Board of Directors

Portrait of Anne Marie Burgoyne

Anne Marie Burgoyne

Anne Marie Burgoyne (Managing Director, Philanthropy, Emerson Collective) has led Emerson Collective’s philanthropy since 2013. Under her leadership, Emerson has become a major funder that supports important work across an array of sectors, including education, immigration, environmental justice, and health equity, fostering community among important leaders and organizations across issues to achieve long-lasting impact. At Emerson, Anne Marie has developed a model, frictionless philanthropy, that helps all grantee partners grow their impact through full access to a suite of opportunities for capacity building, convening, communications and narrative storytelling, and leveraging technology.

Prior to joining Emerson, Anne Marie served as portfolio director at the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, where she identified and funded early-stage, high-growth, high-impact nonprofits. She currently sits on the boards of directors of Hope Enterprise Corporation, The Management Center, Nia Tero, and Waverley Street Foundation.

Portrait of Michael Crow

Michael Crow

Dr. Michael M. Crow is an educator, knowledge enterprise architect, science and technology policy scholar and higher education leader. He became the sixteenth president of Arizona State University in July 2002 and has helmed ASU’s redesign as a “New American University, a 21st-century, technology-enhanced public research university that simultaneously demonstrates comprehensive excellence, inclusivity representative of the ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of the United States, and consequential societal impact.

Lauded as the ”#1 most innovative” school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report (2016-2021), ASU is a student-centric, technology-enabled knowledge enterprise focused on complex global challenges related to sustainability, economic competitiveness, social embeddedness, entrepreneurship and global engagement. Under Dr. Crow’s leadership, ASU has established twenty-five new transdisciplinary schools, including the School of Earth and Space Exploration, the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, and launched trailblazing multidisciplinary initiatives including the Biodesign Institute, sixteen use-inspired research centers focused on biomedicine and health, sustainability and security; the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory and the nation’s first School of Sustainability, which advance research, education and business practices at the intersection of nature and the made environment. Dr. Crow’s model has achieved record-breaking levels of traditional, on-campus, online and international student enrollment, freshman quality and retention, and more than five-fold growth in research expenditures. ASU’s meteoric ascent in quality, growth and modernization has earned it separate rankings as one of the top 100 most prestigious universities in the world by Times Higher Education, and a top 100 position in Shanghai Jiao Tong’s 2018 Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Photo of Myrna Cunningham Kain standing and smiling.

Myrna Cunningham Kain

Myrna Cunningham Kain (also known as Mirna) is a Miskita feminist and Indigenous rights activist from Nicaragua. She served as the Chairperson of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues until 2012, and she is the current president of the Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID). Myrna is the first Miskito doctor in Nicaragua. She worked as a general practitioner and then as a surgeon until 1979. After the Sandinista revolution, she worked in the Ministry of Public Health and later became the first woman governor of the Waspam autonomous region.

She helped negotiate several peace agreements after the conflict in Nicaragua, setting the stage for the Law of Autonomy of the Indigenous Peoples and Ethnic Communities from the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua in 1987. She also helped create the first autonomous regional government. She served as the Deputy of the Autonomous Region of the North Atlantic Coast in the National Assembly. Myrna was a member of the Board of Directors of the Global Fund for Women and advised the Alliance of Indigenous Women of Mexico and Central America, the Continental Network of Indigenous Women, and the International Indigenous Women's Forum. The human rights organization MADRE awarded Cunningham the Woman of Distinction Award in 2012.

Liam Kokaua Nia Tero Board Member

Liam Kokaua

Liam Kokaua is a Māori of Rarotonga (Ngāti Arera tribe), situated within the ever-connecting Moana Nui a Kiwa (The Pacific Ocean). He is currently based in Aotearoa (New Zealand). Liam has worked for the environmental NGO Te Ipukarea Society in Rarotonga, as a Project Manager for restoration of a native forest in Gisborne, New Zealand, and is presently with Auckland Council as a Senior Pasifika Specialist. He was a beneficiary of the inaugural Nia Tero Leadership Fellows program (2018-2019).

In 2019 he completed a Masters of Indigenous Studies at the University of Auckland with a focus on traditional resource management practices. Liam has a passion for Indigenous knowledge, constitutional and land law reform, and decolonizing Te Moana Nui a Kiwa.

Portrait of Yo Yo Ma

Yo-Yo Ma

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s life and career are testament to his enduring belief in culture’s power to generate trust and understanding. Whether performing new or familiar works from the cello repertoire, collaborating with communities and institutions to explore culture’s role in society, or engaging unexpected musical forms, Yo-Yo strives to foster connections that stimulate the imagination and reinforce our humanity.

