Our Team

Avani Patel

(UHV-nee puh-TELL)


VP of DEI and Strategic Priorities

Avani joined the PFS team in December of 2021 and serves on the management team as Vice President of DEI & Strategic Priorities. She enjoys working in collaboration with client foundations that work in service to nonprofits and she is excited by the many opportunities ahead to embrace a more equitable lens in philanthropy.

Prior to joining PFS, Avani consulted with education, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations supporting executive leadership through change management, DEI efforts, program development & evaluation, and capital campaigns. Avani started her career in philanthropy at the Peery Foundation and joined as its second full-time hire. She eventually served as the organization’s co-CEO, overseeing all operations and giving. An educator by training, she taught middle school in East Palo Alto and east San Jose, and eventually moved into school and district administration. She helped advance equity in education by successfully advocating to redraw equitable district boundaries, changing the process for math placement in high schools, and authoring equity reports.

Avani holds a BA in African & African American Studies and Sociology from UC Davis and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from SF State. She is a Bay Area native who loves spending time outside and globe trotting with her fiancé.