M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust


Making life better for individuals, families and communities across the Pacific Northwest is a distinctly human pursuit

Our talented executives, program managers and administrative staff work together to manage and implement Murdock Trust programs and activities every day. And we also rely on the valuable contributions of senior fellows, adjunct faculty and staff, visiting scholars and fellows, interns and advisors to help carry out our mission. We’re proud to introduce the entire Trust team to you.


John W. Castles
John was named Trustee on September 15, 1995, to succeed his late father, founding Trustee, Jim Castles. After careers in commercial banking, investment management and angel investing, John currently enjoys volunteering with several nonprofit organizations and coaching their leaders. He has served as a founder, director or officer of numerous emerging companies in the Pacific Northwest. His passions include his family – wife, Sarah, two grown sons and daughters-in-law plus three grandsons and one granddaughter – flying and tennis. He has been a pilot, an interest he credits to Jack Murdock, who took him flightseeing as a young boy.
Jeffrey T. Grubb
Jeff Grubb has been a Trustee at the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust since 2010. He retired from corporate life in 2017 after 35 years in financial services working for Progressive Insurance, U.S. Bank, U.S. Trust and Wells Fargo. He has also served on the advisory board of several private companies. In addition to his business career, Jeff has been active in nonprofits, currently serving as secretary of Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette. He is a former chairman for the Oregon Young Presidents Organization, Social Venture Partners Portland and the Portland Angel Network, and vice chairman for the Oregon Symphony. He has also served on boards of the Portland Art Museum, the World Affairs Council of Oregon, Junior Achievement, the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network, Vision Fund Rwanda, and the Palau Foundation for World Evangelism. Jeff is a graduate of Stanford University with a B.A. in economics and an MBA. Jeff and his wife, Sandy, enjoy spending time with their three adult sons, two daughters-in-law, three grandsons, and two granddaughters.
Jeffrey D. Pinneo
Jeff came to the Trust in 2016 following his retirement as president and CEO of Medical Teams International. Previous to Medical Teams International, Jeff served 29 years with Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, nine years as president and CEO of Horizon. In addition to his corporate and nonprofit leadership experience, Jeff has served on a number of boards and advisory committees, including Seattle Pacific University School of Business, Washington State University School of Business, Pacific Continental Bank, and the Seattle Hospitality Group.

Leadership Team

Romanita Hairston
Chief Executive Officer
As Chief Executive Officer, Romanita oversees all program activities of the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. An accomplished team builder, convener, and leader, Romanita draws on more than two decades of experience in the nonprofit (World Vision), for profit (Microsoft), philanthropic (Murdock Trust), and board service (Global Women, India Partners, Urban Alliance, Urban Impact, Impact Latin America) sectors to help steward the mission of the foundation. A graduate of the University of Washington, Romanita earned her MBA from Eastern University.
Elmer Huh
Chief Investment Officer
Elmer leads the investment team and works with the Trustees in managing the Trust’s investment portfolio. Previously Elmer held various financial advisory roles with EY, Barclays Capital, and Morgan Stanley. Elmer graduated with honors from Columbia University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, an M.S. in Industrial Engineering, and an M.B.A. in international finance. Elmer has served on the board of a number of nonprofits and other organizations focused on strategy, sustainability, and leadership development.
Mike True
Chief Financial Officer
Mike brings a rich understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities present for nonprofits in the Pacific Northwest. A Certified Public Accountant who previously served as the CFO for the Historic Trust of Fort Vancouver before assuming the role of President and CEO, Mike graduated from George Fox University with degrees in accounting and business administration. Prior to his time with the Historic Trust, Mike served on the accounting staff at Moss-Adams and has also served as a board member and chair with Leadership Clark County.
Pauline Fong
Chief Program & Impact Officer
As Chief Program & Impact Officer, Pauline oversees the grants and programming efforts of the Murdock Trust. She brings to this role a unique background of nonprofit and philanthropic experience, having joined the Trust in 2016 as a Program Director and having directed the Murdock Trust Women in Leadership Program since 2017, after over 20 years serving the nonprofit space working with young adults and leaders. Pauline is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley, holds a master of arts degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and a doctoral degree in Organizational Change and Leadership from the University of Southern California. She is a frequent speaker and trainer and has extensive experience working cross-culturally (both domestically and overseas).
Colby Reade
Vice President, Strategy & Communications
As Vice President of Strategy & Communications, Colby oversees all communications and events for the Murdock Trust, with added responsibilities in strategy, planning, business processes, and developing the Trust’s values framework. A Portland native, Colby began his career in communications in the early 2000s and brings to his work at the Murdock Trust a unique blend of expertise working with local, regional, and national brands in the consumer tech, enterprise, homebuilding, and healthcare spaces. Passionate about the nonprofit sector, Colby has supported a number of local and regional organizations as a consultant, volunteer, and board member through his career. Colby earned his degree from a University of Oregon Honors College and a Master’s in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Georgetown University. He is happily married to a woman far out of his league and father to a brilliant daughter.
Stefanie Narhi
Manager, Executive Office & Trustee Relations
Stefanie serves as the manager of the executive office and trustee relations. She joined the Trust in 2012 after working 17 years at a nonprofit in Portland, Oregon, where she gained extensive experience in nonprofit business administration, development, and event planning.

