As the director of the Midwest Early Recovery Fund, Cari Cullen leads the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s early recovery work and the Native American and Tribal Recovery Program. During her 15-plus years of nonprofit management experience, Cari has directed diverse teams and projects. She has experience managing volunteers, fostering sustainable partnerships, developing curriculum and training, coordinating multi-state projects and leading national and international programming initiatives.
Cari’s professional disaster recovery experience began in 2012 as the senior program manager for Camp Noah, where she worked with communities affected by disasters to assist them in understanding and meeting the needs of children post-disaster. In her other past roles, Cari served as a disaster case manager, state-wide recovery coordinator and project manager for the Midwest Consortium for Disaster Services. Through these experiences, Cari has developed expertise in post-disaster children’s needs, spiritual and emotional care, mid- to long-term disaster recovery, rural recovery and community needs assessment.
A sought-after speaker on issues related to disaster recovery in low-attention disasters, Cari has presented on a wide variety of topics for groups such as RuralLISC, Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, and the Cedar Rapids Area Community Foundation.
A life-long resident of the “OTAs,” Cari currently resides in Fargo, North Dakota. When she is not working, Cari is reading, dreaming about her next vacation and solidifying her position as favorite aunt of eight of the best kiddos on the planet.