Robert G. Ottenhoff, President and CEO
Robert G. Ottenhoff, a veteran in philanthropy, nonprofit leadership, and entrepreneurship, is president and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP). 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, and oversaw the development of www.guidestar.org into a nationally respected, comprehensive source of reports and services on more than 1.5 million nonprofits.
Bob has 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 NPR, the New York Times, The 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.
Earllier 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 the same year. She co-wrote and revised the Hilton Foundation’s disaster response strategy. 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 degree in Foreign Policy from Georgetown University.
Susan Pitts Dykstra, Chief Financial Officer
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 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, oversees facilitiy rentals of her church, and is an active volunteer with Rebuilding Together.
Anna Newman, Disaster Management Analyst
Anna Newman has more than eight years of experience as a writer and editor. Most recently, she worked as a public affairs specialist for the Army, which included editing print products and developing social media and strategic communication plans.She holds a B.A. in Political Science and a M.A. in Security Studies, both from Kansas State University. Her area of emphasis in graduate school was Southeast Asia and the Middle East, and her major research papers were focused on the areas of gender in terrorism and ethnic conflict.She chose to shift gears professionally from public service to private NGO work because of her belief that it is important to approach the world’s problems from the ground up – people cannot build secure and stable countries when they do not have a roof over their heads or food in their stomachs.She grew up in Shawnee, Kan., and currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. In her free time, she loves to play softball and volleyball and is an avid runner.
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, foundations and socially-focused 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.
Karen is executive vice president at Metropolitan Group, a social change agency focused on the environment and public health, and the places they meet in between. 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, she was 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