Board of Directors


Catherine Simonsen


Catherine has been involved with Minds Matter since 2004. She started as a mentor in New York City, served for two years as the Director of the Sophomore Program, chaired the board from 2007-2008, served as Director of Programming on the National Executive Committee from 2008-2009, and founded the Seattle chapter of Minds Matter in 2013. Catherine graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in economics and science, technology, and society. She worked as an analyst and associate in over-the-counter equity derivatives at Goldman Sachs in New York from 2004-2008, graduated from Yale Law School in 2011, clerked in federal circuit and district court in Seattle from 2011-2013, and is now an attorney at Perkins Coie LLP.


Ann Rubin

Ann joined Minds Matter Seattle in 2013 as Mentor & Director of Summer Programs, becoming President in 2015. Born and raised in Tokyo, she is a certified college counselor and owner of COLLEGE-DO, a private college counseling service firm specializing in both local and international students. She has enjoyed working closely with each of the mentees in finding their best-fitting summer programs and looks forward to supporting even more students in the coming years. Ann obtained her B.A. in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College, an M.A. in Education from Columbia University Teachers College, and her college counseling certificate from UCLA.


Rissa Durham

Rissa is currently Program Manager for the Polio team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In this role she supports business operations, strategic planning, and ongoing portfolio management. She served in a similar role for the Foundation’s U.S. Advocacy team, focused on College Ready and Post-Secondary educational programs. Prior to joining the Foundation, Rissa served as Executive Director for Minds Matter for more than four years, during which time she focused on strategic growth, infrastructure development, and programmatic expansion. Rissa holds a B.A. in English and political science from Williams College, an M.A. in education from Stanford University, and an M.B.A. from the Johnson School at Cornell University.


Scott Fava

Scott is a New York City Real Estate Broker at Compass. With nearly ten years of industry experience, Scott enjoys working with buyers, sellers and investors from all over the world. Originally from the Seattle-area, Scott graduated from University Prep and holds a B.A. in English from Cornell University, where he also played varsity tennis.


Torre Hammer

Financial Advisor And Treasurer

Torre joined Minds Matter of Seattle as the Financial Advisor in 2013. Torre is a Senior Manager in the assurance practice at Moss Adams LLP, working with many early stage and middle market public and private companies. He received his B.A. in accounting and finance from Washington State University and is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and Washington State Society of CPAs.


Nicole Olesh

Nicole has been involved in education since she graduated from UCLA in 2004 with a B.A. in sociology. Nicole worked in the education system for five years teaching both special education and general education in low-income schools. As an educator, Nicole served in key roles on several district-level committees creating district-wide assessments and piloting new programs.

She then attended the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas as a Consortium Fellow where she earned her M.B.A. While in business school she continued working to improve education through charter management organizations and education nonprofits. Her experience includes market data collection and analysis, teacher effectiveness recommendations, new funding source identification, and operational improvements earning her an award for social enterprise. Additionally, she drove an internal organization assessment as a Board Fellow with the Board of Directors of the United Way Capital Area (Austin, Texas) using the internal standards of excellence to develop key areas of focus that aligned with the five-year strategic plan.

After graduating with her M.B.A. in 2011, Nicole went to work for Deloitte Consulting as a Senior Consultant in the Human Capital practice specializing in Organization Transformation. In 2013, she joined the Minds Matter Seattle inaugural Executive Committee as Co-Director of Volunteers and Director of Math Matters. In 2014, she left Deloitte to join Charter Management Organizations, or EdTec, where she provides financial analysis and recommendations to various educational organizations in Southern California.


Diane Lee

Diane is currently a senior product manager with Amazon Business.  Prior to Amazon, Diane worked at Microsoft and Boeing in strategic business planning roles.  She has been volunteering with Minds Matter since its inaugural year, serving as a Math Matters instructor in FY14 and FY15 and joining the board in FY16.  She holds a B.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia and an M.B.A from the Darden School of Business.