Arts, Culture, & Education Sector

Lorin Schmit Dunlop
Senior Director, Arts, Culture, & Education
As Senior Director for Arts, Culture, and Education, Lorin oversees the Trust’s grants and programming for nonprofits providing vital community services through performing and non-performing arts programs, museums, media, youth development, private K-12, informal education like zoos and aquariums, and more. Lorin came to the Trust with a diverse background in the arts, education, and criminal justice. She began her career in grants administration in Washington, D.C. before moving to Oregon. A graduate of the University of Nebraska, she studied art history and international affairs, and studied abroad at the University of Paris-Sorbonne. Lorin has been involved in the nonprofit community for 30 years and is a volunteer in her community and parish.
Michelle Boss Barba
Senior Program Officer, Arts, Culture, & Education
As Senior Program Officer for Arts, Culture, & Education, Michelle helps facilitate grants and programming for nonprofits providing vital community services through performing and non-performing arts programs, museums, media, youth development, private K-12, informal education like zoos and aquariums, and more. Michelle comes to the Trust with seven years of experience in philanthropic leadership at The Oregon Community Foundation, with the last five as Program Officer for Arts and Culture. Prior to this role, Michelle served as Founding Artistic Director of Ethos Music Center in Portland, OR, where she designed and implemented programming for rural and urban communities throughout the state. Michelle has taught ethnomusicology at Portland State University, and regularly presented on the arts as service and on creating equitable arts access for diverse communities. She has served on several non-profit boards and advisory councils in Oregon and received awards and recognitions for her community service. Michelle holds a B.A. in English and Music from the University of Portland and an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Washington, where she also completed coursework towards her Ph.D. Outside of her professional life she loves volunteering at her children’s school, playing music, and spending time with family.
Jason Lee
Associate Program Officer, Arts, Culture, & Education
As Associate Program Officer for Arts, Culture, & Education, Jason provides program and grants management support to nonprofits providing vital community services that inspire creativity, honors diverse cultures, advances innovative learning, and enables youth development. Jason joined the Trust in 2014 and has two decades of experience serving nonprofits domestically and overseas. He holds a bachelor’s degree in theatrical production from the University of California, Santa Cruz that led him to several professional theater companies in the Bay Area. His focus then expanded to strengthening system structures while serving as an educator at the Beijing Language & Culture University and as programs director for Firefly, a youth development organization for emerging youth leaders.

