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Staff

Emily A. West | Executive Director and Vice President

Emily A. West, a member of The West Foundation board of directors since 1985, became its Executive Director in 1996. Prior to joining the foundation as its inaugural employee and opening its first office, Ms. West spent more than a decade working in the fields of public relations and marketing. During this time, she accumulated experience in both public and private sectors, including serving as Coordinator of the Ridesharing Program for the Indianapolis Department of Transportation, and as an Assistant Account Manager for the public relations consulting agency Borshoff. Her most recent position before accepting her role with the foundation was Director of Marketing for the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s The Fund Raising School, a national series of programs that provide training for non-profit staff and board members in ethics-based fundraising. During her tenure with The Fund Raising School, Ms. West earned a Certificate of Fund Raising Management. She acquired additional training in leadership...
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Samantha Alarie-Leca | Program Officer

Samantha Alarie-Leca adds a dynamic combination of training and hands-on experience in the non-profit sector to the West Foundation’s work in collaborating with high-impact, grassroots international development programs. As the foundation’s inaugural Program Officer, she is responsible for developing and supporting partnerships with its constituent organizations, as well as establishing communications with potential new partners for the gifting program. Originally from Johnston, Rhode Island, Ms. Alarie-Leca’s first sojourn in the Hoosier State occurred when she attended Notre Dame University for her college experience, eventually graduating summa cum laude with a B.A. in French and Francophone Studies in 2007.  Ms. Alarie-Leca also holds an M.S. in Nonprofit Leadership from the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, which she earned in 2013. While at Penn, she served as a Fellow for the prestigious Lipman Family Prize with the Leadership Office at the Wharton School of Business. The...
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Board

Phyllis M. West | President

Phyllis M. West (nee McRoberts) was born in Evansville, Indiana, and spent her childhood years in Sullivan, Indiana. Following her graduation from high school, she attended Asbury College (now Asbury University) in Wilmore, Kentucky, where she earned a BA in both Biology and Chemistry in 1953. After graduation, Mrs. West relocated to Indianapolis, Indiana, where she worked at Methodist Hospital as a medical technician for a year before entering Butler University as a master’s candidate. She graduated from Butler with an MA in Education in 1957, and began teaching at the elementary level for the Indianapolis Public Schools system later that year. During her time as a first-grade teacher at an inner-city school, she was able to gain a bird’s eye view of the difficulties and inequalities present in an urban setting. As a result, she developed initiatives on what might be required to correct them. Upon her marriage to Stephen R. West in...
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Rebekah D. Jones | Board Member

Rebekah Jones (nee Davis) comes to the West Foundation as a fourth-generation family member to serve on the board of directors. She brings experience in the non-profit sector, both in international human rights and direct work with survivors of domestic violence in the United States. Mrs. Jones was one of the first high school graduates in the state of Indiana to be awarded the prestigious status of a Lilly Endowment scholar. She used the full, four-year scholarship to study at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, graduating magna cum laude in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. During her time at Taylor, Mrs. Jones lived and studied in Russia. This experience, along with in-depth studies of the Rwandan genocide and the current international sex trafficking pandemic, led her to pursue work in the human rights field. Immediately upon graduation, she had the privilege of working in Washington, D.C. for the human rights...
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Suzanna D. Bloom | Board Member

Suzanna Bloom (nee Davis) is another of Harold West’s great-grandchildren who continues his legacy by serving on the board of the West Foundation. Her interest in international issues began at age 15 through participation in a service trip to Romania. In her following high school years, she further broadened her international experience with a second service trip; this time to Thailand. Additionally, she was selected as an Indiana University Honors student, which gave her the opportunity to study in France for eight weeks to achieve fluency in French. Following her graduation from Heritage Christian High School, Mrs. Bloom began her degree program as a BA candidate in International Studies at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. While pursuing her degree, she was especially drawn to classes in international development as well as justice and reconciliation. She later served as a cabinet member for Taylor’s Social Justice Week, a program designed to...
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