Photo of Jennifer Alkezweeny

Jennifer Alkezweeny

Program Director

Pronouns: she/her/hers

(503) 241-0543 x123

I’ve been Oregon Humanities' program director since 2020. I support the team of folks who make Oregon Humanities programs happen, provide leadership for the organization's vision, and connect with organizations and communities to explore new initiatives. In this role, I enjoy meeting folks from all over the state, understanding what’s important in communities, and thinking of creative ways to get folks talking and listening to one another. I have created learning spaces around the country and globe and love that moment when it’s hard to get folks in the room to quiet down. I’m a deep believer in experiential learning, harnessing the knowledge in a room, finding your learning edge, and the power of silence.

Ask me about: partnering with Oregon Humanities, Reflective Conversation Training, or anything about Oregon Humanities programs.

I’ve been a volunteer facilitator with the Dougy Center for Grieving Children and Families for over 20 years. In my free time I can be found experimenting in the kitchen, tending my backyard habitat, or exploring in my kayak.

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Karina Briski

Communications Associate, Marketing and Digital Media

Pronouns: she/her/hers

As a member of the communications team, I’m involved with editing stories for our various publications, promoting programs like So Much Together and Humanity in Perspective, managing our social media strategy, and creating our newsletters. I love that my work allows me to connect with so many different people, those who have been involved in our work for years and those who are just discovering it. Maybe most of all, I love that I get to help in sharing the incredible stories and transformative work of people and communities around the state. 

Ask me about: submitting work for publication; partnering with Oregon Humanities on events, storytelling, or communications; staying human while being extremely online; braised cabbage recipes

I moved to Oregon in 2015 after a decade of living in small towns and large cities around the country. I now live with my family in the North Tabor neighborhood of Portland, where I love to cook, go to the movies, read, and work with my hands.

Photo of Phylicia Chartier

Phylicia Chartier

Office Administrator

Pronouns: she/her/hers

(503) 241-0543 x

I coordinate Oregon Humanities’ operations at our office in Portland and support our fiscal and management teams. I joined Oregon Humanities in 2022 because our community-based work aligns with my lifelong interests in art, music, and storytelling.

Ask me about: payments to vendors, using our meeting rooms, or contemporary chamber music.

I grew up in the Hudson Valley region of New York, where I studied art, worked for a local arts and culture media company, and volunteered at the Poughkeepsie Farm Project. In my free time I enjoy contemporary classical music, quiet walks in nature, ice cream, and conversations over meals.

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Adam Davis

Executive Director

Pronouns: he/him/his

(503) 241-0543 x114

I’ve been the executive director of Oregon Humanities since 2013 and directed the Center for Civic Reflection in Chicago before that. In these jobs, I’ve trained thousands of discussion leaders across the country, facilitated hundreds of community and workplace discussions, moderated onstage conversations with community-builders, office-holders, and authors, and worked on organizational planning, support, and growth. I host Oregon Humanities’ podcast and radio show, The Detour, and I’ve edited books including Taking Action, The Civically Engaged Reader, and Hearing the Call across Traditions

Ask me about: anything and everything having to do with Oregon Humanities, community conversations, and how we might work together.

I currently sit on the boards of the High Desert Partnership and the Cultural Advocacy Coalition of Oregon and the advisory board of the North Star Civic Foundation. I received my PhD from the University of Chicago, and I used to lead wilderness trail crews in the Pacific Northwest.

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Vicky Hart

Development Associate

Pronouns: she/her/hers

As a member of the development team, I coordinate fundraising appeals several times a year and help with grant proposals. I also collaborate on donor stewardship, cultivation, and engagement activities. Since I live in Northeast Oregon, you can also find me organizing Oregon Humanities programs and building connections in rural communities. 

Ask me about: opportunities to support Oregon Humanities’ work, especially in eastern and rural parts of the state.

I joined Oregon Humanities in 2022 as a fully remote worker. My experience includes public universities, outdoor recreation, and faith-based nonprofits. With a background in both journalism and literature, my life has been about words and questions, reading and typing, for a long time. I enjoy breakfast food, campy movies, and long walks in the Blue Mountains. 

Photo of Julia Martinez Soto

Julia Martinez Soto

Development Director

Pronouns: she/her/hers

(503) 241-0543, ext. 118

I joined Oregon Humanities in July 2021. As a development professional, I bring experiences in grant writing, event sponsorships and program leadership. I most enjoy helping organizations thrive through integrated and relationship-based approaches. 

Ask me about: the many ways you can support Oregon Humanities’ work across the state.

I’m originally from Pennsylvania and have called Oregon home since 2004. I began working with nonprofits after almost a decade as an engineer. In my free time, I love working on craft projects, trying out new recipes, and playing in the mountains with my family.

Photo of Rozzell Medina

Rozzell Medina

Program Manager

Pronouns: he/him/his

(971) 361-9883

I manage multiple programs for Oregon Humanities: I curate the So Much Together workshop series, I lead our annual Bike Summer rides, and I am the lead instructor in our Humanity in Perspective courses. 

Ask me about: Humanity in Perspective, So Much Together, and good bike routes around Portland.

