Welcome to our new Membership Committee and Policy Committee members! We’re excited to see these committees grow and to have a wide variety of funder types represented. Check out the new members’ bios here or see the full list of committee members on the Membership Committee page and Policy Committee page page.
New Policy Committee Members
Tenzin Dolkar (Dolkar) is a program officer with the McKnight Foundation’s Midwest Climate & Energy program, where she works to shape and guide the trajectory of the Foundation’s climate initiatives, aligning McKnight’s equity goals. Prior to McKnight, Dolkar served as a climate advisor to the City of Minneapolis through a Natural Resources Defense Council partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge. From 2016 to 2018, Dolkar served as a senior policy advisor to Governor Mark Dayton on transportation and agriculture. Dolkar holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in international studies with a minor in social work from the University of St. Thomas.
Josh Ewing leads the Rural Climate Partnership, a collaborative fund supporting working people, small businesses, and family farmers to implement rural-led climate solutions. RCP works to ensure rural communities have the tools and opportunities to benefit from all the economic and community benefits that flow from the transition to clean energy and regenerative agriculture. Born and raised in western Nebraska where the Ewing family runs a grass-fed cattle ranch, Josh has lived and worked in rural America most of his life. With his wife Kirsten, Josh lives on the border of the Navajo Nation in the 150-person town of Bluff, Utah, where he serves as a volunteer firefighter and EMT.
Julia McCarthy, Senior Program Officer, helps lead NYHealth’s Healthy Food, Healthy Lives priority area, the goal of which is to create a more equitable food system that connects all New Yorkers with the food they need to thrive. Prior to joining NYHealth, Julia served as the deputy director of the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy at Teachers College of Columbia University, where she oversaw operations, strategy, and project execution. Julia also held policy roles at the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Julia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Georgetown University and a Juris Doctor degree from New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden-Kern scholar.
Ethan Gallegos is a Lead Program Officer on First Nations Development Institute’s NAFSI program. In this role, he assists in the administration and implementation of First Nations’ Native agriculture and food systems projects. He served multiple roles as a lab technician in the Porter Microbiology lab and the CSEJ’s Food System Justice Action Research project while earning his BS in Environmental Science with a minor in American Indian Studies. In addition to his work at First Nations, Ethan currently serves on the Regenerative Agriculture Foundations’ Restorying Regenerative Agriculture Selection Committee and the Better Food Policy Fund’s Independent Advisory Committee.
Edna Rodriguez became RAFI’s Executive Director in 2017 following six years as Come to the Table program Director, Development Director, and Director of Operations. Edna has grown the organization’s capacity by overhauling financial systems, diversifying income, and organizing cross-programmatic teams for greater collaboration and impact. In her current role, Edna led RAFI through a strategic planning process centered around equity, launched and grew the Farmers of Color Network, and extended programs to the U.S. Caribbean territories. Edna is a strategic thinker with the consistent goal of funding the movement more equitably, a value which most recently resulted — in partnership with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) — in a pool of granting funds devoted specifically to BIPOC-led organizations for climate and equity-centered policy work. In addition to serving on NSAC’s Organizational Council, Edna serves as Treasurer of the National Family Farm Coalition’s Executive Committee. Born in Puerto Rico to Dominican parents, Edna was raised between The Hague, Netherlands, and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Before RAFI, Edna served as Senior Program Officer at the Atlanta Women’s Foundation and Director of Educational and Career Services at the Latin American Association in Atlanta, GA. Edna holds a B.A. in Economics with a concentration in Latin American Studies from Haverford College. Edna lives in Chapel Hill, NC, with her husband, three children, and their growing puppy.
Ciara Segura, EFOD Collaborative Movement Researcher, leads the development of EFOD’s research and learning agenda, drawing on a wealth of community-driven evaluation strategies among the EFOD network to communicate its national impact. Prior to this, she was the Co-Executive Director of the nonprofit Mandela Partners, where she led several food-based community development projects throughout Oakland and the greater East Bay. Ciara’s background is a strong testament to thinking across disciplinary borders within the food system. Over the last decade, she has built experience in multiple areas–from regulatory compliance, sales and account management, participatory social science research, to organizational change management anchored in racial equity and transparency. She is committed to thoughtful, place-based advocacy for economic justice, and is most passionate about creating non-extractive economies that generate abundance and prosperity for local communities. Originally from San Antonio, with multigenerational roots in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas, Ciara is currently based in Oakland. She holds a BA in Feminist Studies from Stanford University and a MA in Geography from the University of Texas at Austin.
New Membership Committee Members
Kathryn Buckner is the Executive Director of the Americana Foundation in Novi, MI. Prior to joining Americana, she was the President of the Council of Great Lakes Industries, a tax-exempt business association that promoted sustainability in the Great Lakes region. Before joining CGLI, Kathryn was a practicing environmental attorney who helped business and municipal clients develop proactive strategies for managing environmental challenges and opportunities. Kathryn has a JD cum laude from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a MBA with highest honors from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, and a MS in Sustainable Systems from the University of Michigan School of Environment and Sustainability.
Beth Gosch is the Executive Director of Western New York Foundation, a $19 million regional capacity-building focused philanthropy with offices in Buffalo, NY. The WNY Foundation was created to support activities that improve the quality of life for people who live in the seven (7) counties of Western New York. Beth has led the foundation in several strategic refocusing efforts and leads with an undying commitment to elevating, advocating and fortifying exemplary nonprofit leaders and organizations meeting the pressing community needs of the region. Beth has recently led the Foundation to a new focused approach centered around empowering innovative people with the resources needed to create and implement sustainable solutions that will build a thriving and equitable food system that reflects the community it serves. Beth served as a CFO of a multi-corporate real estate and construction management company in WNY with a portfolio including construction management, project management, commercial office management, and condominium development. Following her education at the Culinary Institute of America, Beth’s earlier career in hospitality included roles as chef and pastry chef at establishments across the northeast and Midwest. She was the founder and proprietor of a long-established retail and wholesale pastry company, managing a large portfolio of restaurant accounts. She served as an independent consultant supporting the concept development, strategic planning, and launching of new restaurant establishments.
Fabiola Greenwalt is the Senior Program Officer for The Russell Family Foundation where she leads and implements strategies that advance the mission of the Foundation and support grantee partners through the Environmental Education and Food for Climate Solutions Programs. Fabiola is a board member of Blue Sky Funders Forum and the Trust for Public Land NW Region; a fellow of Class XXX of the Tacoma Pierce County American Leadership Forum and alumna of PLACES Fellowship at The Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities. She also volunteers on various regional and national advisory committees focused on environmental issues.
Jacob Israelow started Dirt Capital Partners in 2013 as a platform to channel private investment in support of farmland access, conservation and long-term land security for sustainable farmers. Previously, he was a Vice President at Goldman Sachs in Asia, where he spent five years acquiring and developing real estate and infrastructure on behalf of the firm. Jacob chairs Dirt Capital’s Investment Committee and also serves on the New York Advisory Council of American Farmland Trust and the Investment Committee for Belltown Farms. He previously served on the Board of the National Young Farmers Coalition for 10 years from 2013-2023 including as Treasurer. He has an MBA from Columbia Business School, an MA from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a BA from Williams College.