Team

Managing Director 

Managing Director 

Dave Peery is the Managing Director of the Peery Foundation, a family foundation based in Palo Alto, California. The Peery Foundation invests in and serves social entrepreneurs and leading organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the world. Dave is a regular speaker and blogger, advocating for common sense approaches to funding and serving social entrepreneurs. He is a founding member of Big Bang Philanthropy and various other funder collaboratives. Dave holds a BA in Latin American Studies from Brigham Young University and served a two-year church mission in Paraguay. He currently resides in Bainbridge Island, Washington with his wife Lillie and their five children.

Dave Peery on LinkedIn

Executive Director

Executive Director

Jessamyn Shams-Lau joined the Peery Foundation as its first staff member in 2009, helping to shape the foundation’s initial strategy and portfolios. Currently, as Executive Director, Jessamyn is responsible for supporting the Peery Foundation team, strengthening overall strategy, and developing a grantee-centric approach across the foundation’s portfolios. Jessamyn utilizes her experience as part of the founding Ashoka U team in her hands-on role building social innovation programs and curriculum as an Advisory Board Member of BYU’s Ballard Center. Jessamyn has a BA in Fine Arts from the University of the Arts London and an MBA from Brigham Young University.

Jessamyn Shams-Lau on LinkedIn

Local Portfolio Director

Local Portfolio Director

Avani Patel joined the Peery Foundation as Local Portfolio Director in November of 2013. Her career in education started through Teach for America as a teacher in East Palo Alto. She has worked in both traditional and charter school systems and has served as a school site and district administrator in the Ravenswood City School District, the public school district in East Palo Alto. She graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Sociology and African & African American studies. In addition, she pursued her Masters in Education and received her doctorate in Educational Leadership. Avani is strengthening the foundation’s contribution to closing the opportunity gap for youth in East Palo Alto.

Avani Patel on LinkedIn


Social Entrepreneurship Portfolio Director

Social Entrepreneurship Portfolio Director

Jayson Morris joins the Peery Foundation in January 2015. Jayson will support the Peery Foundation's Regional and Global grantees utilizing nearly 10 years of experience helping to scale Room to Read from a $5 million to a $40+ million organization and overseeing institutional fundraising and strategic program initiatives at READ Global. Jayson began his career as an Investment Banker for Credit Suisse First Boston in New York and Australia. He left banking in 2001 and spent three years backpacking around the world. Jayson holds a BSc in Business Administration from Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. 

Jayson Morris on LinkedIn

Program Assistant

Program Assistant

Jocelyn Rheem joined the Peery Foundation as the Program Assistant in September 2014. Jocelyn is responsible for supporting the team as they serve the Peery Foundation's grantees and ensuring the smooth operation of the foundation office and internal systems. Previously, Jocelyn worked at The Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, DC. She holds a BA in Political Science and History with a minor in Women's Studies from Denison University, an MA in International Policy Studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and a certificate in International Conflict Management from Johns Hopkins SAIS. 

Jocelyn Rheem on LinkedIn