Catherine Swysen (President), a trial and appellate lawyer specializing in criminal defense work, has been recognized by the state legislature of California and civil liberties groups for her efforts in defense of civil rights. She is a past President of the Santa Barbara County Bar Association. 

Bill Felstiner (Vice President), one-time Distinguished Research Professor of Law at Cardiff University, has been Associate Dean of the Yale Law School, Assistant Director of the USAID Mission to India, and Director of the American Bar Foundation and the International Institute for the Sociology of Law. He taught law and sociology at UCLA and UCSB.

Rich Appelbaum (Secretary), held the MacArthur Chair in Sociology and Global & International Studies at UCSB, where he directed the graduate program in Global Studies. He has also been Chair of the Sociology Department, Director of the Institute for Social, Behavioral and Economic Research, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Vanessa Bechtel, a graduate of UCSB and the International Institute for the Sociology of Law, was for four years the Executive Director of the Foundation for Santa Barbara City College. She also has served as Chair of the Board and CFO of Monarch Wealth Strategies. In 2010 she was named Business Woman of the Year by the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce.  Bechtel is now the President and CEO of the Ventura County Community Foundation.

Sara-Christine Dallain has an MA in public health from UCLA.  She is Director of Programs at i-ACT, a non-profit that works on early childhood education and sport in eastern Chad.

Jane Eagleton, a psychotherapist by training, serves on the board of many non-profit organizations in Santa Barbara.

Casilda Gil de Santavanes Finat, a graduate student in globalization and multinational corporations at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, has a degree in biological anthropology from the University of Bournemouth. She has traveled and worked in Western Sahare, Morocco, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Namibia and Zambia. She spent thirteen months in Goré, south Chad, as a CRF field representative.  In 2016 she was appointed Associate Program Officer, UNHCR, Luanda, Angola.

Christine Garvey, one-time Group Executive Vice-President of the Bank of America, Global Head of Real Estate for Deutsche Bank and Global Head of Real Estate for Cisco Systems, is a Director of the Union Bank of California, Hilton Hotels and Prologis.

Bill Murdoch, Charles A. Storke II Professor of Ecology at UCSB, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, is the Founding Director of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (National Science Foundation). He was on the Board of Directors of the Nature Conservancy from 2000-09 and is the author of The Poverty of Nations: The Political Economy of Hunger and Population, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980.

Helen Murdoch taught high school history for fourteen years before becoming Teacher Librarian and Technology Coach at San Marcos High School in the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

Mary-Louise Scully(Medical Director) M.D. is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. An Associate Editor of Travel Medicine Advisor Update, she is Director of the Sansum Clinic's Travel and Tropical Medicine Center in Santa Barbara, CA. Dr. Scully is Global Medical Advisor to AmeriCares and on the Board of Direct Relief International. 

Special Advisers. The Board owes a debt of gratitude to its special advisers, Randall Thomson (information technology), Karen Shapiro (graphics), Johanna Higgs (research), Gray Felstiner (translation services) and Shannon Duggan (social media), who have worked tirelessly for CRF without compensation. The Board also acknowledges the assistance provided by the UCSB chapter of Engineers Without Borders (Ingrid Koslow, Erik Norberg, John Parker).


Bob Bason was Assistant Chancellor of UCSB, Vice-President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and President of Charitable Funding Services. He is now Chair of the Board of the Global Justice Center in New York, NY.

Robert Del Tufo, a retired partner in the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom, was the Attorney General of New Jersey from 1990-93 and the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey from 1977-80.  Bob died on March 6, 2016.

Erika Felix, an Assistant Researcher at the Graduate School of Education, UCSB, received a PhD in psychology from De Paul University. She is a specialist in disaster mental health and worked in that field in Sri Lanka after the tsunami.

Alissa Sears, who has extensive experience in humanitarian work in Sri Lanka, is Global Betterment Director at Christie Communications, a public relations, marketing, and advertising agency dedicated to helping ethical businesses, entrepreneurs and socially-conscious organizations broaden their impact. At Christie she directs relief projects in the Sudan and Rwanda focused on community-based entreprenurial initiatives.