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Our Team

Locals who believe in Alaska.

Our Team

Locals know what Alaska needs to thrive. Our team is built of Alaskans dedicated to unleashing the true potential of Alaska. With diverse backgrounds, a wealth of experience, and a wide range of skills, we’re able to drive change and create new opportunities that transform our future.

Nalikutaar, Jacqueline Cleveland

Aywaa Storyhouse Project Manager

Nalikutaar, Jacqueline Cleveland (Yup’ik) is a subsistence hunter, fisherwoman, and gatherer from Quinhagak and a citizen of the Native Village of Kwinhagak Tribal Government. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Media and Theater Arts with a minor in Native American Studies from Montana State University, Bozeman.

As a filmmaker and photographer, Jacqueline’s work focuses on elevating the languages and cultures of Alaska Native peoples. In addition to leading the Aywaa Storyhouse project for Alaska Venture Fund, Jacqueline is working with Trim Tab Media on a documentary that features the impacts of climate change on the people and community of Quinhagak.

Jacqueline serves on the Kuskokwim River Intertribal Fish Commission, the Yukon- Delta Regional Advisory Council, the Central Bering Sea Advisory Council, Quinhagak Heritage, Inc., and the Native Village of Kwinhagak Tribal Council.  

Nalikutaar, Jacqueline Cleveland (Yup’ik) is a subsistence hunter, fisherwoman, and gatherer from Quinhagak and a citizen of the Native Village of Kwinhagak Tribal Government. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Media and Theater Arts with a minor in Native American Studies from Montana State University, Bozeman. As a filmmaker and photographer, Jacqueline’s work focuses on...  

Natalie Dawson

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Dr. Natalie Dawson is a wildlife biologist and educator with over twenty years of experience learning from Alaska’s lands, waters and people. She draws inspiration from the dynamic synergy of public policy developed by communities across Alaska and builds partnerships to create positive change.

Before joining AVF, Natalie was the executive director of Audubon Alaska and a vice president for the National Audubon Society. She was an interdisciplinary studies professor at the University of Montana, where she led international leadership training programs and partnerships for global protected area managers through the U.S. Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture and Department of State. Prior to those positions, Natalie was a biologist on the Tongass National Forest, a public policy fellow with the American Institute of Biological Sciences in Washington, DC, and a research scientist at the USGS Alaska Science Center. Natalie continues to learn from the mountains and rivers that create the boundaries of her home on Lingit Ani, the traditional lands of the Jilkat Kwaan and Jilkoot Kwaan in Southeast Alaska’s Chilkat Valley.  

Dr. Natalie Dawson is a wildlife biologist and educator with over twenty years of experience learning from Alaska’s lands, waters and people. She draws inspiration from the dynamic synergy of public policy developed by communities across Alaska and builds partnerships to create positive change. Before joining AVF, Natalie was the executive director of Audubon Alaska and a vice president for the...  

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Erin Dovichin

Managing Partner

Erin is the Managing Partner at Alaska Venture Fund. Before starting Alaska Venture Fund, Erin was the program officer for the Alaska portfolio of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Wild Salmon Ecosystems Initiative.

Prior to the foundation, Erin was the associate state director of The Nature Conservancy in Alaska where she led the conservation team’s efforts to protect polar marine, arctic wetland, temperate rainforest and wild salmon systems in Alaska. She lives in Chugiak, Alaska, with her husband Paul Andrews.  

Erin is the Managing Partner at Alaska Venture Fund. Before starting Alaska Venture Fund, Erin was the program officer for the Alaska portfolio of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Wild Salmon Ecosystems Initiative. Prior to the foundation, Erin was the associate state director of The Nature Conservancy in Alaska where she led the conservation team’s efforts to protect polar marine,...  

Lev Greenstein

Communications Coordinator

Lev Greenstein is a communications specialist with a passion for facilitation, meaningful gatherings, and storytelling. Before joining Alaska Venture Fund, he worked at Alaska Humanities Forum, collaborating with partners and community members across the state to spark nuanced conversations on civic engagement, equity, and heritage, and to harness the power of those conversations to strengthen community ties. With a focus on conversational design, Lev is invested in advancing dialogues, events, and messages that honor the deep relationships, legacies, and futures possible in Alaska.

He received his education at Haverford College, studying Anthropology, Psychology, and Spanish, and lives in Anchorage on Dena’ina land.  

Lev Greenstein is a communications specialist with a passion for facilitation, meaningful gatherings, and storytelling. Before joining Alaska Venture Fund, he worked at Alaska Humanities Forum, collaborating with partners and community members across the state to spark nuanced conversations on civic engagement, equity, and heritage, and to harness the power of those conversations to strengthen...  

