Rebecca joined the ConnCAN team in 2010 to build and lead its fundraising shop, and moved to the 50CAN team in 2014 as the national networks’ Senior Vice President of development and training initiatives. Rebecca returned to ConnCAN in early 2018 to serve as Director of Growth.
Rebecca attended the University of California, Santa Barbara for her undergraduate studies, where she double majored in cultural anthropology and photography. In 2010 she earned her MBA in sustainable management with a focus on social justice from the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco.
A native Californian, Rebecca traded in palm trees for maple trees when she moved to Connecticut in 2009. She lives in a tiny village on the Connecticut River with her husband, two daughters and dog.
I aspire to be like Wangari Maathai. Here’s why:
Wangari Maathai was a Kikuyu woman born in colonial Kenya during the 1940s. She founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, which sought to combat deforestation, erosion and poverty by organizing rural Kenyan women to plant trees, which then provided soil binding, firewood and an income source. In the nearly 40 years since it was founded, the Green Belt Movement has trained tens of thousands of Kenyan women and has evolved into an advocacy organization that monitors environmental policy in Kenya. Dr. Maathai was the first East African woman to hold a doctorate and the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, and she was eventually elected to parliament with 98 percent of the vote. She was a staunch advocate for democracy, women’s rights, sustainable development and environmental conservation.
I am inspired by the way Dr. Maathai created projects and campaigns that sought to address all of these issues in a holistic way.
Why I love my job:
I love knowing that what I do on a daily basis gives advocacy leaders the resources they need to be powerful: funds, knowledge, training and support.
My connection to public schools:
For two years during and after college, I worked as an instructional aide at a public school in Santa Barbara, Calif. I was assigned to kindergarten and first grade classrooms, and I felt privileged and humbled (and slightly terrified) by the responsibility of guiding kids through their first year of public education. My oldest daughter will begin the same journey when she enters kindergarten this fall at our local public elementary school.
What I’m bad at:
Cartwheels, dancing, speaking French, multiplying and dividing numbers in my head and knowing the real lyrics to songs (which does not prevent me from singing along, mind you).
The image that represents why I work at ConnCAN:
This is a cohort of YouCAN Advocates on the day of their orientation. It has been the joy of my career thus far to identify, recruit, train, support and connect diverse advocacy leaders from across the nation.