Wisdom of Life

IFIP Staff & Board



Amy N. Fredeen, CPA. Amy is of Inupiaq heritage and grew up in Anchorage, Alaska. Amy attended the Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington and graduated Cum Laude in 1996 with a bachelor of Business Administration. Amy is the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President for the Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc (CITC) where she oversees both Finance and Social Enterprise Operations. Amy serves on Cook Inlet Native Head Start Board of Directors, Alaska Center for the Performing Arts Board of Directors, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Alaska, Montana, Northern Idaho & Washington Board of Trustees, as well as on the Finance and Audit Committee for IFIP‘s board.




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Jessica Brown is Executive Director of the New England Biolabs Foundation, an independent, private foundation whose mission is to foster community-based conservation of landscapes and seascapes and the bio-cultural diversity found in these places. Prior to joining the Foundation she was Senior Vice President for International Programs at the Quebec-Labrador Foundation/Atlantic Center for the Environment (QLF), responsible for its capacity building and peer-to-peer exchange activities in diverse regions.  Over the past two decades Jessica has worked in countries of Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Central and Eastern Europe. A member of IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), she chairs its Protected Landscapes Specialist Group, and is a founding member of the ICCA Consortium, concerned with advancing recognition of Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas. She serves on the governing board of Terralingua.  She has published widely on topics related to stewardship of cultural landscapes, civic engagement in conservation, and governance of protected areas.  Jessica has an M.A. in International Development from Clark University and a B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies from Brown University.


Andrea DobsonTREASURER

Andrea M. Dobson, C.P.A.  is the chief operating & financial officer of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Andrea oversees the investment, finance, accounting, human resources, operating, and information technology functions of the Foundation. WRF is dedicated to improving the lives of all Arkansans in three interrelated areas of education, economic development, and racial and social justice. Recognizing the broadness of that mandate, WRF focuses its work on the people and communities with the least wealth and opportunity, using its resources to understand the problems contributing to poverty in Arkansas and developing a long-term action plan to address the underlying issues. Andrea is responsible for ensuring WRF generates sufficient revenue to achieve its programmatic objectives and maintains good stewardship of its financial resources. Andrea leads the Foundation’s efforts in mission investing, and provides support to the Finance and Audit Committees of the Board. She is committed to addressing the issues related to poverty, racial and social justice, education, and community development, particularly through sound fiscal policies and transparency. Before joining the WRF team in 2000, Andrea was the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Central Maryland Farm Credit Agricultural Credit Association. Her areas of expertise include strategic planning, investment oversight and financial governance. Andrea is a Certified Public Accountant with a bachelor of business administration from the University of Michigan. In addition to her work at WRF, Andrea currently serves on the Boards of the Neighborhood Funders Group, the Pulaski County Single Parent Scholarship Fund and the International Funders for Indigenous Peoples Finance Committee. She is also active with the Arkansas Compensation Association, the Central Arkansas Human Resource Association, Bible Study Fellowship, and her local church.



Screen Shot 2012-11-05 at 1.15.36 PMGalina Angarova is Tebtebba’s Policy & Advocacy Advisor. Galina was born and raised in the Lake Baikal area. She has several years of experience in non-profit management and a strong background in environmental activism in Burytia and Irkutsky region. She graduated with honors from Buryat State University in 1998 and spent a year in Mongolia teaching English as a second language. In 2000 she received a Muskie scholarship from the US Department of State to go to graduate school in the United States. She received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of New Mexico in 2002. She worked with the Red Cross, Project Harmony (a US non-profit), and the Asia Foundation. Galina is fluent in English and Russian and has a basic knowledge of Buryat, Mongolian, and Chinese.



NNCayuqueoilo Cayuqueo (Mapuche), originally from the Los Toldos community in the southwest part of Argentina, has been active in Indigenous rights work for more than 30 years. He participated in the First International Conference on Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations in Geneva 1977. In 1985 he participated in the Working Group on Indigenous Populations in the UN’s Economic and Social Council, which was put in charge of writing the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In 1989 he worked with the International Labor Organization to draft ILO 169, an extremely foundational convention for recognizing Indigenous poeples’ rights. Nilo was a founding member of the South & Meso American Indian Rights Center (SAIIC) in Oakland, California and was the founder and director of the Abya Yala Fund, which worked to support self-determined Indigenous community projects. Nilo is currently a board member of the Indigenous World Association based in Hawaii and an advisor and nominator for the Goldman Environmental Prize. He has returned to his native Argentina after 25 years in the United States and in international Indigenous activism in order to work more closely with the Mapuche people.



