Susan Fassberg (Secretary / Treasurer, 2013-2015), brings twenty-plus years of experience in marketing, business development and public relations to the Terralingua Board. Most recently she held the position of Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. The GGSC studies the psychology, sociology and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills for a thriving, resilient and compassionate society. Previously, Susan held senior positions with Salon.com and AskJeeves.com, and consulted for LAMagazine and numerous TV productions in the US and overseas (NDR, ZDF, and RTL+). “Linking people with ideas with people with ideas…” is Susan’s passion. Fluent in German, French and Spanish, she launched Connectingdotz.com, a greeting card company celebrating linguistic diversity, endangered languages, and indigenous wisdom. Susan also serves on the Board of the Rockwood Leadership Institute and consults to the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, based in Denver.
George N. Appell, Ph.D. (At-Large, 2013-2015) holds an A.B., M.B.A, and M.A. from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Australian National University. Along with his wife, Laura, he has done fieldwork among the Dogrib First Nation of the Northwest Territories of Canada, the Bulusu’ of Kalimantan Timur, Indonesia, and the Rungus of Sabah, Malaysia. The work with the Rungus continues. George and Laura and co-founded the Sabah Oral Literature Project in 1986. George also is co-founder and president of the Borneo Research Council, a membership organization that includes scholars in the social, medical, and biological sciences. For as long as he can remember, he has been concerned with the plight of indigenous peoples. Because indigenous societies are almost universally denigrated and ridiculed, and because change is introduced among them without full understanding of the social consequences, his and Laura’s approach has been instead to honor indigenous cultures and provide their societies with insight on their sociocultural organization, so that they can make informed choices for their own futures (see for example the Anthropologists’ Fund for Urgent Anthropological Research which they established; http://www.urgentanthro.org/). In addition to field research and ethnographic reporting, George’s research and writing have focused on the plight of indigenous peoples, including their loss of access to their natural and cultural resources. He has written several articles on indigenous land tenure, and is completing his book Understanding Resource Tenure and Property Relations: Theory and Method. He has researched and written on the ecological significance of sacred groves and sacred places and how their destruction has environmental consequences. He has also written on how the unthinking application of the basic human rights documents can do more harm than good to indigenous societies. In 1999, George and Laura established the Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research. One of its goals is to record the vanishing arts and sciences of indigenous peoples. For this purpose, the foundation provides Fellowships for the Collection of Oral Literature and Traditional Ecological Knowledge. There are now over 60 such projects in the field. For this work the foundation prepared a draft of The Collection of Oral Literature and Traditional Ecological Knowledge: A Field Guide, which was tested in the field and is in the process of being revised.
Robert Alan Hershey, J.D. (At-Large, 2013-2015), is a Professor on both the Law and American Indian Studies Faculties and Director of Clinical Education for the Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy Program at the University of Arizona. He received his law degree from the University of Arizona College of Law in 1972. He began his legal career as a Staff Attorney for the Fort Defiance Agency of Dinebeiina Nahilna Be Agaditahe (DNA Legal Services) on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Thereafter, as a sole practitioner, Robert specialized in Indian affairs. From 1983 to 1999, he served as Special Litigation Counsel and Law Enforcement Legal Advisor to the White Mountain Apache Tribe, and, from 1995 to 1997, as Special Counsel to the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. Robert has also served continuously from 1989-present as Judge Pro Tempore for the Tohono O’odham Judiciary, and he is a past Associate Justice for the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribal Court of Appeals. He has been a member of the White Mountain Apache, Hopi, Pascua Yaqui, and Tohono O’odham Tribal Courts. He has taught American Indian Law at the University of Puerto Rico Escuela de Derechos and at the University of Deusto in Bilbao, Spain, and has taught a Globalization course in Summer 2005 at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. For the past twenty years he has taught Indian/Indigenous/Aboriginal law at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. His current courses include Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Clinical Education (which promotes and assists the self-determination of Aboriginal communities in the southwestern United States and worldwide), Advanced Topics in Indian Law, and Globalization and the Transformation of Cultures and Humanity. His students engage in projects that benefit Aboriginal Peoples domestically and internationally (see http://www.law.arizona.edu/Depts/iplp/). Robert also spearheads the EcoLiterateLaw project (www.ecoliteratelaw.com/), which aims to introduce ecological literacy in legal and business school education.