Looking Back, Moving Ahead: HEFN Reviews 2013 and Welcomes New Leaders for 2014

January 6, 2014

HEFN Director Kathy Sessions authored this post.

The HEFN staff begins a new year reflecting with pride on all our members invested – and all their grantees accomplished – last year to make every family, community, and wild space healthier.  Scan the HEFN 2013 Year in Review for mileposts of our busy year. 

We’re also reflecting on all that happened last year affecting environmental health and justice. One great quick look back:  Environmental Health News’ compilation of noteworthy environmental health news from 2013.

Gearing up to help philanthropy do even more in 2014, we are buoyed by HEFN’s growing membership and leadership.  This month HEFN is fortunate to welcome three active members onto its Steering Committee.  Each brings great commitment, competence, and connections to the national leadership group guiding HEFN’s work in 2014:  

Lauren Davis is the Program Manager of Human Rights and the Environment for the Schmidt Family Foundation’s 11th Hour Project, based in Palo Alto, CA.  As a grantmaker Lauren focuses on oil, gas and fracking in the United States as well as sustainable development and human rights concerns related to resource extraction in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Haiti.  For HEFN Lauren is a co-chair of the working group on fracking, has actively helped with outreach and meeting planning, and led a 2012 fracking survey.  She brings onto HEFN’s Steering Committee the perspective of a major national funder on fracking, high energy, and passionate interest in human rights dimensions of environmental health and justice issues.

Christine James is a Program Officer with The John Merck Fund, based in Boston, MA.  Her grantmaking includes work on New England food systems initiatives as well as on environmental health issues, primarily chemicals policy reform.  A veteran participant in HEFN’s Catalysts group, Christine also has helped HEFN with outreach and relationship-building, most recently with sustainable agriculture funders.  She brings onto the Steering Committee the perspectives of a major national funder of environmental health and chemicals policy, connections to regional food systems and sustainable agriculture work, and straightforward New England thoughtfulness.

Amy Panek is a Program Officer of the Park Foundation, based in Ithaca, NY.  Her grantmaking at Park focuses on environmental issues, particularly protecting drinking water, as well as on animal welfare.  For HEFN Amy is a co-chair of the working group on fracking and regularly contributes to HEFN’s outreach, programming and meeting planning.  Amy brings onto the Steering Committee a strong background in water, climate, and regional philanthropy, connections to environmental and conservation affinity groups, and much constructive pragmatism.

Thanks to Lauren, Amy, Christine and all of HEFN’s fabulous Steering Committee for their service and leadership! With their help, we aim to make 2014 a year of major philanthropic investment, collaboration, and impact.

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