Michael Lerner, Ph.D., is President of the Jenifer Altman Foundation and the Barbara Smith Fund. He is also President and co-founder of Commonweal, a nonprofit center in Bolinas, California. Founded in 1976, Commonweal is home to a dozen programs in health, environment, education and justice. Michael’s personal work at Commonweal has been focused in the Commonweal Cancer Help Program, the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, and the New School at Commonweal.
Over the past 26 years, Michael has co-led more than 165 week-long retreats for people with cancer in the Commonweal Cancer Help Program. The program was featured by Bill Moyers in his book and award-winning PBS series Healing and the Mind. Jenifer Altman and Barbara Smith Coleman were both alumnae. Michael also co-founded Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, D.C., with Barbara, and serves as a Board Member and President Emeritus.
Michael is Chair Emeritus and co-founder of the Health and Environmental Funders Network and past Chair of the Consultative Group on Biodiversity. He is a board member of the Wildflowers Institute in San Francisco and Global Greengrants Fund in Boulder. He is author of Choices in Healing: Integrating the Best of Conventional and Complementary Approaches to Cancer [MIT Press] and A Gift Observed: Reflections on Philanthropy and Civilization [Commonweal]
Catherine Porter is a consultant who works primarily with philanthropic foundations, tapping over 20 years of experience in funder and non-profit collaboration. She is the Executive Director of the West Marin Fund, a nascent community foundation. Other recent clients include the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity's Water Funders Exploring Collaboration (55 foundations), the California Academy of Sciences, Carpe Diem West's western water collaborative work. She works on international as well as domestic projects. She was Executive Director of the US Citizens Network on UNCED, the national network of civil society organizations (6000 of them) for the first Earth Summit in Rio, in 1992. She makes an annual trip to India, where for the past 25 years she's been Executive Director of Friends of the Ganges. This pro bono effort works to clean the Ganges River in Varanasi, the holy city for Hindus.
Catherine was the Executive Director of the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity from 1992 to 1999, and ten years was Coordinator of the Funders Forum on Antibiotic Resistance (FFAR), a collaboration among 25 NGOs and 12 foundations, working to drive policies that support healthy agricultural practices.
Catherine has served many boards including the Jenifer Altman Foundation, the Global Greengrants Fund – which makes small grants in over 100 developing countries.
Pete Myers is founder, CEO and Chief Scientist of Environmental Health Sciences. He holds a doctorate in the biological sciences from UC Berkeley and a BA from Reed College. For a dozen years beginning in 1990, Myers served as Director of the W. Alton Jones Foundation in Charlottesville, Virginia. Along with co-authors Dr. Theo Colborn and Dianne Dumanoski, Myers wrote Our Stolen Future, a book (1996) that explores the scientific basis of concern for how contamination threatens fetal development.
Myers is now actively involved in primary research on the impacts of endocrine disruption on human health. He has chaired the board of the Science Communication Network since its founding in 2003. He has served on the board of the H. John Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment since 2007 and in May 2012 became Board Chair. He also serves on the board of the Jenifer Altman Foundation. Until its merger with Pew Charitable Trust in late 2007, he was Board Chair of the National Environmental Trust. He has also served as Board President of the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity, an association of 40+ foundations supporting work on biodiversity, climate, energy and environmental health.
When the temperature is above 50 F and it's not raining, Myers regularly publishes EnvironmentalHealthNews.org and DailyClimate.org from a platform in the woods near his house. Turkeys, foxes, turtles, deer and other creatures meander by. In spring the trees above are full of migrating warblers.
Anita Nager was the last Executive Director of the Beldon Fund, an intentional spend-out foundation, dedicated to building and sustaining a national pro-environment consensus, and served for seven years as its Director of Programs. Anita guided the final spend out, communication of lessons learned, and the conclusion of operations. When the Beldon Fund closed its doors in May 2009, it had allocated more than $120 million in grants and foundation directed projects.
Prior to Beldon, Anita was a Senior Program Officer for Community Development and the Environment at The New York Community Trust where she led local funding collaboratives in neighborhood revitalization, brownfield reclamation, and transportation, and designed a grantmaking strategy for a $100 million fund focused on national environmental issues.
A former Board Chair of Philanthropy New York, Anita also is a past board member of the Neighborhood Funders Group and the Environmental Grantmakers Association. She was a founding board member of Cause Effective, which provides management and resource development assistance to nonprofit organizations, and a founder of the AIDS and Adolescents Network of New York.
Anita is a trustee of the Jenifer Altman Foundation and the Hudson River Foundation She is a founder and past co-chair of the Health and Environmental Funders Network.
Anita advises foundations and individual donors on environmental giving with a special emphasis on environmental health philanthropy, strategy development and assessment, and spending out.
Amy Solomon recently reopened her consulting practice after twelve years as a program officer at the Bullitt Foundation in Seattle, Washington. At the Foundation, she had responsibility for two program areas: Energy, Industry and Technology and Leadership and Civic Engagement. She regards her legacy work at the Foundation to be helping the mainstream environmental community to prepare to operate effectively in a multi-cultural society.
Prior to joining the Bullitt Foundation staff, Amy consulted with foundations and environmental nonprofit organizations on strategic programmatic and organizational development issues. Her work centered on policy and program development, and organizational strategy and effectiveness. She specialized in advising organizations on strategic refocusing of programs and the development of new collaborative opportunities. During her 7-year tenure as executive director of the Northwest Renewable Resources Center, the organization played a central role in negotiations leading to landmark agreements in forest practices, water policy, land use and government-to-government agreements between tribes and counties.
Amy serves on the board of the Jenifer Altman Foundation and as co-chair of the steering committee of the Consultative Group for Biological Diversity’s Climate and Energy Funders’ Group. Ms. Solomon earned a BA cum laude in American Studies from Yale University and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. She was a Kellogg Fellow in International Development through Partners of the Americas.
Shorey Myers, Executive Director of the Jenifer Altman Foundation, has been with JAF since 2010. She manages the Foundation’s client contracts and oversees a variety of portfolios focused on chemical policy, global grassroots movement building, environmental health and justice advocacy and international trade. Shorey also serves on the steering committee of the Health and Environmental Funders Network.
Shorey has been lucky to work with environmental organizations all over the world. She held internships at The Nature Conservancy in Kunming, China, the Environmental Working Group and UCSF's Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE), and worked as a researcher at the Institute for Children's Environmental Health and Environmental Health News.
Shorey holds a BA in Psychology from Reed College and a Masters in Public Health, focused on Environmental Health Sciences, from the University of California, Berkeley. In her spare time, Shorey is a professional tango dancer, traveling the US to teach, DJ and perform.
Shorey can be reached at smyers (at) jaf (dot) org.
Richard has worked many years in the non-profit field, currently as Program Associate with the Jenifer Altman Foundation. A former software programmer/analyst who moved to San Francisco from Philadelphia, he has spent most of his life in New York City, earning a music business degree at NYU and studying computer programming at Columbia. Richard was Board Secretary for the Brooklyn Symphony and currently is Executive Director of the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony.
Richard can be reached at rhoran (at) jaf (dot) org.