Civic Engagement & Community Services Sector

Rudy Carrasco
Senior Director, Civic Engagement & Community Services
As Senior Director for Civic Engagement and Community Services, Rudy oversees grants and programming for nonprofits that support community development, strengthen our democracy, serve through faith-based ministry, and help transform the lives of people with immigrant/refugee, unhoused, and low-income backgrounds. A graduate of Stanford University, Rudy held roles at Harambee Christian Family Center and Partners Worldwide prior to joining the Murdock Trust in 2018. A widely published author and frequent keynote speaker, Rudy has a natural gift for helping organizations identify the most efficient and productive use of their resources.
Jeremy White
Senior Program Officer, Civic Engagement & Community Services
As Senior Program Officer for Civic Engagement and Community Services, Jeremy supports grants and programming for nonprofits that support community development, strengthen our democracy, serve through faith-based ministry, and help transform the lives of people with immigrant/refugee, unhoused, and low-income backgrounds. He brings an extensive background helping create partnerships between community and faith-based organizations, corporate groups, and government agencies through community engagement, diversity and inclusion support, and thought leadership. A graduate of Princeton University, Jeremy began his career at The Brookings Institute and went on to hold roles with Prison Fellowship Ministries and Unique Learning Center as well as serving as Director of Outreach for the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives under George W. Bush. Prior to joining the Trust, he spent 14 years building the capacity of community organizations around the country as nonprofit management consultant and speaker.
Jennifer Groth
Senior Program Officer, Civic Engagement & Community Services
As Senior Program Officer for Civic Engagement & Community Services, Jennifer helps facilitate grants and programming for nonprofits that support community development, strengthen our democracy, serve through faith-based ministry, and help transform the lives of people with immigrant/refugee, unhoused, and low-income backgrounds. Jennifer comes to the Trust following a position as Director of Policy & Partnerships at Rural Development Initiatives, where she developed and led programs to increase resources to rural places and build skills in civic engagement and public policy advocacy. Jennifer’s past experience includes work with Coos County Airport District, Coos Bay Schools Community Foundation, City of Coos Bay, and Boys & Girls Club of Southwestern Oregon, and she served in board leadership for several nonprofits. She has an M.P.A. from the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs at Syracuse University and a B.A. from Kansas State University, and has won multiple awards for her civic and community service in Oregon.
John Franklin
Program Director, Civic Engagement & Community Services Sector
As Program Director for the Civic Engagement & Community Services sector of the Murdock Trust, John supports grantmaking and programming in the sector’s work around faith formation. He joined the Trust in October 2012, following 32 years on the staff of Young Life, his last four as Senior Vice President of the Western Division. John has been involved with numerous nonprofits in the Northwest and is a frequent speaker and consultant with organizations around the country. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon and earned his master’s degree at Fuller Theological Seminary.
Camrynne Six
Associate Program Officer, Civic Engagement & Community Services
As Associate Program Officer for Civic Engagement & Community Services, Camrynne provides sector analysis and grant processing support to nonprofits that support community development, strengthen our democracy, serve through faith-based ministry, and help transform the lives of people with immigrant/refugee, unhoused, and low-income backgrounds. Camrynne joined the Trust in 2022 after an extensive career overseeing operations in the educational space. A graduate of Northwest Nazarene University with a degree in business administration and finance, Camrynne most recently served as the Director of Operations at St. Stephen’s Academy.
Sarah Ruckle
Program Manager, Civic Engagement & Community Services
Sarah manages the Murdock Trust programs that fall within the Civic Engagement & Community Services sector. She began her career in the region as a Portland Fellow with the Trust in 2019 and went on to work in marketing and development at Medical Teams International. In 2021, Sarah was delighted to return to the Trust’s programming work to strengthen nonprofit fundraising and leadership at all levels. Sarah graduated from the University of Virginia with a double major in Religious Studies and Youth and Social Innovation and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Leadership and Culture from Portland Seminary.

Health & Environmental Stewardship Sector

Jill Lemke
Vice President, Grants Management & Training
As Vice President for Grants Management & Training, Jill oversees the grants management team and onboarding and training for all program officers. In addition, she leads the Health & Environmental Stewardship sector, overseeing grantmaking and programming for nonprofits promoting healthy people and lands, including clinics, hospitals, mental health support services, organizations improving quality of life for those with disabilities, and conservation efforts. Jill has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology and has done extensive graduate work in counseling psychology. Prior to her work at the Trust, she taught math and science at the college and high school levels.
Kim Newman
Senior Program Officer, Health & Environmental Stewardship
As Senior Program Officer for Health & Environmental Stewardship, Kim supports grantmaking and programming for nonprofits promoting healthy people and lands, including clinics, hospitals, mental health support services, organizations improving quality of life for those with disabilities, and conservation efforts. Since joining the Trust in 2018, Kim has led our Partners in Science Program, drawing on several years of prior experience in the program as a participant and coach. She brings a unique perspective on STEM education following several years molding young minds at both private and public institutions, most recently at Camas High School where she taught biology and technology. She also helped lead the “Camas Girls in STEM Conference.” A graduate of Stanford University where she played on the women’s basketball team, Kim went on to earn her Master’s degree from George Fox University.
Francesca Cruz
Associate Program Officer, Health & Environmental Stewardship
As Associate Program Officer for Health & Environmental Stewardship, Francesca provides administrative and grant processing support to nonprofits promoting healthy people and healthy lands, including clinics, hospitals, mental health support services, organizations improving quality of life for those with disabilities, and conservation efforts. Francesca joined the Trust in 2018 after graduating from Western Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology. She enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants, and throwing on the wheel at her home pottery studio.

