The On Being Project

Who We Are

The On Being Project is home to creators, curators, and change-makers whose work takes shape across audio, experiential, and digital channels. On Being Studios is the heartbeat of our organization, producing audio and editorial content; our emergent Impact Lab will incubate social healing and spiritual depth in the years to come; our Community & Design Studio brings our core values of beauty, joy, and hospitality to all of our products and relationships; while our Operations & Vitality Studio looks after the well-being and flourishing of our organization and people.

We are creating a new chapter of our organizational life and are committed to a 21st century culture that seeks human flourishing, with a full cross-section of humanity in our workplace mirroring what we send into the world. This is a joyful work in progress.

Krista Tippett

Founder and CEO, The On Being Project; Host, On Being and Becoming Wise; Curator, The Civil Conversations Project

Krista grew up in a small town in Oklahoma, attended Brown University, and became a journalist and diplomat in Cold War Berlin. She lived in Spain and England before seeking a Masters of Divinity at Yale University in the mid-1990s. Emerging from that, she saw a black hole where intelligent conversation about the religious, spiritual, and moral aspects of human life might be. She pitched and piloted her idea for a show for several years before launching Speaking of Faith — later On Being — as a weekly national public radio show in 2003.

In 2014, President Obama awarded Krista the National Humanities Medal at the White House for “thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence. On the air and in print, Ms. Tippett avoids easy answers, embracing complexity and inviting people of ​every background to join her conversation about faith, ethics, and moral wisdom.” Krista is now at work on her next book, Letters to a Young Citizen. Her first book Speaking of Faith, published in 2007, is a memoir of religion in our time, including her move from geopolitical engagement to theology. In 2010, she published Einstein’s God, drawn from her interviews at the intersection of science, medicine, and spiritual inquiry. Krista’s 2016 New York Times best-selling Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living opens into the questions and challenges of this century.

Our Team

Angie Thurston

Angie Thurston

Strategist, Impact Lab

Angie is an On Being strategist and a Ministry Innovation Fellow at Harvard Divinity School, supporting leaders who are deepening community amidst increasing religious disaffiliation. She is the co-author of How We Gather and Something More, two reports profiling new forms of meaningful community in America.

Angie studied playwriting at Brown University and put on arts events in New York City for six years. She began chairing semiannual spiritual gatherings for young adults in 2010. Her faith is grounded in a text called The Urantia Book, and she is an active leader in the international fellowship of Urantia Book readers. She received an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School in 2016.

Bethany Iverson

Bethany Iverson

Lead Strategist, Community & Design

Bethany is fiercely passionate about creating a more just, equitable world. She agitates with love, hopes radically, and advocates fearlessly to create a world she wants to live in. Last fall Bethany abandoned her cushy career as an advertising executive at an agency in Minneapolis to pursue a career that aligned with her values. Bethany's fire for equity and justice often felt out of place in the world of advertising, though publications like Ad Age and AdWeek proudly featured her strong point of view. Thankfully her career in advertising wasn't for naught, as she's now putting her knowledge of how to build bold, courageous, brands into practice as a catalyst to ignite The On Being Project. Her transition from Boss to On Being strategist has been nothing short of exhilarating. She believes another world is possible and is honored to have locked arms with colleagues who believe the same.

The only thing that rivals Bethany’s belief in the infinite power of human potential is the love she has for her dog, Coupon. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurial Studies from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and a Master of Art degree in Rhetoric, Scientific and Technical Communication from the University of Minnesota.

Casper ter Kuile

Casper ter Kuile

Strategist, Impact Lab

Casper is building a world of joyful belonging. He’s a Ministry Innovation Fellow at Harvard Divinity School, where he supports innovative community leaders across the secular/sacred landscape. Together with his colleague Angie Thurston, he’s co-authored reports — including How We Gather — that map this emerging landscape.

Casper hosts a podcast, Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, which engages a modern classic through traditional sacred reading practices.

