“All things flow. All things change.”
Heraclitus (c. 535-475 BC)
Connie leads the foundation, a role she’s played since joining Panta Rhea in October 2019. As CEO, Connie brings a deep commitment to building resources and power in grassroots communities around the globe. She serves as an officer of the board of trustees, provides strategic and fiscal oversight, builds external partnerships, and guides the staff team. In 2020 under Connie’s stewardship, Panta Rhea launched the Global Roots Fund to resource community climate resilience efforts across the Caribbean and Americas.
Prior to these roles, Connie served as Portfolio Director on the Executive Team at The James Irvine Foundation. There she led voter and civic engagement, workforce development, social impact bond and other strategies, deploying hundreds of millions of dollars in charitable grants across the state of California. While at Irvine, Connie was also a Commissioner and Chair of California’s inaugural, award-winning Citizens Redistricting Commission from 2010-2020. For the first time in history, the Commission drew Congressional, Senate, Assembly and Board of Equalization districts through a transparent public process. She continues to promote redistricting reform nationwide and trains Commissioners through Redistricting Partners.
Connie brings to Panta Rhea her background as a former grantee partner from her time at Urban Habitat, a community based environmental justice organization in Oakland, California. Earlier in her career, Connie served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in eastern Bolivia, and as a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Fellow.
In the wake of late 2020’s devastating hurricane season, Connie leveraged seed funding from Panta Rhea to mobilize visibility and support for the native Raizal community of San Andres, Providence, and Santa Catalina islands in Colombia’s Western Caribbean region. She continues to serve as a diaspora advisor and ally, building on a longstanding quest for self-determination, sustainable development, and reparations in the archipelago region.
Connie currently serves on the Executive Committee and board of Southern California Grantmakers, co-chairing SCG’s Board Affairs Committee. She served on the Funders Committee for Civic Participation’s national board for a decade, including two terms as Co-Chair. Connie was a founding parent with Kids for Freedom & Justice in Los Angeles, and previously co-founded a grassroots global network for adopted and fostered adults of African descent. She received her Master of City and Regional Planning degree at the University of California at Berkeley, and a BA in Communications and Spanish at La Sierra University.
As Panta Rhea’s first Chief Strategy Officer, Amalia facilitates strategic design, organizational development, and partner investments in support of deepening the foundation’s commitments to intersectional social justice. Amalia leads the Resilience & Renewal Program and collaborates on the growth and implementation of Panta Rhea’s other strategic initiatives.
With over 20 years of experience in global and US-based nonprofit social entrepreneurship, organizing, and advocacy, Amalia’s work to advance the rights of most impacted communities has led her around the globe, including to Mexico, the Caribbean, Ecuador, Egypt, Tanzania, Thailand, and across the United States. Before coming to Panta Rhea, Amalia worked for five years at Hispanics in Philanthropy as Vice President of Strategy and Impact where she spearheaded the development of new program strategies and oversaw HIP’s Migration and Power Building & Justice initiatives. Earlier in her career as a Fulbright Scholar in Turkey and through work at Jesuit Refugee Services, the ACLU, Amnesty International and other organizations, Amalia launched several initiatives that continue to transform systems and build power with impacted people. Amalia co-founded Asylum Access, an international nonprofit fighting for the rights of refugees in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and served as a Board member and subsequently staff member for a total of 12 years. She currently serves on the United Philanthropy Forum Board of Directors.
Amalia is a licensed lawyer in California and received her Juris Doctor degree at Washington College of Law. Born in Venezuela and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Amalia currently lives in the Washington DC area with her partner and two young kids.
As the grants and administration lead, Gerlie serves as the central hub for the foundation’s grantmaking and administrative activities. In addition, she leads the Panta Rhea Flow Fund. Launched in spring 2022 in partnership with Kindle Project, the Flow Fund is an arts and social justice participatory grantmaking initiative focused on supporting creative works that amplify social change.
Gerlie brings a diverse skillset to Panta Rhea developed from nearly 20 years working in the nonprofit sector. Prior to Panta Rhea, she helped annually award up to $20 million in grants to California-based arts organizations with The James Irvine Foundation, and communicated the needs and opportunities of philanthropy in Los Angeles County with the California Community Foundation. She also curated and designed arts programming at The Music Center, the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County and The Pasadena Playhouse. With a passion for civic and community engagement, she currently serves as a City of Los Angeles North Valley Area Planning Commissioner and a board member of Visual Communications, the nation’s premier Asian American media arts organization.
She earned a Masters in Arts Management from Claremont Graduate University and graduated with a degree in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco.
Lisl is a mother, historian, and author. She joined the Panta Rhea Foundation board in 2008 and became Chair and President in 2017. Her philanthropic experience includes personal giving, managing Panta Rhea’s discretionary family giving; founding the Qinti Fund with her sister; and participating in donor organizing and training networks, including Solidaire Network, Thousand Current’s Collaborative Leaders’ Academy, and Seventh Generation Fund’s Indigenous Funder cohort. She currently serves as board member on the Solidaire Network; Casa Gallina in Mexico; and the Schöpflin Stiftung and Co-Chair for the Spore Initiative in Germany. She brings experience with performance arts; academic and creative writing; education; and social and environmental justice efforts. Her research and publications focus on indigenous and colonial history of the Americas, particularly the Andean region. Lisl received the Foreign Language and Areas Studies (FLAS) fellowship to study Quechua in Cusco, Peru; the Fulbright-Hays Dissertation fellowship to conduct archival research in Peru; and Getty Research Institute’s Scholar Fellowship in Los Angeles. She completed her BA in Anthropology and Theater Arts at the University of Pennsylvania and MA and PhD in Latin American History at UCLA. Lisl also loves spending time in nature, skiing, camping, dancing, reading, trying her hand at guitar and piano, and being with her two sons and life partner.
