Director of Outreach/Partnerships

Anita (Ani) Samaha (she/her) is a facilitator for individual and group development and growth, a council educator and a nature enthusiast. She believes that, through joy, play and listening deeply, we create places of connection that transform each one of us and ripple out, bringing cultural change. 

Ani attended Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO, where she majored in premed, leading her to receive a master’s in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In 2003, she had the opportunity to create a semester abroad program for 16- to 19-year-olds in New Zealand. For several years, in addition to administrative and admissions work, she ran the outdoor expeditions program and taught Chinese nutrition, knitting and juggling classes. Her interest in healing and connection to our bodies through holistic medicine blossomed into a love for Council—connecting through our stories to one another and ourselves. 

​She has an extensive background in Council, Rites of Passage, team-building ropes course and nature-based programs. She’s worked with junior high/high school, college and graduate students. Additionally she’s had the privilege to council train teachers and incarcerated people. Over the last 20 years, she’s worked with various organizations helping to facilitate growth and learning, including Snapchat, Joyful Heart, SB Cottage Hospital, Deckers, Tom’s Shoes, and social justice organizations like the Brotherhood Crusade. 

​She is excited to broaden and expand Topa Institute’s collaborations, partnerships and influence. She envisions a world changed through understanding and connection.