Daniel Penchina

Interim Executive Director

Pronouns: He/Him

Daniel is SMYAL’s Interim Executive Director and brings nearly 20 years of experience working with social justice organizations to assist nonprofits with management challenges, program evaluation, strategic planning, fundraising and communications strategy, and government relations. As Interim Executive Director, Daniel will work with SMYAL’s Deputy Executive Director, Jorge Membreño, and the rest of our senior management team to oversee the day-to-day programmatic work, organizational operations, and financial development of the organization as we conduct an Executive Search.

Daniel is the president of Penchina Partners, where he applies his 19 years of experience navigating the intersection of policymaking and politics on behalf of his clients. Prior to founding Penchina Partners, Daniel most recently was president of Voices for Progress and Voices for Progress Education Fund, a community of hundreds of progressive philanthropists, business leaders, and major political donors who advocate for economic and social justice, to strengthen representative democracy, and to protect our climate.

During his nearly-three-year tenure there, Daniel was responsible for growing the staff and budget by over 50% and the membership by 80%, modernizing the organization’s advocacy strategy, and revitalizing the organization’s governance and administration.

Prior to that, Daniel was principal at The Raben Group, a progressive public affairs firm based in Washington, DC. There, he designed and managed issue and advocacy campaigns — including developing legislative strategy, communications plans, coalitions, and tools for grassroots organizing — for dozens of national nonprofits, foundations, and companies.

Daniel also worked as a senior advisor and strategist for several members of Congress, including legislative director to Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL), legislative director for Congressman (now Senator) Christopher Murphy (CT) and legislative assistant and appropriations associate for Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY).

Daniel is a member of the board of the LGBTQ Victory Fund and is a member of the advisory board and steering committee of the Healthy Democracy Coalition. Daniel previously served as Vice-Chair of SMYAL’s Board of Directors. He is the past-president of Q Street, an association of LGBTQ lobbyists and advocates. He graduated with honors from New York University.