Staff | Board

Staff 

Yifat SusskindYifat Susskind, Executive Director of MADRE, works with women’s human rights activists from Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa to create programs in their communities to address women's health, violence against women, economic and environmental justice and peace building.

She has also written extensively on US foreign policy and women’s human rights and her critical analysis has appeared in online and print publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy in Focus and The W Effect: Bush’s War on Women, published by the Feminist Press. Ms. Susskind has been featured as a commentator on CNN, National Public Radio, and BBC Radio.

Partnerships for Change

Natalia_1_crop.jpg Natalia Caruso, Program Director at MADRE, plays a key role overseeing our work with sister organizations in Africa, Middle East, and Latin America. Natalia’s work includes coordinating humanitarian assistance, the provision of direct services, technical assistance on leadership, and training on capacity building with grassroots organizations. Natalia has also contributed for over 10 years to the work of the International Indigenous Women's Forum (FIMI), providing technical assistance in the areas of financial management, development, and monitoring of FIMI's programs. Her previous experience includes consulting at the United Nations Human Development Report Office at the Headquarters in New York and conducting research on gender/children budget initiatives in developing countries. Originally from Argentina, she has a degree in sociology with research and field experience in Indigenous women's rights, women's rights, and the right to development.

Sahita_2_crop.jpgSahita Pierre-AntoineProgram Coordinator at MADRE, is responsible for overseeing in-country programs and serves as a liaison between MADRE and its sister organizations worldwide. Sahita grew up in Haiti before moving to New York to pursue her college education. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and Hispanic Languages & Literature from SUNY Stony Brook University in 2011.

Human Rights Advocacy

Lisa Davis, Esq., Human Rights Advocacy Director Lisa Davis, Esq., Human Rights Advocacy Director, provides litigation and advocacy services for women’s human rights organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. For over ten years she has worked as an advocate and has written extensively on international women's human rights issues, including in disaster and post-conflict settings. Prior to MADRE, Lisa worked as a human rights legal consultant for various UN Experts, international organizations, and governments throughout the world. Lisa currently serves as the Coordinator for the Lawyers' Earthquake Response Network (LERN) Gender Working Group and is a member of the American Bar Association's International Human Rights Committee.

Cassandra_crop.jpg Cassandra Atlas, Human Rights Advocacy Assistant Director, at MADRE, received her M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from the American University's School of International Service. She plays a key role in coordinating MADRE's human rights advocacy initiatives. Cassandra is a former Research Assistant for the United States Institute of Peace's Colombia Program.

Public Education and Media

Diana_3_crop_.jpg Diana Duarte, Communications Director at MADRE, leads the organization's strategy on public education and media, designing and implementing campaigns to increase the visibility of global women's rights issues and to raise support for the work of our grassroots partners. She has also worked in policy analysis and communications to advocate for progressive changes to US policy towards Africa.

Elizabeth_Crop.jpg Elizabeth Droggitis, Membership and Public Education Manager at MADRE, works as part of the Communications team to maintain a cohesive communications plan, strategize fundraising for programs, and build and maintain strong relationships with our members. Prior to joining MADRE, Elizabeth spent a year in Chulucanas, Peru where she translated for visiting medical campaigns, taught in the local schools, and volunteered at a local women's empowerment center. Elizabeth has a A.B. in Government & Legal Studies and Spanish from Bowdoin College and a M.Sc. in Gender, Development and Globalisation from the London School of Economics.

Kat Noel, Website and Media Coordinator at MADRE, maintains, updates and promotes the organization's online content. She joins MADRE from the New York Civil Liberties Union where she served as the program associate working on reproductive rights issues, and prior to that she was the community organizer for New Yorkers For Safe Transit (NYFST), a coalition of community-based organizations working to eliminate gender and discrimination based violence, including street harassment and assault. Kat also worked as the editorial assistant for Smart + Strong Publishling, writing articles serving people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, and on health and wellness issues in the black community 

Resource Mobilization

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Sandra EscauriazaGrants Administrator at MADRE

Johna Bio.jpgJohna HoeyProgram/Development Coordinator, works to cultivate relationships with current and prospective funders, and coordinates reporting on MADRE's programmatic and advocacy initiatives. She joins MADRE from the Open Society Foundations Public Health Program, and prior to that she was a research assistant focusing on gender, violence and health at Raising Voices, a grassroots organization in Uganda, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The Roxana Children's Fund

Roxana (c) MADRERoxana Diaz Gomez, a MADRE Program Coordinator, died in a tragic accident in July 2013 at the age of 27. We lost a friend, sister and dedicated activist for women's rights worldwide. In memory of Roxana and in celebration of her dedication to human rights, MADRE created a fund to sustain programs for children in Nicaragua, Roxana's home country. Learn more about the Roxana Children's Fund and how you can contribute here.

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Vivian Stromberg, Senior Advisor

c. Harold LevineVivian Stromberg has worked tirelessly for more than four decades to make human rights and social justice a reality for women and families. Her work is infused with a passion that has inspired thousands of women to stand up for their rights and demand change. 

