Executive Leadership

 
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Valentin Lopez, President

Valentin Lopez has served as Chair of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band since 2003, and the President of the Amah Mutsun Land Trust since its inception.  Valentin is a Native American Advisor to the University of California, Office of the President on issues related to repatriation. He is also a Native American Advisor to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology. Valentin is actively involved in efforts to restore tribal indigenous knowledge and ensure our history is accurately told. 

 
 
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EkOngKar Singh Khalsa, Executive Director

As the first Executive Director of the Amah Mutsun Land Trust, EkOngKar brings more than 40 years experience facilitating the successful growth of small organizations. Previously, as Executive Director of the Mystic River Watershed Association, EkOngKar secured more than $6.5 million in public and private support and engaged more than 1,200 volunteers each year while rapidly expanding organization staff and capacity. Prior to this, as Director of Project Development at Hallmark Companies, EkOngKar managed real estate projects valued at more than $65 million. Using an open space, landscape preservation development model, EkOngKar and and the development team at Hallmark transformed real estate development practice and placed more than 10,000 acres of land into permanent conservation through land trusts in the greater Boston area. 

 

Board of Directors

Valentin Lopez, President. Chair of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band.

Kent Lightfoot, Ph.D., Vice President. Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Eleanor Castro. Tribal member of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and Tribal Elder for the Native Stewardship Corps.

Ed Ketchum. Tribal member, Tribal Historian and Vice Chair for the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band.

Bianca Vasquez. Tribal member and Tribal Youth Representative for the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band.

Veronica Martinez. Tribal member and direct descendant of Ascension Solorsano.

Abran Lopez. Tribal member and member of the AMLT Native Stewardship Corps.

Reed Holderman. Former Executive Director of Sempervirens Fund.

Jeff Pace. Director of Operations and Finance for the Christensen Fund.

Steve Abbors. Former General Manager of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.

Diane Talbert, Secretary. Real estate specialist, and Sempervirens Fund board member.

Marion Martinez, Treasurer. Tribal member, former Tribal Secretary, and direct descendant of Ascension Solorsano.

EkOngKar Singh Khalsa. (Ex-oficio) Executive Director of the Amah Mutsun Land Trust.

 

Staff

EkOngKar Singh Khalsa. Executive Director, ekhalsa@amahmutsun.org.

Sara French. Director of Programs and Development, sreid@amahmutsun.org.

Jay Scherf. Program Coordinator, jscherf@amahmutsun.org.

Research Associates

Rob Cuthrell, Ph.D. Director of Archaeological Resource Management for the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and post-doctoral scholar in Archaeology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Rick Flores, M.A. Traditional Resource Management Specialist and Steward of the Amah Mutsun Relearning Program, University of California, Santa Cruz Arboretum.

Sara French, M.S. Tribal Ethnobotanist for the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band.

Nicole Heller, Ph. D. Climate Adaptation Scientist, Terrestrial Biodiversity and Climate Change Collaborative, Pepperwood Foundation.