Public Welfare Foundation Announces Two New Program Directors

John Bae, Galit Lipa will advance efforts to catalyze a transformative approach to justice

Public Welfare Foundation Announces Two New Program Directors


The Public Welfare Foundation today announced that John Bae and Galit Lipa are joining its team as Program Directors to advance a transformative approach to justice that is community-led, restorative, and racially-just. They bring a strong history of advocating for justice and opportunity for people impacted by the criminal justice system, and a proven track record of supporting system reform efforts that yield transformative change.

“John and Galit are incredible additions to our team. They both have dedicated their careers to advocating for people who have been impacted by the justice system,” Public Welfare President and CEO Candice Jones said. “I am thrilled to have their expertise on the Public Welfare team as we work to reimagine a justice system that is both restorative and redemptive.”

Bae comes to Public Welfare from Art for Justice Fund, a grantmaking initiative to reduce mass incarceration launched by Agnes Gund and implemented by the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, where he served as an advisor. Previously, Bae was with the Vera Institute of Justice, where he was part of the team that launched Vera’s national public housing project. He also led technical assistance to Second Chance Pell sites; facilitated the evaluation design of Renewing Communities in California; and provided technical assistance to the New York City Housing Authority to increase public housing access for formerly incarcerated people. He holds a BA and an MA in criminal justice from CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and was an adjunct faculty member at CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College.

Lipa joins Public Welfare from the District of Columbia’s Public Defender Service where she served as a Supervising Lawyer, representing people accused of serious felonies including numerous children being tried as adults. Prior to her work at the Public Defender Service, Galit was one of the original lawyers at the Three Strikes Project at Stanford Law School where she engaged in a multi-pronged campaign to change California’s punitive three strikes law. Galit concluded her time at Stanford by serving as Director of the law school’s Criminal Defense Clinic. Galit started her career as a lawyer at Georgetown University Law Center’s Prettyman Fellowship Program where she tried numerous juvenile cases. She also taught and supervised law students in Georgetown’s Juvenile Justice Clinic. Galit has her B.A. from University of California at Berkeley, her J.D. from Yale Law School, and a L.L.M. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Together, Bae and Lipa will partner with existing grantees and provide strategic assistance to the field.

Bae will lead the Foundation’s Criminal Justice program, which provides support to groups working to end the over-incarceration of adults in the United States. The Program portfolio includes, but is not limited to, grants to groups working on state-based sentencing reform.

Lipa will lead the Foundation’s Youth Justice program which includes efforts to support advocates in states across the country to dismantle the youth prison model and ensure reinvestment in communities, and limit policies that transfer youth to the adult system.