Vivian came of age in Brooklyn, New York during the Civil Rights Movement and played a key role in US-based organizing for nuclear disarmament, peace, and human rights-based foreign policy. In 1983, Vivian helped to found MADRE to bring attention to the US-sponsored wars in Central America.  

Since co-founding MADRE, Vivian has worked extensively at the United Nations and with women in conflict zones on issues including: armed conflict, displacement, women's health, reproductive rights, economic justice, community development; Indigenous Peoples' rights, food security, sustainable development, and US foreign policy.

Vivian's Impact

 

 

Board

Anne Hess is the Chair of MADRE's Board and as a founding board member since 1983, she has helped shape MADRE's vision and projects. In the early 1980s, Anne traveled to Nicaragua and met with mothers there. A mother of young children herself, Anne knew that other women in the U.S. would be as moved as she was by their stories and determination. Anne has spent the past 30 years working with a variety of non-profit organizations, whose missions of social justice she shares. Anne serves on the board of Community Resource Exchange, and Alliance For Justice. She is married, has two children, and lives in New York City. 

Blaine Bookey is the co-Chair of the Board of MADRE. Blaine is Associate Director and Staff Attorney at the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS), based at the University of California Hastings College of the Law. In addition, Blaine is an Adjunct Professor at UC Hastings.  Prior to joining CGRS, Blaine served as a law clerk to the Honorable Dolores K. Sloviter, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and as a fellow with the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti/Bureau des Avocats Internationaux in Port au Prince where she first began collaborating with MADRE to support grassroots organizations and Haitian lawyers fighting to end gender-based violence. She is a graduate of Hastings and also holds an undergraduate degree in Social Policy and Gender Studies from Northwestern University.

Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan is a Legal Fellow at the Center for Reproductive Rights where she works on litigation and the domestic implementation of human rights pertaining to women's reproductive health. Prior to her joining the Center, she clerked for the Hon. Ronald L. Ellis in the Southern District of New York. She currently litigates and advocates before international human rights bodies and has filed petitions and amicus briefs before regional and international entities, including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights where she is managing counsel on a merits petition charging the United States with human rights violations in the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico.  She is Executive Vice President of the National Lawyers Guild and Co-Chairs its International Committee and Subcommittee on Puerto Rico. Natasha was an Ella Baker Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights where she worked to hold governments accountable for human rights violations. She graduated from CUNY School of Law, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the CUNY Law Review, a Fellow at the Center for Latino/a Rights and Equality and a student attorney in the International Women's Human Rights Clinic. Natasha has authored several articles on gender and human rights. 

Jennifer Ogden is Senior Vice President of Brokerage at Cassidy Turley, a commercial real estate firm. Jennifer advises clients on their occupancy strategy, focusing on tenant representation for a wide variety of occupants from early stage start-ups to large corporations, specifically media, entertainment, financial and not-for-profit organizations. Prior to joining Cassidy Turley, Jennifer was at CBRE where she completed numerous transactions including for Day Pitney, Hewlett Packard, KPMG, Cinedigm and Rodale. Before entering into real estate, Ms. Ogden spent 10 years in finance as a banker and high-yield bond analyst. Jennifer is a past board member of Goodwill Rescue Mission, where her duties included creating a vision for the group’s future and helping realize its mission through effective strategic planning, real estate monetization and the implementation and oversight of annual operating budgets. She is also a former board member of The Junior League of Montclair-Newark and a co-founder of the League’s Endowment Campaign where she helped raise over $1 million, ensuring the organization’s future financial stability.

Linda Flores Rodriguez has been a social worker for thirty years. She completed her Bachelor's Degree at the University of Puerto Rico, and she received her Master's Degree from New York University. Most of her career has been devoted to human rights, with a focus on mental health and education. She has been a MADRE member since she first moved to New York in 1982, and she has been an active participant in community organizations in both Puerto Rico and New York since 1970. Currently, Linda advocates for social justice and human rights for communities that have been stripped of their basic human needs, both at home and internationally.

Marie Saint Cyr is a social worker by profession and currently the Executive Director of the Lambi Fund Haiti. Trained at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, she holds a Bachelor's degree in International Relations and a Master's Degree in Social Work. She has held an array of positions working with programs for women's health, child abuse and neglect research, and programs for women out of prisons in Philadelphia. She has developed and directed a comprehensive community clinic for Haitians in Florida, consisting of a day- care, a Credit Union, ESL and adult education classes and a medical clinic. She was the Director of the Haitian Coalition on AIDS in New York City and developed the first program for women (WARN) Women and AIDS Resource Network in Brooklyn NY. Responding to the needs of the constituency she serves, she became the first Haitian Deputy Commissioner in New York City under the Dinkins Administration. She was Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights, responsible for the Community Relations Department, The AIDS Discrimination Unit and initiated the Commission's Prison Project for Offenders with AIDS. Ms. Saint Cyr is former the Executive Director of Iris House: A center for women living with HIV/AIDS in Central Harlem, the first and only comprehensive program for women living with HIV and AIDS and their families. 

Anna Safir is a longtime MADRE supporter and human rights activist.