LEADERBRIDGE TEAM BIOS
FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE CHAIR
Gabriela Smith is the founder and executive chair of the Crimsonbridge Foundation, one of only 2.3% Hispanic-led foundations in the country. In her role as executive chair, she is deeply involved in the work of the foundation, focusing on strategic planning, program design, and the development of philanthropic collaborations. An entrepreneurial philanthropist and investor, she has 25 years of experience designing and supporting programs in education, leadership development and capacity building. With drive and diplomacy, she has built innovative collaborations across sectors to advance equity in education, first generation college student success, and the applications of mind, brain and education science to teaching and learning in the everyday classroom. She is one of the founders and original partners of both, the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning, and the St. Jane de Chantal Salesian Center.
Gabriela is a founding investor of Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP), a nonprofit investment fund built on the principles of venture capital investing, capacity building, and outcomes evaluation. Now in an honorary role, she served as an active member of VPP's Board for almost 20 years, providing guidance on philanthropic investments designed to build strong, effective organizations. Since inception, VPP has raised and deployed over $110 Million strategically investing in education programs improving the lives of thousands of children and youth in the National Capital Region.
She has also served as a member of the Dean's Council of the Harvard Kennedy School, the Georgetown University Board of Regents, the Visitation Preparatory School Board, and the St. Jane de Chantal Salesian Center Advisory Council, organizations with which she continues to be engaged. Currently she serves as a member of the Georgetown Scholarship Program Advisory Board, as a lay consultant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, as president of the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders Washington DC Chapter, and as a member of the Board of Directors of FADICA, the premier Catholic Philanthropy Network.
Her early professional background includes supervising health and education projects for the World Bank, as well as serving as a social worker for Catholic Charities in Los Angeles. Gabriela received a master's degree in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and both a master's degree in Latin American Studies and Economic Development and a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a photography enthusiast and a dedicated researcher and writer of her family history. She is married and the mother of a son and two daughters.
Danielle M. Reyes
PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Danielle M. Reyes is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Crimsonbridge Foundation. Since the foundation’s inception in 2015, she has led the strategic development and implementation of its operations and programs. As an entrepreneur and veteran leader in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector, Danielle designs innovative philanthropic approaches and initiatives that integrate equity, technology, and communications to foster authentic community-based partnerships that drive change. She brings more than 25 years of professional experience in education, philanthropy, and the nonprofit sector in the Greater Washington region, nationally, and in the Caribbean. As a leader and strategist in innovative and inclusive philanthropy, nonprofit capacity building, leadership and organizational development, and strategic communications, Danielle has served on and led numerous funders collaboratives and grant review panels. She has presented at the Council of Foundations, Exponent Philanthropy, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, Communications Network, and other affinity group gatherings.
Before joining the Crimsonbridge Foundation, Danielle spent more than a decade at the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation. As a Senior Program Officer, she specialized in grantmaking related to economic security and nonprofit sector development; she also played a leadership role in developing the foundation’s social media strategy. Prior to that role, Danielle served as the Executive Director of the Latino Student Fund, where she helped increase access and information on educational opportunities to the DC metropolitan area’s Hispanic community. She also served as the first Western Region Team leader for Reading Is Fundamental, the nation’s largest children’s literacy non-profit. In addition to leading education-focused nonprofit organizations, Danielle’s teaching experience includes several years as a public-school teacher, university instructor, and U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco.
An active volunteer in the community, Danielle currently serves as the co-chair of the Crestwood Citizens’ Association’s Green Team in Ward 4, as a volunteer in the Maryland Master Naturalist Program of Audubon Naturalist Society, and on the board of directors of Rock Creek Conservancy and the DC Bar Foundation. She has served on the national boards of the Taproot Foundation and Asian Americans Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, where she served as board chair. She also served as a commissioner of Serve DC – The Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism. Danielle holds a master’s degree in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard University Graduate School of Education, where she co-chaired the Hispanic student society, Comunidad Latina; a master’s degree in Teaching from Manhattanville College, where she received the Alumni Valiant Educator Award; and received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, where the Multicultural Student Society recognized her for outstanding contributions to the Latino/a Community. When not working in philanthropy, Danielle is an avid outdoors enthusiast. She founded Yoga Hikes DC, LLC in 2013 and has been an active leader and advocate in Washington, D.C. outdoor fitness and environmental conservation.
Caitlin Furey Mayo
SENIOR PROGRAM OFFICER
Caitlin Furey Mayo is a Senior Program Officer at the Crimsonbridge Foundation. In this role, she drives program development and implementation for the Foundation’s Education Imperative, a unique collaboration of stakeholders focused on increasing student enrollment and Latino family engagement in Catholic education, including universities, nonprofits, the Archdiocese of Washington, and Catholic schools. Caitlin has presented nationally on this topic and serves as a resource for other regions interested in implementing similar programming. Caitlin manages the Foundation’s Bridges Program, expanding the portfolio to include Bridges for Schools and Bridges for Census. She also leads the Foundation’s English Language Initiatives program and co-leads the development and implementation of LeaderBridge, where she conducts outreach to local nonprofit leaders and engages leadership development providers. Her expertise includes nonprofit management, communications capacity building, Catholic education, and education programs serving immigrant communities.
