Seva Foundation Announces New Executive Director
Mark Lancaster joins Seva after serving as Chair on the Board of Heifer International
Berkeley - Seva Foundation, a donor-supported international development NGO working to build solutions to poverty and disease, has appointed Mark Lancaster as its new Executive Director. Mr. Lancaster brings a wealth of international experience, serving most recently at the Presbyterian Hunger Program, which distributes grants to 30 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. He also served on the board of Heifer International for over 15 years, including two terms as Chair, and was instrumental in guiding the organization to achieve dramatic revenue growth and extend its services to more than seven million people in 125 countries.
"I am truly honored to join the Seva Foundation team," says Lancaster. "Seva has a well-earned reputation for creating innovative, sustainable programs that benefit some of the world's most vulnerable populations. But the need for these programs is enormous, so we want to do even more. I'll be working to expand Seva's community of supporters so we can scale-up our investment in new projects around the world."
Seva Foundation was formed in 1978 by an eclectic group led by Dr. Larry Brilliant, a TED Prize winner and currently Executive Director of Google.org. Operating in nine countries in addition to the United States, Seva provides financial resources and technical expertise to community-based partners carrying out projects dealing with health and wellness, community development, environmental protection and cultural preservation. Widely known for its sight-restoring eye care programs, Seva also works with indigenous communities in Guatemala and Mexico, along with Native American communities here in the U.S.
Dr. T. Stephen Jones, Chair of Seva's Board of Directors and formerly with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says the search for a new Executive Director was an exhaustive, year-long process. "We wanted to find the best possible candidate, someone who is a natural leader and equally adept at organizational development, fundraising and strategic planning," Jones says. "I'm delighted to say we found that in Mark. With his professional expertise and his experience with Heifer, Mark is uniquely qualified to lead Seva's efforts to grow."
Former Congresswoman Eva Clayton (D-NC) worked with Lancaster on several projects, including Joining Hands Against Hunger. "Mark was a trusted colleague in antipoverty work, always looking to address the root causes," Clayton says. "He understands that true solutions need to include the people being served, and he was effective at building genuine partnerships with organizations in developing countries. I think he's a great fit for Seva."
Lancaster's varied career includes several years as the Middle Atlantic Regional Director for the American Friends Service Committee office in Baltimore. He has also consulted on projects in more than 15 countries, including working withHabitat for Humanity in Eastern Europe on board development, with Interaction in West Africa on gender equity concerns, and with Interchurch Medical Assistance as it reorganized its international work.
Seva Foundation, which will be celebrating its 30-year anniversary next year, recently received a Critical Impact Award from The Council on Foundations, a Washington, DC-based association of more than 2,000 grantmaking foundations.
"With all of our past successes, Seva has a great story to tell," says Lancaster. "But we have our eye on the future. We're using the lessons learned over 30 years to increase our capacity to effect lasting change in communities throughout the world."
For more information about Seva Foundation, please visit: www.seva.org
For higher quality photos of Mark Lancaster, click here: Mark Lancaster photos.
1786 Fifth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
Phone: 510-845-7382 Fax: 510-845-7410 www.seva.org
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