Nonprofit Leadership & Development Sector

Kimberly Thornbury
Vice President, Nonprofit Leadership & Development
As Vice President of Nonprofit Leadership and Development, Kimberly oversees the Trust’s work to strengthen and build nonprofits, including programs for board governance, leadership, and fundraising. Before coming to the Trust in 2019, Kimberly spent over 20 years as Vice President for two private liberal arts colleges, most recently The King’s College in NYC. Her executive experience covers organizational capacity building, strategic planning, change theory, and developmental coaching. She received her Ph.D. in higher education administration and has been a widely published author, frequent speaker, and organizational consultant. She has served on both local and national boards and mentored dozens of young professionals who now serve in businesses and nonprofits across the country.
Elaine Charpentier Philippi
Senior Program Officer, Nonprofit Leadership & Development
As Senior Program Officer for Nonprofit Leadership & Development, Elaine helps facilitate grants for the Trust’s work investing in education, leadership, and development across the Pacific Northwest. Elaine came to the Trust following 12 years at In4All, an education nonprofit in Oregon that brings educators and business leaders together to engage students who are historically underserved, increasing interest and relevancy in key subjects. For the last seven of these 12 years, Elaine was Executive Director, overseeing the strategic growth and vision of the nonprofit, as well as managing board and committee leadership, partnerships and advocacy, fundraising, corporate and financial management, and more. Elaine has served on a number of boards and committees in Oregon and has her doctorate in educational leadership from Lewis & Clark College, a master’s in social work from Portland State University, and a bachelor’s in social work from Pacific University Oregon.
Hannah Pick
Program Manager, Nonprofit Leadership & Development
Hannah brings a decade of experience supporting the administration of academic and educational programs at higher education institutions, including University of Portland, George Fox University, and Taylor University. In her role at the Trust, Hannah manages the production of Nonprofit Leadership & Development programs to help build the capacity of nonprofit leaders through training in fundraising, board leadership, and more. An active volunteer, writer, speaker, and teacher, Hannah earned her degree at George Fox University before completing her Master’s at Taylor University.
Daisy Dominguez
Program Coordinator
In her role at the Trust, Daisy will coordinate logistics for Board Leadership & Development, Essentials of Development, Peer Cohorts, Murdock College Science Research Conference, Partners in Science, and a variety of other Trust programs and conferences. Daisy joined the Trust after serving as Program Coordinator at the NEA – New Mexico Center for Community Schools, where she managed multiple data streams and technical platforms for project reporting and success. (She may have had one of the hardest jobs of all being the lead kindergarten teacher during Covid, teaching in a hybrid setting.) She holds an MA in International & Multicultural Education with an emphasis on Human Rights Education from the University of San Francisco and a BA in Environment & the Humanities from Texas Tech University.

Scientific Research Sector

Moses Lee
Vice President, Scientific Research Grants & Programming
As Vice President for Scientific Research Grants & Programming, Dr. Lee leads the Trust’s work supporting the scientific community of the Pacific Northwest. This includes strategic grants, initiative grants, convenings, organizational representation in the scientific and academic community, and science-focused programming such as the Murdock College Science Research (MCSR) Program. Dr. Lee was the Rose J. Forgione professor of chemistry at Furman University for 16 years and Dean of Natural and Applied Sciences at Hope College for eight years. Dr. Lee maintains an adjunct professor appointment and an active research program at Georgia State University, where he develops potential treatments and vaccines for cancer, parasitic, and viral diseases. He has served in various capacities at the Trust, Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement, Petroleum Research Fund (PRF), National Science Foundation (NSF), and other scientific foundations. Dr. Lee holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Guelph in Canada, and he has published close to 200 scientific articles and two books, filed 11 patents, and given over 300 presentations.
Angela Little
Program Officer, Scientific Research
As Program Officer for Scientific Research, Angela performs grantmaking and programming activities in the Scientific Research sector, supporting projects in the natural sciences, engineering, and medicine. Angela has been connected to the Trust as a coach in our Partners in Science program since 2017, giving her familiarity with the Trust’s work and its impact on Pacific Northwest communities. She worked as a high school science teacher at Westside Christian High School from 2009 to 2023, with a one-year gap to teach science in Seoul, South Korea, and has also led educator workshops and trainings on the effective use of technology in the classroom and on using drawing as a communication tool. She holds a Bachelor’s in Biology and a Master’s in Science Education from Oregon State University. Her interests include hiking, road biking, photography, science and art museums, and being a mom to a creative and fun 3-year-old boy.

