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The ANA Messenger: Social Development Edition 2013

Published: September 26, 2013
Social and Economic Development Strategies (SEDS)

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Getting to Know Us
Tom Dannan

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  1. Profile picture of Thomas DannanCan you provide us with some background and what lead you to the kind of work you do for ANA?

    I came to ANA straight from graduate school, at Syracuse University. Before then, I’d served in the Peace Corps in Morocco and then spent a year or so working for a rural health clinic in South Sudan with the John Dau Foundation. In both places, I worked closely with tribal people, living in the local communities. I’d also spent most of my short professional career as a grant writer and project director, which really made me want to get into the other side of grants—evaluation and working on the funding side of things.


  2. What do you enjoy most about your job?

    One of the best parts of my work as an Impact Evaluator is getting to see the projects ANA funds and meet the people directing the projects and benefiting from them. I just wish more of the ANA team could get to see the great things these projects help accomplish! I also enjoy getting to review new grant applications; having been in the position of a grant-writer, it means a lot to me to be able to give an application the fair and objective review that it deserves.
  3. Can you share with our readers your thoughts on the importance of the social development program at ANA?  Have you visited any projects that highlight the importance of this ANA program?

    I don’t think the importance of ANA’s social development program can be understated. The diversity of the projects ANA funds is as diverse as ANA grantees themselves, so I’ve come across a wide range of projects that have done a lot of good in different ways.

    One project I visited early on in my time with ANA was a fatherhood project. The project’s strategy was to draw on Native American cultural strengths to work with dads and their families to promote healing and wellness from multigenerational trauma. The program worked to re-establish fathers’ sacred connection to their cultural identity and roles. The project involved communities throughout Indian Country in implementation, and trained health practioners and leaders from each community. The grantee also formed strong partnerships with a lot of other organizations. The partnerships, along with the training and involvement of community people, really helped ensure the project’s benefits would be sustained. By the end of the project, over 1,100 people benefited from it, and in really meaningful ways.
  4. What are some of your interests or hobbies?  What do you like to do most in your free time?

    I really enjoy spending time with my wife (we’ve been married almost a year now), and we love to go fishing and camping whenever we get a chance.
  5. Is there anything else you would like to share?

    I’d just like to acknowledge that, as a person who is not Native American, I’ve really appreciated the community members, project staff, T&TA providers, and ANA staff who’ve shared their experiences, knowledge, and wisdom with me so I can better contribute to ANA’s work and the benefit of ANA’s grantees and applicants.

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Last Reviewed: October 18, 2016