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Neel Garlapati


A collaborative, seasoned project manager, program designer and fundraiser with extensive experience in a wide range of nonprofit organizations ranging from social services to museums to higher education.

Throughout his career, Neel has successfully facilitated complex projects with multiple partners and stakeholders. Throughout 2020 and 2021 Neel worked extensively with a small group of consultants, along with leaders in philanthropy, government and the nonprofit sector on building and supporting the Committee for Greater LA and its signature initiative, No Going Back LA.

Neel is at his best working on projects where philanthropy, program design, project management, and stakeholder engagement intersect. He enjoys the challenge of making multi-faceted projects sing in harmony.

Neel most recently served as Senior Director of Development at Fairplex where he helped the organization develop and amplify its culture of philanthropy and commitment to public benefit. During his time at Fairplex, he helped transform the organization’s relationship with the communities in and around Pomona, California. He quickly planned, launched and led multiple community-based fundraising initiatives in partnership with community members and city leaders. He was also a key facilitator in launching Pomona Vision 2030, a unique collective impact framework that set the stage for a transformative philanthropic investment.

Prior to joining Fairplex, Neel was Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives and Institutional Philanthropy at Claremont McKenna College and was a trusted advisor to the College President, Deans and other members of the senior leadership team as the College navigated a rapidly shifting landscape for private higher education.

Before that, he managed Foundation relationships at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and played a role in the Museum’s $135 million inside-out renovation: NHM Next. Over the last 15 years, Neel has helped design, manage and fund raise for programs and projects totaling more than $100 million.

Neel earned a Master’s degree in Journalism from the USC Annenberg School of Communications and a Bachelor’s degree from Pomona College in Claremont, California.