Staff and Board of Directors

Wesen Kifetew:  Program and Operations Coordinator

Wesen was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and came to the US in 1996, living first in Virginia. She has a BA in International Studies and Complex Emergencies from George Mason University and a graduate degree in Global Health from Emory University. She moved to Seattle in 2008. Most of Wesen’s experience has been in the field of global health, particularly in HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment. Her last position was as a Program Manager with the University of Washington, International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH). She was attracted to Pangea because of its grant-making process that begins with conceptual understanding of what communities most need; building and fostering relationships; and engaging communities in the decision-making and participation processes. She finds that way of working in stark contrast to what she saw often with organizations starting with their own agenda and imposing it on people in developing countries. Wesen volunteers with the African Immigrant Community and diaspora communities; serves as a member with Healthy King County Coaliton (HKCC) and is a board member with African American Reach and Teach. Wesen lives in Newcastle with her husband and daughter.

Board of Directors

President: Betsy Hale

Betsy has been a member of Pangea since 2012. She learned about Pangea during her six-year tenure as an iLeap Board Member. Two of Betsy’s core values are stewardship for the environment and cultural competency. She was first attracted to Pangea because of the thoughtful questions Pangea members continually ask related to international development as well as the opportunities to engage with grant partners over time. Betsy divides her time between local neighborhood development and international issues. Betsy has a thriving Air BnB business where she hosts guests from around the world. She is currently a member of the Latin America POD and is the Liaison for Flor y Canto, an inspiring water rights organization in Oaxaca which she visited in 2013, 2014, and 2016.

Vice President & Southeast Asia Pod Chair: Walt Adam

Walt joined Pangea in 2007 and has served on the Board since 2009. He has led five site visits to the region including Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Nepal. He has come to appreciate the daily challenges our partners face to create social change in low resource countries. Walt enjoys building relationships with our partners and is inspired by them to continually improve Pangea’s grantmaking model. Walt spent his professional career in the behavioral health field in both the non-profit and government sectors, developing rehabilitation, vocational, and housing programs for persons with serious mental illness and addictions.

Vice President and East Africa Pod Chair: Janet Pearson

JanetbiopicJanet became a member of Pangea in 2012. With extensive experience in grant writing and fund allocation, she quickly became involved in Pangea’s grant making process and is now serving as chair of the grants committee. Janet’s background in public administration and social work combined with her experiences traveling and meeting people in Asia and Latin America has sparked her passion for international development work. She is looking forward to connecting with Pangea’s partners in future site visits. Janet recently retired from  Director of Evaluation, at Wellspring Family Services in Seattle.

Treasurer: Mary Williamson

Mary hMaryWilliamsonas been a Pangea member for many years and joined Pangea’s Board of Directors in January of 2016. She is a founding member of Peregrine Law Group PLLC. She was previously a partner at Lee & Hayes PLLC and helped to found the Technology and Intellectual Property practice at Preston Gates & Ellis (now K&L Gates). Before attending law school she worked in international development with positions at the Overseas Development Council, World Bank, Multilateral Investment Guaranty Agency, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Secretary: Patricia McInturff

Patricia became a member of Pangea Giving in 2015 and joined the Board of Directors in January 2016. Career-wise, Patricia was with Public Health for 17 years managing HIV/AIDS, STD, & TB programs  as Director of Seattle’s Human Services Department. She has traveled extensively in Southern Africa including a trip in 2012 when she went to Zambia as a consultant evaluating HIV/AIDS programs. Patricia’s interest in Pangea was peaked by career and travels.


Fund Development Chair: Allan Paulson

Allan and his wife Jane are founding members of Pangea. He has served as President of the Board, and chair of Education and Grants Committees and chair of the Africa Pod at various times. He also was co-founder of the Global Donors Conference steering committee and has served on the Boards of the Community Alliance for Global Justice, Grantmakers Without Borders and Treehouse, in the past decade. An organization development consultant by profession, Allan has participated in 5 Pangea site visits to Nicaragua and East Africa.


Latin America Pod Chair: Patti Kilpatrick

Patti joined PanScreen Shot 2016-02-16 at 5.13.11 PMgea’s Board of Directors in January 2016 after being an active member of the Latin America pod for several years. Bilingual/ bi-cultural (English/Spanish), her life-long interest is Latin America. She joined Pangea Giving to directly help community leaders in Mexico and Guatemala achieve their goals to better lives in their communities. Patti has led teams in sales, marketing, and general management on the corporate and small business levels for various U.S., Canadian and Mexican aviation and tourism industry companies. Patti has traveled with Pangea to both regions in Latin America where we are currently making grants – Guatemala and Oaxaca, Mexico.

Communications Chair: Cheryl Houser

Cheryl has been a Pangea member since 2010 and on the Board of Directors as the communications lead since January 2012. She is also an active participant in the Africa pod and a liaison to Pangea grant partner, Dandelion Africa. She had powerful experiences on site visits to Kenya in 2015 and is looking forward to more in 2018. A seasoned world traveler, Cheryl is passionate about global development and learning about other cultures first hand. Her professional background is in communications, sales and marketing. Over the years she has also volunteered for various other non-profits with a global focus.

Board Member At Large: Jill Marsden

Jill joined Pangea in 2008 and has been a member of the Asia and Latin America Pod. She has been on site visits to Guatemala, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar. She also co-chairs the Asia Pod and joined the board in 2013. She has long been interested in international development and has traveled extensively. Jill is retired from a career in healthcare having worked for community agencies, public health and health insurance organizations.

Board Member at Large: Maryann Ness

Maryann has over 30 years of experience in financial management, including management of budget and accounting for a major regional utility, treasurer of a local suburban city, and chief of operations for a local mid-sized international non-profit. Maryann and her husband Bob were part of Pangea Giving’s founding team. Maryann says, ” I was happy to rejoin Pangea after a few years’ hiatus. Meeting with Pangea grantees in Africa in the summer of 2016 was a sheer delight, and inspired me to reconnect and support the great work done by Pangea and their grantees.”

Board Member at Large: Paul Silver

Paul joined Pangea in the spring of 2016 and jumped right in. He immediately became an active member of the SE Asia pod and was part of a Pangea site visit team that visited Myanmar in fall of 2016. For  40 years + he has been a corporate/business lawyer in Seattle, but throughout his career, he has had a strong interest in and has gotten great satisfaction from what lawyers call “pro bono” activities, including providing volunteer legal services to a number of non-profit organizations. Between college and law school he served as a Peace Corp volunteer in Thailand. That experience contributed to his ongoing interest in pro bono activities.