Who We Are
The Climate Justice Resilience Fund is a project of the New Venture Fund (NVF), a 501(c)(3) public charity registered in the United States. The New Venture Fund contracts many services from Arabella Advisors, a certified B corporation with offices in New York, Washington DC, Chicago and San Francisco. CJRF staff work with an account team at Arabella Advisors that supports our grantmaking and due diligence. CJRF operates with two full-time staff, two liaisons from Arabella Advisors, and a three-member Review Board that recommends CJRF funding decisions to the New Venture Fund. Grant applicants may receive emails from CJRF staff and/or Arabella Advisors staff regarding proposals.
Climate Justice Resilience Fund Staff
Heather McGray, Director
Heather McGray is Director of the Climate Justice Resilience Fund. Heather previously served as the Director of the Climate Resilience Practice at the World Resources Institute. Under her leadership, Climate Resilience at WRI grew from a one-person project in 2007 to a cross-cutting practice with teammates in India, the US, and Brazil. The team worked on a range of issues, including national adaptation planning, climate finance advocacy, resilience measurement, and adaptation policy within the UNFCCC. Heather also led the creation of a body of work on urban climate resilience.
Prior to taking on WRI's resilience portfolio, Heather worked with The Access Initiative to promote transparency, participation, and access to justice in addressing environmental problems. This included research and civil society training in China's Yunnan Province. Earlier professional experience included research on environmental management in China; research and advocacy on ISO 14000 environmental standards; coordination of an urban education and development network in New Haven, CT; and management of educational exchange programs for the Yale-China Association.
Heather speaks Mandarin, and holds a Master's of Environmental Management from Yale University, as well as a Bachelor's degree in Biology from Oberlin College.
Listen to Heather speak about resilience in the Paris climate agreement on BBC radio.
Hilary Heath, Program Associate
Hilary Heath is the Program Associate for the Climate Justice Resilience Fund. Prior to joining the CJRF, Hilary was a Researcher and Junior Consultant for the United Nations Development Programme's Gender Equality in Public Administration initiative. Hilary also worked with the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Latin American Studies, publishing articles for their web-based venue, Panoramas.
Hilary holds a Master's of International Development from the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, where she studied Human Security and obtained a certificate in Latin American Social and Public Policy. Hilary also holds a Bachelor's degree in History from Wingate University.
Arabella Advisors Staff
Arabella Advisors staff assist CJRF in the grantmaking due diligence process. In many cases, Arabella Advisors staff will work on behalf of the CJRF to coordinate grant agreements and any potential due diligence concerns with grant applicants.
Jeffrey Woolston, Arabella Advisors
Before joining Arabella Jeffrey worked at the nonpartisan Council for a Strong America, engaging business leaders to promote early childhood programs and helping win over $3 billion in state and federal funds for children and youth. These budget allocations have helped expand access to state-funded prekindergarten programs, home visiting services for new and expectant mothers, and career and technical education. Jeffrey has also worked at America’s Promise Alliance and the Pew Charitable Trusts. His varied experience has allowed him to work with foundations, corporations, and high-net-worth individuals, as well as a variety of 501(c)(3) organizations. Jeffrey holds a BBA in business economics from Grand Valley State University.
Jake Vojcek, Arabella Advisors
Prior to joining Arabella Jake worked in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Jake gained experience in donor and client management, community outreach, and strategic planning while serving as a campaign director with Environment America and the US PIRG coalition on various environmental and public health campaigns. Additionally, Jake interned with US Senator Debbie Stabenow, working on the foreign affairs, judiciary, civil rights, and defense portfolio. Jake graduated, with distinction, from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s of Arts in political science and Spanish.
CJRF Review Board
During the grantmaking process, CJRF staff present grant proposals to the CJRF Review Board, which accept or reject proposals on behalf of the CJRF. The CJRF Review Board recommends grant partnerships to the New Venture Fund on behalf of the CJRF. CJRF Review Board members bring years of dedicated philanthropic experience and expertise to the CJRF grantmaking process.
Sanjay Bavikatte, The Christensen Fund
Sanjay Kabir Bavikatte is a lawyer who completed his law degree at the National Law School, India. He acquired his masters in law at the University of Warwick, UK and earned his doctorate from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Sanjay has practiced as an international environmental and human rights lawyer for nearly two decades focusing on the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities to their territories and cultures. He was the co-founder of Natural Justice, an organization of environmental law practitioners providing legal assistance to stewards of biocultural diversity and advising governments in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Pacific. He has acted as the legal advisor to the African Group of countries through their negotiations towards the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing and within the Working Group on Article 8j of the Convention on Biological Diversity. He has also advised the various governments in Africa, Asia and the Pacific on developing environmental law and policy with a focus on community rights. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the United Nations University, Japan where his research dealt with healing intergenerational trauma amongst some Indigenous Peoples through the selective revival of specific myths and Nature-based rites of passage.
Sanjay has served on several boards and steering committees and has published extensively on biocultural rights. His recent book ‘Stewarding the Earth: Rethinking Property and the Emergence of Biocultural Rights,’ was published by Oxford University Press and has been widely commended.
Anne Henshaw, Oak Foundation
Anne Henshaw joined Oak Foundation in September 2007 as a marine conservation programme officer in the North Pacific and the Arctic with a primary focus on grant making in Alaska. She has a special interest in building capacity for indigenous community-based conservation, co-management and international governance.
Prior to joining Oak Foundation, Anne was a visiting Professor in the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Bowdoin College from 1996-2007, and director of Bowdoin’s Coastal Studies Center from 2000-2007. Anne holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University and a B.A., magma cum laude, from the University of New Hampshire in anthropology. The results of her work have been published in a variety of peer reviewed journals and international venues including the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment and the International Panel on Climate Change.
Dave Secord, Barnacle Strategies
Dave Secord is Principal of Barnacle Strategies, a consultancy that advises foundations, environmental and Indigenous NGOs, and research institutions. Recent clients include the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Edgerton Foundation, Donner Canadian Foundation, University of British Columbia, Native American Academy, Nature Conservancy, and the National Audubon Society. From 2010-2016 he was VP Strategic Grantmaking for Tides Canada Foundation, where he founded and led a team doing place-based philanthropy in several large Canadian geographies. Before that, he was Program Officer for Alaska and BC at the Seattle-based Wilburforce Foundation. Since 2007 he has been active in various funder affinity groups in land and marine conservation and Indigenous philanthropy, including co-founding and chairing the Arctic Funders Collaborative, serving on the board of the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network, and (as a consultant) managing the executive search for the next leader of the Biodiversity Funders Group. In 2014 he spearheaded and chaired the Canadian Science Integrity Project.
Before coming to the world of philanthropy, he was a professor and academic administrator for 12 years, where he guided research and educational initiatives and partnerships, and founded or directed two award-winning environmental programs at the University of Washington. He has been a Fellow of the International Canadian Studies Institute and the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, and completed the Rockwood Advanced Art of Leadership for Philanthropic Leaders. Recent board service has included Audubon Alaska, American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts and the Salt Spring Island Conservancy, the review board of the Climate Justice Resilience Fund, and advisory councils for the Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center and The Nature Conservancy’s Emerald Edge Program. He has traveled in 13 Canadian provinces and territories, 50 US states and all continents, and has seen live 38 plays attributed to Shakespeare. He has a PhD in Zoology (marine ecology) from the University of Washington and a BA in Ecology and Evolution from Pomona College, and has faculty appointments at Simon Fraser University and the University of Washington. He lives on Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada with his spouse and 18-year-old cat.