Grants Administration

Marybeth Stewart Goon
Senior Grants Manager
Marybeth is responsible for managing the grants database and associated processes, overseeing and coordinating final stages of proposal review, and developing and coordinating awards materials. She also provides special assistance in developing materials and implementing focused grants programs; managing and coordinating science panels and adjunct staff in review processes and program development; and working on special projects and institutional research. She is a longstanding Murdock staff member—since 1989—and is a Grants Managers Network member. Before moving to the Northwest, Marybeth earned a bachelor of music education degree from the Ohio State University. She has taught both privately and in public schools, and has performed in community orchestras and small woodwind ensembles.
Lisa Torres
Grants Reporting & Impact Manager
In her role, Lisa helps the Trust partner with grantees to understand the community impact of Trust investments and inform and improve our processes. Lisa joined the Trust following a career that included more than two decades supporting grantmaking work for multiple foundations in the Midwest. Lisa attended the University of Chicago and graduated from Northwestern University. She brings a robust understanding of grant management, assessment, and impact evaluation to the Trust.
Trinita Saldana
Administrative Assistant, Grants & Programs
As Administrative Assistant to Grants & Programs, Trinita provides support to the Chief Program & Impact Officer, the Vice President for Grants Management & Training, and sector leads through managing calendars, preparing written materials, assisting with special projects, and other related tasks. Prior to joining the Trust, Trinita worked in various administrative and secretarial roles in Vancouver, WA, and San Francisco, CA where she provided support to executive leadership and helped facilitate business processes and events. Trinita enjoys family time with her husband and two dogs, as well as kayaking and playing the drums.

Business & Operations

Michelle Charbonneau
Director of Technology & Information Management Services
As Director of Technology & Information Management Systems, Michelle leads the strategic use of technology at the Trust and ensures the effectiveness and efficiency of the IT system to ensure maximum productivity and impact. Previously, she served in a national technology leadership role at Friends of the Children, as well as IT and systems leadership roles at Fisher Investments and Portland State University. Michelle holds a B.S. from Portland State University and is a current active alum of Reed College. A Portland/Vancouver local, Michelle is grateful to serve on a team that contributes to the common good of the Pacific Northwest.
Megan Smith
Human Resources Manager
Megan brings a collaborative background in financial data analysis, business processes, data management and professional services to the Trust. Megan’s role includes grants administration, human resources and project management. Her competence has been shaped through her work in large and small scale businesses. Outside of her professional life, she enjoys giving to her community through delivering meals, volunteering in a wide capacity at her children’s school and enjoying a variety of outdoor adventures with her family and friends.
John Jokela
Accounting Manager
As Accounting Manager, John manages all accounting systems and processes, including cash flow oversight for operations, grantmaking, and investments; tax compliance; outreach with vendors, consultants, and grantees; and more. John joined the Trust with an extensive career in senior leadership and fiscal roles on business teams in nonprofit, faith-based, and government sectors, including elected office. He brings nearly a decade of experience overseeing the financial records of the Blandin Foundation as well as more than seven years of grant compliance work for the Department of Community Services with Clark County. He has been a Certified Public Accountant since 1992 and holds an M.B.A. in finance and risk management.
Eddie Sawyer
IT Systems Administrator
As IT Systems Administrator, Eddie provides internal management support for the centralized enterprise systems and technology critical to the Murdock Trust’s work and mission. Joining the Trust with over 30 years of experience, Eddie has served in technology roles ranging from support technician and technology educator, to systems administration and IT team leadership. Most recently, he worked as information technology manager for Camas School District and led innovative technology solutions for Vancouver Schools. He holds a bachelor’s of electronic communications and culture from Washington State University. A native of Vancouver, WA, Eddie enjoys exploring historical places, attending musicals, and finding new adventures in the Pacific Northwest with his three children. He is excited to see more of the local and regional impact of the Murdock Trust.
Danielle Neumann
Special Projects Support
As Special Projects Support for People & Culture and the organization as a whole, Danielle Neumann brings crucial leadership and professional HR background and training to projects that serve the Trust team. A graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in sociology, Danielle brings over 20 years of operations management and HR leadership. She enjoys baseball, cooking, spending time with her family outdoors, and reading.
Mikaela Tidland
Front Office Assistant
As Front Office Assistant, Mikaela is the first face visitors see when they arrive at the Trust. In addition to creating a welcoming environment for guests, Mikaela provides essential administrative and day-to-day support to Trust staff. Before coming to the Trust, Mikaela spent more than three years at Medical Teams International on their Marketing and Development team doing Gift Processing, giving her an understanding of nonprofit work that informs her role at the Trust. She is a graduate of George Fox University where she got her B.A. in International Studies and was involved in a study abroad program.
Sara O’Brien
Executive Assistant, External Relations for the Executive Office
As Executive Assistant, Sara supports external relations for the CEO, managing calendars, coordinating written responses, preparing agendas, and assisting with special projects. She joined the Trust after ten years of co-owning a small business where she led marketing, coordination, project management, finances, customer service, and more. Prior to that, she held administrative roles in the hospitality industry after attending the University of Oklahoma. In her free time, Sara enjoys spending time with her husband and two children exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.


