Ken Wilson

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Ken Wilson has served as Executive Director of the Christensen Fund since August 2002. "Born in Malawi with a life spread rather across the world, Dr. Wilson studied zoology at the University of Oxford and anthropology at University College London where his doctorate focused on indigenous knowledge, health and human ecology in the agro-pastoral arid savannahs and woodlands of Southern Zimbabwe. During those years as an ethno-biologist he was particularly interested in linking participatory research on ecological histories with community-based landscape management. He then took a Research Officer position at the University of Oxford in the Refugee Studies Programme. During four years of field studies of war, famine, persecution and refugee movements he became increasingly interested in history, in traditionalist socio-cultural movements and resilience. Then followed nine years with the Ford Foundation. During seven years as Program Officer for Mozambique in their Office for Eastern and Southern Africa he focused on supporting Mozambican efforts to strengthen their higher education system, secure their artistic and cultural heritage, and launch environment and development efforts rooted in indigenous culture and participatory management (including ecotourism). Subsequently he came to New York as the deputy to the Vice President of the Education, Media, Arts and Culture Program, supporting Ford’s effort worldwide to become a “learning organization”. During his term in New York he gave particular attention to such issues as threats to indigenous languages and sacred landscapes in the USA and worldwide, strategies for educational reform, the implications of new media technologies, and the links between contemporary and traditional artistic and cultural expression. Dr. Wilson has personal interests in wilderness, photography, poetry and music; has published widely academically; and been involved in the production of several films. He currently serves as Vice President of International Funders for Indigenous Peoples, on the Boards of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and the Seva Foundation in Berkeley, and as a member of the College Eight Provost's Council at the University of California at Santa Cruz. He is also active in a number of grantmaking associations, including the Environmental Grantmakers Association, The Consultative Group on Biological Diversity, Grantmakers in the Arts, and the Northern California Grantmakers Association." [1]

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  1. About, Christensen Fund, accessed December 1, 2008.