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); 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.
Regine A. Webster brings a keen sense of adventure, discovery, and compassion to the fields of philanthropy and humanitarian assistance, helping build bridges between those offering solutions and those in need. With an eye toward long-term, sustainable results, Regine has been a steady presence in situations where chaos often reigns. Perhaps it was the summer she spent living in a Zambia refugee camp; the visits to internally displaced persons camps in northern Uganda; or seeing the devastation of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. Personal travels also have broadened her horizons, from a month in Guatemala with her young daughters to teaching scuba diving in Australia. Through it all, her sense of humor has continued to emerge, her optimism has strengthened, and her desire to bring every life experience in service to others has shone through.
In 2010, Regine became founding executive director of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, an organization aimed at transforming giving toward domestic and international disasters. CDP has matured into a trusted voice and philanthropic force, including awarding more than $424,000 in grants from its Hurricane Sandy Disaster Recovery Fund. Regine now serves as CDP vice president, and her personal reach spreads beyond the organization. In addition to holding speaking engagements that inspire and educate in the disaster philanthropy realm, Regine has been actively involved in volunteer leadership positions on local and national-level boards and committees.
She is one of only a handful of people nationwide who have managed a dedicated disaster portfolio for a foundation; while program officer, consultant, and fellow in the Global Health and Global Development divisions of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Wash., she 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 served as a senior associate with Arabella Advisors, supporting the firm’s response to Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, as well as earthquakes in Chile and Haiti. She worked as a consulting program officer to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation in Century City, Calif. There, 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 also co-wrote and revised the Hilton Foundation’s disaster response strategy.
Regine has a bachelor’s degree in English from Boston College and a master of science degree in foreign policy from Georgetown University.
Though many long for quick fixes in disaster philanthropy, Regine’s own two decades of experience demonstrate her understanding of taking the time to do things right.
Jennifer G. Anvari, Operations Specialist
Jennifer G. Anvari manages logistics, infrastructure, and database development at the Center for Disaster Philanthropy in her role as Operations Specialist. She also serves as production manager for CDP’s webinars, as well as a variety of other tasks that present themselves on the fly.
Over the past few years, Jennifer has used her writing skills to develop blog content, social media campaigns, newsletters, articles, and promotional materials. As a desktop publisher, she has worked at all stages of magazine production, from creating graphics to laying out spreads. She has also organized and managed a wide variety of corporate events, both large and small.
Jennifer graduated summa cum laude from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BA in English and a minor in vocal performance. In her free time, she sings in a local choral society and pursues her other great life passion, building new and refinishing old furniture.
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. Before 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. An expert on issues related to children and the trauma caused by disasters, she is frequently called to speak and write on the issue, and provide training to disaster professionals.
Nancy was a member of the Disaster Case Management subcommittee for the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) and served as Vice President of Minnesota VOAD. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn.
Cecilia Calvo, Director of Development
Cecilia Calvo has more than 18 years experience at senior levels of government and nonprofits in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Over the course of her career, she has developed numerous successful public-private partnerships and raised millions of dollars from corporations, private foundations and government sources to increase the impact of nonprofits across sectors, both in the US and globally.
Cecilia has served as an executive director of a citywide nonprofit coalition and led development efforts at numerous nonprofit institutions including the Smithsonian Institution, American Farmland Trust, and the Commonwealth Education Fund, a public-private partnership established by the Honorable Gordon Brown in partnership with Save the Children UK, ActionAid, Oxfam and the Department for International Development.
Earlier in her career, Cecilia served in senior positions at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and at the Corporation for National and Community Service, designing the first generation of AmeriCorps programs, as a political appointee in the Clinton administration. A Washingtonian, Cecilia attended the National Cathedral School for Girls and received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Duke University and her masters degrees in Education and in Theology from Harvard University.
Jennifer Commander, CPA, Chief Financial Officer
Jennifer is responsible for the day-to-day financial functions of CDP and oversees contracts, financial due diligence for grant making, and regulatory issues.
Prior to joining CDP, Jennifer spent over 20 years in the for-profit sector. Most recently, Jennifer was the Founding Partner and Managing Director of a clinical research site that conducts clinical trials on behalf of pharmaceutical companies. Previously, Jennifer was the Chief Financial Officer and Controller of two investment management firms specializing in private equity and hedge funds of funds. Jennifer began her career at Arthur Andersen specializing in audits and consulting services for real estate and hospitality clients.
Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting, summa cum laude, from The College of William & Mary.
Kathy Gutowsky, Director of Marketing & Communications
Kathy Gutowsky brings nearly 30 years of experience in communications, marketing, and project management to her efforts to catalyze communities and build networks for CDP. In her role, she drives all marketing and communications initiatives, including the CDP website and blog, social media and outreach campaigns, media and external relations, and engagement strategies.
Prior to joining CDP, Kathy was the director of communications for the Indiana University Foundation, where she developed and implemented advancement initiatives, external and internal communications, and media relations. While at IUF, she led communications and media relations to launch Indiana University’s $2.5 billion bicentennial campaign and implement the $6.5 million Crimson enterprise donor and alumni data system.
She has held a wide variety of communications and marketing roles with organizations that have included the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Macmillan Publishing, ESPN Networks, and Ameriprise Financial. Kathy has written for several publications including Women’s Adventure, Bicycling, Indianapolis Star, and was managing editor for the IU Center on Philanthropy’s Philanthropy Matters.
In addition to spearheading the implementation of a Safe Routes to School program in Monroe County, IN, she has volunteered communications services for several local nonprofits, as well as streetfootballworld.org in Berlin, Germany. She currently serves on the Innovative Government Task Force for the City of Bloomington, IN.
Kathy has a bachelor’s degree in English and a graduate certificate in information architecture from Indiana University.
Anna R. Hurt manages the grants portfolio from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s Disaster Recovery Fund and is the program officer of the Disaster Playbook.
She has more than eight years of experience as a writer and editor. Prior to joining the CDP team, she worked as a public affairs specialist for the Army, which included editing print products and developing social media and strategic communication plans.
Anna has 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.
Anna is from Shawnee, Kan., and currently lives in Manhattan, Kan. In her free time, she loves to play softball and volleyball and is an avid runner.
Kimberlee 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 invitation of 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.