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Anne Henshaw joined Oak Foundation in September 2007 as a marine conservation programme officer in the North Pacific and the Arctic with a primary focus on grant making in Alaska. She has a special interest in building capacity for indigenous community-based conservation, co-management and international governance. Prior to joining Oak Foundation, Anne was a visiting Professor in the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Bowdoin College from 1996-2007, and director of Bowdoin’s Coastal Studies Center from 2000-2007. Anne holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University and a B.A., magma cum laude, from the University of New Hampshire in anthropology. The results of her work have been published in a variety of peer reviewed journals and international venues including the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment and the International Panel on Climate Change.



L. IngaLourdes Inga is Manager, Grants Administration and Learning Systems for The Christensen Fund, a private foundation, whose focus is working with stewards and communities in support of biocultural diversity. She oversees policies and procedures for Christensen’s grassroots grantmaking approach and collaborated on the initial plan and design of learning from Christensen’s grantmaking. Lourdes has several years of experience with deep interest in grassroots international grantmaking. She served as Program Associate for the Americas and Asia programs and later as the Grants Administrator for the Global Fund for Women in San Francisco where she was instrumental in the creation and execution of the Fund’s grants administration department. Lourdes is very active in philanthropic and nonprofit communities, serving as a Board Member of Saphichay, a Peruvian non-profit focusing on revitalization and empowerment of indigenous practices and people by braiding indigenous and mestizo communities. She is a former Board Member of Grantmakers without Borders and a founding Board Member of EDGE Funders Alliance. She also served on TechSoup’s NGOSource Advisory Council; is an active member of Grants Managers Network, and was Board Member of Manos Unidas Contigo Peru, a local diaspora group that supports education and community initiatives for youth in Peru. Born and raised in Lima, Peru, Lourdes earned a BA in Latin American Studies from California State University East Bay in Hayward, and an MA in International Relations from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Her interests include amplifying the voices of women on issues like the environment and biocultural diversity.


Screen Shot 2012-11-05 at 1.14.53 PMPeter Kostishack is Director of Programs for Global Greengrants fund. He has worked for many years supporting communities and indigenous organizations in defense of their rights, territories, and natural resources. Prior to coming to Greengrants, he coordinated the Amazon Alliance, a coalition of indigenous and non-governmental organizations protecting the Amazon Basin. He has also been a community mapper, researcher, blogger, activist against mega projects, and consultant to funders and organizations on how to partner with indigenous peoples’ organizations. Peter has an MESc in Social Ecology and community development from Yale University and a B.A. in Biology from Harvard University.




A. MartinezAngela Martínez is the Senior Program Officer for Latin America at American Jewish World Service (AJWS), leading, shaping and overseeing the civil and political and natural resources rights grantmaking strategies in the region.  She is a native Spanish speaker from Mexico City with 20 years of experience working with and accompanying the local efforts and agendas of Indigenous and Afro-descent people social movements and grassroots organizations as well as bringing the voices of women, youth, indigenous and afro-descent peoples to international policy forums. Angela launched and led the Latin America and Caribbean Program on Comprehensive Sexuality Education at the Mexican Institute for Family and Population Research. She has designed, implemented and evaluated sexuality, gender, sexual and reproductive rights, and health programs with diverse populations throughout the region and the United States. She has trained and successfully negotiated with governmental officials from the Education and Health Ministry in the region to advance sexual and reproductive rights agendas. Angela has several publications and training manuals on sexual and reproductive health and rights to her name and has also conducted ethnographic research and published its findings.



