Gaia Pampu is an Associate at Third Sector based in Bear Lake, MI. Before joining the team, Gaia worked to complete a three-year strategic planning process for the establishment of a rural prosperity incubator with Grow Benzie, a nonprofit located in Benzie County, the smallest county in Michigan. Grow Benzie actively provided technical assistance support for fourteen local initiatives ranging from child care to broadband and post-secondary attainment. Before joining Grow Benzie, Gaia co-developed and implemented a culturally relevant business incubation curriculum within the indigenous-led nonprofit Arrowhead Incubator, supported by the Administration for Native Americans.
Gaia holds an MA in International Development Management from the University of Bradford, UK (Distinction) and a BA in Theater and Peace and Conflict Studies from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI (Honors). Gaia has conducted qualitative and quantitative research in Detroit, Mexico, and China. She is a Rotary International Peace Fellow and a former Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative Reverse Exchange Fellow with the U.S. State Department.
In her free time, Gaia loves to swim in Lake Michigan with her daughter, hike with her husband, and build terrariums.