Masha Chernyak, Senior Vice President of Programs and Brand Strategy
Masha is a strategic visionary, passionate storyteller, and an experienced advocate for the Latino immigrant community.
Since joining the Latino Community Foundation in 2012, Masha has envisioned and led groundbreaking programs and campaigns to build lasting people power. In her current position as Senior Vice President of Programs and Brand Strategy, Masha oversees key LCF programs, supports staff development, and storytelling efforts to shape a new narrative about the talents and contributions of Latino immigrants in California. Masha also helps curate events and experiences for the LCF community that are welcoming, joyful, and inspire leaders to bring their full authentic selves.
Masha was instrumental in launching our Latino Giving Circle Network, now the largest network of Latino donors in the country, our Just Recovery Wildfire Relief model focused on investing in community organizing, and the California Latino Agenda— a pillar of our advocacy work. She also created and launched the first ever Latino Nonprofit Accelerator in 2017 to build the fundraising and branding muscle of grassroots Latino-led nonprofits. She is passionate about putting love back into philanthropy and centering the voices and experiences of those closest to the issues that LCF addresses.
An immigrant herself, Masha served in the Peace Corps in rural Guatemala and worked as a community organizer on Chicago’s South Side. While working at UNO, Chicago’s largest Latino education and advocacy organization, Masha led the creation of a parent university for Latino immigrants and graduated over 1,000 students a year. In this same role, Masha organized hundreds of Latino parents and diverse cross-sector leaders during an advocacy campaign that brought UNO $98 million in funding from the State of Illinois.
Masha holds a Bachelor’s in Marketing from University of Cincinnati and a Master’s in Public Affairs and Politics from the University of San Francisco. She is a marketing guru, a talented photographer, and speaks three languages (Russian, Spanish, and English). Masha is driven by a deep sense of urgency to elevate the voices of immigrants and their contributions to this country. She is integral in helping to create and sustain LCF’s culture focused on love, trust, and change, not charity. In her free time, Masha loves to make art, go on adventures with her husband and toddler, and laugh with her heroes- her parents: Vladimir and Svetlana Chernyak.