Nancy Buffum, Executive Director

Nancy Buffum, Executive Director (she/he/they), believes passionately that equity and access to a quality public education are essential to a child-friendly city. Nancy comes to the Eugene Education Foundation with 30 years of experience in community organizing, program management, and fundraising with a focus on children and families. They moved to Eugene in 2023 from the San Francisco Bay Area, where they most recently served as development director for Oakland-based Family Builders by Adoption. As a member of the San Francisco district PTA board, Nancy helped form its diversity, equity and inclusion task force. Nancy’s public school activism also includes support for special education students, management of San Francisco Safe Routes to School, and fundraising and program development through parent organizations at their own children’s schools. Outside of EEF, you may find Nancy biking all over town, exploring Eugene’s outdoor markets and community events, or working in the garden.

Ryan Pernell, Assistant Director

Ryan (she/her) is an experienced nonprofit professional who is passionate about building healthy, vital communities where all can thrive. She has a B.A. in Urban Planning and Sustainable Development from Western Washington University and a Master’s in Nonprofit Management from the University of Oregon. Her past work with the AmeriCorp RARE program and A Greater Applegate addressed a broad range of social, environmental, and economic challenges in the Applegate Valley, OR through progressive rural development strategy implementation and community organizing. Ryan served as a member and Co-President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals UO Chapter and has consulted with local nonprofits to develop equitable, community-centric fundraising strategies. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Arts and Business Alliance of Eugene. Outside of work, Ryan enjoys spending time with loved ones, exploring the outdoors, traveling to new places, and indulging in culinary experiences.