Yo-Yo Ma was born in 1955 to Chinese parents living in Paris, where he began studying the cello with his father at age four. When he was seven, he moved with his family to New York City, where he continued his cello studies at the Juilliard School. After his conservatory training, he sought out a liberal arts education, graduating from Harvard in 1976.

Yo-Yo has recorded more than 100 albums, is the winner of 18 Grammy Awards, and has performed for nine American presidents, most recently on the occasion of President Biden’s inauguration. He has received numerous awards, including the National Medal of the Arts, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Kennedy Center Honors. He has been a UN Messenger of Peace since 2006, and was recognized as one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020.

Yo-Yo’s latest album is “Songs of Comfort and Hope,” created and recorded with pianist Kathryn Stott in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Portrait of Nemonte Nenquimo

Nemonte Nenquimo

Nemonte Nenquimo is an Indigenous Waorani woman committed to defending her ancestral territory, culture, and way of life in the Amazon rainforest. Raised in the traditional community of Nemonpare in the Pastaza region of the Ecuadorian Amazon, Nenquimo co-founded the Indigenous-led nonprofit organization Ceibo Alliance in 2015 to protect Indigenous lands and livelihoods from resource extraction alongside its sister organization, Amazon Frontlines.

In 2018, she was elected the first female president of CONCONAWEP, the Waorani organization of Pastaza province. Nemonte led her people in an historic legal victory against the Ecuadorian government, which protected half-a-million acres of primary rainforest in the Amazon and set a precedent for Indigenous rights across the region. Today, Nemonte is fighting for the survival of her people amid the dual threats of COVID-19 and the ongoing ecological crisis in the Amazon. She is winner of the 2020 Goldman Environmental Prize for South America and was named to the BBC’s 100 Women of 2020 and TIME 100 list of the most influential people in the world.

Headshot Brenda Toineeta Pipestem

Brenda Toineeta Pipestem

Brenda Toineeta Pipestem is a Cherokee woman rooted in the values of her Eastern Band of Cherokee community and the recognition of the inherent power of Native peoples to problem solve for themselves and their communities. Raised in the Wolftown Community on the Qualla Boundary in Cherokee, NC – the homeland of the Aniyvwiya (“the real people”)—Brenda has dedicated her life to nurturing her family and empowering tribal communities through law, policy, education, and support of Native artists.

Brenda is an attorney (Columbia University School of Law, J.D.; Duke University, B.A.) and has served as an Appellate Justice for Tribal Supreme Courts for over 20 years, further developing Tribal Justice systems that exercise inherent sovereign powers of Tribal Nations to protect people, lands, and resources. To fulfil her culturally inherent responsibilities of gadugi—working together to meet a community need—Brenda has spent her adult life building relationships among communities, governments, and non-profit organizations to reach common goals. Now living in Oklahoma in the region of the Mvskoke, Osage, and Cherokee territories after working in Washington, DC, Brenda continues to volunteer with national and regional serving non-profit organizations, including serving on the boards of the American Indian College Fund, the Native Arts and Culture Foundation, Crisis Text Line, and the Tulsa Community Foundation. Her Board service includes the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) Board of Trustees (Chairperson for two years, with a focus on repatriation) and the Booker T. Washington High School Foundation for Excellence (Tulsa, OK), and the Advisory Boards for the Columbia Law Public Interest/Public Service Fellows Program, the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities at the University of Tulsa. Brenda is married to Wilson Pipestem (Otoe-Missouria/Osage) and together they have been blessed to parent four wonderfully strong-minded humans and a beloved four-legged Beijre.

Portrait of Peter Seligmann

Peter Seligmann

For nearly 40 years, Peter Seligmann has been an influential and inspiring voice in conservation. He works in partnership with communities, governments, and businesses to find innovative solutions to ensure the sustainability of the planet’s natural and cultural resources. Peter co-founded Nia Tero in 2017. He is also the Chairman of the Board and former CEO of Conservation International, a global nonprofit organization he co-founded in 1987. Peter began his career in 1976 with The Nature Conservancy as the organization’s western region land steward, later becoming the director of the California Nature Conservancy.

Peter earned a Master of Science in Forestry and Environmental Science from Yale University and a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology from Rutgers University. Peter holds Honorary Doctorates in Science from Michigan State University and Rutgers University. A world traveler, avid fisherman and diver, Peter lives in Seattle with his wife, Lee Rhodes, an entrepreneur and the founder of Glassybaby.

