In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are postponing the open call for applications in the Family Planning portfolio until August 2021. We are in communication with current grantees about next steps. Other portfolios will continue to be invite-only until further notice.

Theresa Preston-Werner


Theresa wears many hats. Anthropologist. Entrepreneur. Investor. Philanthropist. She has spent the past two decades working to understand global poverty and injustice and to support efforts on the ground aimed at transforming political, economic, and social systems in order to better the lives of individuals.

Theresa received her BA in Anthropology and Gender Studies from Scripps College and her PhD in Anthropology from Northwestern University. Her research focused on the development of enclave economies throughout Central America and the recent surge of international direct-sales companies in their wake. In particular, the work examined how companies are able to manipulate vulnerable populations, often poor, uneducated women and young, unskilled men. In the U.S. and abroad, Theresa has worked with, advised, and founded various non-profit and for-profit organizations in fields ranging from girls and education to women and family planning to youth and technology to the tech world and philanthropy.

Tom Preston-Werner


Tom started his first business, Gravatar, in 2003 and sold it to Automattic in 2007. Since then he's created many open source projects that have changed the way developers work and are used in millions of open- and closed-source projects: Semantic Versioning, Jekyll, TOML, and many more.

In 2008 he cofounded GitHub which was bought by Microsoft in 2018. Tom's currently cofounder and Chief Product Officer at Chatterbug, the best way to learn a new language.

Amelia Abdelrazik

Program Manager

Amelia joined Preston-Werner Ventures in 2016; she is a jack of all trades, managing partnerships, grant making, research, and providing strategic input.

Prior to PWV, Amelia worked for a variety of organizations in the public health and international development fields, including Four Women Health Services (Massachusetts), (Canada), Tadwein Gender Research Center (Egypt), UC San Francisco (California), and Peace Corps (Botswana). Throughout Amelia’s career, her focus has been on supporting community-level access to sexual and reproductive health information and services in the US and abroad. She has a Master of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health from UC Berkeley and a BA in International Relations from Brown University.

Jake Werner

Director of Policy and Political Research

Jake joined Preston-Werner Ventures in 2020. He leads research and strategy on funding political change with a particular emphasis on reshaping the global economy to combat climate change, extend investment to capital-starved regions, and democratize international relations. He has over a decade of experience in Chicago community organizing and international labor rights campaigns.

Jake received a BA in History and International Studies from Northwestern University and a PhD in History from the University of Chicago. Before joining PWV he taught Chinese history and social theory as a Harper-Schmidt Fellow at the University of Chicago. He writes on contemporary Chinese politics, US foreign policy, and progressive globalization, and his articles have appeared in Foreign Policy, The Nation, and Made in China.

Rob Cameron

Developer in Residence

Rob joined Preston-Werner Ventures in 2019. As the Developer in Residence he researches and builds out technologies needed for the Preston-Werner Ventures mission.

He has worked with computers for more than 20 years, starting out in the mid 90s as a self-taught web designer. He later moved to ColdFusion and created the ColdFusion on Wheels open source framework (still in active development). In the mid 2000s he moved to Ruby and Rails and now works primarily on RedwoodJS, an open source framework built on React and GraphQL.

Find him as @cannikin on Twitter and GitHub.