NAME: Debra White
TITLE: Grants Manager
PREVIOUSLY: Senior Grants Manager, Marin Community Foundation
GUIDING QUOTE/TAGLINE: To whom much is given, much is required.
CURRENTLY READING: The Baptist Heritage by H. Leon McBeth and Birthright by David Needham
FAVORITE MOMENT OF CALIFORNIA HISTORY: The Oakland parade for the 2018 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors
What was it about California Humanities that first appealed to you?
I truly love being a grants manager. I enjoy helping applicants and grantees navigate the system, I love the post-grant evaluation procedures, and most importantly, I was drawn to the mission and subsequently the stories and projects that California Humanities helps to support throughout the state. The location is also great; it is only three miles from where I live.
Coming from a larger foundation, is your approach to your work at a smaller nonprofit different?
My approach to work is the same: become acquainted with the people, processes, and systems then make myself useful.
Are there challenges or surprises you didn’t foresee?
I am amazed at how much gets done with only 11 staff members.
You have a background in chemical engineering, is there a connection or cross-section between disciplines that make up STEM and the humanities? How so?
No matter how scientifically or mathematically brilliant an engineer, mathematician, or scientist might be, if she cannot communicate her ideas such that others can comprehend and appreciate them, then no one will ever know of her brilliance.
At California Humanities, we strongly believe that the humanities are a relevant and meaningful way to connect us to each other. How do you see this coming across in our everyday lives?
Being present and authentic in interactions with others allows us to create the stories that lead us to understand each other and people around the world at deeper levels.
Tell us one thing that you would like people who don’t already know you, to know about you?
I am internationally known from my smile and my laugh and I love to do both.