Betsy Theobald Richards leads the organization’s Creative Change efforts with artists, influencers, and advocates to shift narrative, culture, and policy towards greater and more equal opportunity for all. Betsy brings over two decades of experience in philanthropy, performing arts, Indigenous cultures, museums, arts education, media, and community advocacy to her role.
Before joining The Opportunity Agenda, Betsy spent over seven years as a Program Officer in Media, Arts, and Culture at the Ford Foundation, overseeing a national portfolio on Native American and place-based cultural communities. While at Ford, she initiated the creation of the unprecedented Native Arts and Cultures Foundation and served as the global chair of its Committee on Indigenous Peoples. Previously, she was the inaugural Director of Public Programs for the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, the country's largest tribal museum and research center. In addition, she has run two theater companies, served as a Fellow at the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater and has directed on stages in New York, Los Angeles, and Canada.
Betsy served on the team for the groundbreaking narrative change research project Reclaiming Native Truth. She holds degrees from NYU and Yale University and is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.