Karli Anne Christiansen, Chief Compassion Officer
Karli is a Seattle native with nearly a decade of leadership in the region's nonprofit sector, specializing in serving youth and families and supporting other nonprofit leaders. Karli has led the development of several innovative projects, receiving recognition by Stanford University's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education for her contributions to compassionate technologies. She is a certified Roots of Empathy instructor with more than five years of experience leading social emotional learning instruction in local public schools, and has served on numerous committees and advisory groups in support of public education and community development initiatives.
Karli lives in North Seattle with her wonderful family where she plays an active role in the community, including serving on the Instructional Planning Committee, Site Council, and PTSA Grants Committee for her children's school district. To unwind, Karli loves taking her dogs to the beach, color-coordinating her bookshelf, and dancing to ABBA.
You can reach Karli at email@example.com.
Jeff Vander Clute, Chief Wisdom Officer
Jeff coaches high-impact leaders committed to "beaming the change" by compassionately transforming themselves, their organizations, and their industries. He co-founded Sourcing The Way to deliver guidance and strategic consulting services that liberate the creative spirit and radically accelerate transformation. A creative dynamo, Jeff develops leading-edge tools and processes that facilitate epiphanies and awaken supramental capacities of vision and awareness. Jeff has deep entrepreneurial experience gained from leadership and advisory roles at more than 20 organizations. These include technology startups where he co-developed Internet platforms used by over 30 million people, social enterprises, and leading-edge nonprofits growing movements for social and environmental well-being. He is grateful to be serving the global compassion movement through Compassionate Action Network and as a member of the Global Compassion Council. Jeff is also a member of the Evolutionary Leaders Circle and InClaritas.
Cynthia Figge, Board chair
Cynthia Figge is co-founder and COO of CSRHub and co-founder of EKOS International. Cynthia is an entrepreneur, forerunner and thought leader in the corporate sustainability movement. Cynthia is COO and Co-founder of CSRHub, the world's largest corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability ratings and information database. In 1996 she co-founded EKOS International, one of the first consultancies integrating sustainability and corporate strategy. Cynthia has worked with major organizations including Boeing, Coca-Cola, Dow Jones, and REI to help craft sustainability strategy integrated with business. Prior to co-founding EKOS, she was an officer of LIN Broadcasting/McCaw Cellular leading new services development. Cynthia has an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Maya Nader, Secretary
Maya is a native of Beirut, Lebanon. After earning her BA in Political Science in Beirut, she moved to the US in 1989, at the height of the Lebanese War, and obtained a master’s degree in Communication and Marketing from Boston University. She speaks French, Arabic, and English and is grateful for the cultural richness these languages encompass. Through this lens, Maya views compassion as a bridge between cultures and religions and as the cornerstone of a more peaceful world. Maya currently teaches Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) in urban Seattle. CCT is a secular, evidence-based, compassion training program developed at Stanford University for adults.
Yaffa Maritz, Chair Emeritus
Yaffa Maritz was born and raised in Israel, has three grown children and currently resides on Mercer Island with her husband. She is an advocate on behalf of children and families, and is the founder of the Community of Mindful Parenting forum. Ms. Maritz has a BA in Social Work, a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology and is a licensed mental health counselor with advanced training in infant mental health. Ms. Martiz has served on several local and national boards, including Foundation for Early Learning, the University of Washington's Advisory board for the Infant Mental Health and the Governor’s Commission for Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention (CCF: Counsel for Children and Families).
Andrea Brenneke, Board member
Andrea Brenneke is a Harvard Law School graduate with almost twenty years of experience in employment and civil rights litigation and mediation. Andrea is the founder of Seattle Restorative Justice, an organization which fosters parallel Restorative Justice systems and practices in harmony with existing structures as alternatives or supports to punitive justice and discipline. Seattle Restorative Justice seeks to end the school to prison pipeline and promote healing and accountability wherever harm is done.
Etsuko Haring, Board member
Etsuko (Etch) was born in Tokyo, and spent her life growing up in the US and Japan. She is a personal development advisor with extensive experience partnering with individuals and innovative community leaders to help them discover and manifest their core intentions and authentic purpose. Using transformation driven strategies, she works with organizations to create inspirational products and services that encourage personal growth in individuals and their communities. Most recently, she was the lead designer for Athletic DNA, whose mission is to encourage young athletes to strive for personal excellence. Etsuko began her career in New York City as a designer with Mottahedeh China, where she created products for the White House, the World Wide Fund for Nature, Tiffany & Co., and other major retailers. While living in Asia, she worked with Revlon Pacific Asia, JVC Productions, and Maysles Film.
After moving to Seattle, Etsuko focused on implementing virtues training for early education and worked with high school students as an advisor to develop the Youth Peacebuilder’s Network. Most recently, Etsuko has served as an advisory board member to Village Health Works, a grass roots socio-economic development project in Burundi, Africa. These activities reflect her dual interests in human social development and its manifestation in material and institutional design. She received a BA in Political Theory and Asian Studies from the University of Michigan, and continued her studies at the Parsons School of Design.
Heide Felton, Board member
Heide views herself as a global citizen. After studying in Tehran and Berlin, Heide moved to Brighton, UK to obtain a degree in computer science. Following a successful career in software development, Heide started her own software businesses and then moved to the United States in 1987 where she worked in software, as well as studied nutrition at Bastyr University and raised her two children.
A dedicated philanthropist, Heide co-founded a children’s hospital guild to help raise money for uncompensated care. Heide helped create the Learning Garden classroom at Islandwood as well as numerous garden classrooms in the general Seattle area. She is the board chair for Jolkona, and has been on the CAN board for the last 5 years, playing an integral role in the 2008 Seeds of Compassion conference. Heide also mentors young people, helping them establish successful businesses to create sustainable social change. Living, working, and traveling in many countries, Heide's experience is that fundamentally we are all the same. She believes that through compassion the world can be a gentler, kinder place free from fear and misunderstanding.
John Rivera-Dirks, Board Member
John is from Santa Fe, New Mexico and lives in the Seattle area with his wife and two children. His background and passion is in digital transformation of education, health and government organizations. Currently John’s focus is at Amazon on the emerging Alexa platform that is evolving the way people interact with technology. Prior to his tech career, John lived in India for three years where he served as a Foreign Service Officer at the US Embassy in Delhi.
John is interested in how organizations – especially tech organizations – can expand their collective compassion by embracing it in their culture and by building it into their products – like artificial intelligence, ultimately improving the lives of their customers and their employees.
John has a B.A. from Williams College and a MBA from Columbia University.
Gilda Sheppard, Board member
Gilda Sheppard is an award winning filmmaker who has screened her documentary films throughout USA and internationally at the Berlin Germany International Black Film Festival and Fest Afrique 360 at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and the 2008 Cannes Film Festival Short Film Section. Gilda is a professor of sociology, cultural and media studies at The Evergreen State College in Tacoma Washington. She has taught internationally in colleges and universities in Ghana, West Africa and is a volunteer Professor at Washington State Reformatory for Men and Women’s Correctional Center for Women. Her present documentary Since I Been Down is based on provocative and transformative stories from men and women in these two facilities. Gilda has a B.A. in Sociology from Mercy College of Detroit, a M.S.W. from the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in Sociology/Cultural and Media Studies from The Union Graduate School with an expertise in sociology, cultural and media studies.