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Meet Our Core Staff

Posted by Social Venture Partners Portland

We are thrilled to be starting 2020 with a small but mighty team at SVP Portland! Read on to meet our team and learn who to contact with specific questions. 


Matt Little, Director of Investor Partnerships

Matt is focused on helping Partners identify and achieve their goals for connection, learning, and impact. Through regular contact and the cultivation of authentic, personal relationships, he ensures that Partners are informed and engaged to the degree that provides maximum satisfaction and return on investment—both for the Partners and for SVP Portland.

Matt came to SVP with more than 20 years of experience leading programs with donors and volunteers, and running successful nonprofit organizations. After attending Dartmouth College, he earned a Master’s of Public Administration at The Maxwell School of Syracuse University and earned his credentials in building trusted relationships in Washington, DC working for bipartisan members of Congress.

Contact Matt to:

  • Become an Investor Partner
  • Recruit new Partners
  • Host an SVP event or happy hour at your home or business
  • Learn ways to engage with SVP and Community Partners

Rose Rezai, Director of Community Impact 

As Director of Community Impact, Rose oversees the core of SVP Portland’s engaged philanthropy model—our combined investment of human and financial resources. She provides strategic direction and oversight of the time, talent, and influence of our Partnership to achieve the capacity-building goals and measure impact.

Rose brings more than 10 years of experience with nonprofit programs serving youth and families, most recently as Deputy Director at Friends of the Children, a former SVP Portland Community Partner. Rose graduated from Cornell College with a B.A. in Political Science and English before pursuing her J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law. 

Contact Rose to learn about SVP Portland’s: 

  • Portfolio of high-impact Community Partners
  • Impact evaluation strategy 
  • Financial Health Assessment program
  • Lead Partner engagement opportunities

Sarah Cohen-Doherty, Community Impact Manager 

Sarah combines her early childhood education experience, background in marketing, and project management expertise in her role as Community Impact Manager. She is energized about addressing systemic inequity in early learning, with a focus on maximizing the impact of our work.

Sarah earned her Master of Arts in Teaching from Willamette University and brings firsthand experience as an early childhood teacher, trainer, and Center Director. Prior to joining SVP, she worked as a marketing and communications project manager for education and equity-focused organizations.

Contact Sarah to learn about:

  • Upcoming events
  • Marketing and communications strategy 
  • The SVP Youth program
  • Data collection and analysis

Lauren Johnson, Executive Director 

Lauren joined the SVP Portland team eight years ago to launch the Ready for Kindergarten Collaborative. She quickly stepped into the role of Senior Vice President of Community Impact where, for seven years, she was charged with providing strategic direction and oversight of our capacity-building investments.

Before joining SVP, Lauren was a Program Officer at Thrive Foundation for Youth (now King Philanthropies), where she managed a portfolio of investments with the goal of transforming the lives of millions of youth across the U.S. She was also the founding Manager of a Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) program, and an English teacher in Conception, Chile.

Throughout her career, influenced by her liberal arts education from Williams College, Lauren has served as a philanthropic and nonprofit leader both locally and nationally.

Contact Lauren to learn about: 

  • Strategic planning & success measures
  • Joining SVP’s Board of Directors
  • Policy and advocacy priorities 
  • Commitment to advancing racial equity

Darren Davidson, Deputy Director 

As Deputy Director, Darren oversees financial operations, coordinates our development strategy, and provides the robust backend support needed to execute our mission. He ensures that SVP Portland serves as a model for nonprofit organizational effectiveness. 

Darren brings a diverse background in business management, financial analysis, process development, and information technology. He has worked in a variety of industries, from financing to construction to firefighting, and thus contributes a valuable perspective to our nonprofit realm. Darren graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California with a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry.

Contact Darren to learn about: 

  • Business Partnership opportunities 
  • The Encore Fellows program 
  • Financial & operational health
  • Fund development strategy

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