Sylvia is fueled by the conviction that sustainable impact is found at the intersection of innovation, access to capital, and the successful execution of strategic partnerships. By training, she is a human rights lawyer and international legal policy expert with over 15 years of experience in rights-based advocacy, community leadership, and strategic planning. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, she has always worked in advocating for the empowerment of communities, particularly the underserved and those considered to be ‘voiceless’.
From 2016‒2018, Sylvia led the Orange County, California, office of Asian Americans Advancing Justice — the nation’s largest civil rights organization advocating on behalf of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities — where she more than tripled the operating budget. She then began to more actively explore disruptive models of philanthropy that integrate fund development as a tool for advocacy. In collaboration with a founding advisory board, she successfully launched the first National Asian American Community Foundation in 2019, now known as Asian American Futures, with a powerful vision of harnessing the power of collective philanthropy. She facilitated and cultivated diverse groups of funders and key stakeholders, which led to highly successful fund development efforts, and executed strategic initiatives focused on engaging young entrepreneurs and ‘next gen’ philanthropists.
Sylvia also has experience in venture capital, particularly in impact investing. Most recently, she worked closely with a global venture capital firm to launch their impact fund and foundation. In addition to raising capital and learning the due diligence and investment methodologies of a top performing venture firm, she conceived and executed on the mission, vision, and thesis for CerraCap Cares, a women-led impact fund with a targeted focus of reducing technology disparities in underserved communities.
Sylvia has an M.S. in International Human Rights Law from Oxford University; a J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School; and a B.A. in Psychology from Queen’s University. She also studied Piano Performance at Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Sylvia is based in Southern California.