Clare Maxwell
Investment Officer
Clare works directly alongside our chief investment officer to assist in managing the Trust portfolio. She is responsible for investment manager research, evaluation, analysis, and reporting. Prior to joining the Trust, Clare served as investment manager for a Forbes 400 family investment office. She holds a B.S. and M.B.A. from the University of Denver. Outside of the office, Clare enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, experimenting with new recipes, and tending to her ever-growing garden.
Shannon Hendricks
Investment Associate
Shannon plays an essential role in supporting our Investment team across a variety of areas, including research and data analytics. Shannon joined the Murdock Trust in the Fall of 2020 as an Oregon Fellow, supporting a variety of areas of our mission before focusing her efforts on our investment work. Shannon earned her degree and MBA at the University of Notre Dame where she was also a Division-1 soccer player.
Jenni Burkholder
Finance & Investments Office Manager
Jenni assists the Business, Investment, and Finance teams with a variety of administrative and day-to-day operations including key communications, scheduling, legal document preparation, and front desk management. Her professional background includes administrative and constituent-engagement roles with the Morgan Hill Unified School District, Visiting Angels, and Informix Software/IBM. A graduate of OSU, Jenni earned her Master’s at George Fox.

Events & External Relations

Sara Thompson
Events Manager
As Events Manager, Sara leads the strategic vision and execution of Murdock Trust events and convenings. Before coming to the Trust, Sara served as Director of Development for the Little League International Softball program for 13 years. In this role, she modernized and transformed the program, expanded national grassroots participation, grew global partnerships to more than 30 countries, and directed high-profile projects including three international tournaments. A graduate of Coastal Carolina University, Sara returns to the Pacific Northwest and is eager to apply her passion for strengthening communities through strategic vision to this new context.
Amy Winegardner
Events & Hospitality Coordinator
Amy helps lead all internal and external events for the Trust, including scheduling, logistics and hospitality. As many of you know, Amy is far from a new face around the Trust. She has more than sixteen years’ experience in event planning and coordinating in the private sector, including seven years as manager to one of our preferred caterers for seven years where she helped coordinate large events for the Trust, such as Founder’s Day. She enjoys volunteering at her children’s school whenever possible, spending time with her family, and hosting family gatherings.
Jenna Watson
Communications Associate
As Communications Associate, Jenna collaborates with her team to manage digital content strategy, video projects, and quarterly and annual reporting, in addition to partnering with vendors to support the Trust’s external and internal communications needs. She holds a degree in English Literature from Wheaton College, where she served on research teams for nonprofit organizations and workplace equity through a fellowship program, which encouraged her to pursue work in nonprofit communications. In her free time, Jenna enjoys reading, traveling, running, and exploring the Portland/Vancouver area as a new resident of the Pacific Northwest.
May LaFlamme
Digital Media Specialist
As Digital Media Specialist, May helps tell the story of the Murdock Trust and its grantees through digital strategy and content. A graduate of the University of Oregon with a B.A. in Advertising, she brings four years of experience in marketing and media planning as well as a passion for using digital media to tell meaningful stories.


