The Center for Disaster Philanthropy Board Elects Humana Foundation CEO Tiffany Benjamin as New Chair

The board also welcomed Ron Estrada and Tiana Austel as new members and announced new officers

Washington, D.C. (June 8, 2023) – The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) board of directors elected Tiffany Benjamin, CEO of Humana Foundation, as its new chair in time for today’s board meeting. Benjamin succeeded Kenneth M. Jones II, senior vice president and chief operations officer of The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

“It has been a pleasure to serve as board chair for CDP for the past two years,” said Jones. “The growth and the recognition of CDP as the ‘go-to’ organization for disasters – originating from both humanitarian crises and natural hazards – has been a rewarding and humbling experience. As I leave this role, CDP is in excellent hands with the incoming board chair, Tiffany Benjamin, a leader in the philanthropic sector.”

Jones guided CDP as board chair from May 2021 to May 2023 through years of immense growth and impact. As disasters and crises increased in scale and frequency, so have CDP’s efforts to improve the support provided to donors, grantmakers and grantee partners to advance a shared commitment to equitable recovery.

Under Jones’ leadership, CDP adopted new organizational values, made bold and public commitments to race and intersectional equity, and defined a new strategy to guide the organization over the next three years.

“I am honored to succeed Ken Jones as incoming CDP board chair,” said Benjamin. “In partnership with CDP’s exceptional leadership team and its amazing board of directors, I look forward to building on Ken’s enduring legacy of equity-driven and collaborative disaster recovery work. I’m very excited for CDP’s future as we center ourselves in uplifting and supporting communities in times of crisis and seek to build a more compassionate and resilient society through our work.”

Benjamin, named one of The Root 100 most influential Black Americans in 2022 and recently featured in Bizwomen 100, a national listing of women making an impact in their local business communities, has served on CDP’s board for two years, including as board vice chair.

“CDP is grateful to Ken for his exceptional board leadership and the mentoring he has provided me over the past two years,” said Patricia McIlreavy, president and CEO of CDP. “I look forward to working closely with Tiffany to fulfill CDP’s mission to mobilize philanthropy to strengthen the recovery of disaster-affected communities.”

Rounding out the board’s officers are UKG Senior Director of Social Equity, Opportunity and Impact Heather Geronemus as the new vice chair, Thermo Fisher Scientific Senior Manager for Sustainability Travis Campbell as the new treasurer, and EMPower Vice President Kristen Woolf as the continuing secretary.

New board members

The board of directors also welcomed two new members:

  • Ron Estrada, CEO, Farmworker Justice
    Estrada leads Farmworker Justice (FJ), a national advocacy organization that collaborates with groups nationwide to empower farm, ranch, dairy and agriculture workers to improve their wages, working conditions, occupational safety, health, immigration status and access to justice. Key priorities identified by Estrada include responding to the climate crisis and its impact on national food security by empowering the estimated 4.5 million farmworkers and their families to continue to be active contributors to the U.S. economy and society. Before joining FJ, Estrada was head of government relations and senior vice president of corporate social responsibility for Univision Communications.
  • Tiana Austel, Senior CSR Specialist, Illumina
    Austel drives Illumina’s employee engagement strategy. Under her leadership, program participation jumped from 14% to 50% in five years through a global expansion of their philanthropic grants program and the foundation of an Illumina Cares champion network across 26 offices in the United States, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Tiana is a certified diversity professional, a frequently sought-after speaker, a current co-lead of the Med-Tech & Pharma Industry Group for the Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals and on the board of leadership for Partners in College Success.

To learn more about CDP, please visit

Updated: 6/9/2023

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy mobilizes philanthropy to strengthen communities’ ability to withstand disasters and recover equitably when they occur. It provides expert advice and resources while managing domestic and international disaster funds on behalf of corporations, foundations and individuals through targeted, holistic and localized grantmaking. Find out more at and on Twitter @funds4disaster.