Bainum Family Foundation Appoints Mae Cheung as General Counsel and Senior Director, Compliance; Promotes Leila Otis to Vice President, Programs

Bethesda, Maryland (February 7, 2019) — To support the evolution of the organization’s work, partnerships and overall mission, the Bainum Family Foundation recently made two changes to its senior staff. Mae Cheung has joined the Foundation as General Counsel and Senior Director, Compliance. Leila Otis, former Senior Director, Program Operations, has been named Vice President, Programs. Both roles are new to the organization.

Mae Cheung (left) and Leila Otis

As General Counsel and Senior Director, Compliance, Cheung will develop, implement and monitor Foundation policies and procedures and also provide comprehensive legal oversight and guidance to mitigate risk and ensure the integrity of all Foundation activities.

Cheung previously was Senior Director, General Counsel for The Optical Society in the District of Columbia for more than six years. There, she served as a one-person legal department for a global scientific professional society and managed all legal and regulatory affairs. Before that, Cheung was an associate at Gammon & Grange, P.C. and an attorney at Jones Day. She has provided legal guidance and support to nonprofit organizations for nearly a decade, but she began her career in education — first working as a teacher for Trinity School at Greenlawn in South Bend, Indiana.

Cheung holds a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Arts, Program of Liberal Studies, both from the University of Notre Dame. She is currently pursuing a Master of Education, Clinical Mental Health Counseling from The George Washington University.

As Vice President, Programs, Otis will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for all Foundation program areas — providing leadership and direction to ensure alignment with the Foundation’s mission as well as ability for long-term sustainable change. She will also continue to oversee the Foundation’s program-related investment portfolio for all initiatives.

Otis joined the Foundation in 2014 as a consultant and initially served as Senior Director, Food Security Initiative before becoming Senior Director, Program Operations in 2017. Prior to the Foundation, she led investment research at SunBridge Capital Management, LLC, and worked in marketing at American Express.

Otis holds a Master of Business Administration from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Brown University.

“Since we launched our current strategic plan in 2015, the nature of our work has evolved and expanded,” says Barbara Bainum, Chair of the Board, CEO and President of the Bainum Family Foundation. “These new roles will be highly beneficial to the Foundation as we continue our efforts to improve the quality and availability of resources for children living in poverty. And we are thrilled to have such exceptional candidates in each role.”


The Bainum Family Foundation combines proven expertise with a passion for supporting the whole child by providing integrated services to help them thrive. Our circle of collaboration includes investments and support in early learning, wrap-around services and knowledge building. Founded in 1968 by Stewart and Jane Bainum, the Foundation has helped underserved children exit poverty through high-quality educational programs and services for 50 years. For more information, visit


Ann Egan
Senior Director of Communications
Bainum Family Foundation