Helen Brunner is founder and director of the Media Democracy Fund. Before establishing MDF, Helen served as program consultant to Albert A. List Foundation’s Freedom of Expression, Arts and Telecommunications Policy and Advocacy Programs from 1996-2004. In her capacity as Director of Foundation Services for Art Resources International, she has also advised the Ford Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Quixote Foundation, Women Donors Network, the Leeway Foundation and other foundations in the areas of communications policy, independent media, First Amendment rights and the arts. She was Executive Director of the National Association of Artists Organizations from 1993-95, founded Art Resources International in 1985, was Director of Programs at the Washington Project for the Arts from 1982-85, and served as coordinator of the Visual Studies Workshop Research Center in Rochester, NY from 1975-82. She has served on numerous boards of directors, including the Progressive Technology Project, the National Association of Artists Organizations and the National Campaign for Freedom of Expression.
Amber has had a 15 year career in philanthropy, partnership development and leadership training as a senior manager and strategic advisor. She previously served as Proteus Fund’s Director of Partnerships, where she managed the foundation’s transformation from a small philanthropic consulting firm into a leading national foundation with a broad and effective mission to advance social change. Proteus acquired a significant portfolio of philanthropic projects and collaborative funds under her leadership, in the areas of democracy, human rights and peace. Prior to her work with Proteus, Amber served as the Leadership Center Director at Hampshire College. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Ancient Greek and Latin with Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Senior Program Officer
Prior to joining the staff of the Media Democracy Fund, amalia coordinated the media policy initiatives of the Center for Media Justice and Media Action Grassroots Network. amalia has over 17 years of experience in community and cultural organizing, with a specific engagement with human rights, cultural rights and traditional knowledge. Throughout her career, amalia has used her extensive experience for field-building, community-building, and policy advocacy. Born in Guatemala, she worked for many years at the Main Street Project, where she co-directed a nationally recognized four-state rural Latino capacity-building initiative called The Raíces Project. amalia holds a B.A. in Urban Studies and History and a J.D. with a focus on Social Justice, with additional study in International Human Rights at the University of London’s Institute for Advanced Legal Studies.
As a Program Manager for the Media Democracy Fund, Nick coordinates MDF communications and supports a range of other efforts to advance MDF’s mission. Nick joined the MDF staff after eight years as a consultant to MDF and other philanthropic projects, including the HKH Foundation, the Piper Fund and Public Interest Projects/NEO Philanthropy. Before entering philanthropy, Nick pursued a parallel career in photography and video production that included work with National Geographic, the Smithsonian Magazine, the Jane Goodall Institute, and several Department of Energy National Laboratories. As Director of Educational Media for Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, he built a video curriculum covering the entirety of American pre-clinical medical education. In addition to his work with MDF, he maintains a small photography and video production company called Light & Noise, Inc. that specializes in scientific subjects, with long-term photographic projects on radio astronomy and nuclear history. Nick holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Wesleyan University, with a focus on feminist philosophy of science.