I grew up in and around Choctaw, Oklahoma; San Francisco, California; and San Antonio, Texas. I have lived in Portland for about twenty years, though I love wandering off now and then, mostly to visit ancestral homelands in Mexico and New Mexico. I have a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy with an emphasis on regenerative ecological and cultural learning from Portland State University. In addition to my work with Oregon Humanities, I am the festival director of the Portland EcoFilm Festival.

Photo of Juliana Posada

Juliana Posada

Program Lead

Pronouns: she/her/hers

I foster partnerships for the Conversation Project and support Oregon Humanities’ efforts to offer programming in Spanish and about the environment. I love learning from people, exploring what they think and why. I believe in the importance of holding space to discuss the problems confronting society and possible solutions.

Ask me about: Hosting or facilitating Conversation Project programs, partnering with us on Spanish-language events and outdoor events, or jumping into rivers in Central Oregon.

I was born in Colombia, where I nurtured my love for the land and its people. During my time there, I worked in rural communities on a wide variety of environmental projects. Before joining Oregon Humanities in 2022, I coordinated and delivered inquiry-based educational programming in public schools in Brooklyn, New York. I now live in Bend, and in my free time I enjoy thinking, hiking, birdwatching, and music.

Photo of Alexandra Powell Silvester

Alexandra Powell Silvester

Communications Associate and Associate Editor

Pronouns: she/her/hers

I produce stories in print and digital media through Beyond the Margins, the Community Storytelling Fellowship, and Oregon Humanities magazine. I also work with our communications, development, and grants teams to promote programs and manage campaigns.

Ask me about: submitting an essay for publication or applying for a Community Storytelling Fellowship.

I was born and raised in New South Wales, Australia. I studied literature and creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College. I now live in Southeast Portland with my partner and our two cats.

Photo of Carolina Rios

Carolina Rios

Development Assistant

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Since joining Oregon Humanities in January 2022, I have provided administrative support to the development team and assisting wherever possible. My responsibilities include managing the organization’s donor database, supporting donor stewardship, assisting with event planning, and managing our gift acknowledgment process.

Ask me about: your donations or the various ways to support Oregon Humanities’ work

While I was born in California and have lived in many beautiful states, I consider Oregon my true home. I find solace in solitude, but my passion for meaningful connections and deep conversations drives my interactions with others. Whether engrossed in a good book, exploring the outdoors, or indulging in creative pursuits, I find joy in the balance between reflection and engagement.

Photo of Dawn Smallman

Dawn Smallman

Program Manager

Pronouns: she/her/hers

(503) 241-0543 x110

I manage Oregon Humanities' grants program, support the Community Storytelling Fellowship program, and assist in facilitating internal equity projects. 

Ask me about: Applying for a grant from Oregon Humanities, place-based storytelling, and gardening in the Willamette Valley.

I joined Oregon Humanities in 2021. Before then, I crafted media stories about culture and nature for exhibits in public lands visitor centers and museums; served as the director of the Portland EcoFilm Festival; and worked as a community engagement manager and administrator for nonprofit fiscal management programs. I enjoy spending my free time growing food for my family and for others.

Photo of Lucy Solares-Steger

Lucy Solares-Steger

Program Coordinator

Pronouns: she/her/hers

I provide administrative and logistical support across all of our programs, including grants; I like to think of my work as fine-tuning the gears of the great programs my colleagues have built. I also coordinate our Dear Stranger letter-exchange program and support the Oregon Poet Laureate in managing their appearances across the state. I started at Oregon Humanities in December 2020.

Ask me about: registering for any of our programs, who to talk to more in-depth about a particular program, how our letter-exchange works, how/when you’re getting paid for your work with us, how/when you can apply for a grant, how to host the Oregon Poet Laureate in your community, and any questions in Spanish (¡hablo español!)
I am a multicultural, lifelong Oregonian of Guatemalan and Midwest American heritage, currently residing in Tigard. I’m fortunate enough to speak both English and Spanish fluently, so please reach out to me in either language! In my time off, I like to read about activists doing great work in the world, dabble in the world of cosmetics, eat delicious food, laugh a lot, and play with my dog, Piper.

Photo of Ben Waterhouse

Ben Waterhouse

Communications Director and editor of Oregon Humanities magazine

Pronouns: he/him/his

(971) 361-9893

Ben joined Oregon Humanities in 2012. He supervises the organization's communications and publications efforts, including Oregon Humanities magazine, the Beyond the Margins essay series, The Detour podcast and radio show, and marketing strategy. He created the Dear Stranger letter-exchange project. In the community, Ben serves on the board of the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition. He grew up on Kalapuyan land in Scio, Oregon, near the confluence of the North and South forks of the Santiam River, and now lives in Southeast Portland.

Photo of Keiren Bond

Keiren Bond

Executive Producer of The Detour

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Keiren has worked with Oregon Humanities since April 2021. Keiren has been producing and facilitating conversation-based projects for community media organisations since 2011. Outside of Oregon Humanities, Keiren supports grantmaking at the Marie Lanfrom Charitable Foundation, is a recovery mentor for the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa, and spends long days exploring Oregon's mountains and deserts by foot.