D. MortonDonna Morton is Metis, an Ashoka, Ogunte, and Unreasonable Fellow and a lifelong serial social entrepreneur. She is the Managing Partner of Business Strategy for Principium – a global finance company that she co-founded with Hunter Lovins, Michael Tracy and a team that unites the values of “occupy” with the financial acumen of “Wall Street”. Donna has a long history of catalyzing change in many different sectors and across divides. In 2008, she co-founded First Power and Sundrum to promote clean energy, entrepreneurship and the restoration of Indigenous wisdom. Together with her partner, engineer Joe Thwaites they created clean energy and culturally tied community development and launched some of the first solar art. She co-founded the Centre for Integral Economics in a garage in Victoria in 2000 which helped put tax shifting and carbon taxes into the hearts and minds of people across Canada and beyond. Donna loves people and strongly believes in creativity, poetry and the possibility of change through artistry and collaboration. Her career bridges across 3 decades, in environment, sustainability, anti-poverty, culture, economics and finance. She is a talker, thinker, doer, a fire starter and a change maker.



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Shaun Paul has worked internationally for 20 years with policymakers, indigenous groups, business leaders, private foundations, and environmentalists to forge new models of resilient communities and accelerate the development of an inclusive, restorative economy. He is a founder of the EcoLogic Development Fund, and served as its Executive Director beginning in 1992 for nearly 20 years to direct grants and capacity building training to grassroots support and community organizations in Latin America empowering rural and indigenous people to protect and restore tropical ecosystems while expanding sustainable livelihoods. From 1999 to 2006, he led the incubation of EcoLogic Finance, an international social lending fund later rebranded as Root Capital that has now lent over $430 million to hundreds of small ‘green’ businesses and cooperatives in Latin America and Africa. Shaun also led the creation of Pico Bonito Forests LLC and served as its board co-chair from 2005-2012 to commercially restore native forests in Honduras in partnership with rural communities. He is a board member of International Funders for Indigenous People, a founding board member of Artcorps, and a long-term member of both the Social Venture (SVN) and the Sustainable Business Networks. His most recent venture is Reinventure Capital to invest in social enterprises that protect and restore nature, affirm traditional cultures, and create economic opportunities for historically marginalized populations in the Americas.


044Yumi Sera has over twenty years of experience focused on strengthening civil society organizations and managing innovative grantmaking and learning programs. She has worked for NGOs, development agencies, and philanthropic organizations, including ten years at the World Bank where she coordinated the Small Grants Program and Grants Facility for Indigenous Peoples. Yumi has written monographs on youth development, gender, and international grantmaking. She was the author of IFIP’s grantmaking guide and GrantCraft’s international grantmaking guide for intermediary organizations. As a volunteer for Conversations with the Earth Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change, she developed curriculum for high school students. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Senegal. She has a Master’s from the Yale School of Management and a Bachelor’s in Psychology. She is as a trustee of the World Affairs Council of Northern California.



S. SwiftSonja Swift serves as an active trustee for Swift Foundation. She has field experience across the Americas covering a range of issues including food sovereignty, agricultural diversity, extractive industry resistance, and indigenous land rights. She has consistently advocated for more coherency and accountability in philanthropy and is further engaged in efforts to revive place based economies of scale that prioritize well being and healthy landscapes over profit. Sonja is also a writer, it is her creative medium for grappling with the complexity of our times.






Screen Shot 2012-11-05 at 1.16.25 PMEvelyn Arce, of Chibcha descent (Colombian-American) has been leading IFIP since 2002. She obtained her Master’s of Art in Teaching degree at Cornell University with a concentration in Agriculture and Adult Education, and was a high-school teacher of Science, Horticulture, and Independent Living for seven years. Evelyn was chosen to participate in the Donella Meadows Fellowship Leadership program, a systems think tank on creating sustainable ways to effectively make long term changes through leadership. Evelyn was a communications consultant for the Iewirokwas Program, a Native American Midwifery Program and coordinated the American Indian Millennium Conference held at Cornell University in 2001. As IFIP’s Executive Director, Evelyn brings a vision of philanthropy that is in accord with Indigenous culture, values, and spiritual sensibilities. She leads IFIP into its second decade of educating funders about critical Indigenous issues and supporting the philanthropic community in its efforts to increase funding to Indigenous communities and causes around the world. A tireless networker, Evelyn has brought together culturally diverse individuals and organizations through IFIP’s programs and events, helping to leverage vast reserves of resources.  evelyn@internationalfunders.org



