Interview with departing Board Member- Ana Toni
Ana Toni is the Executive Director of Instituto Clima e Sociedade (iCS) and Co-Founder of GIP (Public Interest Management).
From 2003 until May 2011, Ana Toni was the Representative for the Ford Foundation in Brazil, during which time she oversaw the Foundation’s work in the areas of human rights, sustainable development, racial and ethical discrimination, sexuality and reproductive health, media democratization and land rights. She was also responsible for coordinating the regional Latin America funding on Economics and Globalization, the IBSA initiative (joint work between Brazil, South Africa and India) and the International Initiative on Intellectual Property Rights.
From 1998 to 2002, Ana was the Executive Director of ActionAid Brazil, working for the eradication of poverty and inequality through community development projects, as well as public policy advocacy and campaigning at national and international levels. Ana also worked for ActionAid UK as Policy Advisor (1990 – 1993), representing the organization at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.
She worked for Greenpeace from 1993 to 1997; first, as the International Head of the Political Unit based at Greenpeace International in Amsterdam, and subsequently as Senior Advisor for Greenpeace Germany. Ana was Board Chair of Greenpeace Brazil from 2000 to 2003 and nowadays she is the Board Chair of Greenpeace International.
Ana was Board member of GIFE (the Brazilian Private Social Investment Association) and Wikimedia Foundation. Currently, she is Board member of WINGS and of the Baoba Fund for Racial Equity, and still integrates the Brazilian Forum of Women’s Leaders on Sustainability.
Ana is graduated in Economic and Social Studies at Swansea University, has a master degree in Politics of the World Economy at the London School of Economics and Political Science and a PhD in Political Science at the Rio de Janeiro State University.
- Why did you decide to join WINGS Board and how would you describe your experience as a WINGS Director?
I have always been close to WINGS and I have always felt that WINGS is a key organization for the strengthening of philanthropy, so I was honored to be accepted as Board member. Being on the Board reinforced for me the importance of WINGS as a key instrument to reflect and strengthen philanthropy all over the world, but particularly philanthropy in the emerging countries.
- What would you say was the most rewarding achievement or experience over this period?
Helping Benjamin to settle in and to build a new strategy for WINGS was definitely the most rewarding experience. As the new Executive Director, Benjamin brought a new and fresh look to the work of WINGS and it was very rewarding to support him in this endeavor.
- What is the main difference you see at WINGS now in comparison to the time you started your mandate?
I would like to suggest two. First, I feel that Southern Philanthropists feel more ownership of the network. The desire to reach to the South has always been there, but I feel that in the last period and with the growth of philanthropy in Southern countries WINGS have embraced and helped to foster a solid relationship with Southern players. I really welcome that. Secondly, WINGS is more open to other organizations such as NGOs, national and international players, some private sector players etc, this in my view is good as it reflects the diversity of supporting organizations and players working with and around philanthropy.
- What would be a piece of advice for WINGS and its network for the future?
I truly believe that philanthropy can be a key instrument to bring positive change. But, philanthropy is only a means and not an end, and in this respect we should not spend a disproportional amount of time on analyzing ourselves. We must keep our eyes on the changes we want to make in the real world and find the best tools and processes that can help to achieve that.