Suzanne Benally is currently the Executive Director of Swift Foundation. Before that, she served as the Executive Director of Cultural Survival. She came to Cultural Survival from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, where she served as the associate provost for institutional planning and assessment and associate vice president for academic affairs. She was also a core faculty member in environmental studies and a member of the president’s cabinet. Before starting at Naropa in 1999, she was deputy director and director of education programs at the American Indian Science and Engineering Society and director of the Institute on Ethnic Diversity at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. She has been a teacher at the university level and has served as a consultant to philanthropic foundations, nonprofit organizations, and many higher education institutions. Additionally, she has worked extensively with American Indian communities. Her interests, teaching, and passions are focused on the relationship between land, spirituality, and people as reflected in stories, and in environmental issues and Indigenous rights.
Monica Aleman Cunningham is a senior program officer on the Ford Foundation’s BUILD team, working to advance the foundation’s efforts to support and develop stronger, sustainable, and more effective social justice organizations and networks across the globe. Her areas of concentration in BUILD are Latin America; Civic Engagement and Government; and Gender, Race, and Ethnic Justice.
Previously, she was based in the foundation’s East Africa office, where her grant making focused on increasing the capacity of national, regional, and global groups and supporting national and regional networks to advance a constitutional framework that protects the rights of women and other minorities, increases the participation of women in governance structures, and consolidates the infrastructure of the women’s rights movement. In addition, Monica led grant-making efforts to explore the links between customary laws and customs as they relate to women and sexual expression, using culture and religion as key entry points into understanding social change.
Before joining the foundation in 2011, Monica was executive director of the International Indigenous Women’s Forum, a network of organizations in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Her extensive background encompasses expertise in community organizing, social movement building, and participatory monitoring and evaluation, all honed through her work over the years with national, regional, and global organizations.
Alice Phinizy, C.P.A is the Finance Director for the Disability Rights Fund, an international grantmaker funding disabled persons organizations advocating for their human rights. Alice has many years of experience overseeing finance and operations for a variety of nonprofit and for-profit companies. She has worked in the affordable housing and social innovation fields, and has also managed the business side of a world renowned brewery in Boston. Alice has experience building financial and operational procedures from the ground up, and has become a resource for compliance administration, offering assistance to nonprofit, university, and government organizations. In addition to being the Treasurer for IFIP, Alice is a member of the Human Rights Funders Network’s Human Rights Grantmaking Operations Steering Committee. Alice holds a Masters of Business Administration in International Business and a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Information Systems, both from Bentley University in Massachusetts.
Angela Martínez has three decades of activism and international field experience accompanying social movements in Latin America and the Caribbean to advance the social, political and economic justice agendas of women, Indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples, youth, farmers, and LGTBI collectives. Angela has been working on natural resources rights and environmental justice, civil and political rights, and sexual health and rights through grantmaking, research, advocacy and capacity building. Angela launched and led the Latin America and Caribbean Program on Comprehensive Sexuality Education at the Mexican Institute for Family and Population Research, where she designed and implemented sexuality, gender, and sexual rights programs. Angela trained and successfully negotiated with governmental officials from the Education and Health Ministry to advance sexual and reproductive rights agendas in the region. She has also conducted ethnographic research and published its findings. Angela was born and raised in Mexico City and now lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Steven Heim is a Managing Director and Director of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Research for Boston Common Asset Management, a globally recognized sustainable investment firm. Steven has over 25 years of experience in the responsible investment field and serves on the Board of Directors of the International Funders for Indigenous Peoples. Steven has worked to promote corporate transparency, accountability, and attention to sustainability issues. His efforts to protect the human rights of Indigenous Peoples have helped catalyze positive policy changes at U.S. and international companies including ConocoPhillips and Repsol that included direct engagement with Indigenous Peoples in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Most recently he has helped lead global investor engagements with major banks regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline and urging them to revise the Equator Principles to respect Indigenous Peoples rights including FPIC. Since 2007, Steven has chaired the advocacy subcommittee of the Investors & Indigenous Peoples Working Group and he serves on the Board of Directors of Cultural Survival as Vice Chair.
Alvin H. Warren is a member of Santa Clara Pueblo where he lives with his wife Pamela, an Isleta Pueblo tribal member, and their three children. He’s a program officer for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation focused on Economic Security, impact investing, dual language education and indigenous initiatives. Alvin’s a former cabinet secretary of Indian Affairs for the State of New Mexico, lieutenant governor of Santa Clara, associate director of the Indigenous Communities Mapping Initiative and land claims / water rights coordinator for Santa Clara. Alvin has helped tribes regain and protect traditional lands, ensure over 100 million in state dollars flow to tribes to build essential infrastructure, enact state legislation to ensure collaborative state-tribal governmental relations and positively transform narratives about indigenous peoples. Alvin co-chairs Dartmouth College’s Native American Visiting Committee, serves on the Khap’o Community School Board and Gates Millennium Scholars Advisory Council and recently joined the IFIP board. He’s also a longtime farmer.
Manaia King (Tainui, Ngāti Haua and Ngāti Koroki Kahu Kura), is deputy chairman of the JR Mckenzie Trust Board, and chairman of Te Kawai Toro the Trust’s Maori Development Committee, Te Kawai Toro. He was appointed to the board in November 2012 as the NZ Law Society representative and was made deputy chairman of the board in November 2013. Manaia is a lawyer who specializes in public health. He is employed by the New Zealand Ministry of Health as the Manager of the Chronic Diseases Team. It is responsible and accountable for an annual budget of approximately $120m which is used to commission prevention and health promotion programs in the areas of tobacco, nutrition and physical activity, alcohol and drugs, and sexual health.
Sofia Arroyo is the Co-Executive Director at EDGE Funders Alliance. Formally, she was the Executive Director at Sacred Fire Foundation, where she previously served as Director of Communications and Director of Grants and Partnerships. She is also a Steering Committee member at Kindle Project. She lives in Mexico City with her husband and two daughters. Sofia has a BA in Communications from Universidad Iberoamericana and worked in the film and advertising industry for many years before getting involved in the philanthropic world. While living in Geneva, she attended several UN meetings regarding indigenous issues and became interested in philanthropy. Sofia has since been a passionate and strong advocate for Indigenous Peoples worldwide and hopes to effect social change by raising awareness about the values and perspectives rooted in indigenous traditional knowledge.
Tricia Stevens is the Charitable Giving and Ethical Campaigns Manager for Lush North America where her team focuses on providing grants to grassroots organizations and indigenous communities working for social and environmental justice and animal protection around the world. She works directly with impacted communities to co-build consumer awareness campaigns that increase dialog and visibility for issues, hold governments accountable and improve corporate accountability. She also has a passion for storytelling and believes that film and media play a crucial role in elevating awareness and acting as a catalyst for change.
Alejandra Garduño Martínez is director of Latin American and Caribbean programs. In this role, she provides leadership and oversight of the foundation’s longstanding investments in Mexico, Haiti and Latin America and the Caribbean to further create conditions that support thriving children, working families and equitable communities. Garduño Martínez, based in WKKF’s Mexico City office, leads the foundation’s regional grantmaking priorities in collaboration and partnership with the Mexico and Haiti teams, grantees, communities, and other stakeholders throughout the region. Alejandra Garduño joined the Kellogg Foundation as a program manager in 2012 and was promoted to program officer in 2013. In this role, she was responsible for supporting senior programming staff by collaborating with internal and external stakeholders, coordinating grant making activities and implementing a regional strategy in Mexico nationally and in WKKF’s microregions in Chiapas and the Yucatán Peninsula.
Prior to joining the foundation, she was a project director for Fundación para la Productividad en el Campo A.C. in Mexico City, where she oversaw rural economic development projects and coordinated efforts to connect rural communities in Mexico with diasporic groups. Garduño Martínez served as a project manager with Apoyo Integral al Campo, APINCA, S.C., a development organization based in Mexico City. She also worked as a university professor and researcher with Baden- Württemberg International, where she conducted research for European stakeholders seeking projects in Mexico. Garduño Martínez has been a contributing author in nonprofit and international development publications including Alliance Magazine for global philanthropy. In 2019, she was selected for Career Pathways, the Council on Foundation’s flagship leadership development program for increasing diverse executive talent in philanthropy. Garduño Martínez holds a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México in Mexico City.
