The new year will bring several notable changes to The Christensen Fund.
As part of a planned transition, Dr. Bea Calo is wrapping up over a decade of leadership at Christensen, where she initially served as Director of Operations and, over the past three years, as Director of Grantmaking. Bea’s impact on The Christensen Fund has been immeasurable, she has been committed to growing a new generation of leaders and to promoting Indigenous voices in philanthropy. She is looking forward to starting the new year exploring paths for the next chapter of her life.
Stepping into the Director of Grantmaking role, we are pleased to announce, will be one of our own – Bessie Dvora China Leipakumakaniokalani Ching (China Ching). China is part of a second generation of Indigenous program officers at Christensen who ensure that our work continues to be grounded in the realities of communities. For the past several years China has worked as one of our Program Officers for the Bay Area, US Southwest and Global Programs focusing on Indigenous People’s Rights, Indigenous-led Philanthropy and Promoting Native Leadership. Program Office Kyra Busch will continue to provide leadership for both the Global and US Southwest Programs.
We are equally pleased to announce our inaugural Christensen Fellow, Daisee Francour, who joined us in November and will lead the Bay Area Program. Daisee was born and raised on the Oneida Indian Reservation of Wisconsin and has a Masters of Public Policy & Administration with a Concentration on Human Rights Advocacy from Adler University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Parkside.
Our Executive Director, Dr. Sanjay Kabir Bavikatte, will be taking on the Indigenous Rights and Representation portfolio of our Global Program, joining Kyra Busch who leads our Global Food Sovereignty and Resilient Biocultural Landscapes portfolios.