Founder & Chief Creative Officer
Giant Steps Music is the vision of Drew Foxman, a nonprofit impact leader who has built a career at the intersection of arts and culture, youth development, education, and global social justice. His passion for music led him to launch his career at the San Francisco Jazz Organization (SFJAZZ) as one of the founding Directors of Education. In this role, he brought music to schools in violence-stricken neighborhoods of San Francisco to inspire young peoples' self-expression, and commissioned new music dedicated to social change. He then pursued graduate studies at Columbia University to research the nexus of music and global development, and created a post-conflict creative arts action platform reaching thousands of youth in India and Pakistan with the US Department of State.
Drew holds a Certificate in Social Enterprise Management & Impact Investing from Middlebury College, and Social Sector Leadership from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley; an M.A. in International Development Education from Columbia University Teachers College; and a B.A. in Economics and French from Northwestern University. He is a 2018 Rotary Peace Fellow and 2017 SE 100 Fellow, a list of the world's top 100 social entrepreneurs.
ARTS PROGRAM COORDINATOR, EAST-WEST CENTER
COMPOSER, PERFORMER, EDUACATOR; ARTS PROGRAM COORDINATOR, EAST-WEST CENTER
Nāwāhineokalaʻi Lanzilotti is a Kanaka Maoli multi-media performer and educator raised in lower Mānoa, Oʻāhu, whose work focuses on decolonisation and sustaining indigenous practice through experimental performing arts.
Nawa’s collaborations throughout the Asia-Pacific aim to engage diverse communities employing spoken word, movement, sound arts, and film/video projection. From 2012-2018, Nawa lived in New Delhi, India studying Hindustani music and creating cross-cultural productions with her international arts collective PULSE Ensemble. There she also worked with local NGO Shubhendra & Saskia Rao Foundation developing place-based K-12 arts curriculum.
In 2019, she earned her MFA in experimental sound from Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College with the completion of her thesis, "Nā Kai ʻEwalu: Fluidity and Fragmentation as Form in Indigenous Experimental Performance." Nawa currently serves as the Program Assistant of the East-West Center Arts Program in Mānoa where she also studies hula under the instruction of Hālau Hula O Maiki.
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST, EAST-WEST CENTER
Gretchen Alther builds programs that strengthen individual and community leadership. She is expanding the East-West Center’s leadership programs for women; directs the Center’s flagship residential course, the Asia Pacific Leadership Program; and contributes to other short- and long-term training both in Hawai‘i and across the region. With over 15 years of experience as an international educator and humanitarian, Ms. Alther infuses her program design with a commitment to equity and to grassroots communities. Previously, Ms. Alther designed and managed multimillion-dollar programs to support disaster relief, conflict zone aid, and resilience in marginalized communities in the US, Myanmar, Pakistan, Nepal, Gaza, Colombia, Haiti and beyond. She has recently worked with the UNFPA Arab States Office to operationalize their resilience framework in Syria and the broader region. Ms. Alther serves on the advisory committee of the Institute for Climate and Peace, and is a founding board member of the Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security. She earned an M.A. from Brandeis University, postgraduate certificates in leadership and peacebuilding from the East-West Center and Chulalongkorn University, respectively, and a B.A. from Texas A&M University.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS & ADVISORS
BYRON AU YONG
COMPOSER AND EDUCATOR
MONISHA BAJAJ, PH.D.
PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL & COMPARATIVE EDUCATION, UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO
MULTI-GRAMMY NOMINATED DRUMMER AND COMPOSER
CEO, OPPORTUNITY COLLABORATION; FOUNDER, CONVENORS.ORG