Erin Harrington

Partner & Chief Strategy Officer

For more than two decades, Erin has brought her energy and commitment to Alaska’s future through her work in policy, politics, and social change. As a founder and the executive director of The Salmon Project, Erin built a statewide social change initiative designed to reveal Alaskans’ connections and shared values through the medium of Alaska’s wild salmon resource. She was previously a consultant and project manager for the state’s preeminent research-based consulting firm, McKinley Research Group (formerly McDowell Group), and also served as chief of staff to the majority leader of the Alaska House of Representatives. Erin has an undergraduate degree from Middlebury College and a Masters’s in seafood marketing and economics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Erin embraces the power of atypical collaborations and has used them to catalyze many successful projects, including a new public library in her family’s hometown of Kodiak, Alaska; the community engagement initiatives of The Salmon Project; and a network of under-40 professionals engaged on Alaska’s state fiscal policy challenges.

Erin has spent much of her life living between the ancestral home of the Aluti’iq people in Southwest Alaska, and Lingít Aaní in Southeast Alaska. She is descended from a long line of ancestors who earned their living at sea and has engaged in Alaska’s commercial fisheries since her childhood. Currently based in Juneau, Erin and her partner are raising their son to be at home on the lands and waters of coastal Alaska.  

For more than two decades, Erin has brought her energy and commitment to Alaska’s future through her work in policy, politics, and social change. As a founder and the executive director of The Salmon Project, Erin built a statewide social change initiative designed to reveal Alaskans’ connections and shared values through the medium of Alaska’s wild salmon resource. She was...  

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Helena Jacobs

Partner & Program Director, Alaska Native Birthworkers Community

Helena, Koyukon Athabascan, was born in Fairbanks with ancestral ties to Ruby and Kokrines, and grew up throughout Alaska in Ruby, Anchorage, Juneau, Nome, Utqiagvik, Fairbanks and Sitka. She now lives and works in Anchorage on Dena’ina land where she and her husband are raising their family. Her work focuses on collective impact approaches to positive social and systemic change, elevating equity and access, and wellness and wellbeing within the Alaska Native community.  

Helena, Koyukon Athabascan, was born in Fairbanks with ancestral ties to Ruby and Kokrines, and grew up throughout Alaska in Ruby, Anchorage, Juneau, Nome, Utqiagvik, Fairbanks and Sitka. She now lives and works in Anchorage on Dena’ina land where she and her husband are raising their family. Her work focuses on collective impact approaches to positive social and systemic change, elevating...  

Headshot Jonella Larson White

Jonella Larson White

Partner & Program Director, Justice40 Initiatives

As a lifelong Alaskan, Jonella/Ququngaq (Yupik) recognizes and shares an appreciation for the complex challenges we face as Alaskans and is committed to using her experience and knowledge to help others meet the needs of their communities. Jonella was born and raised in Nome with strong family ties to Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island. She and her children are tribal citizens of the Native Village of Savoonga. Her love of Yupik art, culture, and ideology led her to the University of Alaska Fairbanks where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Alaska Native and Rural Development with an emphasis in cultural documentation and community planning and to Harvard University where she earned her Master in Liberal Arts in museum studies. She is committed to working with leadership on issues and impacts related to climate and social justice, sustainable communities, and cultural expression.  

As a lifelong Alaskan, Jonella/Ququngaq (Yupik) recognizes and shares an appreciation for the complex challenges we face as Alaskans and is committed to using her experience and knowledge to help others meet the needs of their communities. Jonella was born and raised in Nome with strong family ties to Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island. She and her children are tribal citizens of the Native Village...  

Stephanie Quinn-Davidson

Program Director Fisheries & Communities

Dr. Stephanie Quinn-Davidson is a fisheries scientist and has worked in salmon fisheries in Alaska for nearly a decade. Her work focuses on sustaining Alaska’s fisheries and those who depend on them, and elevating Indigenous perspectives and voices in fisheries policy, management, and advocacy.

Prior to joining Alaska Venture Fund, Stephanie was the director of the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission with Tanana Chiefs Conference, and a fishery biologist, then a fishery manager for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game on the Yukon River. Stephanie serves as an interim board member to the Certified Seafood Collective and was recently appointed to the Advisory Council for the University of Alaska – Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Oceans. She is currently the Past-President of the Alaska Chapter of the American Fisheries Society and was previously selected as an Alaska Salmon Fellow. Before moving to Alaska, Stephanie was a professor in the Environmental Studies and Biology Departments at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Stephanie has a PhD in Limnology and Marine Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Grinnell College.

Stephanie was born in Gresham, Wisconsin, and grew up in a rural area where she spent her childhood playing in the woods and on the rivers and lakes. Hunting and fishing were a big part of her upbringing and family tradition. She is an enrolled member of the Brothertown Indian Tribe of Wisconsin. She enjoys traveling and exploring the outdoors with her wife and two dogs.  

Dr. Stephanie Quinn-Davidson is a fisheries scientist and has worked in salmon fisheries in Alaska for nearly a decade. Her work focuses on sustaining Alaska’s fisheries and those who depend on them, and elevating Indigenous perspectives and voices in fisheries policy, management, and advocacy. Prior to joining Alaska Venture Fund, Stephanie was the director of the Yukon River Inter-Tribal...  