Jay Barber
Senior Fellow
President emeritus of Warner Pacific College, Jay has joined the Murdock Trust as senior fellow, working with capacity building enrichment initiatives. In this role, Dr. Barber assists in the Essentials of Development seminar, a program that serves to help small organizations develop their fundraising programs and structures. Prior to serving as Warner Pacific’s president, Dr. Barber was vice president of development for Oregon Health and Science University. He has consulted with many nonprofit organizations throughout the Northwest and is a highly respected leader and educator. “Dr. Barber is well known in the Northwest, having served in leadership roles in several outstanding organizations. Numerous leaders have been influenced by his example and his teachings. We are truly fortunate to bring his expertise and experience to serve the nonprofit community of the Northwest,” said Steve Moore, executive director of the Murdock Trust.
Steve Garber
Senior Fellow
Steven Garber is a teacher of many people in many places, serving for many years as the Senior Fellow for Vocation and the Common Good for the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. The author of several books, including Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good, his most recent is The Seamless Life: A Tapestry of Love and Learning, Worship and Work. One of the founders of the Wedgwood Circle, he continues to serve as a consultant to colleges and corporations, facilitating both individual and institutional vocation. A husband, a father and a grandfather, he has long lived in Virginia, near Washington DC, living a life among family, friends, and flowers.
Lawrence Ho
Senior Fellow
After completing graduate work at the London School of Economics and teaching law in Beijing, China, Lawrence returned to the Pacific Northwest where his legal practice focuses on strategic philanthropy in corporate and family foundations. He sits on several family foundation boards in North America and Southeast Asia. Lawrence has a keen interest in cross-cultural leadership and development, and has an extensive background in intersection of humanitarian, social justice, and the faith-arts. Lawrence has been privileged to be part of China’s charitable law development and also has a heart for countries such as North Korea and Myanmar. Lawrence has passion for next generation leadership and the challenge for organizational change as nonprofits adapt to survive and thrive. Lawrence and his wife, Dr. Angela Lee, started one of Western Canada’s largest medical clinics based in Vancouver, B.C.
Ron King
Senior Fellow
Ron is a senior fellow at the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust and has extensive experience in both the business and nonprofit sectors. For twenty years he led Western Family Foods as its CEO. As well, he has held a number of leadership positions on nonprofit boards. King graduated from Washington State University and the Stanford Executive Program. He and his wife, Pam, reside in Cedar Mill and have two adult daughters.
Norm Smith
Senior Fellow
Norm is president emeritus of The Ford Family Foundation (Roseburg, Oregon), which he joined in 1997 as its first CEO; and he is a senior fellow at the Trust. His careers include 13 years as an executive with AT&T (Law and Government Affairs) in Portland, Denver, and San Francisco; 11 years of law practice in Portland and Washington, D.C.; and three terms as a member of the Oregon House of Representatives. He is a member of the Oregon and Colorado Bar. Norm is a fourth generation Oregonian and a graduate of Northwestern University in Illinois and Willamette University College of Law in Salem. He is the past chair of the Oregon Arts Commission and the Oregon Cultural Trust, and is currently a charter member of the board of the Oregon State Capitol Foundation (past chair) and the Vice Chair of the San Juan Island Community Foundation. Norm and his wife, Kathy, reside in Roseburg, Oregon, and have one son, Spencer. The Smiths enjoy fall boating in the San Juan and Canadian Gulf Islands, winter respite in Rancho Mirage, California, car touring and world cruising together.
Kent Thornburg
Senior Fellow
Among his many appointments at Oregon Health & Science University, Dr. Thornburg is a professor of medicine and the director of the Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness and Interim Director of the Knight Cardiovascular Institute. He holds the M. Lowell Edwards Chair in the Department of Medicine. He currently leads a team of research scientists who are studying how a mother influences the development of the fetal heart. Dr. Thornburg also serves at the Murdock Trust as an advisory member on panels and roundtables, and as an advisory review expert. As senior fellow, he advises the Trust on science-related projects with particular attention to promoting health in the Pacific Northwest.
John Van Zytveld
Senior Fellow
John came to the Trust in January 1996 as senior program director. He provided advice on the grants program to the program directors and the executive director, and personally handled proposals involving scientific and medical research. John has a Ph.D. in Physics, and prior to coming to the Trust, he spent 28 years as professor of Physics at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dr. Van Zytveld was recently awarded the Summer Undergraduate Fellowship Endowment in partnership with Calvin College to honor his many years of service as the senior program director of the Murdock Trust. He lives in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, Carol. They have three grown children.
Deborah Wilds
Senior Fellow
Prior to retirement, Dr. Wilds served as the president and chief operating officer of the College Success Foundation (CSF). CSF’s mission is to inspire underserved, low-income students to finish high school and to provide them with the supports and scholarships they need to graduate college and succeed in life. Dr. Wilds also worked as a senior program officer for education at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she led efforts for the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, Gates Cambridge Scholars, and Washington State Achievers Program. She also oversaw the early college initiative creating 250 new early college high schools across the country. Dr. Wilds has a Ph.D. in education policy, planning, and administration from the University of Maryland at College Park; an M.S. degree from Howard University; and a B.S. degree from California State University, San Diego.
Jerry Calhoun
Senior Fellow
Jerry built a career spanning more than three decades in the Human Resources sector, serving in roles for Boeing, Bristol-Myers and the Ronald Reagan Presidential administration. In addition to his work in the HR field, Jerry has also held teaching positions with the University of Washington Business School. A graduate of Seattle University, Jerry earned his MBA at UW. In addition to representing the Trust at events, conferences and convenings, Jerry will bring his unique background and expertise in corporate philanthropy to help the Trust better facilitate partnerships and programs with organizations in the business community.
Katherine Gottlieb
Senior Fellow
Katherine served Southcentral Foundation as President and CEO for more than 30 years. She is faculty of the Harvard Medical School since 2015, she has won several awards such as the 2015 Harry S, Hertz Leadership Award presented by the Foundation for Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, she is a 2004 MacArthur Genius fellow, she has two honorary doctorates one from Alaska Pacific University and one from the University of Alaska. She owns Katherine Gottlieb Strategies, LLC, working with global and local leaders in redesign, mentorship, and improvements of healthcare and cultural approaches. As a Senior Fellow, Katherine will provide valuable support to the Trust in our convening work as well as critical insight into the current needs of Native communities, communities in Alaska and the healthcare sector and how we can continue to offer meaningful support.
Katie Wise
Graduate Fellow
Katie brings a uniquely valuable professional background to the Trust. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling after building a successful career in corporate training and leadership, most recently serving as Director of Operations for Community Leadership and Development Inc. in Billings, Montana. A graduate of the University of North Texas, Katie will bring her organizational leadership skills and familiarity with the needs of nonprofits in the Pacific Northwest to help support our Enrichment team across a variety of programs.
Christopher Caudle
Graduate Fellow
Christopher is a recent graduate of Life Pacific University, graduating with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration on marketing. Starting this Fall, he will be pursuing a Master of Divinity degree at Portland Seminary – George Fox University, with a biblical studies concentration. This summer he will also be a licensed pastor through the Foursquare denomination, having been a recommended pastor as of last Spring. He has worked groundskeeping for two years and was a part of the student leadership team at LPU having organized/led bible studies for students and several kinds of ministry events for the school.
Bart Hadder
Adjunct Program Advisor
Bart Hadder is in the third-third season of life after retiring as a program director for the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust where he served for many years. He currently serves as a consultant, offering counsel and guidance to the Trust and grantees in the Idaho region with a specific emphasis on youth organizations such as camps and schools. Prior to joining the Trust, Bart had a 28-year career as a science educator, teaching at the middle school, junior high and high school levels eventually becoming the district science coordinator at a large urban school district in Oregon. Bart has a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in biology education from Portland State University. He and his wife, Jackie, recently moved to Boise, ID to be near their two adult children (and mostly to be near their two young grandchildren).

