In this article, Lori discusses the mistakes that donors make when giving to disaster recovery. Read it here.
12/12/13 at 2 p.m. EST Webinar: Typhoon Haiyan: One Month Later Typhoon Haiyan is one of the worst disasters to... Read more »
Recent reports say that Pakistan is among the top three countries most affected by extreme weather conditions in the past... Read more »
The situation in Philippines is slowly improving but emergency funding needs still total $300 million, most of it for emergency... Read more »
Dear Fellow Funders: I hope that many of you are considering allocating funds for the devastation wreaked by Typhoon Haiyan.... Read more »
Robert G. Ottenhoff, President and CEO
Robert G. Ottenhoff, a veteran in philanthropy, nonprofit leadership, and entrepreneurship, serves as inaugural president and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. Prior to joining CDP, Bob spent a decade as president and CEO of GuideStar, an industry leader in the use of providing high-quality data to help donors make better decisions and improve nonprofit practice. While there, Bob developed a sustainable business model which supports free and fee-based services to more than 10 million users. He also led efforts to build partnerships with more than 150 leading U.S. and community foundations, in addition to overseeing the development of www.guidestar.org into a nationally respected, comprehensive source of reports and services on more than 1.5 million nonprofits.
Before GuideStar, he had more than 25 years of management experience in public broadcasting and high-tech companies, including nine years as chief operating officer of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).
Bob is known for his entrepreneurial spirit, strong technology focus, and quest to make an impact on the world. In addition to his role at CDP, he serves on the board of Inspirit Foundation (formerly Vision TV); Grameen Foundation USA; Link TV; and Write on Sports. He also serves on the advisory committee of the Netherlands-America Foundation. He previously served on the board of the AAFRC Trust for Philanthropy and the e-Philanthropy Foundation. Bob holds a bachelor’s degree from Calvin College and a master’s degree in planning from Rutgers University. He frequently writes and comments on nonprofit and philanthropic issues, and has been quoted in a variety of media, including television, radio and print publications such as the New York Times, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Wall Street Journal, and Forbes.
Follow on Twitter: @bobottenhoff
Regine A. Webster, Vice President
For 17 years, Regine A. Webster has honed her leadership skills with nonprofits ranging from the local to international level. But disaster philanthropy, humanitarian aid, and global health equity have been constants in her work. She serves as vice president of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy following a term as senior associate with Arabella Advisors, supporting the firm’s response to Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar as well as the recent earthquakes in Chile and Haiti.
Prior to that, she served as program officer, consultant, and fellow in the Global Health and Global Development divisions of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Wash. While there, Regine led the Foundation’s $15 million Emergency Relief portfolio; managed complex grantmaker/grantee relationships across 20 international non-governmental organizations; and developed and executed more than 90 grants totaling more than $50 million to address crises in South Asia, Sudan, Iran, the Caribbean, and other areas.
Regine also was a consultant to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation in Century City, Calif.; her duties included co-leading the development of the Foundation’s response to Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and the Pakistan earthquake in October of the same year. She also co-wrote and revised the Hilton Foundation’s disaster response strategy on two occasions. Regine has worked with numerous non-profit organizations, including those that develop public policy and health care services for a variety of populations. Regine holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Boston College and a master’s in Foreign Policy from Georgetown University.
Susan Pitts Dystra, Director of Finance
Susan is responsible for day-to-day financial functions of CDP and oversees contracts, financial due diligence for grant making, and regulatory issues.
Prior to CDP, Susan spent over 25 years in the for-profit sector in roles, serving in diverse roles ranging from partner in a venture capital fund to head of strategy, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures for large entertainment and telecoms companies. Her specialty has been strategy and capital formation for companies undergoing dramatic growth and change.
Prior to receiving her MBA at Stanford University, Susan worked in the United States Senate as a professional staff member focusing on national security policy. Susan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, from the University of New Hampshire, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was on the university debate team. She serves as the Chair of the Finance Ministry and facilities rentals of her church and is an active volunteer with Rebuilding Together.
Karen Saverino, Director of Communications
Karen oversees communications for CDP, handling media relations, social media, web content development and partner content coordination. She has more than 20 years experience working in communications for NGO, foundation and socially motivated companies. Her philanthropic sector work includes developing communications strategies for Guidestar USA, Independent Sector, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Saint Paul Foundation, Minnesota Foundation and Chicago Foundation for Women.
Prior to launching a consulting practice in 2010, Karen was vice president of Portland, Oregon-based Metropolitan Group, where she oversaw the company’s national media relations practice. She also worked at Carton Donofrio Partners, a brand agency in Baltimore, Maryland and handled corporate communications for a Paris-based publisher of financial, travel and health content. She started her career as a beat reporter at a chain of weekly community newspapers. During that time, shewas recognized as an Outstanding New Journalist by Society of Professional Journalists, and earned numerous industry awards.
She received her Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in English with a writing concentration from College of Notre Dame University. She was accredited in public relations by Public Relations Society of America in 1998.
Karen lives in Mount Vernon Triangle in Washington, D.C., where she is a blogger and community volunteer focused on working with homeless individuals.
Follow on Twitter: @karensaverino