Christopher Hest has nearly 30 years of leadership in the nonprofit sector. He is Chief Executive Officer of Friends Without A Border/Angkor Hospital for Children, where he leads the 501(C)(3) organization that supports Cambodia’s internationally recognized teaching pediatric hospital, community programs, and satellite clinics. Chris previously directed the resource and partnership development activities of Living Goods, a social business using micro-franchising to reinvent the sustainable delivery of pro-poor goods in Africa. Prior posts include Chief Philanthropy Officer of the William J. Clinton Foundation and Vice President for External Affairs at Freedom from Hunger. Between 1996 and 2005 he led philanthropy activities at The Nature Conservancy California and San Francisco Symphony and was Deputy Director of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.
As a direct result of his domestic and international travel in search of whitewater kayaking adventures, since 2002 Chris has served institutions with a social justice mission—preserving natural resources, delivering healthcare in the developing world, and providing opportunity and empowerment for poor women and their families through access to microfinance, education, and health protection. In 2001 he co-established a whitewater kayaking and rafting business with a local paddler in the Indian Himalaya, thereby providing self-sufficiency to one family and seasonal employment for local villagers. Chris ranks the success of that undertaking among his biggest accomplishments.
Rivers are fundamental to Chris’s life. He has kayaked on six continents, supports a variety of river protection and conservation organizations, and earned his whitewater kayaking instructor certification from Mary and Phil DeRiemer in May 2006. While career and family do their best to minimize his time on the water, Chris’s commitment to young people in developing countries seeking whitewater careers gives him substantial vicarious reward.
For many years Chris was a member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Fund Raising Counsel and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Healing Waters, an outdoor adventure social services agency. He earned a degree in Political Science and Canadian Studies from Duke University.