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Dana Lanza

President, CEO & Co-Founder

Dana launched Confluence Philanthropy in August of 2009 as a special project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, after serving as the executive director of the Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA). While at EGA, Dana provided networking services to over 250 grantmaking organizations from across North America and Europe in 15 strategic funding areas. As director, Dana worked with the Rockefeller Family Fund, and led a then 20 year old EGA into an independent 501c3 organization.

From 2009-2011 Dana served as the Program Director and Board Advisor at The Swift Foundation while launching Confluence. Swift makes grants internationally in the environment, indigenous and rural communities, and climate change initiatives. Swift is also deeply committed to mission-related investing.

Prior to Philanthropy, Dana founded Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ), which brought free urban environmental education projects to more than 10,000 public school students, while employing hundreds of at risk youth as community advocates. She acted as a lead organizer in the closure of San Francisco’s infamous Hunters Point Power Plant; envisioning and raising funds to supplant it with the region’s first off-the-grid educational Eco Center. The Eco Center won the EPA’s National Environmental Justice Award after its grand opening in 2010. A recipient of several environmental awards, she has presented at Bioneers, the American Public Health Association, Investors’ Circle, and the European Foundation Center, among others. In 2005, she contributed to the Sierra Club Books anthology entitled Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World.

She was a fellow with the Donnella Meadows Leaders Fellowship Program in Systems Theory and the California Women’s Foundation Policy Institute. Currently she serves formally as an advisor to The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s Planet Pledge Fund and The Industry Advisory Council to the U.S. impact Investing Alliance.

Beyond this, Dana has lived and worked among tribal people for much of her life. At 20 she went to live among the Samburu (Maasai). Twenty-four years later she undertook the Samburu’s traditional rites, becoming one of the few westerners ever initiated and a daughter of the L’Lorokgushu clan. More briefly Dana lived and worked with the Cheyenne River Lakota in South Dakota, and Kosovan Roma refugees in Europe. Dana speaks Swahili, Maa, and Spanish conversationally. A nomad in spirit, Dana sometimes lives in Oakland, California and at other times in Bed Sty, Brooklyn, NY.