Rasmuson Foundation’s New Program Officer: A Second-Time Alaskan
The newest addition to Rasmuson Foundation’s team brings experience in philanthropy, government and nonprofit work, much of it focused on homelessness and child welfare. The Foundation announced that Todd Shenk will begin work as a senior program officer, building on a career that began in Alaska.
Shenk worked from 1995 to 2002 for Denali Education Center including as education director. Among other accomplishments, he helped to develop a wilderness leadership course, outdoor therapy programs for at-risk youth and developmentally disabled adults from Interior Alaska, and a “Native Ways of Knowing” snow science curriculum for middle schools.
He then turned to Covenant House Alaska, where he worked from 2003 to 2005. He served as youth enrichment coordinator and developed an internship program for at-risk youth with the Anchorage mayor’s office.
Shenk spent 12 years, from 2005 to 2017, with Seattle-based Casey Family Programs filling positions that drew on his technical, research and analytical skills. He managed grant portfolios and built relationships with groups including Native Americans in Philanthropy and Funders Together to End Homelessness. From 2011 to 2014, he served as a Casey Senior Fellow on loan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to, as he put it, “advance federal policy at the intersection of child welfare, housing and homelessness.”
Most recently, Shenk ran a consulting business based in Seattle that stretched to Alaska and work on youth homelessness.
The Foundation selected Shenk after a nationwide search.
“We’re thrilled to have Todd back in Alaska as part of our team,” said Diane Kaplan, Rasmuson Foundation president and chief executive officer. “He brings a wealth of experience in areas we care deeply about. He will be a great asset to the philanthropy field in our state.”
Asked what he envisioned, Shenk said: “I am hoping to bring a commitment to equity, a belief that Alaska’s most challenging problems are all solvable, and a love of Alaska’s amazing wild places.”
In This Issue
The Art of Architecture
Architects often find themselves facing something of a chicken and egg dilemma. When it comes to design, what takes precedence—form or function?
“It’s a great question, and it’s probably a loaded question,” says David McVeigh, president of RIM Architects. “You can ask ten different architects and get ten different answers.”
Many of the factors that influence those answers land outside the architect’s control. The client’s vision for the building, its location and intended use, the project budget, and whether the design must conform to specific guidelines are all details the architect must consider when determining how much emphasis to place on aesthetics and how much on function.