Executive Director, True Costs Initiative
Conniel comes to True Costs Initiative after ten years of practicing corporate law at a multinational corporation where she advised on commercial transactions, compliance and Foundation matters and represented the company on several continents including Africa and South America.
She is a daughter of the Global South, from the island of Jamaica where she observed firsthand the juxtaposition of corporate investment and the affected environmental and social landscape. Her professional and personal experience gives her a unique perspective and guides her execution of the TCI mission and strategies to protect the vulnerable.
Conniel is a Board Member of EDGE Funders Alliance, which organizes within philanthropy to raise awareness and deepen understanding of the interconnected nature of the social, economic and ecological crises threatening our common future. She also serves on advisory boards of groups that work to ensure human and environmental rights accountability of economic actors.
She received her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and her B.A., cum laude, in Government, with a concentration in International Relations, from Cornell University. Conniel is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania.
Program Officer, True Costs Initiative
In her current role as a Program Officer, Nittaya cultivates relationships with partners and allies in the field, manages TCI grantee partner portfolio, and provides input on program strategies to the Executive Director.
Nittaya brings to TCI insights and perspectives gained from over a decade of working directly with disadvantaged and marginalized communities on issues including youth development, multi-dimensional impact of dam construction, education, community engagement, racial and gender equity, and cross-cultural learning.
Prior to TCI, Nittaya worked as a program manager at the Center for Southeast Asians in Rhode Island, where she led a team to design and implement a multi-faceted program focused on family and community engagement and racial equity with the primary stakeholders being Southeast Asian immigrant and refugee families.
During her time in RI, Nittaya served on the Rhode Island LEP/ELL Advisory Council, Providence Human Relations Commission, and boards of directors for The Peace Flag Project and the Laotian Community Center of RI. Born and raised in Northeastern Thailand, Nittaya earned her B.A. in English and Communication from Ubonratchathani University and her M.A. in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University. She is fluent in Isan, Thai, English, and Laotian (verbal).
Program Associate and Administrator, True Costs Initiative
Vashti is the newest addition to TCI, joining the team in 2021 as the Program Associate and Administrator. In this role, she engages with TCI’s partners, serves as the organization’s administrator, coordinates and implements TCI’s communications, and supports the Executive Director and Program Officer.
Her passions lie in environmental justice and cultural competency, with a uniquely compassionate perspective that comes from years of animal activism, community volunteer work, education equity, and ecological research.
Before joining TCI, she worked as an administrative assistant and science teaching intern at Moorestown Friends School. There, she introduced a citizen science project called the NASA Globe Program to promote environmental education; co-created a mentorship database for predominantly lower-income students and students of color to connect with graduates of the Camden Scholars Program; and was the lead chaperone to a group of students and administrators attending NAIS’s People of Color Conference and Student Diversity Leadership Conference in Anaheim, California.
Vashti received her B.A. in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Society and International Business from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.