served as senior community planning and development representative in the Chicago Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). While at HUD, he managed a $450 million housing, community, and economic development portfolio, where he partnered with local leaders to create more than 3,000 units of affordable housing and 5,000 jobs and ensure access to social services for more than 200,000 families. He also served as the lead instructor with HUD’s Leadership Development Program. He is most proud of personally ensuring the successful matriculation of more than 168 senior executives through the Leadership Development Program and providing fundraising, leadership, management, and organizational development technical assistance to more than 1,000 persons and 800 grassroots faith- and community-based organizations. His partnership with the White House and HUD's Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships has resulted in nonprofit organizations accessing more than $1 billion in federal resources.

While serving as director of community leadership for The Greater Kansas City Foundation and Affiliated Trusts, he was instrumental in helping build the organization’s capacity to raise $121 million from individual donors. This accomplishment earned the foundation the honor of being recognized by the Chronicle of Philanthropy as receiving more contributions than any community foundation in America. His vocation is to achieve equity in America—just and fair inclusion into a society in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. He serves on the boards of Bridge Housing, Independent Sector, North Lawndale Employment Network, One Degree, and Sweet Beginnings LLC. He served in the U.S. Army, completed Harvard University's Executive Program in Public Management, and earned a doctorate in education - human and organizational learning from George Washington University. He is an avid off-road hiker and practitioner of Bikram yoga.


Closing Keynote and Moderated Discussion

The Imperative for High Impact: Good Works Are Not Enough 

John MacIntosh 
Partner and Board Member 
SeaChange Capital Partners 

The social sector has long been doing good works with children, families, and communities, but we continue to seek a healthy society and strong communities for all children, adults, and families because opportunity, health, safety, economic security, and well-being remain elusive for millions of Americans. Communities deserve high-impact nonprofits. 

Impact is not about what nonprofits do—how many people they serve, how long they’ve been in existence, or how far their service areas reach. It’s about the positive change they achieve and whether or not it lasts. Organizations that achieve impact are influencing, either directly or indirectly, the number of people: 

  • Gaining financial security and independence 
  • Living safe and healthy lives 
  • Moving on pathways toward educational and employment success 

Organizations must stay focused on their missions and impact if we are to achieve our shared vision of a healthy society and strong communities for all children, adults, and families. 

Join John MacIntosh, partner and board member of SeaChange Capital Partners, as he shares valuable insights from an exclusive firsthand report on the state of our sector. This report will highlight a rigorous study on the financial health of the social sector using data-driven analysis and original research in assessing the health of the sector and of community-based human services organizations in America. The study will identify the internal and external forces creating challenges across the sector and drive to cross-sector solutions and recommendations that will ensure the sector’s strength and vitality into the future. 

Moderated Discusssion

Moderator: Susan N. Dreyfus, president and CEO, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

  • Debora Matthews, president & CEO, The Children’s Center
  • Tracy Wareing Evans, president & CEO, American Public Human Services Association
  • John MacIntosh, partner and board member, SeaChange Capital Partners

Following the closing keynote address, this panel of social sector leaders will further discuss the implications of the report’s findings for our continued work in communities and neighborhoods across the nation. Participants will also be invited to share their comments, remarks, and questions about the report, as we try to understand the cross-sector solutions and recommendations that can ensure the sector’s strength and vitality into the future.

About the Keynote and Panel

John MacIntosh
Partner and Board Member
SeaChange Capital Partners 

John MacIntosh leads SeaChange Capital Partners with overall responsibility for grant-making, credit and investment, advisory services, and market-making. He also explores new roles SeaChange might play to help nonprofits have more impact while giving donors leveraged funding opportunities. 

Prior to joining SeaChange, MacIntosh was a partner at Warburg Pincus in that global private equity firm’s New York, Tokyo, and London offices. At Warburg Pincus, he was responsible for overseeing the firm’s expansion into several new international markets and industry segments, designed the firm’s investment performance and measurement system, was co-head of professional development, and served as a director of 16 companies. Earlier in his career MacIntosh worked as a software engineer in Tokyo and a management consultant at Oliver Wyman. 

In conjunction with the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics and the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, MacIntosh coordinated a three-year program in resilience-building and depression prevention for more than 3,000 children across 25 middle schools in the United Kingdom. 

John has a bachelor's in science in engineering from Princeton University and a master's in philosophy and public policy from the London School of Economics. He serves on the board of the New York Junior Tennis & Learning, the Credit Committee of the Contact Fund, and Healing Arts Inc., and is an equity investment advisor to MicroVest Capital Management. MacIntosh lives in Brooklyn with his wife and four daughters.