He was previously the co-founder of Campaign Bootcamp and the UK Youth Climate Coalition. He lives in Cambridge, MA with his husband Sean.

Chris Heagle

Chris Heagle

Producer / Technical Director, On Being Studios

Chris has been a voracious consumer of all things public radio for as long as he can remember. He worked as a technical director for Performance Today, and contributed to several other national programs. Chris is one of the founding team of four that brought On Being to independence in 2013, and he is thrilled to have landed at On Being.

Chris spent the better part of 15 years working in theater as a sound designer and production manager. Though he occasionally pines for the immediacy of live performance, he also believes that in the vast media landscape of our world, radio is still best at stimulating the imagination.

Chris holds a B.A. from Hamline University and an M.F.A. from the University of Illinois. When not in front of a computer screen, he loves the outdoors (regardless of the weather), just about every kind of music, and watching his daughters discover the world.

Erin Colasacco

Erin Colasacco

Art Director, Community & Design

Erin joins On Being as Art Director, utilizing her skills to guide the visual aesthetic of the On Being experience for members of the online community.

She is a conceptual, detail-oriented creative with nearly a decade of experience in advertising, production, and design working on behalf of global brands. She is energized by continuing to find unique ways to bring a brand to life for consumers.

Erin is a Nebraska native and Air Force brat. When she's not practicing her craft, you can find her walking or biking the Chain of Lakes, attending an improv show, pulsing in barre class (only when the teacher is looking...), and exploring new restaurants with friends and family.

Erinn Farrell

Erinn Farrell

Chief Operating Officer

Erinn joins On Being after more than a decade in advertising, most recently in New York, where she brought her Midwestern work ethic and unwavering “never apologize for caring” approach to all things operations. She found her way to On Being by way of a childhood filled with passionate conversation and storytelling, a graphic artist father, a technologist mother, and an environment that always encouraged the respect and discipline of the arts. Erinn graduated with honors from Cornell University and has pursued a life devoted to curiosity, inclusion, and equity.

Erinn’s distinct leadership approach has helped her clients build business and win awards while earning her a place as a “40 under 40” and “Woman to Watch” by the Twin Cities Business Journal and featured by The Drum as an “Exceptional Woman in Advertising.” She loves running with friends, mountain biking with her husband, and chasing her little ones. Any additional moments are spent with her closest friends creating space and opportunities for women to connect and collaborate.

Jeffrey Bissoy

Jeffrey Bissoy

is a 2016 graduate of Carleton College, where he received his B.A. in American Studies with a concentration in French and Francophone studies. Fun fact: he wrote his senior thesis on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Jeffrey joins On Being after a year of researching and producing for APM Reports and MPR News with Kerri Miller.

Born in Yaoundé, Cameroon and raised in The Cities, Jeffrey has developed a passion for the African diaspora and pan-Africanism, immigration and social issues, identity politics, and the impact of sports in society.

Jeffrey is the host of two podcasts — Maintainin’ & The Come-Up — the former examines and brings light to the millennial experience, and the latter stays current with the weekly drama of the NBA. He’s also a contributor for The Current, where he writes about Hip-Hop, the arts, and current events. When he’s not podcasting or writing, you can find him perfecting his Spanish and Salsa steps.

Kristin Lin

Kristin Lin

Editor, On Being Studios

Growing up in a Buddhist, Taiwanese household in Texas, Kristin was always fascinated by the power of conversation to connect the many contrasting microcosms around her. She carried her curiosity for human experience to Chicago, where she studied political science at the University of Chicago and edited the campus's long-form investigative journal. It was during her runs along Lake Michigan that she started tuning into podcasts; she has been an avid fan of On Being ever since she listened to her first episode, featuring Yo-Yo Ma.

Kristin has worked at UC Berkeley and The Wall Street Journal, where she helped produce, write, and report for diverse sets of audiences. She feels lucky to contribute to a program that has so deeply and joyfully enriched her understanding of humanity.

