California Disaster Philanthropy Briefing: From Episodic Relief to Transformative Resilience
Abby Browning is the Chief of the Office of Private Sector/ Non-Governmental Organization Coordination at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Abby is responsible for developing and maintaining CalOES’s relationships with business, associations, companies, and universities, as well as nonprofit, nongovernmental and philanthropic organizations. Prior to joining CalOES, Abby was the Special Advisor for International Trade in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. She was an essential member of the Brown Administration’s international team, working on trade missions to China and Mexico, as well as fostering countless other international business connections for California.
Abby has also worked with the California Chamber of Commerce in the International Affairs and Corporate Relations departments, as well as the California Seismic Safety Commission. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from West Virginia University and she earned an M.A. from the School of Government at California State University, Sacramento.
Bryna has held leadership roles in government, non-profit, and private sector organizations dedicated to civic, social, cultural, and environmental progress. She is currently CEO of the Humboldt Area Foundation and Wild Rivers Community Foundation, leading a major transformation for the organization to support visionary and generational change in the region.
In her prior role as Co-Founder and SVP for 100 Resilient Cities by the Rockefeller Foundation Bryna led the creation of the world’s first urban resilience practices, its global network, and formation of governmental partnerships to enable cities to adapt to 21st century challenges. Prior to that, she was the (Acting) Director of Philanthropic Research and Initiatives for the Office of International and Philanthropic Innovation (IPI) at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), where she led strategies to spur philanthropic partnerships and promote policy innovation.
Bryna is currently Chair of the League of California Community Foundation’s Committee for Disaster Response and is an active member in many philanthropic networks supporting racial equity and justice. She holds a Bachelor of Design in Architecture from the University of Sydney and a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Her professional fellowships include the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and the prestigious Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University.
Laura Seaman, Chief Executive Officer, League of California Community Foundations. Laura is CEO of the League of California Community Foundations, a statewide coalition of 32 community. foundations serving over 95% of California's population. She joined the League in. 2020 after serving as Associate Director of the Digital Civil Society Lab at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society. She is a proud Californian and is grateful for the opportunity to serve The Golden State's network of community foundations.