Marisa joined the Weinberg Foundation as a program director in 2019 and leads the Foundation’s grantmaking strategy in Hawaiʻi. In this role, Marisa develops diverse partnerships and collaborations within the Foundation’s funding areas of Housing, Health, Jobs, Education, and Community Services.
Marisa has worked with nonprofit, philanthropic, and government organizations for over 25 years, with the overarching goal of increasing the well-being of communities. Before joining the Foundation, Marisa was a public-sector consultant in Hawaiʻi for 12 years. Her company, Storyline Consulting, supported statewide collaborations and strategic planning in the areas of community health, public education, workforce development, affordable housing, and culture-based programs. Marisa also helped a diverse range of public-serving organizations expand their work through data analysis, community input, and storytelling.
Prior to her consulting work, Marisa’s leadership roles included serving as executive director of a nonprofit organization dedicated to asset building in low-income families and communities; working as a foundation program officer in the areas of education and community development; leading Spanish-language programs at a Los Angeles domestic violence agency; and helping to found a Native Hawaiian culture-based charter school that now serves students from kindergarten through grade eight in Waimānalo, Hawaiʻi.
Marisa received a Master of Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a Bachelor of Arts from Williams College, where she was a Ford-Mellon research fellow. After graduating from Williams, Marisa was selected for a one-year Thomas J. Watson fellowship for global leadership, enabling her to live in South America and Asia. She is currently an Omidyar Fellow, joining an ongoing forum of leaders dedicated to creating positive and lasting change in Hawaiʻi.
Marisa’s family roots in Hawaiʻi and Mexico inspire her to build inclusive communities that value people’s unique strengths and contributions.