Sonya Salanti

Sonya Salanti, MS, MEd (she/her) 
Board Member

Sonya Salanti is the director of the Neil and Louise Tillotson Funds, a place-based philanthropy focused on rural community development in Northern New England, Quebec, and Guatemala. With over two decades of experience in the non-profit and philanthropic sectors, her career is devoted to supporting non-profit organizations and community-based groups to develop and apply innovative solutions to solve complex problems. She has worked across several sectors spanning sustainable development, poverty alleviation, economic recovery, clean energy, and community resilience in partnership with civil society and social sector organizations active in over 90 countries. Sonya has served on the steering committee for the Minimum Economic Recovery Standards, an internationally recognized consensus on best practices for building economic resilience for crisis-affected communities. She has also served as an Advisory Committee member of the Humanitarian Standards Partnership which aims to improve the quality and accountability of humanitarian action through the promotion of humanitarian standards.

Sonya holds a master’s degree in International Sustainable Development from the School for International Training, a master’s degree in Sustainability Education from Portland State University, and a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from Vermont College. Her insatiable curiosity and beginner’s mind is shaped by living, working, and traveling in over 20 countries. In her free time, Sonya volunteers in her community, works on her old house, spends time in nature, and enjoys the company of her animal and human friends. She has also recently started performing in community musical theater in minor ensemble roles, where she tries very hard not to mess up the song lyrics and choreography.

As a lover of animals and belief in their personhood, Sonya’s passion for animal protection and ending industrialized animal agriculture is driven by the belief that all living beings have a right to life with dignity. She is honored and humbled to serve on the Board of Directors for Thrive Philanthropy.