Evelyn Arce Erickson
Founder and CEO
Indigenous Resilience Consulting
A descendant of the Muisca people of Colombia, Evelyn is passionate about Indigenous self-determination and Indigenous-led philanthropy. She founded Indigenous Resiliency Consulting (IRC), with the mission to build Native led capacity and serve as a strategic advisor to both donors and Indigenous communities. She is the former Vice President for Native Conservancy, the first Native land trust in the US where a fundraising campaign she raised millions in less than two years. Evelyn helped develop policies and the infrastructure to professionalize the organization, hiring 13 staff and 10 consultants. She played a pivotal role managing daily operations with a focus on development, program, financials, and forward- looking strategies.
Previously Evelyn ran an international NGO for 15 years called International Funders for Indigenous Peoples (IFIP). Under Evelyn’s leadership, IFIP became a self- standing not-for-profit organization while she lived in the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, New York. It continues, to this day, to be the only global donor affinity group dedicated solely to Indigenous peoples around the world. It was the first organized effort to bring hundreds of millions of dollars directly into Indigenous communities. Evelyn was one of the first voices for Indigenous led-philanthropy and notably led the effort for several donor publications, including the Foundation Center's Funding Indigenous Peoples: Strategies for Support.
She currently serves on the Board and Development Committee for three NGOs: Biomimicry Institute, Fortunate Farms and Love Wild Horses and is an advisor to Earth Codes Observatory. She is the founder of Coastside Friendship Organic Garden (c-FOG) whose mission is to cultivate healthy soils, food, and community on the San Mateo coast. She was on Cultural Survival board for nearly a decade.
She obtained her Bachelor’s and Master's degrees from Cornell University. She is a Goldman Environmental Prize nominator and a Donella Meadows Leadership Fellow. A Master Gardener of San Mateo & San Francisco County, California and former Half Moon Bay Parks and Recreation Commissioner , Evelyn now lives in the territory of the Pomo tribe (now called Mendocino) with her husband and three children. She spends her free time gardening, hiking and exploring the raw beauty of the land.
Indigenous Resilience Consulting
Theresa is a Latina, partly descended from Indigenous Peoples in Northern Mexico and an experienced nonprofit and philanthropic consultant as well as a civil and human rights/nonprofit tax lawyer specializing in governance, strategic planning and advancing rights through a social justice lens.
She has led philanthropic investments and designed programs focused on Indigenous Peoples in the U.S., Latin America, Africa, and Asia/Pacific Islands (e.g., Levi Strauss, Christensen Fund, Hispanics in Philanthropy, Haiti Education Fund, International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group, Blue Shield of California Foundation).
She has served on over 20 nonprofit boards, generally chairing the governance committee, allowing her to experience a plethora of governance challenges and issues and work with a variety of governance experts (e.g., Fair Trade USA, MALDEF, Benetech, California Women’s Foundation, The Christensen Fund, Council on Foundations, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship).
As a nonprofit consultant, she has led governance and strategy projects for many nonprofits and foundations (e.g., International Funders for Indigenous Peoples, The Impact Fund, Castellano Family Foundation, Hispanics in Philanthropy, World Business Council on Sustainable Development, Haiti Education Fund).
She has worked globally as the Vice President for Sustainability for Levi Strauss and Co. and the Executive Director & General Counsel, Levi Strauss Foundation; Senior Consultant for International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group; Senior Consultant, Council on Foundations.
She is an experienced civil rights, human rights, and nonprofit tax lawyer (e.g., Vice President for the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund; adjunct law school professor teaching civil rights litigation, USC Law School; Senior Consultant on human rights to International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group; General Counsel for Levi Strauss Foundation).
She has written articles for Stanford Social Innovation Review, been named as a Most Influential Women by the San Francisco Business Times. She has a J.D. degree from UCLA Law School and a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.
She currently serves on Making Waves Foundation Board and is a member of their Culture and Equity Committee; this organization has designed a ground-breaking and unique approach to ensuring students from underserved communities graduate from the best colleges with low debt. She also serves on the Board of Benetech as the Secretary, and Chair of the Governance Committee, a nonprofit providing technology solutions to advance equitable education for the disabled.