Holly is co-chair of the board of the Panta Rhea Foundation. She brings 25 years of experience as a cross-sector practitioner, entrepreneur and organizer in food, philanthropy, social entrepreneurship and the arts. In her home state of Missouri, Holly established and grew three interrelated social enterprises: Terra Bella Farm, a 160-acre organic farm & apprenticeship program; Ragtag Cinema, an independent film house and home to the True/False film festival; and Uprise Bakery, an organic bakery/café and community space. In addition to these local enterprises, Holly has been mobilizing communities of young wealth holders, youth activists and artists, and broader networks supporting philanthropy, impact investing, movement building and social enterprise. In the early 2000s, Holly co-convened two major multi-year projects: Leverage Alliance (LevAl), an international community of young people with access to exceptional wealth and commitments to large-scale philanthropy, social investment & social impact, and P3 (Power and Privilege for the People) a growing network of resource-privileged young leaders in communities of color. In 2007, Holly joined Ashoka: Innovators for the Public to lead their efforts on the West Coast to develop and convene a network of businesses, business entrepreneurs, and philanthropists focused on social entrepreneurship. Holly also is a potter who works primarily out of her home studio. In recent years Holly completed an art residency at Maine’s Watershed Center in 2018, studied with traditional artists at a production studio in Kerala, India in 2020, and remains a member of the Berkeley Potters’ Studio. Holly currently lives in Berkeley California with her partner and their two energetic & creative boys.
Cedric is an award-winning social impact leader with 20+ years of deep and varied experience in the philanthropy and NGO sectors. He has built a significant track record of working to ensure pathways to opportunities for people of color through leadership development, tech inclusion, college readiness, cultural representation, voter education, and philanthropy. Prior to recently managing global leadership programs for the Obama Foundation, where he designed and launched two programs in direct consultation with the eponymous president, Cedric served as the head of the Kapor Foundation/Center for over a decade. His other notable roles and collaborations include those with ABFE, Blavity/AfroTech, Color of Change, Google, the Oakland Museum of California, and the San Francisco Foundation. Cedric is currently a Senior Atlantic Fellow, and also serves on the boards of the Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity and TheGuardian.org. An ever-evolving creator, Cedric is the founding donor of literary prizes now offered through the Museum of African Diaspora, Lambda Literary, and the North Carolina Writers Network. Cedric treasures his family, both inherited and chosen, and tries to make friends wherever he goes.
Adelaide has been a psychotherapist and life coach for over thirty years. Her interest in sustainable agriculture grew out of her 40-year involvement with the Chez Panisse restaurant. She has worked in community mental health, criminal justice, and secondary education. In addition, she’s had 50 years of experience in the arts – photography, film, theater, creative writing. She is currently helping individuals with life transitions, working on a novel, and involved with several Northern California non-profits. She gets great joy from her four grandchildren and from the natural surroundings in which she lives.
A strong voice against “inequitable and ineffective partnerships,” Solomé is a fierce supporter of local leadership with more than 15 years of experience in philanthropy and social change. She now leads Thousand Currents (formerly IDEX), founded 35 years ago to resource grassroots community-led initiatives in the Global South. Together their grantee partners engage over 200 million women, small farmers, Indigenous Peoples, urban residents, sexual and ethnic minorities, and youth working towards lasting and transformative change. Solomé’s work and writing has been featured in Forbes, the Washington Post, The Guardian, Inside Philanthropy, and Africa is a Country, among others, and she has appeared on NPR, BBC, and Al Jazeera discussing aid and philanthropy in Africa. Solomé was named as one of Foreign Policy Magazine’s “100 women to follow on Twitter” at @innovateafrica. Solomé holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a Bachelor’s in International Relations from Stanford University.
An entrepreneur and philanthropist, Hans studied in France and in the United States and has had both successful business and investment careers. Today, he is the founder and President of Schoepflin Investment Company. In 1998, he founded the Panta Rhea Foundation in the United States and in 2001 the Schoepflin Foundation in Germany. Both foundations support people and organizations that envision a better future for the generations to come, experiment with new ideas, and are committed to building a more just and sustainable world. Both act in accordance with the philosophy of Heraclitus, “All things flow. All things change.” Through all of the Foundations’ respective wide-ranging initiatives, there is a consistent philosophy to develop personal awareness and empower individuals and organizations to tackle major social challenges. Hans Schoepflin is presently engaged in a new initiative, Spore Initiative, a cultural platform aimed at redefining the relationships between contemporary daily life, art, and nature. Spore Initiative seeks to activate new synergies internationally between these three respective domains while remaining anchored to a specific neighborhood in Berlin.
Nico works as a pediatric neurologist and developmental neuroscientist at Washington University in St. Louis. Born and raised in southwest Germany, he obtained a BA in Biochemistry from Columbia University in 2000 and MD and PhD from Washington University in 2008. Nico loves data and experimentation as the surest path towards understanding and improving all things.