Board of Directors
Our volunteer board provides leadership, governance, and support to The Alaska Center Education Fund. We are currently developing a multi-year strategic plan to achieve our vision of a thriving and sustainable Alaska for future generations. We need thoughtful individuals to join us in this work. Our board meets monthly in Anchorage with a Skype/teleconference option. In addition, board members participate in committee work. Alternatively, if you are interested in participating in a more focused way, contact us to become part of one of our committees. For more information and to apply (attach cover letter and resume or CV), please download the job description here and send your application to Ann Rappoport at [email protected]
Ann Rappoport, Chair, Anchorage
Ann feels incredibly fortunate to have had a rewarding career as a biologist and to raise her family, recreate, and live in Alaska! Immediately after retiring from a 33-year career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in Anchorage, a long time member, she joined the Board of The Alaska Center Education Fund in 2012.
At the USFWS, Ann worked on issues active in both the ’80s and now (Susitna/SuWatana hydropower, Beluga/Chuitna coal), as well as Arctic Refuge Coastal Plain environmental evaluations, and the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. She was subsequently involved in endangered species, conservation planning, environmental contaminants, habitat restoration, and fisheries as Field Supervisor for the USFWS Anchorage Fish and Wildlife Field Office. Recognizing the importance of connecting youth with nature, Ann participated in several USFWS youth programs, organized natural resources career fairs at several Anchorage high schools, co-chaired the Get Outdoors, Anchorage! coalition, supported youth sessions at the Alaska Forum on the Environment, and was a mentor in the Alaska Women’s Environmental Network program. Ann also recently spent a few years as Conservation Director at The Nature Conservancy where she acquired non-profit experience useful to her current position as our Board chair.
Ann and her husband, David, have a son and daughter who enjoyed many summers as Trailside Discovery campers when they were younger; one was also an AYEA teen. Taking their Bernese Mountain dog Nellie, and Brittany Spaniel, Rascal, for daily walks provides Ann and David with frequent outdoor adventures, and Ann also enjoys x-country skiing, gardening, and biking. Ann is excited to be involved with The Alaska Center and the Alaska Center Education Fund so that she can continue working to conserve Alaska’s tremendous natural resources and ensure the involvement of our youth who will inherit what we conserve.
Camilla HUssein, Vice-Chair, eagle River
Camilla was born in Germany, grew up in Syria, and has lived in the United States for over 30 years, 12 of them in Alaska. While living in Germany and Syria during her youth, Camilla grew up with an early awareness of environmental change in the early 1970’s when glaciers started to melt in the mountains surrounding her hometown in the Bavarian Alps. She also learned from her Syrian grandmother, a traditional healer, about Indigenous Knowledge of the people who lived around the Sea of Galilee and the Syrian Golan Heights. She learned how to garden in Oregon, New Mexico and South Florida and Alaska, and started bird watching in New Mexico.
Living around the edges of the Everglades in South Florida, Camilla became involved with wildlife conservation efforts by eradicating invasive plant species and establishing a Wildlife Reserve in her neighborhood. She even had her backyard certified as a wildlife backyard habitat by the National Wildlife Federation providing native species of butterflies, amphibians, and birds food and shelter.Camilla studied Biology in Germany and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, minoring in Legal Studies at the University of Alaska. She is currently finishing her Master’s in Public Administration degree with an emphasis in Public Policy Analysis.
She has been involved with several social justice projects in and around Anchorage, and sits on the board of, and volunteers for several public interest organizations. Her passion to help others, advocate for social justice, and to ensure a sustainable, healthy environment for present and future generations, is at the forefront of her mission. Camilla’s hobbies are knitting, cooking for others, event planning, philanthropy, politics, volunteering, birdwatching, and gardening.
She is the mother of three daughters, her oldest, Salome, who is an environmental data scientist in Sydney, Australia, Yassi, is her middle daughter who is Montana to earn a degree in early childhood education in Bozeman Montana, and Mimi the youngest who is still attending high school in Eagle River. Camilla currently lives with her domestic partner Steve, daughter Mimi, Soraya, a black Labrador, and Chillie, a geriatric Pomeranian mix, in Eagle River.
GAVIN DIXON, Treasurer, Anchorage*
Gavin’s time with the organization has its roots as a member of Alaska Youth for Environmental Action, where he worked on air quality campaigns and fundraising efforts to support the recovery of the community of Banda Aceh after a devastating Tsunami.
