The Herbal Anthropology Project consists of a team of radical visionaries stemming from all over the globe with expertise in entrepreneurship, herbal medicine, ethnobotany, social change, integrative medicine, dance, and indigenous culture preservation.
Board of Directors
William Hakizimana – Chair
William Hakizimana is chief technology officer and co-founder of Export Abroad (exportabroad.com). Born and raised in the beautiful hills of Northern Rwanda, William’s first experience with the power of traditional knowledge was when he had a liver infection that was elusive to western therapies and a traditional herbalist cured the infection. William’s experience with big data management and his enthusiasm of developing web tools for the developing world strongly contributes to the mission of Herbal Anthropology Project.
Diana Peterson – Director
Diana Peterson is a Ph.D. student in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies Environment and Resource Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Alverno College in Business and Management and a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Diana is a member of the Menominee, HoChunk, and Oneida Nations and has devoted much of her personal and academic efforts to supporting continued resilience of her cultures’ rights, customs, and biocultural integrity. She specializes in traditional food systems, completing her Masters thesis titled “Three Sisters Gardening: Rejuvenating a Traditional Food System” with the Oneida Tribe in Wisconsin, with whom she also partnered as a consultant to the Interactive Design team in establishing a 10 yer strategic planning initiative for the nation. She is currently working on a doctoral dissertation focusing on preserving the use and management practices of the sacred grain, manoomin, the wild rice. She is a gardener, writer, photographer, ethnographer, and ethnobotanist.
Laura Ash is a clinical herbalist, queer woman, dancer, visionary, storyteller, and social entrepreneur. In 2005 Laura graduated from The California School of Herbal Studies in Clinical Herbal Medicine while running a chai tea company. In 2008, Laura co-founded Avra Organic Spa in San Francisco. Overseas, Laura worked with Oxford University’s business school students consulting with social venture start-ups, and volunteered with Leadership Education for Uganda teaching literature to primary and secondary schools. Laura also teaches western herbal medicine classes, has a private clinical practice, and has been invited as a guest lecturer at UW Madison. After traveling the globe Laura has felt a sacred obligation to support indigenous people in their health sovereignty, protecting their sacred knowledge as it’s being lost far too quickly. Laura lives in San Francisco, CA with her two children, while running a herbal apothecary called The Scarlet Sage Herb Co.
E. Jane Bradbury – Director of Research
Dr. E. Jane Bradbury is a botanist and ethnobotanist who specializes in plant biochemistry, chemical ecology, crop domestication, and global food cultures. She earned her B.Sc. in Biology from the University of South Carolina Honors College and her Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research efforts have explored many of the biocultural interactions between humans and botanical landscapes, including investigating the effects of land management practices on the Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris) ecosystem, exploring the socio-cultural relationships of South Carolinians with their state tree, Sabal palmetto, and working with traditional Quechua and Aymara farmers to reconstruct the biochemical and cultural coevolution of Oxalis tuberosa domestication, food cultural practices, and linguistic schemes. Jane has been a strong advocate for Indigenous Rights, within both her professional research and personal activist contexts and views her involvement with HAP as an ideal union of her scholarly pursuits and passion for social justice. Jane currently lives in the South Carolina Lowcountry with her husband and two vivacious daughters.
Kevin Doyle Jones – Board Member
Kevin has operational experience as the owner or founder of businesses in the areas of real estate (Impact Hubs in San Francisco, Berkeley, New York City, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia); conferences and events (Social Capital Markets); digital media (Net Market Markers) and platforms; broadcasting and program syndication; and publishing. Five of his previous six businesses, including Net Market Makers, achieved market dominance before he left or sold them.
In 2005, Kevin became a principal of Good Capital, a venture fund that accelerates the flow of capital to innovative ventures and initiatives. These are companies that harness the power of the market to create sustainable solutions, solving some of the world’s most complex social problems. In that capacity, he has served on boards of several portfolio growth companies, including Better World Books. In 2008, he founded and continues to serve as the convener of an annual event series, Social Capital Markets (SoCap), that has become the leading global convener for impact investors and social entrepreneurs.
Sage La Pena – Advisor
Sage is a Clinical Herbalist, ethnobotanist, lecturer, teacher, and gardener specializing in both Native American and Western herbal traditions. From the age of 7, Sage has been working with local medicine people from her tribe, the Northern Wintu (California), and other neighboring tribes. Sage maintains a strong connection with her tribe through continued participation in ceremonial and cultural activities. She has been teaching “Ethnobotany of California native plants” for over twenty years, and leads plant walks throughout the state. Sage was a Community Health Representative (CHR) for two years after her clinical internship with Sonoma County Indian Health. A CHR, sage assisted clients with diabetes care, nutritional counseling and doctor patient translation. Sage is actively involved in watershed management projects and was previously the Water Resource Coordinator for the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians.
Orna Izakson – Advisor
Dr. Orna Izakson is a writer, gardener, herbalist and naturopathic physician in Portland, Oregon. In addition to her private practice, she is the lead physician for Traditional Roots Institute at National College of Natural Medicine (traditionalroots.org), educating both the public and their health-care providers about the healing power of botanical medicines. Dr. Izakson worked for a dozen years as a journalist covering science and the environment for newspapers, magazines and online media. This work encouraged her to explore the depth, complexity and interdependence of ecological systems—which include all of us on this earth. As a physician, she now applies these insights to the physical, emotional and spiritual systems of individual patients in their social and environmental contexts.
David Kiefer – Advisor
David Kiefer, M.D., is a board-certified family physician with extensive experience in botanical and integrative medicine. Dr. Kiefer’s past work included teaching naturopathic medical students at Bastyr University in Seattle, and supervising family medicine residents at a homeless youth clinic. He completed a fellowship at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, where he is now an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine. Dr. Kiefer is a clinical faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he recently completed a Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research Fellowship in the Department of Family Medicine studying the cross-cultural use of herbal medicine.
Global Projects Specialists
Alex McAlvay – Ethnobotanist
Alex McAlvay is a Botany Ph.D. student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology and anthropology at Western Washington University. His interest in ethnobotany emerged while growing up in Washington state where he marveled at the manifold uses of local plants. This curiosity developed into a passion for the preservation of traditional ecological knowledge and health sovereignty. He has participated in fieldwork with the Diné and Kwakwak’wakw people of the U.S, Sidama of Ethiopia, and Wixárika of Mexico. His Ph.D. research explores the long term effects of historical plant management by the Nuxalk First Nation of Canada.