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Our Trustees & Staff

The Fetzer Institute employs a "deep engagement" model to govern, organize, and nurture the Institute community. The name reflects the understanding of the relationship between the inner life with action and service, a commitment to nurturing loving relationships within various communities, and a responsibility for leading the process to define the Institute's program strategies. The deep engagement model guides our board in clarifying program priorities; determining how the Fetzer community can live its values; and developing and monitoring strategies to execute the mission.

Board of Trustees

Robert Boisture

Bob Boisture is president and CEO of the Fetzer Institute.

Bob has worked with the Institute continuously since 1993. From 1993 to 2011, he served as a legal and governance advisor to the Institute's Board of Trustees. He has been a member of the Institute's board since 2011, became interim president and CEO in March of 2013, and has been president and CEO since September 2013.

From 1979 to 1986 and from 1993 to 2011, Bob was a lawyer in private practice, specializing in legal and governance issues affecting charities and foundations. Until 2008, he practiced at Caplin & Drysdale, a prominent Washington, DC law firm, where he became a nationally recognized expert in nonprofit law, headed the firm's Exempt Organizations Practice Group, and served on two occasions as president of the firm. During this period, Bob's practice focused heavily on serving as a legal, lobbying, and strategic advisor to a broad range of cause-based charitable advocacy coalitions. These included coalitions working to protect the environment, reduce smoking, strengthen tax incentives for charitable giving, protect nonprofits' right to lobby Congress in support of their missions, and toughen the sanctions on nonprofit leaders who abuse their positions for private gain.

From 2008 through 2013, Bob continued to provide legal and strategy advice to nonprofits as the principal of Boisture Law.

From 1986 through 1992, Bob served on the staff of the YMCA of the USA, initially as associate general counsel and later as the national Y's first director of public policy. From 2003 to 2007, he served as director of YMCA Activate America, a major national public health initiative to combat the obesity epidemic. From 2011 through 2013, he served as director of the Y's Achievement Gap Initiative, an effort focused on pilot testing and scaling evidence-based programs to increase the school readiness and school success of low income children and youth.

Bob received his JD from Yale Law School in 1979. He also attended Princeton University (AB, 1974, Woodrow Wilson Scholar), and Oxford University (BA, 1976, Marshall Scholar).

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Carolyn T. Brown

Carolyn Thompson Brown is a trustee of the Fetzer Institute and director of the Office of Scholarly Programs and the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress. In that capacity she provides vision and direction to programs that fund the world’s most accomplished and most promising scholars for periods of residency to conduct research in the Library’s collections. She also organizes conferences, seminars, and other scholarly events. The Poetry and Literature Program, which hosts the Poet Laureate of the United States, is also under her direction. Prior to assuming this position, she led the Collections and Services Directorate, overseeing collections development, collections management, reference, and public outreach for the general, special, and Area Studies collections. This followed several years leading the Area Studies collections and the Federal Research Division. Her professional writings examine the interrelationship of literature, culture, and psychology with special focus on modern Chinese literature. Carolyn holds a BA in Asian studies, an MA in Chinese literature both from Cornell University, and a PhD in literature from the American University.

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Bruce Carlson

Bruce Carlson is professor emeritus in anatomy and cell biology at the University of Michigan. He previously served as Chair of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology in the Medical School and was also Director of the Institute of Gerontology. His research has been on limb development and regeneration and on the regeneration and transplantation of skeletal muscle, with recent emphasis on regeneration after long-term denervation and during aging. In conducting his research, he has lived in Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Czechoslovakia, and the Soviet Union. Along with numerous research papers, he has authored a dozen books on embryology and regeneration and has edited thirteen symposium volumes and translations. He is past president of the Association of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Neurobiology Chairpersons and also of the American Association of Anatomists. An avid fisherman and former fisheries biologist, he also writes articles for fishing magazines and recently published a book on lake biology.

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Janis Claflin

Janis Claflin is the vice chair of the board of trustees of the Fetzer Institute where she has served since 1988. Janis also serves the Institute as the chair of the investment committee. She is a management consultant and psychotherapist in Austin, Texas. As an effective public speaker and facilitator, she serves in many areas, including conflict resolution, organizational development, team building, change management, leadership development, and spiritual formation. She is the founder of several nonprofit organizations and currently serves on the board of the Empiric Fund. She has a master’s degree from Yale Divinity School.

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Bruce Fetzer

Bruce Fetzer is president and CEO and a trustee of the Fetzer Memorial Trust, a trustee and treasurer of the John E. Fetzer Institute, a trustee and member of the Foundation Financial Officers Group (FFOG, an organization of the chief investment and finance officers of the largest 200 foundations in the world), chairman of the FFOG compensation survey, and advisor to other nonprofits. A grand nephew of John Fetzer, he has served the Institute and its founder in various capacities including John Fetzer’s radio, television, and cable enterprises. He has held various financial and program assignments at the Fetzer Institute and is independently developing businesses in consulting and trust management. He holds a BS in chemical engineering and an MBA.

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Robert Lehman

Rob Lehman chairs the board of trustees of the Fetzer Institute where he served as president from 1989-2000. Under his leadership as president, the Institute developed a mission in support of mind-body-spirit health, which culminated in an Institute-funded PBS series. The groundbreaking and Emmy Award winning Healing and the Mind with Bill Moyers featured the work of a number of scientists investigating the mind-body connection. The series and an Institute-supported study published concurrently in the New England Journal of Medicine shifted popular perceptions, established the strength and significance of the mind-body-health movement, and fueled new levels of understanding and adoption by mainstream medical institutions. As chairman of the board, Rob oversaw the Institute’s transition to its new mission based in love and forgiveness and has been instrumental in the development of the board’s “deep engagement” model of governance. Before joining the Fetzer Institute, he was vice president for international affairs at the Kettering Foundation, and prior to his association with foundations Rob was an associate professor of law at the Indiana University, Indianapolis Law School. He has a law degree and a master’s degree in theology.

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Lynne Twist

Lynne Twist, an author, speaker, and consultant, is the founder and president of The Soul of Money Institute. She and her husband, Bill, are the co-founders of The Pachamama Alliance, working in the Ecuadorian Amazon with indigenous people to preserve the world’s tropical rainforests. A former long-time executive of The Hunger Project, she continues to be an advocate and spokesperson for ending world hunger and empowering women in cultures throughout the world. She serves on the boards of The Global Security Institute, Educating Girls Globally, and the Kudirat Institute for Nigerian Democracy (KIND). She serves as president of The Turning Tide Coalition and is author of the award-winning book, The Soul of Money.  

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Frances Vaughan

Frances Vaughan, PhD, is an author and psychologist in Tiburon, California. Her books include Shadows of the Sacred: Seeing through spiritual illusions, The Inward Arc: Healing in psychotherapy and spirituality, and Awakening Intuition. She is co-editor, with Roger Walsh, of Paths Beyond Ego and Gifts from a Course in Miracles. She has been a pioneer in the field of transpersonal psychology, and has lectured and conducted workshops throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and Latin America. Dr. Vaughan was formerly on the clinical faculty at the University of California Medical School at Irvine and founding faculty at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. She has served as president of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology and the Association for Humanistic Psychology and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. She is currently on the faculty of the Metta Institute in Mill Valley, CA.