About Us

IMG_4990_2Ann Shulman, Executive Director
Ann Shulman has over twenty years of experience working with foundations and non-profits to diagnose challenge areas and help build organizational capacity to address them. Ann uses her expertise in facilitation, conflict resolution, leadership skills training and intra-organizational communications and decision-making to help organizations manage internal operational issues — from designing high-impact grant-making programs, to planning and facilitating high stakes meetings and retreats, to resolving governance issues on boards of directors.

Ann’s focus is on environmental programs, as well as foundations and NGO’s working in the fields of education, health and human well being, reproductive rights, criminal justice reform and women’s philanthropy. She is passionate about using the power of effective communication to transform human systems to do their good work even better.

Ann has extensive experience in leadership curriculum design and delivery, having trained the leadership and staff of organizations ranging from Fortune 100 and 500 companies to top-ten foundations to academic institutions to small family foundations and local community groups. She also serves as a professional executive coach, mediator, facilitator and trainer. Ann brings an international perspective, having worked in over a dozen countries.

She is the former President of the Northern California Mediation Association, is a past Executive Director of the Greater Good Science Center at U.C. Berkeley and is on its Board, is the Vice Chair of the West Marin Fund Board of Directors, is on the Board of Directors of the Blue Sky Funders Forum, and is the Program Director of the Lampert Byrd Foundation’s Environmental Stewardship Fund.

Ann earned her B.S. in Psychology from Duke University, her J.D. from U.C. Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law, and her LL.M. in International Law from the European University Institute. She is an adjunct faculty member of the Hastings College of Law in San Francisco where she teaches courses on facilitation.



Steve Colwell, CEO


Steve Colwell has over twenty-five years experience as a philanthropic and nonprofit leader, advocate and advisor.  As a foundation executive and grant maker he has been directly responsible for distributing more than $500 million in philanthropic gifts and grants. He has also designed grant making programs and served as the initial program staff for major private foundations such as the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Throughout his career, he has designed and implemented programs to address challenging social, political, economic and environmental issues including: national and international climate change policy; the transition from a dirty energy to clean energy economy; using strategic communications to build political will and public support; promoting ocean health and fisheries management; coral reef conservation; local community inclusion and development; building coalitions among funders and nonprofits; and supporting organizational capacity building.

Steve has also had the privilege of advising individual philanthropists, couples and families on how to have the greatest impact with their charitable giving, whether they are using private foundations, donor advised funds or trusts to pursue their charitable goals.

As a “serial social entrepreneur,” Steve helped create and served as the founding Executive Director of the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL), the Ocean Foundation and the Sea Change Foundation, and launched global initiatives including “Dive Into Earth Day” and the “International Year of the Reef” in 1997.  As a consultant to nonprofits, he has helped numerous social and environmental organizations in more than a dozen countries design, implement and evaluate their programs and improve organizational effectiveness. He has also served as a Board member and volunteer for a number of nonprofits.

Steve’s dedication, vision and ingenuity have been recognized with awards and fellowships, including a Gerbode Foundation Fellowship, a Stanford University Sloan Fellowship for Non-Profit Management, a Presidio Institute Fellowship and the Robert Rodale Environment Award. In addition, he was profiled in the PBS show “The Visionaries” that honors innovative nonprofit leaders.

Steve has a Master’s degree in Management from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, a law degree from U.C. Berkeley, a Master’s in Education from The George Washington University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University where he graduated as a Woodrow Wilson Scholar.


Tina Valentine, Associate

Tina Valentine brings to Philanthropy Associates twenty-five years experience in special events planning, production and management in both corporate and non-profit settings. Her work has encompassed fundraising galas, award ceremonies, travel destination management, hospitality services, community open houses, trade shows and conferences.

Tina understands that each client’s needs are unique, and she is committed to creating successful, enjoyable and productive events for both client and attendees. Her particular skills lie in stage/program management; program flow and script development; and coordinating with presenters, entertainment, and audio-visual vendors to ensure a smooth-running, dynamic program.