Tanya Gulliver-Garcia brings practical, academic and philanthropic understandings of disasters to her work as Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s director of learning and partnerships. In this role, Tanya oversees the development of educational materials including the Disaster Philanthropy Playbook, the Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy report and the webinar series. Tanya works to maintain relationships with disaster response and recovery organizations to help support the needs of CDP’s back-office clients.
Tanya is a self-described “disaster junkie” who is passionate about ensuring the most marginalized and oppressed in our communities are able to recover and build resilience. Her work is grounded in principles of equity and an understanding of how the intersections of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, class and other identities affect the lives of individuals and their families/communities.
Prior to CDP, Tanya worked as the associate director of programs and planning at Foundation for Louisiana (FFL). Her duties included helping FFL strengthen its capacity to manage various programmatic initiatives while also building an effective evaluation practice. She led FFL’s Equitable Disaster Resilience Framework and associated Strategic Response Fund, as well as the foundation’s LGBTQ+ Fund.
Tanya has lived and worked for most of her life in and around Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Her most recent work includes serving as the research coordinator for the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness/Homeless Hub (COH) based at York University. The COH works to mobilize research results so that they have a greater impact on the elimination of homelessness in Canada.
After graduating university in 1991, Tanya made a commitment to only work in social justice-related areas. She has focused on poverty, homelessness, LGBTQ rights, community development and marginalization of at-risk communities. She taught three different undergraduate courses in Toronto including “Homelessness in Canadian Society”, “Environmental Disasters” and a field course in community development that brought Toronto-area students to New Orleans to assist in rebuilding post-Katrina. She also taught a self-created course “Disasters and Social Justice” at Tulane University’s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy in New Orleans.
Tanya continues to speak and teach on issues related to disaster equity, the numbers behind disaster giving and building relationships between funders and non-governmental organizations. She has appeared in keynotes and conferences such as PEAK grantmaking, Res/Con and National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters.
She also has worked as a freelance writer and editor for a number of years and served on the board of directors of the Professional Writers Association of Canada for eight years, including three as president. Tanya is a frequent writer for CDP’s blog and has authored analyses and commentaries in publications such as such as Giving Compass, Nonprofit Quarterly and Reader’s Digest Canada. She is #TeamNoOxfordComma!
Tanya is ABD in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University with a special interest in community resiliency and recovery after catastrophic disasters. Her research work was based in St. Bernard Parish.
Tanya has a Bachelor’s in Sociology from Glendon College, York University (which was completed bilingually in English and French) and a Masters of Environmental Studies from York University (for which she developed North America’s first risk-based heat registry to protect low income and marginally housed communities from extreme heat).
Tanya currently lives in the Broadmoor neighborhood of New Orleans. In her spare time, she is an active volunteer with the American Red Cross. She has responded to several major disasters across the United States and in her adopted state of Louisiana, including Hurricane Irene, Superstorm Sandy, the Great Flood of 2016 and Hurricane Isaac.