Emeritus Leadership

Steven G.W. Moore
CEO Emeritus
Steve serves the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust as the CEO Emeritus following 16 years of exemplary service to the foundation. An alumnus of McMurry University, Asbury Theological Seminary, St. Andrews University in Scotland, and the University of Michigan, Steve did post-grad work at Hebrew University and Harvard University and served as a visiting scholar at Oxford University. He is a widely published author and speaker and has served in a number of leadership and board roles in community, educational, and professional organizations. Dr. Moore recently received an Honorary Doctorate in Public Service from the University of Portland. He now serves as a philanthropic advisor to foundations, families, and organizations and consults with boards and leadership teams on strategy and effective governance. Steve and his wife Thanne, a professional speech pathologist, have five children and four grandchildren. Their fun-loving yellow lab also helps keep the Moore’s home in Portland an active place to be.
Lynwood W Swanson Ph.D.
Trustee Emeritus
Lyn was named to the Board on August 25, 1987, to succeed founding Trustee Paul Boley. He has a wide background in research and in academic teaching and administration. From 1968-1973 he was academic dean at Linfield College. From 1973-1987 he was associate professor, then professor, of applied physics at Oregon Graduate Institute of Science & Technology in Beaverton, Oregon. From 1987-2002 he was CEO and chairman of FEI Company in Hillsboro, OR, which he founded in 1971. Lyn is the recipient of many honors, including the Howard Vollum award; the Outstanding Scientific Contribution Award as Scientist of the Year; and the NASA New Technology Award. He holds 12 patents and has written extensively on technical subjects. Dr. Swanson received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from University of California/Davis in 1959 and his B.Sc. in physics and chemistry from University of the Pacific in 1956.
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