Dr. Devon Wiel Cohn is co-founder and president of Natembea Foundation, a family foundation focused on education and conflict avoidance, primarily in Africa and the Middle East. She and her husband had little philanthropic experience when they created the foundation in 2005, so they turned to The Philanthropy Workshop (TPW) for help. TPW programs and peer mentoring continue to shape the core philosophy and principles that now guide Natembea’s strategic giving. Strategic philanthropy is, by nature, a process of trial and error, and identifying patterns for success requires recognition and candid discussion of mistakes and failures. Dr. Cohn’s work on examining the nature of failure in the philanthropic pursuit of effective change was a central component of the 2016 TPW member retreat.  

In addition to her mentoring and philanthropic work, Dr. Cohn is primary caregiver for two children and continues to devote volunteer time to local child development and educational organizations. Her family and philanthropic pursuits have led her to travel extensively in countries throughout the world, including France, Liberia, Ghana, Tanzania, Turkey, India, and New Zealand. She holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Oregon and an undergraduate degree in Developmental Psychology from Stanford University. 


Voices from the Field

Failure Talks with TPW: a Conversation with Sapphira Goradia

Posted on June 14, 2016 by Devon Cohn, Sapphira Goradia, The Philanthropy Workshop

This is the first in a series of conversations with members of The Philanthropy Workshop curated by TPW member Devon Cohn. "TPW Talks Failure" examines stories about lessons learned, about the process of failing, and cautionary tales that shine a light into less explored areas or less well understood areas of the philanthropic world. … Read More