Welcome Cathy Lehman

Stepping into programmatic leadership with the foundation in 2020, Cathy brings 2 decades of experience deepening impact for environmental and community based organizations across the Pacific Northwest, including past Harder Foundation grantees Futurewise and Washington Environmental Council.

For most of her career Cathy focused on community development, environmental policy, and grassroots political organizing. She directly partnered with dozens of environmental and conservation organizations in leadership roles for Washington state’s Environmental Priorities Coalition and Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, and helped build a broad and diverse movement for climate action, run Get Out the Vote campaigns for environmental voters, led a county-wide effort to protect farmland and reduce sprawl, and educated local business owners on more sustainable practices.

In recent years Cathy refocused her energies on social impact and philanthropy, and most recently led a global philanthropic donor network called Social Venture Partners International as Chief Operating Officer. There she focused on capacity building for community organizations in over 40 locations worldwide and led the network through a CEO transition, while building broad support for restructuring the network’s philanthropic model with a racial equity lens.

Cathy has held positions on dozens of nonprofit boards and community commissions, including serving three years on Bellingham City Council and as a governor-appointed commissioner promoting volunteerism in Washington state. She graduated from Western Washington University with a BA in Communications, earned a Masters in Social Entrepreneurship and Change from Pepperdine University, and has a Certificate in Sustainable Business from Pinchot University. She loves to travel internationally (been to 27 countries and counting!), trail run the beautiful North Cascades, rearrange her living room furniture, and play soccer.

Cathy lives in Bellingham, WA with her husband David and their black labs Cash and June.