Two Inclusive And Strategic Leaders to Join MacArthur

May 17, 2023 Press Releases

Chris Cardona named Managing Director, Exploration, Discovery, and Programs and Yamini Mishra named Director, India Office


MacArthur today announced two leadership appointments at a pivotal moment in the organization’s strategic direction.

Chris Cardona will serve as Managing Director, Exploration, Discovery, and Programs. Cardona is an agile and proven facilitator for mobilizing equitable philanthropic resources to scale and is committed to making philanthropy more accessible to underserved communities. 

Yamini Mishra will serve as Director, India Office. Mishra is a strategic leader and a human rights and gender advocate with experience spanning India and Asia Pacific.


Cardona Brings Sector Leadership in Equitable Philanthropy

headshot of Chris Cardona

Cardona will drive the identification of MacArthur’s new areas of grantmaking, leading a team to surface practices, programs, and strategies that advance organizational goals and bring about transformative change.

“Chris is widely recognized in the field as a strategic advisor, champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and a sector leader,” said MacArthur President John Palfrey. “I’m excited to partner with him as we develop new program areas with our Staff, Board, and broader community guided by our values and a commitment to equity.”

Cardona was most recently Senior Program Officer, Building Institutions and Networks (BUILD) at the Ford Foundation. During his tenure, Cardona shepherded the launch and implementation of a 12-year, $2 billion effort to strengthen the organizational capacity of more than 300 nonprofit organizations around the world dedicated to addressing inequality by providing multi-year flexible support and technical assistance. At the start of his time at Ford, he led a strategy to reboot its Philanthropy sector portfolio, which aimed to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion with an intersectional lens in U.S. philanthropy and promote greater awareness and adoption of participatory grantmaking.

Previously, Cardona led philanthropic services for TCC Group, specializing in strategy, capacity building, and evaluation for the social sector. He led projects for clients including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Echoing Green, and the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation. He also held roles at Hispanics in Philanthropy, where he last served as program director for the Northeast, managing seven grantmaking sites and developing and implementing fundraising strategies.

Cardona earned a PhD and master's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor's degree from Williams College. Cardona serves on the board of Red Hook Initiative, a grassroots youth development agency. 


Mishra Advances Human Rights and Gender Justice Globally

headshot of Yamini Mishra

Mishra will oversee the Foundation’s operations based in New Delhi and serve as the principal representative for MacArthur in India with civil society organizations, government officials, and other stakeholders in the region. As a part of the Climate Solutions team, Mishra will help develop, implement, and adapt the strategy for climate change work in India.

“Yamini brings a deep understanding of governance, public finance, human rights, and women’s rights from an intersectional lens,” Palfrey said. “She will guide our strategy to craft sustainable solutions to the challenges India faces from climate change.”

Mishra currently works with Amnesty International, the world’s largest human rights organization, as Regional Director South Asia, leading and overseeing work in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific. She previously was the Global Director for Programs providing leadership and vision on social and economic justice, migrant rights, and gender justice. Prior to this, she was the Regional Gender Responsive Budgeting Specialist for Asia Pacific for UN Women and the Executive Director at Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability in Delhi. She also held roles at Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development, The Ford Foundation, and Oxfam.

Mishra served on the Advisory Group of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Financing for Gender Equality. She was invited by the Government of India to sit on the Feminist Economist Committee of the Planning Commission. She serves on the board of the Tax Justice Network, Centre for Democracy and Social Action and is on the Governing Board of Centre for Agrarian Reform and Economic Studies. 

Mishra earned a post-graduate diploma at the Institute of Rural Management Anand, a master’s degree at the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, and bachelor’s degree at St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi.

Cardona and Mishra will begin their MacArthur roles in August 2023.