Founding creator and benefactor of the SP2 Penn Top 10
Mr. Feldman currently runs GBI Holdings, a family office that starts, owns and operates small businesses primarily in the financial services and technology industries. These companies include GBI LLC, which focuses on precious metals where he serves as CEO, and US Farm Trust, a farmland asset manager where he serves as Chairman.
Previously, he was a partner at Goldman Sachs where he was the founder and head of the $10 billion global infrastructure fund and served on numerous corporate boards. He was also the co-founder and head of AgCoA, the firm’s agricultural land business. Prior to that, he held a variety of investing and banking roles in real estate, including lead developer of Goldman Sachs’ global headquarters at 200 West Street. He started his career as an Associate Attorney at Skadden Arps focusing on real estate and M&A. He received his B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from New York University Law School. He is a Trustee for The University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice, an Advisory Board Member of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and a special advisor to the Streb Dance Company in Williamsburg.
Feldman is also the writer behind The Ethical Capitalist, a non-partisan blog that comments on current events focusing on business, politics and human behavior.
Dean John L. Jackson, Jr.
Dean, School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2)
Richard Perry University Professor
Dr. Jackson’s research examines racial and class-based differences in contemporary urban environments, including a focus on how urbanites themselves theorize and deploy those differences in everyday interactions. Dr. Jackson’s scholarship uses ethnographic research methods to extend and expand Critical Race Theory as an analytical and explanatory framework for understanding contemporary social conflicts. Dr. Jackson’s work also critically explores how film and other non-traditional or multi-modal formats can be most effectively utilized in specifically scholarly research projects, and he is one of the founding members of CAMRA (www.camrapenn.org) and PIVPE, two Penn-based initiatives organized around creating visual and performative research projects—and producing rigorous criteria for assessing them. Dr. Jackson’s work also examines how contemporary urban religions are being mobilized to improve health literacy and health outcomes in poor and underserved communities around Philadelphia and all across the world.
Associate Dean for Institutional Advancement, SP2
SP2 Penn Top 10 Project Director
As Project Director for the SP2 Penn Top 10, Nadina worked with the dedicated and talented SP2 Penn Top 10 team to oversee implementation of the project. Nadina also oversees SP2’s Office of Institutional Advancement. A passionate and innovative development and communications professional, Nadina has served at SP2 for over 11 years. She previously was Sr. Associate Director of Alumni Affairs and Annual Giving and Associate Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Wharton. Prior to coming to Penn, Nadina worked as Manager of Grants and Sponsorships for the Adventure Aquarium in New Jersey, assistant editor for an award-winning computer magazine, public relations associate for an international software company, and special projects coordinator for America’s oldest African American newspaper. Nadina earned a BA from Duke University and an MA from the University of Pennsylvania.
Manager of Communications and Public Relations, SP2
SP2 Penn Top 10 Project Manager
Jessica is Penn School of Social Policy & Practice’s Communications and Public Relations Manager and is responsible for developing, writing, editing, scheduling and publishing SP2-related content for the School’s four dedicated communication vehicles as well as Penn-wide publications including Penn News Today, the Penn Current and Almanac. She also works to heighten and enhance the School’s presence in local, regional and global media and oversees SP2’s social media sites.
Jessica has been able to pursue her passion for storytelling, social change, the arts and education over the years as an award-winning reporter and communications specialist. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Temple University and has contributed to a number of publications, including the South Jersey Times, the SPIRIT Media Group, the Philadelphia Daily News and Montgomery Newspapers.
Melissa B. Skolnick, MSW
SP2 Penn Top 10 Creative Consultant & Fellows Project Manager
Melissa is a documentary filmmaker and multimedia storyteller, who uses these platforms to bring awareness to social justice and human rights issues that are often ignored. Currently, she serves as the Creative Consultant for the SP2 Penn Top 10 Social Justice & Policy Issues for the 2016 Presidential Election. Additionally, she serves as a Lecturer at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice, co-teaching classes focused on journalism and multimedia as tools for social change.
Since 2010, she has been working with nonprofit and community based organizations throughout Philadelphia. She has worked within fundraising and communications roles, developing strategies to raise support for under-resourced communities. She has also worked with media-based organizations and local film festivals, using media as a tool for community building and storytelling. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Delaware.
Fellows Project Director
Daniel Heimpel is an award-winning journalist and founder of a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children through solution-based journalism. He teaches graduate students of public policy, social work and journalism how to use media to drive social change. Heimpel has written and produced stories about vulnerable children for Newsweek, The Los Angeles Daily News, the LA Weekly, The Seattle Times and the Oprah Winfrey Network, among many others. This coverage has garnered him journalism awards from the Children’s Advocacy Institute, The Los Angeles Press Club and the Child Welfare League of America, among others. In 2010, Heimpel founded Fostering Media Connections (FMC), a nonprofit with the mission of harnessing the power of media and journalism to drive public and political will behind improving the lives of vulnerable children. Since its inception, FMC has been central to policy change to the child welfare system on both the state and federal levels. Heimpel is currently a lecturer at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy as well as USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy.