At HEFN’s Helm: Members Step in and out of Steering Committee Roles

January 23, 2015

This blog post was authored by HEFN Program Assistant Andrea Levinson.

At HEFN’s Helm:  Members Step in and out of Steering Committee Roles

As we reflect on 2014 and look forward to the year ahead, HEFN is truly grateful for its strong leaders.  We would like to update you on HEFN’s leadership transitions, and thank our Steering Committee for their stellar leadership in our mission to maximize philanthropy’s impact on environmental health and environmental justice.

Thanks to Members Stepping Up: 

We are delighted to announce that Shenyu Belsky of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Andrea Bretting of the Claneil Foundation have been elected to our Steering Committee, beginning service in January 2015.  

Shenyu Belsky has been a pioneer in fostering environmental health philanthropy in China. She has also been working to strengthen relationships between funders in the US and China, including organizing a meeting of a HEFN-Chinese funder delegation in 2013.  We are excited by the global perspectives Shenyu will bring to our Steering Committee.


Andrea Bretting has been an active HEFN member and participant in the working group on fracking for several years.  She has also helped build links between HEFN and the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funder (SAFSF) communities.  Andrea brings extensive US, German and international nonprofit experience, which will certainly benefit our Steering Committee.

And…we are happy to announce that the Steering Committee has elected Pat Jenny of the New York Community Trust to serve as a co-chair along with Phil Johnson of the Heinz Endowments.  Pat is Vice President for Grants at The New York Community Trust, New York City’s community foundation, overseeing a $40 million annual program supporting the City’s nonprofits across 20 different issue areas.  She has provided great leadership to several funder affinity groups, winning the 2014 Nicholas Bollman Award from the Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities.   HEFN has already benefited from the pragmatic, diplomatic voice Pat has brought to the Steering Committee, and we are excited to have her step into a co-chair role.

Thanks to Members Rotating Off:

A big HEFN thank you goes out to Ellen Dorsey of the Wallace Global Fund, who rotated off of our Steering Committee in December.  Ellen has been a tremendous asset to HEFN, bringing keen strategic thinking and vitality to this funder community.  Ellen is very active in the Divest-Invest movement and in helping foundations (including many HEFN members), endowments, faith-based groups and others to divest from fossil fuels and invest in clean energy. 

Last and definitely not least, we thank Earl Lui of the California Wellness Foundation, for his stellar service as Steering Committee co-chair from 2010-2014. Earl has helped HEFN to expand and sustain its vital relationships with health funders in California and elsewhere.  He has provided valuable counsel, helping HEFN grow and evolve, including a move to Virginia Organizing as our joint-plan-of-work partner.  Earl’s calm presence and steady leadership as a co-chair have been great assets on the Steering Committee, and we are grateful that Earl will continue to serve as a Steering Committee member for another two-year term.

We are so thankful for our members--like Shenyu, Andrea, Ellen, Pat and Earl--who have invested their time and talent in HEFN!  It is their effective leadership that makes HEFN a progressively stronger force for a more environmentally friendly, healthy and just world.


From our Blog

Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash
Blog posted on July 9, 2020
HEFN is pleased to welcome Leslie Hatfield, GRACE Communications Foundation, and Anuja Mendiratta, Philanthropic + Nonprofit Consulting, to the Steering Committee.

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