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Pei-Un Yee joins IFIP bringing seven years in the nonprofit field with her. In this time, she has worked to preserve the cultural heritage of underrepresented communities while advocating in protection of their rights and for equal access to resources. She has extensive experience in membership based organizations, serving as the primary liaison to chapters and membership for a national Asian American organization in her former role. Pei-Un has planned and executed multiple programs and projects around leadership development, civic engagement and service to the community. She holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Michigan and received her MA in International Studies with a concentration in China-US relations from the University of Denver. Pei-Un enjoys traveling whenever she can and will forever be a Midwest girl at heart.  peiun@internationalfunders.org



R. ChitnisRucha Chitnis supports the mission of different social justice and feminist groups that are using a gender and rights-based lens to seed and strengthen human rights, environmental and climate action in their communities.  She is the former Director of Grantmaking at Women’s Earth Alliance, where she helped to build and launch WEA’s grantmaking efforts in South Asia and Mexico. Rucha’s interests include photography, poetry and writing, especially to highlight the power and potency of grassroots women to promote sustainable development in their communities and create just alternatives. Rucha has a masters in Sociology from University of Mumbai and Masters in Journalism from Ohio University. She is an advisor to One World Children’s Fund.

Luminita Cuna is IFIP’s New York Communication and Outreach Consultant. She has a Master of Science in Sustainable Development with focus on Environmental Management from the University of London/School of Oriental and African Studies. She has several years of experience working at grassroot level with indigenous communities throughout South America and in New York where she has been participating in the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues since 2009. She was an instructor for Colorado State University’s online learning, teaching a class on “Local Communities & Climate Change Mitigation Strategies”. Luminita also worked for 10 years in Information Technology, including at the United Nations. She is using her tech-savyness to enhance IFIP’s website and expand IFIP’s online presence. Luminita studied International Economics and French at Mount Holyoke College, where she earned her BA. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Management of Information Systems and a Professional Certificate in Journalism, both from New York University and a Certificate of Community Development from Colorado State University. She loves IFIP because here she can combine her passion for the environment, dedication to indigenous causes and interest in technology.

Jennifer Tierney started writing as a reporter in Washington, DC, which led her down the halls of the US Supreme Court and Congress. These were the days of the Iran-Contra hearings, Anti-Apartheid protests, and the Sanctuary Movement for Central America. US politics consumes many writers, but an offer to be an editor at a human rights publication in Peru saved her. There an interview with mothers of children disappeared compelled her toward freelance journalism all over Latin America for next ten years. In that time, she brought the stories of Indigenous peoples into the international media, from news wires to newspapers. Later, she worked in communications for various organizations, from the Rainforest Foundation to the World Health Organization. Since then she has worked as a development writer for Indigenous peoples and other groups, always to support the struggle for human rights and social justice.



Bio Pic KristenKristen Collins of Paiute and Shoshone descent joins IFIP as an intern from the University of Denver. She is currently a second year graduate student studying International Studies with a dual concentration in Indigenous Populations and Human Rights. Kristen received her Bachelors in Political Science at California State University San Marcos, where she was a member of the American Indian Students Alliance and studied Aboriginal history during her study abroad experience in Australia. She has a passion for working with culturally diverse individuals and experiencing the native lifestyles of groups around the world.



Aaron Soto-Karlin is a Sacramento based social Entrepreneur. His current work combines documentary, community organizing, and research with agricultural and health cooperatives. In 2010, Aaron launched Carbon Tradeoff as a storytelling tool for social change, and a forum for integrating those most affected by climate change into the global policy debate. In 2009 Aaron was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to carry out research in Southeast Mexico. In 2008, he collaborated with Ashoka’s Changemaker Campuses to found NGO Public Education Partnerships, leveraging undergraduate passion to build partnerships with public schools and enhance the role of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore civic life. Aaron was a finalist for the Open Society Institute’s Baltimore Community Fellowship 2009. He graduated from JHU with a BA in Anthropology and Public Health. He was selected for the BAVC Producer’s Institute 2011 and the CPB/PBS Producer’s Academy at WGBH in 2013.



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