Christine Tebben was appointed the new executive director of Grantmakers fo Education (GFE) in June 2008. Tebben succeeds Bill Porter, who stepped down after serving for seven years as the executive director of the organization.
Based in Portland, Oregon, GFE is a national network of over 250 individual donors, corporate giving programs, and foundations. GFE works to assist its members in making effective investments in education by hosting workshops and programs, providing information on best practices, convening member-driven study groups, and creating opportunities for networking among education-oriented grantmakers.
Tebben joined GFE in 2002 as program director for its annual conference and programs, and helped lead a number of early communication initiatives. In 2005, she was promoted to deputy director, where she took on a number of strategic initiatives for the organization. In both roles, she worked closely with Porter.
In 2005, GFE released Principles for Effective Education Grantmaking, with the goal of starting a national conversation on grantmaking strategy. Tebben says she wants to develop and release a revised edition, Principles 2.0, to further spread expertise regarding effective grantmaking.
“We are trying to embed the principles for effective grantmaking in everything we do,” Tebben says. “I am really excited about updating and expanding them to help more grantmakers see how they apply to their work.”
“We have started a dialogue in the field and there has been a lot of back and forth that has provided a great deal of value,” she says. “We want to build on the sense of urgency among funders who want to collaborate with one another. They are our greatest opportunity. There is a growing sense among donors that they need to align their objectives and I want to capitalize and expand on that sense.”
To that end, Tebben hopes to introduce new methods to members to help them affect public policy in a more widespread, effective, and lasting way. She is also interested in supporting issue-based funder networks, mapping investment patterns, and working with place-based networks to help strengthen connections between members and foster partnerships among local and national funders.
“On a strategic level, we face the challenge of providing real value to our members,” Tebben says. “On a more immediate level, however, GFE has expanded the depth and scope of its work in recent years and needs to develop a staffing model that can support and sustain this work—that will be one of my top priorities.”
Tebben earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University (Phi Beta Kappa), and received a master’s degree in public policy from the University of California at Berkeley.
Kaitlyn Buss joined The Philanthropy Roundtable in August 2008 as the new managing editor of Philanthropy.
Buss previously served as the arts editor of the Collegian, Hillsdale College’s student newspaper. She was selected to interview Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for an issue of Imprimis, another publication of Hillsdale College. Her writing has also appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, The Oakland Press, and at StartupNation.com.
Buss has interned for Michigan’s Senate majority leader Michael Bishop and volunteered for several other political campaigns in the Wolverine State. She has additionally interned for New Nutrition Business and Kids Nutrition Report, international nutrition and business journals based in New Zealand.
Buss graduated cum laude from Hillsdale College in May 2008 with a B.A. in political science and music. She is also a graduate of the Herbert H. Dow Journalism Program.