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.

Nancy_crop.jpg Nancy SadekHelping Hands Coordinator at MADRE, began her career at MADRE as a Public Education Intern. As MADRE's Helping Hands Coordinator, she plans and organizes shipments of humanitarian aid to send to our partners worldwide. Nancy has a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from William Paterson University.

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 AtlasHuman Rights Advocacy Coordinator 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.

Resource Mobilization

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Sandra EscauriazaGrants Administrator at MADRE

Kay_2_crop.jpg Kay HarelGrantwriter at MADRE, joined MADRE in January of 2012, delighted to rejoin the movement for women's human rights. She has worked at PCI-Media Impact, the Population Council and the Rockefeller University, and has published scholarship analyzing Darwin's views of gender.

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.

Margaret Ratner-Kunstler, Vice-President, joined the board of MADRE in 1998.  In 1968 She helped restart  the Columbia Law School Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild  (silenced by the Red scare), and worked at the newly created Mass Defense Committee to coordinate defense of those arrested during the Columbia University Protests. After a stint at legal Aid, Ms. Ratner became an expert on grand jury law, representing grand jury resisters nationwide and becoming the first director of the Grand Jury Project.  Ms. Ratner worked at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) as an attorney and educational director. At CCR, she she originated the Movement Support Network, work for which she was named ABC Person of the Week, and authored the now famous pamphlet , "If an Agent Knocks." Ms. Ratner is the President of the William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice, a foundation established in 1995 in the memory of her late husband to combat racism in the criminal justice system. With the Kunstler Fund, she has fought for the reform of New York State's Rockefeller Drug Laws and helped hundreds of nonviolent first-time drug offenders get out of prison. She has led fact finding visits to Palestine and refugee camps in Lebanon and worked with her daughter, the filmmaker Emily Kunstler, on video documentaries about the visits. She is an honorary board member of the Rebuilding Homes Campaign, dedicated to rebuilding Palestinian homes.

Linda Flores Rodriguez, Secretary, 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.

Blaine Bookey 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.

Holly Maguigan teaches clinics in criminal defense and comparative criminal justice, a seminar in global public service lawyering, and a course in evidence as a professor at NYU's School of Law. She is an expert on the criminal trials of battered women. Her research and teaching are interdisciplinary. Of particular importance in her litigation and scholarship are the obstacles to fair trials experienced by people accused of crimes who are not part of the dominant culture. Professor Maguigan is a member of the Family Violence Prevention Fund's National Advisory Committee on Cultural Considerations in Domestic Violence cases. She serves on the boards of directors of the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women and the William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice. She is also co-president of the Society of American Law Teachers, the largest membership organization of law professors in the U.S.

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

Marie Saint Cyr is a social worker by profession. 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.

Pam Spees is a practicing attorney in Louisiana and a consultant in international law with a focus on women's human rights. Prior to setting up practice in Louisiana, she served as Program Director of the Women's Caucus for Gender Justice, an international advocacy network dedicated to ensuring that accountability for war crimes of sexual and gender violence and crimes against humanity were included in the treaty establishing the International Criminal Court. She now serves as an advisor to the Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice (formerly the Women's Caucus), which is now based in The Hague, to monitor the Court and continue the advocacy for accountability for violence against women. Pam is also a member of the Coalition for Women's Human Rights in Conflict Situations.