I’m thrilled to be on board as the new executive director of the Women's Refugee Commission. I’ve followed the work of this incredible organization for many years—initially when I was at the Ford Foundation and more recently at the Global Fund for Women. I’m a huge supporter of what the Commission has done in the past 21 years, and am humbled and honored by the opportunity to contribute to its future.
I come to the Women's Refugee Commission with a long history of involvement in women’s rights and development, including reproductive health. During the more than 25 years I lived in Brazil, I worked as a researcher and professor of public health, focusing on women’s health, and was a grant maker for the Ford Foundation.
For the past four years I’ve run the East Coast operation of the Global Fund for Women, a fund that makes grants to local women’s groups around the world. Both at the Ford Foundation and the Global Fund for Women, I had opportunities to work with the Women's Refugee Commission.
All this is to say that I’m passionate about my work. I have had the privilege of working with and supporting very creative and talented people, which has allowed me to see that, through great persistence, change is possible. It has also taught me the importance of building networks and fostering partnerships on the ground in order to move things forward at both the policy and program levels. All these things are integral to the work of the Women's Refugee Commission.
For the issues we care about so deeply, we’re at an interesting moment in history. There is an increasing attention to gender equity and a growing recognition that the major security, governance, environmental and economic challenges of our times cannot be solved without participation of women at all levels of society. The Women's Refugee Commission, as a leading organization shining a spotlight on the many discriminations faced by displaced women and children because of their gender, age and social status, has an important role to play in shaping this debate. We want to continue to be the go-to organization when it comes to influencing the policy and practice of promoting the rights of refugee women, children and youth and to identifying critical interventions that can improve their lives.
I’m excited and inspired by the work of the Women's Refugee Commission and look forward to helping it grow to the next level by building on its great legacy.
I look forward to being a regular contributor to our blog – so please be sure to check back.
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