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New Disaster Czar Takes the Helm at NCG

Monday, October 17, 2016

Northern California Grantmakers is pleased to announce the appointment of Andrea Zussman as the Manager of Regional Vibrancy and Sustainability. Andrea will take the lead in setting forth a framework for disaster preparedness and response around resiliency—our ability to recover from disasters and bounce back even stronger in all dimensions – social, economic, political, environmental, and physical —for the NCG community.  

In our disaster-prone region we know that much of what we love can be threatened in an instant. Disasters can stress the fabric of neighborhoods and the viability of nonprofits; displace communities; destroy housing, infrastructure and livelihoods; and exacerbate inequity. Resilient and engaged communities and nonprofits, responsive and inclusive systems, advance planning, and effective and coordinated action can mitigate a disaster’s impact and support an equitable recovery – and we know from disasters in other regions that philanthropy can play an important role in all of these areas.

Andrea will set forth three ways to help NCG’s community step up together and well in the event of a disaster:

  • Foundations’ role in the community.  Strengthen the resilience of communities, nonprofits, and response and recovery systems and be effective after disaster;
  • Foundations’ own recovery. Create your institutional plans to support local disaster relief and recovery activities, as well as the recovery of your own organization; and
  • Foundations’ coordinated response. Collaborate and coordinate in the region after a major disaster.

Andrea is an accomplished innovator, dedicated leader and skillful problem-solver.  She comes to NCG with more than 25 years in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors.  Most recently, Andrea worked for nine years as the Disaster Resilience Officer for The San Francisco Foundation where she developed and implemented TSFF’s multi-faceted disaster resilience portfolio. Andrea has also developed disaster preparedness education programs, integrated social justice and peacebuilding into international relief and development programs, supported emergency humanitarian programs around the world, and directed a local chapter of an international professional association.

Learn more about Andrea's history with disaster preparedness.