Board of Trustees

  • Caroline Avery, President
  • Christopher Avery, Trustee
  • Halina Avery, Trustee
  • Sara Avery, Trustee
  • Diana McKee, Secretary
  • Michael Newkirk, Vice President
  • Jonathan Newkirk, Treasurer
  • Saundra Bryant, Board Fellow
  • Cristina Regalado, Board Fellow





Caroline Avery, President

Carrie Avery is President of the Durfee Foundation in Los Angeles, California, which focuses on individuals by providing fellowships, grants to new grassroots organizations with dynamic leadership and sabbaticals to long-time nonprofit leaders.

Prior to working for the Durfee Foundation, Carrie practiced law, first with the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C., and later with a private firm in San Francisco.

Carrie received her B.A. from Stanford University, her J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, and was a Georgetown University Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow.  She is a current board member and past chair of the National Center for Family Philanthropy in Washington, D.C. and serves on the boards of the RGK Foundation in Austin, Texas, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations in Washington, D.C. and the Berkeley Repertory Theater in Berkeley, California.  She has also served as board chair of Northern California Grantmakers, where she founded and for several years chaired the Family Philanthropy Exchange, co-chair of St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Oakland, California, and co-chair of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area.


Claire Peeps, Executive Director

Claire Peeps is the executive director of the Durfee Foundation.  A graduate of Stanford University and the University of New Mexico, she served as the Associate Director of the Los Angeles Festival, a large-scale, international arts festival.  She also served as executive director/publisher of the national High Performance Magazine, and as director of education for Ansel Adams’ The Friends of Photography in Carmel. Other organizational affiliations include current or past board membership for: Southern California Grantmakers, Grantmakers in the Arts, California Council for the Humanities, ARTS Inc., and the UCLA Center for Civil Society.  She has been a consultant to the J. Paul Getty Center, the San Francisco Art Institute and The Music Center of Los Angeles.  She is currently an Adjunct Instructor at the USC Price School of Public Policy, and the founder of Culver City Gives, a website that connects residents to nonprofits in Culver City.  Her book Activists Speak Out: Reflections on the Pursuit of Change in America, was published by St. Martins/ Palgrave in March 2001.


Esther Kang, Manager, Program and Organizational Development

Esther Kang is the Manager of Program and Organizational Development at The Durfee Foundation and has worked with several nonprofit organizations in Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

While she was receiving her B.F.A. in photography and arts management at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she worked with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs on a city initiative called Studio Chicago, a year-long collaboration between several universities, galleries, and museums focusing on art making processes through exhibitions, lecture series, and public programs. Prior to her studies, Esther was in Durban, South Africa collaborating with local NGOs to assist homeless HIV+ youth find appropriate health care, education, food, and shelter.

In addition, Esther is currently Adjunct Faculty at Art Center College of Design and an Advisory Council Member at Youth Speak Collective. She has also served as Co-Chair of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy’s LA Chapter, where she founded its first citywide mentorship program.