Susan Dreyfus
President and CEO
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

Susan N. Dreyfus is president and CEO of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, a strategic action network of social sector organizations that has a national reach in thousands of communities across America.

She is dedicated to advancing equity in society through access and opportunity so all people can reach their full potential. She believes in the power of the social sector to be influencers of larger systemic change through its excellence, distinction, innovation, and influence.

Prior to joining the Alliance in 2012, Dreyfus was secretary for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. She was appointed by Gov. Chris Gregoire in May 2009 and approved by the senate. She served as a member of the Governor’s Executive Cabinet. She had responsibility for Medicaid, aging and long-term care, child welfare, behavioral health care, juvenile justice, economic assistance, and other human services.

Before her work in Washington state, Dreyfus served as senior vice president and chief operating officer for the Alliance.

In 1996 she was appointed by the Gov. Tommy G. Thompson Administration in Wisconsin to be the first administrator of the Division of Children and Family Services. Her responsibilities included child welfare, child care quality and licensing, youth development, and an array of emergency assistance and other community programs.

Dreyfus is chair of Leadership 18, a coalition of CEOs from the largest and most respected nonprofit organizations in America, and was also the chair of its 2016 Executive Committee. She serves on the governing boards of the American Public Human Services Association, Generations United, the National Human Services Assembly, and the International Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers. She was appointed through the Speaker’s office in the U.S. House of Representatives to serve on the National Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities from 2013-2015.

In 2017, Dreyfus was named to The NonProfit Times’ Power and Influence Top 50 list of nonprofit leaders who have “distinguished themselves as initiators of concepts that will have legs and are already having impact.” She also was included in the Power and Influence Top 50 list in 2015.  The American Public Human Services Association awarded Dreyfus its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 for her contributions to the field of health and human services in both the public and private sectors.

Tracy Wareing Evans
President & CEO
American Public Human Services Association

Tracy Wareing Evans is president & CEO of the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA), a bi-partisan, nonprofit, membership organization representing state and local human service agencies through their top-level leadership. She spearheads the association’s national Pathways agenda focused on strategically advancing the well-being and health of families and communities. Wareing Evans has a long history in high-level policy development and public administration.

She served as a senior advisor to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and, before moving to Washington D.C. in 2009, as the director of the Arizona Department of Economic Security, an integrated human service agency. She has also served as policy adviser for human services under then Arizona Gov. Napolitano and as director of the state’s child welfare division. Wareing Evans began her career as a litigator. Wareing Evans has served on more than 20 boards and advisory committees over the course of her career, including several national appointments.

Debora Matthews
President & CEO
The Children’s Center

Debora Matthews was appointed to the position of president & CEO in February 2006, following a 10-month period as COO which began in April 2005. Her dedication to volunteer service at The Children’s Center span a 17-year period, where she served as chair of the board of directors and treasurer. Matthews also worked as finance director at The Children’s Center for three years in the mid-1980s.

Matthews served as CFO for over 25 years with many nonprofit organizations in the Detroit area. She has over 35 years of experience in management and operations with an emphasis in finance. Subsequent to a three-year career with Plante & Moran, Matthews was regularly recruited by Plante & Moran to provide financial turnaround consulting for several nonprofit clients. Transitional consulting for nonprofits included right-sizing organizations for financial viability and sustainability. Matthews earned a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Michigan.

In April 2015, Matthews was appointed to the Performance Child Welfare Partnership Council, an ongoing team established to lead the implementation of performance based contracting in Child Welfare in Michigan. From July 2013-February 2014, she served as a member of the Michigan Child Welfare Performance Based Funding Task Force – Pilot and Implementation Roadmap Work Group.

In May 2014, Matthews led the formation of the Wayne County Community Mental Health Collaborative. The 20-provider membership alliance from the behavioral health system provides advocacy for funding and programming for the county’s adult and children’s initiatives coordinated by the new Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority.

Additional roles as a leader and advocate in child welfare and behavioral health initiatives and practices in Southeastern Michigan and beyond include Matthews’ appointments or elections to numerous boards of directors. The Michigan Minority Health Education Council presented Matthews with the 2016 Lula B. Pearson Humanitarian Award for having a profound impact on those most in need in the Metro Detroit community. Other recent awards include the Michigan Chronicle’s 2014 Women of Excellence; the Michigan Chronicle’s 2013 Who’s Who in Black Detroit, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2011 Leadership Detroit Class XXXII, and the EP Maxwell J. Schleifer Distinguished Service Award for her advocacy, dedication and commitment to those with special needs.