Caitlin has spent her professional career in the nonprofit sector. Prior to joining the Crimsonbridge Foundation, Caitlin developed a passion for youth empowerment and equity in education during her four years working at Girls on the Run of Montgomery County. As the Program Manager at Girls on the Run, Caitlin honed her relationship-building and program development skills working with hundreds of volunteers in schools throughout Montgomery County and expanding program delivery in Title I schools. Through her previous nonprofit experiences, as a fellow at an organization serving individuals who experience homelessness and as a mentor for an organization focused on college access, Caitlin learned how to engage diverse stakeholders and build community.
Caitlin serves as the President of the Young Professionals Board of Girls on the Run of Montgomery County. She is a graduate of Leadership Greater Washington’s Rising Leaders program and completed Leadership Greater Washington’s Anti-Racist Leadership Training in 2020. Caitlin received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame in 2012 and completed her master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Regis University. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia, and prefers to spend her free time outdoors – running, hiking, cycling, and attempting to keep a garden alive!
Robyn Attebury Ellis
Robyn Attebury Ellis is a Program Officer at the Crimsonbridge Foundation. In this role, she leads the Foundation's College Success Program, which includes partnerships with local and national nonprofits, community colleges and universities, high school districts, and philanthropy. Robyn manages grantmaking and engagement with a strategic focus on college student success, authors articles with recommendations for the sector's growth, and has co-led a multi-year collaboration with local nonprofit and funder partners. She also leads the Foundation's grantmaking dedicated to Women and Girls Leadership and co-leads the development and implementation of LeaderBridge, where she conducts outreach to local nonprofit leaders and engages leadership development providers.
Robyn contributes over 16 years of experience in education to the Foundation. As Director of College Success Programming at the University of the District of Columbia Community College (UDC-CC), she established partnerships with 45 DC public and public charter schools and adult education programs. She also worked with students, faculty, support staff, and external partners to build inclusive practices and improve student success. Robyn’s skills include community outreach, committee leadership, and program development focused on persistence, completion, and well-being. Centering the dreams, needs, and assets that students bring to college drives her work. Her teaching experience includes teaching 9th-12th grade English in public schools, at a charter school, and at a residential treatment center, and first-year seminar courses at the community college level.
As a teacher in Austin, TX, London, UK, and Washington, DC, Robyn has always imagined new ways to serve students well and has treasured her roles as an advisor and connector. Robyn has presented nationally on dual enrollment and has served as an advisor for committees focused on college persistence and retention.
Robyn holds a master's degree in Comparative Education from the Institute of Education at the University of London in England and received her bachelor's degree in English with a UTeach certification at the University of Texas at Austin. She lives in DC with her partner and their two children and enjoys spending time outdoors and raising small humans to change the world.
OPERATIONS AND GRANTS MANAGER
Danielle Verbiest is the Operations and Grants Manager at the Crimsonbridge Foundation. In this role, she is responsible for supporting the Foundation’s operations and overseeing the grants management process. Drawing from her extensive experience in both the nonprofit and private sector, Danielle specializes in building systems and infrastructures, allowing organizations to build capacity and increase their impact. A firm believer in the power of education, Danielle is passionate about providing young people an equal opportunity to quality education so they can realize their full potential.
As an immigrant and first-generation college graduate, Danielle’s personal and professional experience closely aligns with the Foundation’s work in English Language Initiatives, College Success, and Capacity Building. Her expertise includes nonprofit operations, management, capacity building, finance, program design and evaluation, strategic planning, resource development, grants management, process and policy development, and stakeholder engagement.
In her most recent role as the Executive Director of the Abramson Scholarship Foundation, Danielle transformed the 30-year-old organization by building its operational, programmatic, financial, and organizational systems and infrastructure. Under her leadership, the organization reshaped its mentoring program model, established data management and evaluation methods, and cultivated and leveraged multiple capacity-building partnerships. Prior to Abramson, Danielle served as Executive Director of the Literacy Council of Montgomery County, where she expanded their work in delivering quality adult English language programs. In another nonprofit role, she served as the Development and Operations Manager after transitioning from operations and project management work in the private sector.
Born and raised in The Netherlands, Danielle holds a master’s degree in International Non-Governmental Organizations from Webster University Leiden and received her bachelor’s degree in Oriental Languages and Communication from Hogeschool Zuyd. She lives with her husband and daughter in Montgomery County, MD.