Stephanie Lerner, Program Officer, Catalyst Fund
Stephanie joined The Barra Foundation in 2019, relocating back to Philadelphia after three years in Boston where she served as Senior Associate, Strategic Learning & Evaluation for the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Prior to that, she spent ten years living and working in Greater Philadelphia. As a Senior Consultant for Equal Measure, an evaluation and philanthropic service consulting firm, she managed several evaluation projects connected to grantmaking in education and systems change initiatives, as well as managed the Capacity Building Grant Program for Pew Fund for Health & Human Services grantees. Stephanie has also served as Program Coordinator for Bryn Mawr College’s Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute and Civic Engagement Office, and as Evaluation Research Coordinator for the University of Pennsylvania. Stephanie holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from the State University of New York at Fredonia.
Kristi Poling, Program Director, Catalyst Fund
In joining the Foundation in 2012, Kristi brought her experience with philanthropic organizations and non-profits as well as skills developed serving as an attorney for large nonprofits and government agencies. Previously, she worked with Philagrafika, Visit Philadelphia, the Camden Redevelopment Agency and The Pew Charitable Trusts. She received her undergraduate degree from Temple University and her law degree from the Rutgers University School of Law – Camden, where she was a recipient of the Eagleton Institute of Politics’ Governor’s Executive Fellowship. In addition to overseeing the Catalyst Fund, she is responsible for the implementation of related programs that support Catalyst Fund grantees. She previously served as Chair of Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia’s Rebuild Leadership Group and Co-Chair of the Art Funders group. She values the opportunity her role provides to support area nonprofits as they address the needs of the Greater Philadelphia community.
Linda Rich, Senior Program Officer, Learning and Network
Throughout her career, Linda Rich has sought creative ways to both improve individual lives and influence systems and policy. She joined The Barra Foundation in 2019 having been one of the builders of the Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice at Drexel University. Prior to joining Drexel, she designed a citywide parenting initiative through the Community Based Prevention Division for Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services, where she evaluated funding requests and managed grants for more than 70 community programs. She has also assisted in planning, implementing and evaluating grantmaking projects for a number of national foundations. Linda has engaged deeply in and alongside government, health care, non-profits and academia. She holds an undergraduate degree from Trinity College and a Master’s in Community Psychology from Temple University. As a lifelong cultivator of stories, she has applied her skills and knowledge from her training as a psychologist. Linda believes that when stories are shared, we can reduce isolation, maximize connection and promote healing. She is a speaker and trainer on trauma, violence, and social and racial justice.
Kristina L. Wahl, President
Kristina (Tina) joined The Barra Foundation as a Program Officer in 2010 and became President in 2013. Prior to joining Barra, she worked at The Pew Charitable Trusts as a Senior Associate and then as a Program Officer. She also served as Managing Director of Marketing and Development at the Transitional Work Corporation, which at one time was the largest urban transitional jobs program in the country. After graduating from La Salle University, Tina joined the Vincentian Service Corps and served as a volunteer at Covenant House in New York City. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Currently, Tina serves on the Boards of Philanthropy Network of Greater Philadelphia and the Center for Health Care Strategies. She has served on the Board of Trustees at La Salle University, Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School and La Salle Academy, an elementary school for at-risk youth located in North Philadelphia. She has been a member of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Campaign Cabinet and Villanova University’s Department of Public Administration Advisory Board. Kristina grew up in Ambler, PA and feels a strong allegiance to the Greater Philadelphia region.
Stephanie Mullen, Administrative Coordinator
Stephanie joined The Barra Foundation in June of 2012. Prior to joining The Foundation, she worked for the National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) in Largo, FL as a Program Support Associate. She also worked for CoreTech Consulting as an onsite Training Coordinator and GSI Commerce, Inc. as an Assistant to the Chairman and CEO. Stephanie has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Purdue University.