Officers & Staff

The Hellman Fellows Fund was established in 2010.  The foundation supports academic research through two programs. The Hellman Fellows Program makes awards to junior tenure track faculty employed by program institutions  (list of Hellman Fellows Programs). The Hellman Fellows Fund has recently expanded to include a pilot at UC Berkeley to provide doctoral student support on campus (about the Graduate Awards). The Fund takes no unsolicited requests. 


Frances Hellman, President

View her biography on the Board of Directors page

Susan Hirsch, Secretary

Susan Mayer Hirsch of Hirsch & Associates is a visionary leader in the philanthropic and non-profit communities. Over the past three decades, her work has transformed the opportunities available to children and families, particularly those in greatest need and in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Her philanthropic consulting services ranges from structuring foundations to strategic philanthropic advising through incubation of innovative non-profit entities, such as the City Fields Foundation. Ms. Hirsch’s clients have leveraged their giving to generate major social impact in the areas of education, parks and social justice.

Ms. Hirsch founded Hirsch & Associates Philanthropic Advisors in 1999, and since then she has broadened the firm’s expertise to encompass foundation counseling, donation management and facilitating collaborations between non-profits and local government.

Prior to launching Hirsch & Associates, Susan Hirsch was the founding executive director of the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund. Previously, she was the Executive Director of Strive for Five, and she started her career as the Manager of Public Affairs for McKesson Corporation.

Susan holds her B.A. in International Economics from George Washington University.

Civic activities include:

  • Breakthrough Collaborative National Board, former Director
  • California Common Cause,former Director
  • Council on Foundations – Member
  • Mayor Newsom’s Children’s Policy Council and Open Space Task Force, former Director
  • Nollenberger Capital Partners Inc., former Director
  • Northern California Grantmakers, former Director
  • Philanthropic Advisors Network, the Family Foundation Network and the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers – Member
  • San Francisco Day School, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, former Director
  • San Francisco Education Fund, Trauma Center at San Francisco General Hospital, former Director
  • San Francisco School Alliance – Founding Board Member
  • The Bay Citizen – Founding Board Member
  • UCSF Langley Porter, former Director

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Joanne Hagopian, Treasurer

Joanne Hagopian is the Managing Director of Lyra Management LLC, the family office for a prominent multi-generation San Francisco family and is responsible for overseeing the family’s investments and philanthropy as well as tax, estate and financial planning.  Prior to joining Lyra Management, Joanne was a Managing Director and member of the Portfolio Management practice at Hall Capital Partners, an investment advisory firm managing assets for families, endowments, and foundations.  Prior to Hall Capital Partners, Joanne worked at Deloitte & Touche LLP as a senior manager specializing in the investment company and not-for-profit industry groups.

Ms. Hagopian is a member of the Board of Directors of the Armenian Film Foundation and a founding Board Member of Atlantis Foundation.  She has previously served on the Boards of Directors of the Breast Cancer Fund and Toolworks.  She has served in the roles of Vice President and Treasurer and has been a member of executive, finance, audit and ethics committees.  Joanne is a member of the Investments Committee for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and currently serves as the committee chairperson.

Joanne received a B.A. in Economics/Business from the University of California at Los Angeles and received an M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley.

Civic activities include:

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Chair of Investment Committee
  • Armenian Film Foundation, Director
  • Atlantis Foundation, Founding Board Member
  • Breast Cancer Fund, Former Director
  • San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Former Diretor
  • Toolworks, Former Director

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Mary Kuehn, Program Officer

As a member of the Hirsch & Associates team since 2000, Mary has managed the formation and development of numerous family foundations. She has nurtured significant programs from conception through expansion to maximum impact.

Before joining Hirsch & Associates, Mary held senior positions in the university, advertising, and publishing sectors. Mary is an active member of the National Center for Family Philanthropy and the Northern California Grantmakers.

She holds a B.S. in Design and a B.A. in English from the University of Minnesota.

Civic activities include:

  • Berkeley Unified School District, Advocate for Special Needs Children & Families
  • Berkeley Unified School District, Literacy Coach
  • Loaves & Fishes — Berkeley, Program Coordinator

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