Mary Dell Lucas, President
Mary Dell Lucas is a former archaeologist who created and, for 40 years, ran Far Horizons–an educational travel company that specializes in archaeology and history led by PhD scholars. In 1985, Mary Dell attended a presentation by Dr. Georgia Lee on the rock art of Easter Island and was the first to the podium at the talk’s completion to convince her to lead a tour to the island. For the next 15 years, Mary Dell gained a unique and in-depth insight into Rapa Nui and its people as she traveled there yearly with Georgia and the tour groups. Mary Dell’s company was responsible for the logistics of two scholarly conferences on Easter Island, one in New Mexico with Thor Heyerdahl as the keynote speaker, and the second in northern California featuring Dr. Patrick Kirsch. Upon retirement, Mary Dell’s continuing interest in archaeology and indigenous cultures, along with her friendship with Georgia, was the impetus of her decision to join the Easter Island Foundation.
Marla Wold, Vice-President
Marla became intrigued with Rapa Nui during her first college class at the University of Wyoming in 1969, taught by William Mulloy. Marla has a Master’s degree in Anthropology on the subject of the Rapanui language. Marla was the chairperson of the EIF Scholarship Committee for many years and is pictured here with Viki Haoa Cardinali, Rapanui language expert and teacher. Viki and Marla are founding members of the scholarship program administered by the EIF.
Julie Francis, Secretary
As an archaeologist based in Wyoming, Julie has directed excavations at Clovis Mammoth Caves, Trappers Point, Legend Rock State Petroglyph sites. Native American rock art has been her primary research focus since the late 1980s. She has had the privilege of working with a variety of tribal representatives to gain a much richer and deeper understanding of rock art from indigenous perspectives and the critical role these sites play in the sacred geography of indigenous religious belief. Dr. William T. Mulloy was her undergraduate advisor at the University of Wyoming, and Julie took every class he taught. She was fascinated by his perspectives on Polynesian and Rapa Nui prehistory, and was deeply touched to visit Dr. Mulloy’s grave on Easter Island in 2008, and to learn of the reverence and honor in which he is held by the Rapanui people. Julie is a member of the EIF Scholarship Committee.
Rachel Lee, Treasurer
Rachel first traveled to Easter Island in 1991 with her grandmother, archaeologist Dr. Georgia Lee. Rachel lived with a Rapa Nui family for six weeks, and fell in love with the people, culture and beauty of the island. She hopes to uphold her grandmother’s legacy of engagement with Easter Island, and to support the Rapa Nui in their vision for the future.
Board of Directors
Kay Sanger fell in love with Rapa Nui while working there with Georgia Lee’s research project in 1983. She has returned to the island many times, and works to promote education, research and preservation. Kay has an MA in Archaeology from UCLA and is the author of several books on travel, archaeology and rock art, including the EIF’s best-selling guidebook, Easter Island, The Essential Guide. Kay is a member of the EIF Scholarship Committee and a former President and Vice-President of the EIF. She is currently working as the executive producer of a soon-to-be released documentary about the passenger ship, SS Athenia, sunk in the Atlantic on the first day of World War II, Sept. 3, 1939. www.atheniaslastvoyage.com
Kathi Merritt (left) first visited Rapa Nui on an Earthwatch expedition in 2007; she returned to volunteer for Earthwatch in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and is eager to assist with future research. Later trips were with family and friends to share the uniqueness and beauty of the island. Kathi has over 40 years experience as a classroom teacher and school library media teacher. Kathi is Chair of the EIF Scholarship program.
Caroline Roe comes to the Easter Island Foundation by way of her passion for tiki and Polynesian pop culture, and has been the liaison with the EIF from Fraternal Order of Moai (FOM) since 2009. She is currently President of the FOM Foundation, the charitable arm of FOM. She and her husband Rob visited Rapa Nui in 2008 and enjoyed exploring the island, capturing the beauty of the island through photography, and she looks forward to returning. Caroline has a BS from Denison University in Psychology, and an MA from Duke University in Cognitive Psychology, leading to her career in Marketing Research. Caroline is a member of the EIF Scholarship Committee.
Pat currently serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Fraternal Order of Moai as well as serves as board member of the E.D.G.E. Foundation in Atlanta. Additionally, Pat actively volunteers with FurKids in Atlanta, PALS Atlanta, Love & Hope for Haiti, and Lost and Found Youth inc. Previously, Pat has provided board service for Atlanta Pride, Ben Cohen Stand-Up Foundation, GLEAM (Gay and Lesbian Employees at Microsoft), Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta, and Adopt a Golden Atlanta.
