Catalyst Fellows

Our Catalyst Fellows are an experiment in network learning. They will forge connections between place and the multiple forms of capital that vibrant, equitable and inclusive communities require, including but not limited to: natural capital, civic capital and financial capital. Sustainability, advocacy and impact investing are familiar topics in the national philanthropic conversation, but there are big opportunities to better connect these national conversations to Northwest communities and to make these important ideas accessible and actionable at all scales.

Our Catalyst Fellows will deeply explore, write about and connect people across our six-state region around these three issue areas. Our hope is that their work will help ignite the fires of possibility and that philanthropy will become increasingly adept at "going beyond the grant" and wielding many forms of capital to fulfill our missions.

Why These Issues?

There are many important cross-cutting issues in philanthropy, and while we'd love to address all of them, we've selected three to focus on through the Catalyst Fellowship program.

  1. Advocacy: It's hard to have sustained impact in a community if you don't use your voice and relationships to advance your mission. That's advocacy — and it comes in many forms. 
  2. Sustainability: Our natural environment is arguably the defining characteristic of place in the Pacific Northwest. Our mountains, rivers, fields and forests and the rich ecosystems they support are the wellsprings of our region's wealth and well-being — past, present and future.
  3. Impact Investing: Foundation grantmaking represents a small percentage of the sector's total financial capital. What if we could put all of our capital to work in our communities for our mission? That's impact investing — growing by leaps and bounds both within and outside of philanthropy.

We believe that truly effective philanthropic organizations need to address each of these issues in a manner appropriate to their missions, approaches and communities and our Catalyst Fellows will be important stewards of insight and connections.

Mitchell Thomashow, Sustainability Catalyst Fellow

Dr. Mitchell Thomashow devotes his life and work to promoting ecological awareness, sustainable living, creative learning, improvisational thinking, social networking, and organizational excellence.  

From 2011-2016, Thomashow consulted with over 50 North American colleges and universities on sustainability, curricular transformation and educational leadership. Previously (2006-2011) he was the president of Unity College in Maine, where he integrated concepts of sustainability, participatory governance and community service into all aspects of college life. Thomashow was the chair of the environmental studies department at Antioch University New England (1976-2006) where he founded an interdisciplinary environmental studies doctoral program.  

He is the author of three books. Ecological Identity (The MIT Press, 1995) offers an approach to teaching environmental education based on reflective practice. Bringing the Biosphere Home, (The MIT Press, 2001) is a guide for learning how to perceive global environmental change. His latest book, The Nine Elements of A Sustainable Campus (The MIT Press, 2014), provides a framework for advancing sustainable living and teaching in a variety of campus environments.  

Thomashow has many interests, including basketball, baseball, board games, jazz piano, electronic keyboards, musical composition and recording, guitars, reading, hiking, bicycling and lake swimming. He lives in Seattle and Dublin, New Hampshire.

Remy TrupinRemy Trupin, Advocacy Catalyst Fellow

As Philanthropy Northwest's inaugural Advocacy Catalyst Fellow, Remy is curating a knowledge base that explores how the foundation sector can leverage its place-based voice to affect policy. He brings a broad range of strategic insight from his experience working with organizations and coalitions developing and implementing legislative advocacy, communication and ballot campaigns, in addition to his nonprofit leadership experience. In his role as Senior Fellow with the Topos Partnership, Remy uses his revenue and budget expertise to inform communications challenges facing organizations at national, state and local levels. Remy is also a senior consultant with Luma Consulting.

Remy was the founding executive director of the Washington State Budget & Policy Center, a think-tank that works to bring about shared prosperity for all Washingtonians, an organization which he led and grew into a national model. Remy’s previous experience includes a variety of lobbying, policy analysis and research leadership positions with large non-profits at the local, state and national level. Remy kicked off his career as a VISTA in northern Florida and then as a Mickey Leland Hunger Fellow through the Congressional Hunger Center.

Born in Wyoming, Remy grew up in Seattle. His academic background includes undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Washington. In his spare time, Remy volunteers board leadership and strategic advice to social service, civic and human rights organizations and is an American Marshall Memorial Fellow.

Rosalie Sheehy Cates

Rosalie Sheehy Cates, Impact Investing Catalyst Fellow

Rosalie is a community investment consultant and a Senior Advisor with The Giving Practice, the consulting practice of Philanthropy Northwest. She helps mission investors find and make deals that create affordable housing, community facilities, local food systems and small businesses. Rosalie has also managed a number of national initiatives, working to build new investment tools, platforms and funds. Rosalie’s emphasizes practical strategies grounded in local relationships.

Rosalie was with the Montana Community Development Corporation from 1989-2010, including 14 years as CEO. Prior to that Rosalie lived in rural Wisconsin (1980-1989) where she was an organizer for family farms and sustainable agriculture. She also helped with her family’s small cattle operation. She lives with her family in Missoula, Montana.