Skip to content

The Fuller Foundation and Fuller Seminary Announce the Appointment of Two Leaders

The Fuller Foundation and Fuller Seminary are pleased to announce the appointment of two leaders to new leadership roles effective January 1, 2024.

Lauren Yamaoka is the new senior vice president of advancement. Her responsibilities include strengthening development efforts, foundation relationships, and alumni affairs. She joined The Fuller Foundation in 2021 with development responsibilities, and oversees the regional development team and foundation relations. Her prior professional experience includes major gifts roles with Children’s Medical Center Foundation, Dallas, Texas; Southern Methodist University; and Northwestern University. She earned a BA from Hope College, Holland, Mich.; MFA from Roosevelt University in Chicago; and holds the Chartered Advisor of Philanthropy (CAP)® designation. She succeeds Ken Erffmeyer, who completed his service as senior vice president this past summer.

Dasha Thomas is the new chief development officer. Her role includes supporting the seminary president’s development efforts, stewarding principal donors, and growing the planned giving program. She joined The Fuller Foundation in 2019, building its gift planning program and stewarding principal donors. She previously served in development, gifts, and planned giving roles for The Music Center of Los Angeles, Southern California Public Radio, and The Huntington in Pasadena, Calif. Additionally, she has business development and client services experience with Charles Schwab. She holds a BA from UCLA.

“We look forward to the new generation of executive leadership Lauren Yamaoka will provide,” said Bob Ceremsak, chairman and interim executive director of The Fuller Foundation. “We are further confident in the direction that Lauren and Dasha will provide The Fuller Foundation to help donors further invest in Fuller Theological Seminary’s programs for students and learners.”

For decades now, Fuller Seminary has welcomed women equally into all its programs. In 1966, Fuller invited women into every one of its degree programs out of a conviction that women are equally called to ministry. During the 58 years since, Fuller has helped to equip tens of thousands of women for their callings. As a faithful partner to Fuller Seminary since 1987, The Fuller Foundation is excited to support Fuller’s commitment to women in leadership through these two new appointments.

The Search Committee was chaired by Jody Vanderwel, a member of The Fuller Foundation Board of Directors and a trustee for Fuller Theological Seminary, who added, “Lauren Yamaoka and Dasha Thomas are skilled leaders who have added tremendous value to various institutions and to The Fuller Foundation. Their complementary gifts will lead our teams in the good work that will impact the church and the world.”

About The Fuller Foundation

The Fuller Foundation helps donors achieve their philanthropic goals and support Fuller Theological Seminary and other charitable organizations. We do this through administrative support on behalf of the Fuller endowment, charitable trust administration, donor-advised funds, and gift and estate planning, ultimately empowering you to help advance God’s Kingdom. Together with The Fuller Foundation, Fuller Investment Management Company® provides investment services on behalf of the Foundation and offers philanthropic gift planning, complex asset planning, and investment management to the Fuller community. Fuller Investment Management Company is an independent SEC Registered Investment Advisor and a wholly owned subsidiary of The Fuller Foundation.

About Fuller Seminary

Fuller Seminary is one of the largest nondenominational seminaries in the world, with a global enrollment of about 3,000 students in its master’s and doctoral programs. Fuller students may take classes through the seminary’s learning communities online, in person at our campuses in Pasadena, Houston, and Phoenix, or through a hybrid of the two.