Robert G. Ottenhoff, President and CEO

Robert G. Ottenhoff photo
Robert G. Ottenhoff

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 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); ; 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 Grameen Foundation, USAAAFRC 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

Regine Webster
Regine A. Webster

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.

Earlier 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 Pitts Dykstra
Susan Pitts Dykstra

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.





Nancy Beers, Program Officer

Nancy Beers oversees The CDP Early Recovery Fund, which focuses on supporting vulnerable populations in 10 states in the Midwest, following a disaster.  Prior to joining CDP, Nancy was Senior Director of Disaster Services for Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota where she led disaster long-term recovery work and Camp Noah, a nationally acclaimed  trauma recovery program for children. A long-time advocate for children and families, Nancy also served as a court advocate for children for the State of Minnesota. She is an expert on issues related to children and the trauma caused by disasters who is frequently called on to speak and write on the issue, and provide training to disaster professionals.

Nancy is a member of the Disaster Case Management sub- committee for National VOAD and served as Vice President of Minnesota VOAD. She holds a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and biology from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. Contact:

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Anna R. Hurt

Anna R. Hurt, Disaster Management Analyst

Anna R. Hurt 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 Southwest 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.

Contact:, or follow on Twitter, @anna4disaster.

Karen Saverino photo
Karen Saverino

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 strategic communication firm 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

Elizabeth A. Murphy

Elizabeth A. Murphy, Consultant, Disaster Playbook
Elizabeth A. Murphy, Consultant, Disaster Playbook

Elizabeth A. Murphy is working with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy on the creation, development and launch of The Playbook: Strategies for the Philanthropic Sector in Response to Disasters and Tragedies (a joint project of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and Council of New Jersey Grantmakers). Elizabeth has more than 25 years of experience working in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, including both statewide and national initiatives. Since Hurricane Sandy made landfall in October 2013, she has been intermittently retained by the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers to coordinate the council’s activities relating to the post-Sandy philanthropic response in New Jersey, working with philanthropies from throughout the state and across the country helping to inform funders on how best to assist organizations and communities impacted by the storm. She also serves as the part-time director of Creative New Jersey – a new initiative of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation dedicated to fostering creativity, innovation, and sustainability by empowering cross-sector partnerships in culture, commerce, education, philanthropy, and government.

As an executive director, Elizabeth rebuilt two organizations, which were nearly defunct, and led two others in achieving their greatest period of sustained financial growth and programmatic success. She has a history of developing programming for disadvantaged populations and has created a multitude of arts initiatives, educational health programs, community engagement programs, special events and fund-raising galas; and has raised more than $10 million for a variety of projects and organizations in the USA, UK, and Ireland.

In 2004, Elizabeth was selected for and received full underwriting to Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business Executive Education Program for Nonprofit Leaders in the Arts. Born and raised in New York City, Elizabeth holds dual citizenship – Irish and American, and from 2008 to 2011 she lived in Ireland. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Mary’s College, University of Notre Dame.


Kimberlee Maphis-Early

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Kimberly Maphis-Early, Senior Associate

Kimberlee Maphis-Early is a senior associate at the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. Following 20 years of leadership in religion and higher education, Maphis-Early coordinated a nine-year national college and university grant initiative at Lilly Endowment Inc.  Since that time she has done research and writing as a consultant to service organizations, educational centers and philanthropic foundations in the areas of financial aid and student services, student indebtedness, program evaluation, and curriculum development around issues of poverty alleviation and asset building.  She began her work in the arena of disaster preparedness and response at the invitationof the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, and in 2012, the duPont Fund published her study, Creating Order from Chaos:  Roles for Philanthropy in Disaster Planning and Response, based on the experience of funders responding to the April 2011 chain of tornadoes in Alabama.  This can be accessed at