Maria Amalia Souza

Founder and Senior Advisor at Socio-Environmental Fund-CASA

After 30 years building a grant making structure, nourishing it and seeing it grow, I became a finalist, among 7 global leaders, of the Olga Alexeeva Memorial Prize on innovative philanthropy in the Global South - Our plan is to take this model to other countries to foment more grassroots grantmaking across the region. CASA makes grants to bonafide community based organizations in South America and is co-founder of the Brazilian Philanthropy Network for Social Justice. I've lectured all over the world on internet access and philanthropy, am Board Chair of NUPEF - and a proud advisor to The Ocean Foundation -, International Rivers -, and Uma Gota no Oceano - I also conduct experiential deep ecology workshops based on Joanna Macy's teachings - Among professional roles, I have done independent consulting for AVEDA Corporation, was the Director of Members Services for APC- Association for Progressive Communications -, and fundraiser for Indigenous and Forest Peoples NGOs. And was involved with many international environmental NGOs over the years. I have a degree in International Services & Development with emphasis on Environmental Studies from World College West, CA; am an alumna of the Donella Meadows Sustainability, where I learned systems thinking and inquiry tools. I’ve completed the Biopsychology program run by Instituto Visão Futuro -, and Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Program. I fluently speak, write (and sing) in Portuguese, English and Spanish; and play piano and guitar. Having professionally visited over 50 countries in all continents, my ample global network in the social and environmental field has proven a huge asset in my professional life.

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Cunha, São Paulo, Brazil

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