2 new directors, 2 new stars in our constellation
Thousand Currents is proud to announce the appointment of two new leaders within the organization: Katherine Zavala will become the new Director of Grassroots Partnerships, leading both the Programs and Communications Teams, and Gaithiri Siva has been hired as the Director of the Buen Vivir Fund. Both take on these new positions following a rigorous search process, where they rose to the top of pools of very skilled people also committed to transforming philanthropy and finance respectively, which included external candidates.
With her long history with IDEX, and then Thousand Currents, Katherine Zavala’s acceptance of the new position contains the continuity 13 years can offer, but also a bold vision for the future of Thousand Currents. Katherine has worked alongside AFEDES, an indigenous women-led organization in Guatemala (and a long-time Thousand Currents partner) for five months; and recently spent six weeks learning from the Movement of People Affected by Dams, a national social movement in Brazil and new Thousand Currents partner.
Zavala says that going forward, relationship building will continue to be the keystone of her new position, which is part of Thousand Currents’ Senior Management Team. She shares that Thousand Currents grantees are her most important teachers and will continue to be so as the Director of Grassroots Partnerships:
Our partners have taught me about the principles and practices of Buen Vivir, the discipline and long term strategy of social movements, the resilience and need of ancestral knowledge and the wisdom of Mother Earth, the importance of investing in human development, the power of community building, organizing, and working collectively…the teachings are endless.
“From my team at Thousand Currents, I have also learned about the strength of diversity, the value of the struggle for growth, the role of vulnerability in transformation and innovation, and the responsibility of trust.
Zavala will lead Thousand Currents into a new era of building ever more equitable and powerful partnerships with visionary leaders, organizations, and movements around the world.
Gaithiri Siva is our new Buen Vivir Fund Director and is excited to build on the ground of the economic practices of our Buen Vivir Fund members to pioneer a transformative approach to finance and impact investing. Gaithiri joined Thousand Currents as a Buen Vivir Finance Fellow last year, and brings with her over 15 years of progressive leadership experience in investments, management consulting, risk advisory, and operations. She played a key role in the North America expansion and diversification of a $40B Malaysian strategic investment fund into the technology sector, where she partnered with teams across North America and Asia to conduct due diligence and close multi-million dollar investments. Of her transition, Siva shares:
Since joining Thousand Currents, I have been privileged to work alongside folks who don’t shy away from experimenting with deep transformation work. One such experiment is the Buen Vivir Fund, a radically new approach to impact investing – one that uplifts financial models and practices that support communities’ holistic wellbeing, rather than solely maximizing individuals’ capital accumulation.
“I am interested in the deep healing that can happen when money is used to improve our quality of life, protect those we love, protect Mother Earth, and where we as a human race are able to collectively find dignity, respect ,and well-being.
We welcome and revel in Katherine and Gaithiri taking up these new positions and look forward to ever-more strategic and grounded work together in support of our partners’ visionary work.
Executive Director, Thousand Currents