Lourdes Inga has over two decades of experience in international philanthropy at foundations and nonprofits dedicated to indigenous rights, gender equality, and social justice. Lourdes is Executive Director of International Funders for Indigenous Peoples (IFIP). Under her leadership, IFIP is expanding Indigenous Philanthropy, supporting the leadership of Indigenous-Led Funds, and advocating for greater funding resources for Indigenous Peoples. Prior to joining IFIP, she was with The Christensen Fund a private foundation focused on Indigenous Peoples’ rights and biocultural diversity and before that with The Global Fund for Women a public foundation focused on advancing women’s rights globally. Lourdes recently joined the Board of the Equality Fund a groundbreaking new initiative to shift power and resources to women’s movements across the globe. She is a member of the Indigenous Philanthropic Advisory Group, Decolonizing Wealth. Lourdes has served on multiple boards and advisory roles, including founding Board Member of EDGE Funders Alliance and board member of Grantmakers without Borders. Born in Lima; she is Quechua descent from Peru.
Chanda Thapa has experience of more than a decade in multiple fields, including Indigenous People’s rights, gender equality, and peacebuilding, in Nepal and Asia. Prior to IFIP, Chana worked with Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) based in Thailand as Deputy Secretary-General (DSG) from 2017-2020 and Regional Indigenous Women Program Coordinator 2014-2016. While working with AIPP, Chanda played a key role in institutional strengthening and movement building for the organization including establishing and strengthening Indigenous Women and Youth Networks in Asia. Prior to joining AIPP, she worked at Sankalpa– an alliance of 10 issue-based women’s organizations in Nepal– as Program Manager. Chanda holds Master’s Degrees in Rural Development and Development Studies from Tribhuvan University, Nepal, and the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, respectively. Chanda belongs to Magar Indigenous Peoples from Nepal. She loves traveling and cooking in her leisure time.
Rachel Smith has worked with tribal people and organizations in various capacities, largely focused on policies and inherent sovereign rights of tribes to steward their traditional lands, waters, and natural resources. In 2017, Rachel was selected as a member of Environmental Fellows Program (EFP), a national program dedicated to diversifying the environmental field by placing graduate students from historically underrepresented groups in summer fellowship positions with environmental nonprofits, grant makers, and government sectors. Rachel was placed as an environmental fellow with the Marine Conservation Initiative at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation which included a deep dive into how environmental grantmakers set funding priorities, and how the Moore foundation partners with indigenous organizations and communities to meet shared land and sea stewardship outcomes. Rachel is in the process of completing her M.S. in Forestry at the University of Montana. Her graduate research focused on developing geospatial tools to assist tribal land managers in meeting their conservation goals. Rachel is interested in and motivated by ways in which tribal communities build capacity and develop movements to protect and conserve land, water, air, community health and cultural identity. She is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. Exploring hot springs, hiking with family, and traveling to places near and far are some of her favorite pastimes.
MEMBERSHIP AND COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR
Winnie Kodi has worked with indigenous peoples with a focus on communications, community development, capacity building and issues concerning indigenous women and girls. She has an educational background in Development Communication. She has worked with indigenous peoples in multiple spaces especially indigenous women and girls. She uses the skills she has combined with the experience she has gained to contribute to and work towards effective inclusion of women and girls in all processes. In 2018, she was selected to be one of the European Parliament Sakharov and later in the same year, at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Indigenous Fellow. This further enhanced her knowledge on Indigenous peoples and the different mechanisms available to them. She is an advocate for Indigenous Peoples rights both locally and internationally. Winnie is from the Nuba peoples in Sudan. She loves to travel, read and occasionally makes handicrafts from mostly recycled materials.
Cualnezca Tonantzin Miranda has dedicated the past decade to form culturally-sensitive pathways in academia for the next seven generations of Native Scholars. Prior to IFIP, she was the Associate Director for the Native American Resource Center at American River College, where she and her team conducted research on the disproportionate impact on Native American students. While also creating the framework for the Tribal Relations Department and Tribal Sovereignty campus understanding. She was one of the few selected to represent the United States in President Obama’s 100k Strong In America program, with her academic research housed at the University of Guanajuato. For the past 15 years, she has also worked in early childhood development, youth empowerment, organizing her community to dismantle the school to prison pipeline and creating Indigenous focused restorative justice programming. She’s an Indigenous community-engaged scholar that gains her inspiration from her ancestral resiliency and immense love for her communities and culture. Cualnezca is finishing her degree in Native American Studies and looks forward to connecting her lifelong commitment to assisting and empowering all Indigenous Nations through her new role in Indigenous Philanthropy. She is from the Yaqui, Blackfoot, Otomi and Chichimeca Nations.