Taproot Appoints Russatta Buford, Timothy McClimon, and Junna Ro to its Board of Directors

Taproot is pleased to announce the election of three new members to its Board of Directors:  Russatta Buford, Timothy McClimon, and Junna Ro. Each is a professional at the top of their field with expertise in operations, finance, nonprofit management, and legal compliance, as well as a passion for Taproot’s mission. With more than 20 years of expertise, Taproot is a leading voice in the field of pro bono service, connecting volunteers skilled in areas such as marketing, strategic planning, HR, technology, and finance with social good organizations in need of their support.

Russatta Buford brings more than 20 years of experience in strategy, operational excellence, and change management. She participated in her first Taproot project in 2016 while working with American Express, and it was that experience that propelled a career shift from the private to nonprofit sector. Buford most recently led finance, operations, and human resources at the Ms. Foundation for Women. Prior to that, she served as the Chief Operating Officer and Interim CEO at DataKind, and held leadership positions at Teach for America, Brooklyn Org, and Global Health Corps. Before working in nonprofits, Buford worked in oil & gas and financial services. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Florida A&M University and an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

“I am passionate about acting responsibly to address the societal challenges we face. In order to do that effectively, it takes all of us—regardless of our sector,” Buford shared. “Taproot is largely responsible for my career shift to the nonprofit sector over a decade ago and I’m honored to be in a position to contribute to Taproot’s continued impact.”

Timothy McClimon is a strategic nonprofit and corporate executive and consultant who serves as President of The Celeste Group, a management consulting firm, and as the Executive Director of Signature Theatre, a nonprofit in New York. Previously, McClimon served as President of the American Express Foundation and Senior Vice President at American Express, as well as working with AT&T Foundation, Second Stage Theater, and as a lawyer for nonprofit clients. McClimon is a dynamic thought leader in corporate social responsibility, leadership development, and nonprofit management. He is a regular contributor to Forbes, an adjunct professor at New York University, and serves on the boards of Signature Theatre and the Mark Morris Dance Group.

“As a former business and foundation executive, I have long admired Taproot’s expertise in recruiting, training, and placing corporate volunteers with nonprofit organizations in need of assistance,” McClimon shared. “Now as a nonprofit leader, I more fully understand Taproot’s place in the sector. I am proud and humbled to join the Taproot Board of Directors and be part of the team that helps sustain the organization’s vital place in the nonprofit world.”

Junna Ro is a seasoned legal and compliance executive with experience in higher education, insurance, and technology. She currently leads strategic legal initiatives at the University of California Office of the President (UCOP), which serves as the headquarters for the university system’s ten campuses, five medical centers, and three affiliated national labs. Ro previously served as General Counsel and Head of People at Metromile; VP, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer for AAA; and Corporate Counsel for Symantec and VERITAS Software in Silicon Valley. She serves on the board of Community Boards, the longest–running nonprofit conflict resolution and restorative justice center in the country, and on the advisory council for the Asian Pacific Fund. Ro earned her JD from Santa Clara University School of Law, and her BA in Political Science from UCLA.

“I am honored and thrilled to join the board of Taproot, to further their commitment to help nonprofits access skilled pro bono resources,” Ro said. “Taproot’s values of authentic engagement, passionate optimism, and realistic impact-orientation resonate deeply for me. I look forward to meaningfully supporting its work to advance resource equity, strengthen communities, and drive sustainable social change.”

The three new members were recommended to the Board of Directors by former Taproot CEO Linsday Gruber in one of her final acts before departing the organization in June. Taproot is grateful for her leadership during this transition and looks forward to the strategic insights that Russatta Buford, Timothy McClimon, and Junna Ro will bring to the Board.

About Taproot:

Taproot is a nonprofit organization that connects social change organizations with passionate, skilled volunteers who share their expertise pro bono. Taproot’s programs help organizations overcome their most pressing challenges and create lasting impact in their communities. Learn more at www.taprootfoundation.org.