When she's not listening to podcasts or reading, Kristin enjoys cooking for crowds, penning her advice column, and chasing wonder in nature. She is still trying to decide her favorite installment of Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy.

Laurén Dordal

Laurén Dordal

Engagement Manager, Operations and Vitality Studio

With a passion for the tangible brand experience, Laurén cut her teeth in the advertising industry; gaining exposure in employee and consumer engagement, process implementation and event production. Laurén’s hard work and “passion for compassion” was recognized by AdFed’s list of standouts: 32 Under 32. She received her bachelor’s degree in Advertising from the Art Institutes MN, as well as served 6 years in the United States Air Force.

Growing up in the northwestern suburbs of Minneapolis, Laurén fostered a love for the arts at a young age. Today, that love remains, as she serves on the board of local non profit, Art Buddies – an organization which empowers children through creativity. She’s inspired by Scandinavian design and enjoys maintaining her home; everything from landscaping to remodeling. She finds relaxation and restoration with yoga, reading, and cuddling with her dog, Bob.

Liliana Maria (Lily) Percy Ruíz

Liliana Maria (Lily) Percy Ruíz

Executive Producer, On Being Studios

Born in Cali, Colombia, Liliana Maria immigrated to Miami with her family at the age of four. Like many public radio listeners, she fell in love with the medium while sitting in a car, listening to Click and Clack in the backseat of her father’s Honda Accord.

Liliana Maria studied English Literature and Film Studies at Florida International University. She has worked as an associate editor at MovieMaker magazine, and as a producer for StoryCorps and NPR’s “All Things Considered” on the weekends, where she produced the series “Movies I’ve Seen A Million Times." Liliana Maria is one of the founding team of four that brought On Being to independence in 2013.

Her work has also been featured on NPR’s Latino USA, WNYC’s Soundcheck, and Esquire. In 2012, she received the Religion Newswriters Association Radio/Podcast Religion Report of the Year Award for her profile of four Roman Catholic Womenpriests.

Maia Tarrell

Maia Tarrell

Producer, On Being Studios

Originally from Aberdeen, Scotland, Maia and her family shipped out to Western Australia when she was 6. Back then, she liked to make fun of her Dad for listening to ABC’s Radio National because it sounded like “old dudes going on about castles and stuff.” As she grew older (and marginally wiser) she had to eat her words when she, too, became obsessed with radio, especially the shows about castles and stuff.

Her first career incarnation was as a documentary filmmaker, which managed to give her an excuse to live in Melbourne, Sydney, London, and the Bay Area. She has since completed a postgraduate degree in decision neuroscience because she is also very curious about brains.

Maia loves to walk & talk, binge-listen to podcasts, freestyle dance, eat cookies, and drink tea. She is currently training to become a Certified Tea Master.

Malka Haya Fenyvesi

Malka Haya Fenyvesi

Director of Outreach, Civil Conversations Project, Impact Lab

Malka was born in Washington D.C., first-generation daughter of Jewish Hungarian immigrants. She grew up falling asleep to the steady tapping of her journalist father’s typewriter (and eventual computer) keyboard. Malka is fascinated by how we weave practical skills, the making of meaning, the finding of meaning, and social/cultural healing. She earned her B.A. at the Evergreen State College and has an M.S. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University. In 2006, she moved to Los Angeles to co-found and co-direct NewGround: A Muslim Jewish Partnership for Change. She is proud to have been a guest on On Being in 2009.

Malka has worked with The Angell Foundation, The Avi Schaefer Fund, Progressive Jewish Alliance (now Bend the Arc), and Search for Common Ground. She loves taking long walks with dear friends, listening to podcasts, cooking, and knitting. She lives on the East Side of Los Angeles with her husband and daughter and two rowdy sweet dogs.

