About Us

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Who We Are

We are a private foundation headquartered in Portland, Oregon, working to improve food security, family health, financial wellbeing, and education in communities around the world. We make grants to non-profit organizations and directly manage programs from our field offices in Ecuador, Ghana, and Kenya.

Our Mission

Our mission is to support rural communities in under-served regions to achieve self-sufficiency and have opportunities to thrive.

Values

Empowerment

We believe in the power of the local community to decide their own future.

Integrity

We believe in trust, respect, transparency, and accountability in relationships.

Sustainability

We believe in initiatives that lead to long-lasting impact and foster self-reliance for families in rural communities.

Dignity

We believe everyone has the right to a healthy, productive, and dignified life.

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Founding Story

After 22 years as co-founder and CEO of Deltek, Ken deLaski stepped down from the company in 2005 and turned his attention to philanthropy and international development. He was interested in different approaches to helping communities in poverty and traveled to several developing countries to see various ideas in action. There were a number of NGOs on the ground carrying out life-saving, urgent work, however Ken recalled, “much of it seemed like a band aid in providing humanitarian relief, helping the sick, and feeding the poor. This type of aid serves a very important purpose but I realized that our work should start from the bottom up to focus on projects and solutions that foster stronger, more vibrant communities—in turn helping families to have healthier, more productive lives.”

Ken chose to commit himself and his entrepreneurial spirit to supporting villages like the ones he visited in Haiti, and he founded Vibrant Village Foundation in 2010 to provide long-term support to communities facing extreme poverty. Since its inception, Vibrant Village Foundation has directly invested over $20 million, both through grants to non-profit organizations as well as through its direct operations.

Marieme Daff
DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS AND PARTNERSHIPS

Marieme joined the Foundation in 2016 to oversee the growing Sub-Saharan Africa and Haiti portfolio. She brings over 15 years of experience in international development with a focus on poverty alleviation, primarily in Africa. Previously, she served as Africa Program Director for Trickle Up, a New York City-based NGO that focuses on empowering people living in extreme poverty to build sustainable livelihoods through the provision of grants and coaching. She has deep knowledge of several regions in Africa, as well as expertise in gender-sensitive programming and participatory approaches. Born to Senegalese immigrant parents, Marieme grew up in France and attended NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Science, where she earned a Master’s Degree in Journalism. In her free time, she enjoys running, cooking, traveling. Being still relatively new to Portland, she is also enjoying discovering the Pacific Northwest with her family.

Dana deLaski
COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATE (REMOTE)

Dana joined the Foundation in 2018 as the Communications Associate, working to bring stories from the Foundation’s grantees and country offices to life. Her background is in media, journalism, and storytelling, and before joining the foundation she spent 4 years producing stories for a variety of publications in New York City. She holds a B.A. in English Literature from Colorado College and a certificate in Documentary Practices and Visual Journalism from the International Center of Photography. Dana fully believes in the power of storytelling to deepen our connections to each other and to the world around us— ultimately leading to greater understanding and compassion. When she’s not telling stories, she can be found in a yoga studio, on a hunt for the best food in Portland, or off on an outdoor adventure somewhere.

Laura Koch
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Laura joined the Foundation in 2012 as the second paid staff and has been in her role as Executive Director since 2017. Laura has over 15 years of experience in international and community development. Laura started her career in Guatemala where she spent four years working with a local women’s organization focused on empowerment and livelihood projects. After returning to the U.S., she held senior management roles at several local nonprofits providing programs to support low-income communities in Portland. Laura graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in Biology and Spanish and has a Master’s in Public Health from Portland State University. Laura is passionate about supporting local organizations, building authentic relationships, and right sizing M&E for small organizations. In her free time she enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest with her family.

Xavier Tissier
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Xavier joined the Foundation early 2019 in the new role of Director of Operations. Xavier has worked more than 15 years with major non-profit organizations around the world, mainly in the Middle East and in Africa, managing innovative programs, setting up reliable operations and finances, and leading large diverse teams. He’s held roles as finance/admin director, capacity building manager, operations advisor, and country director. Xavier holds a Master’s of Science in Business Management and a Master’s of Science in Sustainability and Environmental Management. He is also certified in project management in development settings. Xavier recognizes the impact of wealth inequality and social injustice as a barrier to overcome poverty, and he believes that local organizations who represent their community are best equipped to identify solutions for more sustainable and equitable communities. Outside of work, Xavier is engaged in supporting refugees in Portland.

Bre Truong
FINANCE ASSOCIATE, VIBRATO CAPITAL

Bre joined the foundation in April 2018 as Finance Associate. In her role, Bre is responsible for managing the finance and accounting for the foundation. Bre has over 10 years experience across a broad range of professional areas including compliance, business process, and account management. When she’s not around the office, Bre can be found spending time with her family, or can be found at the neighborhood coffee shop.

Board

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Sang Ahn

CPA, McDonald Jacobs, PC
Jeremy Barnicle

Jeremy Barnicle

Executive Director of Ecotrust
Daphne Delaski

Daphne deLaski

SENIOR ASSOCIATE, UPAYA SOCIAL VENTURES
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Kathleen deLaski

President deLaski, Family Foundation
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Ken deLaski

President and Founder
Sarah Goracke

Sarah Goracke

Board member of Cascades Academy
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Sasha Muench

Senior Director of Markets, Economic Recovery & Growth for Mercy Corps