CSIS Welcomes Carl and Montana!

Mandisa Thomas
October 28, 2022



The Center for Social Impact Strategy (CSIS) is excited to welcome two excellent but not-so-new team members to the CSIS staff: Carl Sveen and Montana Tamny. They started this past summer, but we are officially giving them a warm welcome! We asked Carl and Montana to share their background, current work, and interests.

Tell us about yourself

Montana: I have bounced around quite a bit and lived in multiple cities/states/countries, but for the past 7+ years, Philly has been my home. During my undergrad, I studied social work and Spanish at Elizabethtown College, where I was able to participate in several study abroad and service-learning experiences. After graduation I moved to Baltimore for my master’s in social work and ended up falling in love with teaching. Next, I crossed the Peace Corps off my bucket list and spent two years serving in Costa Rica.  Upon my Peace Corps completion, I moved to Philadelphia, where I have worked in various education/nonprofit positions. I am excited for this transition into higher ed!

Carl: Hello! I have been living in Philadelphia since 2017 when I moved from the Chicagoland area to do a master’s degree in higher education at Penn Graduate School of Education. Both of my parents are entrepreneurs and I grew up in a very encouraging world that prioritized exploration and creativity. So, moving to a new city (and region of the US) was thrilling and it’s been really cool to create and discover a routine and life here. This then led me to find CSIS when I completed the Executive Program in Social Innovation Design and I was also Teaching Fellow for that same program for two years.

What will you be doing at the Center for Social Impact Social Impact Strategy? 

Montana:  As a Program Manager at CSIS, I will primarily be responsible for managing our residential programs, as well as a few partnerships with external organizations. So there will be some relationship building, event planning, logistics, and so on.

Carl: I will be working primarily with our Executive Programs and offering support in making those run smoothly. I am responsible for recruitment for those programs through advertising and marketing, managing the Teaching Fellows (alumni that help out with grading assignments and meeting with students), making sure the courses run smoothly throughout the programs. Among other things. 

What are you most looking forward to working on at CSIS? 

Montana: In addition to getting to know my awesome colleagues better, I am most excited to be working on our residential programs. Penn Social Impact Lab and Global Social Impact House. Before working here, I participated in Penn Social Impact Lab as a graduate student. It was such an incredible opportunity for me, and I am excited to contribute to meaningful experiences for other students.

Carl:  I am looking forward to working with students that are at every stage of their venture or passion project. I love getting to hear where people are at in their journey and use our executive programs content as the vehicle to help them better themselves and their ideas.

Outside of work, what are your interests? 

Montana: I’m not a great relaxer. I like to do anything active– currently: biking, field hockey, hiking, or tennis. I like traveling, baking, reading, sending obscene amounts of snail mail; doing anything with my dog and husband. Being an aunt.

Carl: Outside of work, I am everywhere. I love living in Philadelphia and riding my bike to breweries or checking out brand new restaurants that I found through a random Instagram post. When I’m not in Philly, I can likely be found hanging out by the lake in Southwest Michigan or venturing through the mountains of Colorado.

How would your friends describe you? 

Montana: My friends would probably describe me as passionate (read: competitive), thoughtful, and a do-er. I’m only supposed to share the positive attributes, right?

Carl: I think my friends would describe me as “fun and funny”. That, or someone who isn’t afraid to go home and go to bed.

What’s a piece of advice you’ve been given that you continue to use?

Montana:“Perfection is death”

Carl: “Go for it”

What encouragement do you have for those out in the world who want to make a positive impact?

Montana: Be a good person. Throughout our lives, we’ll have the greatest impact (positive or negative) on the people closest to us, who we directly interact with. So always be kind.

Carl: I’m generally a pretty optimistic person, but I truly believe that there are a lot of good people out there that genuinely want to put out good things into the world. Find those people and work together in a way that pushes each of you forward, whatever that might mean to you. Also, everyone has ideas and everyone can be creative. 

What’s your go-to: 1) song? 2) hobby? 3) weekend adventure?

Montana: 1)“Oh No!” by MARINA (today) 2)Does snuggling with my dog count as a hobby? And I’m an avid reader. 3)Hiking/camping with my family, or exploring a new city. 

Carl: 1)“All Too Well (10 Minute Version)(Taylor’s Version)(From The Vault)” by Taylor Swift. 2)Going to IKEA. Or any furniture store, really. 3)Going for a long bike ride and ending up at a brewery or a friend’s roofdeck, or going down the shore.

Thank you Carl & Montana for introducing themselves.Join us in welcoming them to the CSIS Global Community!