Elana Yonah Rosen has been collaborating to invite access to education for all since 1991. Her contributions include creating EDUTOPIA.org; founding Just Think, offering kids from diverse and distressed communities cameras and computers to tell their stories through filmmaking; and supporting young people via World Merit, a radically inclusive entrepreneurial organization with members from 150 countries. She looks forward to supporting young people on Easter Island with the resources needed to honor the Rapa Nui culture will allow the next generation to both preserve the past and explore their vision for the future.
Dr. Mara Mulrooney edited the Rapa Nui Journal and is the co-editor of the Journal of Polynesian Archeology and Research. She first visited Rapa Nui as a student on an archaeological field school in 2001. She completed her masters and doctorate at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, where her field projects were focused on Hawaiian and Rapa Nui archaeology. She is currently a principal and senior archaeologist at Pacific Legacy, Inc. Mara previously held positions at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, where she curated a major exhibition, Rapa Nui: The Untold Stories of Easter Island in 2018-2019 that ran concurrently with a sister exhibit on Rapa Nui, Hare Tao‘a, Hare Tangata, which was a collaboration between Bishop Museum and the Museo Antropológico Padre Sebastián Englert (MAPSE). Mara has edited the Rapa Nui Journal since 2010.
Dr. Jillian A. Swift is a Project Manager for Pacific Legacy, Inc. and holds research and teaching affiliations with the Department of Anthropology at the University of Hawai‘i, M?noa and Bishop Museum. She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley (2016), where she specialized in the archaeological history of Polynesia, zooarchaeology, and stable isotope analysis. She is particularly interested in applying community-engaged archaeological fieldwork and collections-based research towards questions of past human land use and current sustainability concerns. Her active projects include an NSF-funded archaeological investigation into long-term agricultural sustainability in H?lawa Valley, Moloka?i, with collaborators Patrick Kirch and Noa Lincoln. Her work has been featured in various outlets, including Smithsonian Magazine, The Scientist, and The New York Times. As Publications Chair for the Society for Hawaiian Archaeology, she currently serves as co-Editor of the Journal of Polynesian Archaeology and Research.
Ana Betty Haoa Rapahango was the Librarian at the Biblioteca Rapanui at the Fonck Museum in Viña del Mar for many years. Betty is an Easter Islander and has an MA from the University of Chile. She assists the EIF as a translator for the Rapa Nui Journal and for EIF’s Scholarship Program.
Emeritus Board Members
Joan Seaver Kurze’s interest in anthropology led her to UCLA where she earned her doctorate. Her fieldwork on Rapa Nui focused on the modern woodcarvers of the island. Joan was the founding President of the EIF and is the author of Ingrained Images, Wood Carvings from Easter Island, the companion book to an exhibition about Easter Island wood carvings at the Maxwell Museum at University of New Mexico in 1997. In 2018 Joan published Saints on Easter Island, detailing the history of the woodcarvings in the Church of the Holy Cross on Easter Island.
Charles Love is a geologist and archaeologist. He taught at Western Wyoming College and has undertaken extensive studies on Easter Island, with special interest in the moai roads and the prehistory of Ahu Tongariki, as well as many other Easter Island ahu.
David Rose served as president of the EIF for over 20 years. He is a retired attorney. He and his wife Gail became enchanted with Easter Island while on Georgia Lee’s Millennium Tour to Easter Island. They enjoy adventure travel and scuba-diving (Dave calls his scuba experience off Motu Nui “spectacular”).
Gail Rose is a retired science teacher. Dave and Gail enjoyed their first visit to Rapa Nui so much that they returned twice more. Gail served on the EIF Board of Directors from 2000 to 2023.
Elaine Crumpley served on the Easter Island Foundation board of directors for 18 years, focusing her passion for education and scholarships for the students on Rapa Nui. She has been the recipient of many educational awards, among them, the Presidential Award for Excellence.
After retiring from teaching in Wyoming, Elaine taught a hands-on, lab-oriented science class to elemenary and high school students on Rapa Nui. Her time teaching on the island was the highlight of her life.
Elaine Dvorak and her husband Don have conducted amazing kite-aerial photography projects on Easter Island and in Hawaii. Their aerial photos showing archaeological sites have provided valuable information to archaeologists on the ground.