Headshot Matt Rafferty

Matt Rafferty

Partner & Program Director

Matt Rafferty is a Partner at Alaska Venture Fund. He came to Alaska to explore its wild places but has stayed because of its inspiring people. With two decades of conservation experience in Alaska, Matt is currently focused on elevating issues related to Indigenous sovereignty and creating equal access to philanthropy as the moral, just, and most effective way to ensure stewardship of Alaska’s lands and waters and provide resiliency from climate change for people and the planet.

Before joining Alaska Venture Fund, Matt was the Project Director of the Alaska Engagement Partnership and Alaska Wild Salmon Fund, served as a Program Officer at the Alaska Conservation Foundation, and was the Deputy Director of the Alaska Public Radio Network. He is an Alaskan Salmon Fellow and graduate of the University of Massachusetts and Leadership Anchorage Program. An avid builder of community, Matt helped launch, grow and host Arctic Entries, a monthly storytelling event, and co-created and hosted the Borealis Bluegrass Breakdown, a weekly radio program, for 10 years.

Matt currently lives in Juneau, Alaska, and recognizes it as the past and present lands of the T’aaku Kwáan and Áak’w Kwáan Tlingit people. He is thankful for their stewardship and seeks to learn from their example.  

Matt Rafferty is a Partner at Alaska Venture Fund. He came to Alaska to explore its wild places but has stayed because of its inspiring people. With two decades of conservation experience in Alaska, Matt is currently focused on elevating issues related to Indigenous sovereignty and creating equal access to philanthropy as the moral, just, and most effective way to ensure stewardship of Alaska’s...  

Headshot of AlexAnna Salmon

AlexAnna Salmon

Partner & Program Director, Bristol Bay Sustainable Communities

AlexAnna Salmon is President of the Igiugig Village Council. She is of Yup’ik and Aleut descent and was raised in the village of Igiugig, Alaska.

In 2008, AlexAnna graduated from Dartmouth College with a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Native American Studies and Anthropology. After graduating, she returned to work for the Igiugig Tribal Village Council where she was elected President and, until 2016, also held the role of Administrator. AlexAnna serves as a member of the Igiugig Native Corporation board, which is responsible for the stewardship of 66,000 tribal acres. She also serves on the Lake and Peninsula Borough Planning Commission, the Nilavena Tribal Health Consortium, and is a member of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History’s Advisory Board. She received her Master’s Degree in Rural Development from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2021.

In her work as President of the Igiugig Village Council, AlexAnna has been a driving force behind the community’s efforts to generate its own energy from renewable sources. In 2015, she was invited to President Obama’s roundtable discussion with Alaska Native leaders and was praised by Sen. Dan Sullivan in 2017 on the Senate floor for helping strengthen her community and making it an incredible place to live. AlexAnna loves raising her kids in the subsistence way of life, revitalizing Indigenous languages, and traveling.  

AlexAnna Salmon is President of the Igiugig Village Council. She is of Yup’ik and Aleut descent and was raised in the village of Igiugig, Alaska. In 2008, AlexAnna graduated from Dartmouth College with a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Native American Studies and Anthropology. After graduating, she returned to work for the Igiugig Tribal Village Council where she was elected President and, until...  

Headshot Jacob Shercliffe

Jacob Shercliffe

Program Manager

Jacob grew up in Alaska and is a graduate of the University of Alaska Anchorage and a Harry S Truman Scholar. Prior to working with the Alaska Venture Fund, Jacob was a part of the Alaska Fellows Program researching sustainable economic development opportunities in-state. Jacob also worked on producing the Anchorage Climate Action Plan and a greenhouse gas emissions analysis for the city. He is passionate about creating a more sustainable future for communities across Alaska.  

Jacob grew up in Alaska and is a graduate of the University of Alaska Anchorage and a Harry S Truman Scholar. Prior to working with the Alaska Venture Fund, Jacob was a part of the Alaska Fellows Program researching sustainable economic development opportunities in-state. Jacob also worked on producing the Anchorage Climate Action Plan and a greenhouse gas emissions analysis for the city. He is...  

Headshot Zoe Styron

Zoé Styron

Communications Director

Zoé Styron is Alaska Venture Fund’s Communications Director. She has worked with organizations across Alaska to champion local brands and amplify causes committed to protecting Alaska’s unique way of life for future generations.

Before joining Alaska Venture Fund, Zoé was Strategy Director at Element Agency, Communications Director at The Salmon Project, and led communications at AlphaSights, one of the world’s fastest-growing professional services firms. Zoé has lived and worked in Asia, Europe, and the USA, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nottingham, and a Masters of Science from the University of London, UK. Zoé lives on Dena’ina land in Anchorage, Alaska, with her husband and two daughters.  

Zoé Styron is Alaska Venture Fund’s Communications Director. She has worked with organizations across Alaska to champion local brands and amplify causes committed to protecting Alaska’s unique way of life for future generations. Before joining Alaska Venture Fund, Zoé was Strategy Director at Element Agency, Communications Director at The Salmon Project, and led communications at...  

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