Sharon Shay Sloan was born into an extended community network and is a second-generation community steward committed to nurturing communities and communities of practice. In 2007, she went through her first community-supported rite of passage, met The Ojai Foundation and began working in international conservation. Since that time, she has engaged in the practice and evolution of the field of rites of passage, including with Beyond Boundaries, Wilderness Reflections, Global Passageways, and the Youth Passageways national youth rites of passage network. She has also been an advisor and consultant to The Ojai Foundation, creating and leading immersive programming and retreats.

In 2012, she became a council trainer and the founding director of the Indigenous & Community Lands & Seas program for The WILD Foundation. Over 20 years, Shay has had the honor of working with, alongside and/or for indigenous peoples from hundreds of nations. She is co-editor of Protecting Wild Nature on Native Lands and co-author of the report Cross-Cultural Protocols in Rites of Passage: Guiding Principles, Themes and Inquiry. When not working, Shay can be found in the ceramics studio or working in the garden.