Team

Staff

Pablo Willink
Executive Director

Pablo’s justice journey began as a youth, when he was raised to honor his Dine (Navajo Nation) identity through respecting the earth and the beings on it. After four years working on local political campaigns and serving as a community organizer, Pablo found himself on a small seed- saving farm in southern Arizona where he learned the importance of seed sovereignty, the need for sustainable agriculture education, and the joys of working the earth. Two years later, in 2015, Pablo led our pilot program, working with the Jim and Barbara Moresfield Boys & Girls Club in Houston, Texas, returning in 2016 to lead the program and expand it. His History degree from Stanford University (2017) has given him a framework for examining our past as a way of building peace and justice in the future. Pablo was brought on as the new Executive Director to push the roots of Amir deeper and to branch out to newfound heights.

Andrew Davidov
Program Associate

Andrew is ecstatic to be the newest member of The Amir Project’s family and continue working on social justice projects around food, farming, and the environment. As Amir’s Program Associate, he will be coordinating with camps what delicious goods will be grown there this upcoming summer and working with the Farmers and Farm Managers at the camps.

Alex Goldfarb
Operations Coordinator

Alex has been with Amir since shortly after its founding, and has worn a variety of hats throughout its development. As Operations Coordinator, Alex provides support for the financial, administrative, and human resources needs of the organization.

Max Hill
Communications Lead

Max has worked as a Farmer and Farm Manager at Camp Louise, and has previously assisted in Amir’s recruitment efforts. Max manages Amir’s social media and other communications efforts.

Jaclyn Kellner
Director of Education

Jaclyn has worked with Amir in a variety of capacities, serving as a Farmer and Farm Manager for Camp Young Judea Sprout Lake, and as a facilitator at Amir’s Training Seminar. As Director of Education, Jaclyn is applying her years of experience as a farm, outdoor, and environmental educator to update and enhance Amir’s curriculum.

Arielle Nissenblatt
Outreach Lead

Arielle joined Amir through the Cultivating Justice program in St. Louis. While there, she helped to build a strong network of volunteers for the project’s community garden partners, while engaging the community in educational programming. As Amir’s Outreach Lead, Arielle ensures we find Farmers from across the globe to serve our camp communities.

Nikki Lax
Recruitment Coordinator and Program Advisor

Nikki has been involved with Amir since 2013, spending two years as a Farmer at Ramah California, serving as the Farm Manager at Louise in 2015, and the Lead Mentor in summer 2016. As Amir’s Recruitment Coordinator and Program Advisor, Nikki is working to bring exceptional Farmers into our community and find new ways to improve our program.

Stef Bugasch Scopoline
Program Director

Stef has been farming with Amir since 2013, as a Farmer, then Mentor, and now as the Program Director. Stef is responsible for all aspects of Amir’s summer programming, from interviewing and placing Farmers, to meeting with our Directors to help their their vision become reality.

Board of Directors

Yan Digilov
Chairman

Yan is the Chief Local Advisor at Firestarter, a Houston-based firm that focuses on active management of charitable portfolios and strategic project development. He graduated from Rice University with B.A. degrees in Mathematics and Economics. After spending time working in money management and as a technology consultant, his present role combines his professional experiences with a passion for nonprofit work. Focusing on efficient allocation of capital and human resources, Firestarter deploys active management techniques to ensure clients’ charitable portfolios capture maximum amounts of social alpha. Yan founded Amir with David in 2010, and was instrumental in laying the institutional foundation for the organization.

David Fox
Secretary

David’s vision and leadership has led Amir since its founding. As Amir’s founding Executive Director, he helped build the organization’s scalable model for garden and farm-based education. While at Washington University in St. Louis earning his B.A. in Philosophy, David received the Stern Social Change Grant award and was named a Truman Scholar finalist for his work with Amir. David is currently pursuing a law degree at the University of California - Davis.

Rachel Colburn

Rachel Colburn has been a part of the non-profit world for over seven years starting with the Hoops For Kids program she co-founded. The idea was to successfully impact the at-risk youth community in Netanya, Israel through the sport of basketball and the local professional basketball team, Barak Netanya. The program has grown in so many positive ways since its fruition and has expanded into other cities like Tel Aviv, Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Katzrine. Program activities include weekly mentoring by professional athletes and volunteers, free tickets to their local professional basketball team’s games, and free t-shirts and basketballs for every youth participant. Aside from Hoops For Kids, Rachel is in the process of building the Kids Connect Network program, run by the Kids Connect Charitable Fund, which seeks to incubate and consult other non-profits with a focus on mentoring, community integration, and at-risk youth. Their goal is to have 1 million youth impacted worldwide by 2020.

Faith Brigham Leener

Faith has been involved in social impact work in numerous capacities as a policy analyst, program manager, educator and facilitator. She is currently the co-founder and Director of Strategic Development for Base Hillel, a Hillel International Innovation project that deploys dynamic Rabbinic couples into communities to build relationships with Jewish young adults and to use their home as a convening point for pluralistic Jewish life. Faith brings a deep love of the Jewish value of tikkun olam to Amir, as well as an appreciation for social impact work that engages children both physically and mentally. Faith holds a BA Phi Beta Kappa from Brandeis University, an MPA in Non-profit Management from NYU Wagner, and is currently pursuing her MA in Judaic Studies from NYU Skirball. She met her husband Jon Leener at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. Faith and Jon live in New York City.

Nathan Mitzner

Nathan graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Cox School of Business in 2011, and was chosen as The Most Outstanding Risk Management Insurance Major in the nascent Risk Management Insurance Program. In the summer of 2010, Nathan interned with Arthur J Gallagher and was offered a full time position in the company’s Dallas office upon graduation. He formally joined the company in July.With a family background in commercial and residential real estate development and investment, he has become active in the company’s Real Estate Group. The grandson of Holocaust Survivors, he has the drive and determination to be a leader in the insurance industry.In the two years that he has been part of the Gallagher Team, Nathan has become an integral part of the real estate niche, and was invited to The Power Of Gallagher for being rookie of the Year in 2012.

Kevin Topek

Kevin has owned and operated Permaculture Design, LLC for more than 2 decades where he designs and installs Permaculture inspired naturalized, native and edible gardens and orchards for urban, suburban and rural landscapes all over the United States. He is a native Texan, having grown up in Houston, TX and is a graduate of Rice University where he studied Space Physics and Chinese Linguistics. After college he went on to study Permaculture with its founder, Bill Mollison, and then studied Keyline Design with Darren Daugherty. Aside from landscaping professionally, Kevin gardens for his family and friends, keeps chickens and bees and is involved with many charitable pursuits and organizations.

Shannon Lijek

Shannon is a executive at McKinsey & Company in San Francisco, CA and joined the Amir board in summer 2016 as the organization was meeting distinct transition challenges. Shannon brings with her invaluable consultative skills and knowledge, and is crucial to ensuring Amir's growth over the coming years. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, two daughter, and dog (Truman).