For her role in strengthening communities through a commitment to improving Alaska’s social, economic and civic life, CIRI shareholder Susan Anderson, president and CEO of The CIRI Foundation (TCF), received the 2018 Distinguished Service to the Humanities in Leadership award at a Feb. 8 ceremony in Juneau, Alaska.
The honor is given on behalf of the Governor’s Arts and Humanities Awards (GAHA), an annual partnership between the Alaska Humanities Forum, the Alaska State Council on the Arts, the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation, and the Office of the Governor to recognize and honor noteworthy contributions to the arts and humanities in Alaska.
“Susan Anderson has been a remarkable steward and leader of TCF for 18 years, deeply dedicated to helping thousands of people change their lives through education and cultural knowledge,” the GAHA press release read. “Anderson sees her work as more of a calling than a job – inspired by the support she received from TCF to achieve her educational dreams, she has given back to the organization to pay it forward so that others can achieve theirs.”
An original CIRI shareholder of Tlingit descent, Anderson was one of the first recipients of TCF’s scholarships, which she used to earn a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a master’s degree in adult education administration. She also holds a post-graduate certificate in project management. Anderson was selected to attend the Stanford University Executive Program for Philanthropy Leaders and has a long list of volunteer and board service, including the Alaska Humanities Forum, Best Beginnings Early Learning Council, Native Americans in Philanthropy, Philanthropy Northwest and United Way of Anchorage. She is currently a trustee for the University of Alaska Foundation and Alaska Pacific University.
“As president and CEO of TCF, Anderson is at the helm of an organization that has contributed more than $29 million for the Alaska Native beneficiaries of CIRI to participate in post-secondary education,” said CIRI President and CEO Sophie Minich. “She has helped touch thousands of lives through education and training, and we commend her on this estimable honor.”