Gavin has worked for over ten years fighting the impacts of climate change and developing renewable energy and energy efficiency projects for rural Alaska Native communities. Most recently his time has been spent as a Project Manager overseeing the relocation of the Yup’ik community of Newtok, which must move to a new location due to the accelerating impacts of climate change.
In his free time, you can find him sharing his passions for biking, skiing, paddling and running with friends and loved ones through the unique and irreplaceable wilderness of Alaska.
Key Getty, Anchorage *
Key Getty first arrived in Alaska in 1980 as a young military spouse. She went on to study math and accounting at UAA and became a certified public accountant. During her public accounting life, she extensively traveled to rural areas and small towns of Alaska as an auditor and trainer. That was when Key began to understand and appreciate the life of subsistence, cultural preservation, and environmental conservation, as well as economic development. During most of her career, Key’s focus was serving the needs of nonprofit organizations (and some were directly related to these values.) From setting up a new exempt entity to handling a special case before the IRS to helping clients with the everyday challenges of a nonprofit organization. As a volunteer, Key has served on many community projects and boards in a various capacity, and recently joined The Alaska Center and The Alaska Center Education Fund as Treasurer. She is also a board member of Bridge Builders of Anchorage, National Unification Advisory Council, and Korean Language School to name a few. She is a licensed CPA in the State of AK and a member in good standing of AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountant) and ASCPA (Alaska Society of Certified Public Accountant). During her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her grandson, reading and gardening.
Olivia Garrett, Anchorage
Olivia grew up mostly in southcentral Alaska where she spent most of her time outside with her family or reading. After spending some time living in Ecuador, she moved to Fairbanks to start a teaching degree at UAF. Instead, she got into politics by accident and hasn’t looked back. Olivia worked on political campaigns in the Interior and briefly for the State Legislature in Juneau as a legislative aide. After 7 happy years of living in Fairbanks, she moved to Anchorage to work at a local women’s non profit running financial literacy and advocacy programs. Olivia is passionate about Alaska, Alaska politics, building community, public transit, local libraries, and voting. In her spare time she can be found hiking, knitting, eating fish, and petting dogs. She joined The Alaska Center Education Fund board last December and is very excited to do her small part in helping children and youth develop a love for for the land and understand the importance of civic engagement.
Griffin Plush, Seward*
Griffin joined the board of The Alaska Center for a renewed term in 2019, after having served as its first Youth Board Member in 2015. From the small town of Seward, he spent his childhood on the trails of Exit Glacier and the waters of Resurrection Bay with family, where he later worked for seven seasons as a naturalist and a park ranger for Kenai Fjords National Park. Inspired by activists with the Resurrection Bay Conservation Society, Griffin attended his first AYEA Civics and Conservation Summit in 2012 as a high school freshman where he found a passion for activism as a tool to build communities and protect their clean air and water. Throughout high school, he organized Seward’s chapter of AYEA and worked with others to lead statewide campaigns on local foods, Pebble Mine, and climate change. This work inspired him to join fifteen other young Alaskans demanding the State of Alaska acknowledge and address climate change as plaintiffs in Alaska’s climate trust lawsuit, Sinnok v. Alaska.
Griffin graduated from the University of Alaska Southeast in 2019. His studies focused on the politics and history of Alaska, and the social aspects of resource management. During his first two years of college, he served in the first cohort of the U.S. Arctic Youth Ambassadors where he intimately learned about and advocated for the health of Alaska’s Arctic communities, economies, and cultures. In 2018, he interned for Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins of Sitka in the Alaska Legislature. He brings his unique perspective based in small-town coastal Alaska and youth activism to the board.
Griffin is honored to serve on The Alaska Center Education Fund’s board while we work towards a thriving, just, and sustainable Alaska for future generations.
MEI MEI EVANS, ANCHORAGE
Mei Mei is our newest board member, joining in June 2020. She is professor emeritus at Alaska Pacific University. She has taught college English for twenty-five years –over half of them at APU. Her scholarly work is interdisciplinary, leading her to co-edit an academic anthology, “The Environmental Justice Reader” and to publish articles addressing the intersection of nature and culture. Evans’s novel, “Oil and Water,” based on true-life events of the Exxon-Valdez oil spill in Alaska, was a finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize in 2012.