Portrait of Kevin Starr

Kevin Starr

Kevin Starr directs the Mulago Foundation, which is focused on scalable solutions to meet the basic needs of the very poor. Kevin was perfectly content with his career in medicine when he stumbled into philanthropy in 1994. His friend and mentor Rainer Arnhold died suddenly when they were working together in Bolivia, and the Arnhold family asked Kevin to help carry on Rainer's work through the Mulago Foundation. He spent the next decade working with projects from Afghanistan to Zambia, while exploring the most effective methodologies to create large-scale substantive impact.

Kevin established the Foundation's Rainer Arnhold Fellows Program in 2003 for social entrepreneurs focused on scalable solutions to poverty. He went on to establish the Henry Arnhold Fellows Program in 2016 that concentrates on finding scalable solutions to conservation and climate problems. Both the programs gives fellows a chance to design for impact that can go big. Kevin teaches and mentors fellows in numerous other programs for social entrepreneurs and is on the executive committee of Big Bang Philanthropy, a group of funders working together to direct more money to those best at fighting poverty. Kevin attended medical school and completed his residency at UC San Francisco and continues to call SF home.

Portrait of Vicky Tauli Corpuz

Vicky Tauli-Corpuz

Vicky Tauli-Corpuz (Kankanaey Igorot of the Cordillera region of the Philippines) is a UN Expert on Human Rights, an institution and movement builder, and a community organizer. She is a former UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Her experience in fighting for human rights dates back to the early 1970s when she became part of the anti-dictatorship struggle against President Marcos in the Philippines and the assertion of Indigenous Peoples’ rights to self-determination.

She took part in several struggles, which included, among others, the fight against a World Bank funded project, the Chico River Hydroelectric Dam, which would have displaced 100,000 Igorots from their ancestral domains in the Cordillera region in the Philippines. The Igorots succeeded in stopping this project. She was also part of the struggle against the Cellophil Resources Corporation, a company of a Marcos crony, which was seeking to deforest pine forests, including those in her ancestral territory. As part of her human rights commitment, Vicky became involved in the drafting, negotiations, and adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples from 1995 to 2007. She chaired the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues from 2005 to 2009. As a movement and institution builder, she helped organize the Igorot student movement in Manila in the 1970s and helped build the Indigenous Peoples’ movement in the Cordillera. Vicky has also established and run community-based health programs in various Indigenous communities. She founded several institutions in support of the movement, including Community Health Education, Services and Research in the Cordillera (CHESTCORE, 1983), the Cordillera Women’s Education and Resource Center (CWERC, 1986), and Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education, 1996). She also helped build the Indigenous women’s movement in the Philippines, elsewhere in Asia, and globally. She was one of the founders of the Asian Indigenous Women’s Network and the International Forum of Indigenous Women (FIMI). Vicky’s advisory group and board memberships include Conservation International, the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples, the UNDP Civil Society Advisory Committee, the International Forum on Globalization, and the Rights and Resources Group. She is currently a member of the Board of the International Land Tenure Facility, the South Centre, the Third World Network, FIMI, and the Bank Information Center.

A man reaches outward while on a boat

Nainoa Thompson

Nainoa Thompson is the president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and a master in the traditional Polynesian art of non-instrument navigation. Through his voyaging, he has opened a global, multigenerational dialogue on the importance of sustaining ocean resources and maritime heritage. Nainoa is the first person in 600 years to practice Polynesian wayfinding: long-distance open-ocean voyaging on a traditional double-hulled canoe without the aid of modern instruments.

Nainoa has dedicated his life to exploring the ocean, maintaining the health of the planet, and ensuring that the ancient marine heritage and culture of Polynesia remain vibrant into the future.

A man standing in front of a wooden wall in suit and glasses

Joseph Williams

Justice Joseph Williams has a Bachelor of Laws from the Victoria University of Wellington and a Masters of Laws with Honors from the University of British Columbia. He became a partner at Kensington Swan, Auckland, New Zealand in 1992 and went on to co-found Walters Williams & Co., Auckland, New Zealand in 1994. In 1999, Justice Williams became Chief Judge of the Māori Land Court and was appointed Deputy Chairperson of the Waitangi Tribunal shortly after in 2000.

He was made Chairperson of the Waitangi Tribunal in 2004. Justice Williams was appointed a judge of the High Court in September 2008, a judge of the Court of appeal in February 2018, and a judge of the Supreme Court in May 2019.