Mariah Helgeson

Mariah Helgeson

Senior Editor, On Being Studios

Mariah grew up in a Minnesota family of artists and musicians, where she first heard On Being over the airwaves at age 11. She’s been a proud listener ever since.

She collected stories of human resilience and kindness in the classrooms of George Washington University — earning a degree in International Affairs with concentrations in the Middle East and Conflict Resolution — and over many cups of coffee in community movements, from nuclear nonproliferation, to interfaith dialogue, to compassionate communication.

Mariah worked as a program associate at the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network and lived in southern India for a spell as a documentary curator. When she’s not submerged in a good book she might be found laughing with her teenage sisters or playing chamber music as a member of the Markado trio.

Marie Sambilay

Marie Sambilay

Producer, On Being Studios

Marie grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and studied at New York University — where she picked up a degree in Media, Culture, and Communications, and a passion for media in the public service, in exchange for her ability to walk slowly. A voracious consumer of podcasts, she joined the team at On Being to fulfill her dream of contributing to the kind of enlightening programming that has captivated her as a listener during so many long city strolls.

Previously, Marie explored various avenues of media production — including television and documentary production, newspaper editing, and advertising.

Her other obsessions include language, British comedy, large-breed dogs, documenting poignant and humorous moments that she encounters from day to day, and winning huge amounts of imaginary money while playing Jeopardy! over dinner.

Profit Idowu

Profit Idowu

Engagement Manager, Operations and Vitality Studio

Profit is one part passion, one part entrepreneur, and two parts of a Nigerian heritage that makes him the man of service he is today. He received his B.S. in Business and Marketing and minor in Management from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Prior to joining On Being, Profit championed the power of creativity in the advertising industry by masterfully developing client relationships and projects with a polished enterprising demeanor. With experience working across strategic business units and teams to support global brands, Profit now looks to use his many talents to impact the world one day at a time.

When he’s not supporting the well-being of the organization, Profit volunteers in the community empowering future generations by participating in various speaking opportunities and chasing light with his DSLR.

Sue Phillips

Sue Phillips

Strategist, Impact Lab
Rev. Sue Phillips is relentlessly curious about the crossover spaces between traditional religious institutions and the landscape of spiritual and community-building innovation. An ordained minister and former denominational executive in the Unitarian Universalist Association, Sue is passionate about supporting emerging leaders, building thriving meaning-making communities, and cultivating spiritual entrepreneurship. She credits radical Catholic women religious, feminist and womanist liberation theologians, and other prophetically badass women for activating her lifelong passion for justice.
Sue is the founder of FAITHIFY, the first denominationally-affiliated crowdfunding site, and is the co-author with colleagues Angie Thurston and Casper ter Kuile of Faithful, and the forthcoming Care of Souls, which explore emerging models of spiritual innovation. Sue has taught at Harvard Divinity School and is currently an On Being Strategist and Ministry Innovation Fellow at Harvard Divinity School. She lives in Tacoma, WA with her wife Tandi Rogers.
Tony Liu

Tony Liu

Producer, On Being Studios

Surrounded by the Wasatch Mountains, Tony grew up in the heartland of Utah Valley, where he developed a curiosity for place and the ways we make sense of our lives. His interests eventually lead him to UNC-Chapel Hill. There he studied Geography, Religious Studies, and Anthropology as a Morehead-Cain Scholar. With oral histories, DJ sets, and audio reporting, in Chapel Hill, Tony spent his time exploring how sound defines human experience and shapes emotion.

Tony began his public media journey with the radio program from his childhood — NPR Utah’s RadioWest. Thereafter, he worked for NPR’s TED Radio Hour and Morning Edition. Before venturing into audio storytelling, he taught in La Serena, Chile and analyzed operations for a solar company in the Bay Area.

When not listening to something, Tony enjoys running, cooking, thinking about social change, and writing music, which he realizes involves listening to something.

The On Being Fellows

Learn more about our 2017–2018 class of fellows here.