Team & Board

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Yifat

Executive Director (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

I aim to build on the legacy of MADRE’s founders and help advance a feminist vision of global justice. That means continually striving to make MADRE the best organization we can be—as a feminist force on the cutting edge of movements for human rights, peace, and environmental sustainability. This also means ensuring that these values are visible in every aspect of who we are—from our funding models and our partner relationships to our organizational operations and our workplace community.

Who inspires you?

I am inspired by MADRE’s partners, who I believe are some of the bravest people in the world. They live on the frontlines of our worst global crises yet refuse to give in to despair. Instead, they are organizing with vision, purpose, and joy to build a just and sustainable future for their communities and across the globe.

Grants Compliance Manager (he/him)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

My personal mission is to use my skills and passion to advance the rights and well-being of women and girls around the world and to help create positive change in their communities.

What does joy look like to you?

Spending time in nature, exploring new places and cultures, learning new things, and meeting new people. It feels like a thrill of curiosity that opens my eyes and ears. And any experience that enriches my perspective and challenges me to grow.

Adrianna Maher

Individual Giving Coordinator (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

Relaying my passion for MADRE’s mission to grow and strengthen our network of supporters.

What does joy look like to you?

The loud and quiet moments with my loved ones, whether it’s booming laughter or being comfortable in silence.

Aminatu

Grants Associate (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

My mission is to advance MADRE’s work and create the best version for the future in the promotion of human rights for women globally.

What does joy look like to you?

My moment of joy is whenever I am around my family and friends having good conversations, and also when I am watching investigation/crime movies.

Blaire Bohlen

Visual Media Coordinator (they/them)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

I’m here to create designs and media that will drive people to take real steps to create a more just world. I want to take MADRE’s visual identity to a whole new level of quality, uniqueness, and instant recognizability, so everything people see from us is memorable, action-inspiring, and distinctive. I intend to highlight the amazing work of our global partners in ways that push people to pay attention.

What are you building towards?

I’m trying to create art that moves people. Whether it’s on a billboard, an Instagram feed, or a report, I want to create work that’s captivatingly gorgeous, as accessible and clear as possible, and immediately action-inspiring. I want to fuel movements that mean something and make real change, using the creative skillset I’ve built over the last decade of my career.

Brittany Reid

Marketing Supervising Manager (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

To raise the visibility of MADRE and the work being done under our banner while using our platforms to build a more engaged and connected community of supporters and partners.

What does joy look like to you?

Joy, for me, looks like many varied voices in lively conversation and group problem-solving. As a communicator, storyteller, and aspiring community builder, one of the things I value most is the tapestry that results from the contributions of many minds of ideas.

Brittney

Associate Director of Individual Giving (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

To provide meaningful opportunities for supporters to connect with our critical and inspiring programmatic work.

An important memory:

I once hiked a volcano in Guatemala for my birthday. I didn’t believe I’d be able to finish and wanted to give up at every turn, though I persisted and reached the top in the end.

Cait

Associate Director of Communications & Marketing (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

My mission is to put our partners’ stories and solutions, to the greatest crises we face, in front of the broadest audience possible.

What does joy look like to you?

Joy looks like enjoying small moments: a warm drink in hand while walking down the street on a crisp day, visiting a bakery for a flaky pastry, or feeling the wind through my hair at the beach.

Cassandra Atlas

Director of Grants Compliance & Regulatory Affairs (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

My personal mission at MADRE is to ensure MADRE and our partners are able to meet the requirements of large government and institutional grants in ways that uphold and uplift rather than compromise our goals, values, practices, and distinct cultural contexts.

What does joy look like to you?

Joy looks like moments with family, given and chosen: a walk in the park with my husband, son, and dog; the way my son looks at me first thing in the morning; a boisterous family meal with my parents and siblings; a chat with my grandmother; catching up with old friends into the wee hours of the night.

Celeste

Director of People Operations (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

My personal mission is to internally help to cultivate a culture of togetherness within our organization. To lead, listen, and support my team while living a balanced life and being kind to others and myself.

What’s a milestone you would like to highlight?

A major milestone is being the first to graduate from college in my family.

Cesia Hernandez

Emergency Grants Associate (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

My mission at MADRE is to support women living in emergency situations.

What does joy look like to you?

Joy looks like doing the activities I love, like painting, dancing, hiking, playing with dogs, and walking down a beach.

Danny Bradley

Global Campaigns Officer (he/him)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

My mission at MADRE is to fight each day for a gender just world, one that recognizes the systems of oppression impacting women and queer communities and then dismantles them to build better and more inclusive paths forward.

Who inspires you?

Our grassroots partners—women human rights defender, LGBTQIA+ activists, youth organizers-inspire me daily.

DeLisha

Senior Director, People & Culture (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

My mission is to be a resource to MADRE staff and co-create a culture centered on uplifting, retaining, and sustaining each person that has chosen MADRE as a place of work. I envision this culture through the lens of those involved and hope to continue developing a culture rooted in the notion that a tree is only as strong as its roots. In addition, this is led by the understanding that we are responsible for nurturing MADRE in ways that tend to and develop its people so that they may grow far and wide.

What does joy look like to you?

Joy equals community. It looks like coming together to build spaces of healing and nurture. It looks like moments of reflection, like moments of self-care, or like rest.

Diana Duarte

Director of Policy & Strategic Engagement (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

I believe that to achieve peace and climate justice, US foreign policy must be transformed. We can create that change by grounding our work in the values, expertise, and strategies that grassroots feminist activists, like MADRE’s partners worldwide, have nurtured over generations, through leadership in their communities and social movements. I want to build spaces, tools, and relationships for exchange and learning to shape the possibilities of a new kind of US foreign policy.

What does joy look like to you?

I find joy in building together with others, to create something bigger than or different from what we could each do on our own—whether that’s in my work, in conversations with friends, or in art and games with my kids.

Francesca Green

Program & Development Associate (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

My personal mission is to contribute to MADRE’s efforts to decolonize philanthropy, shift the power in development, and center our partners’ voices as experts on the issues that impact them most intimately.

Who inspires you?

The MADRE community inspires me! My colleagues, MADRE’s partners, and our supporters all care deeply about intersectional, sustainable, and grassroots solutions to the issues that impact us all – that’s what gets me fired up.

JM Kirby, Esq.

Director of Advocacy (she/they)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

I hope, at MADRE, to be part of an effort to ensure women, girls, & LGBTQIA+ people, not only a seat at decision-making tables, but the capacity to flip the tables over when necessary: to reject terms of debate that divide and dispossess; to say no to poverty, war, colonialism, gender violence, racism, and ableism; and to say yes to the world of our collective dreams.

Who inspires you?

My s/heroes are people who stand up for their rights. I am inspired when people recognize their own potential and build communities of resistance. This is what will lead to conditions where elite power has no choice but to change its mind.

Jodi Vander Ploeg

Major Gifts Officer (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

To engage individuals with our mission and work, offering them opportunities to make impactful contributes towards global justice.

What’s a milestone you would like to highlight?

Transitioning away from a seven-year career post-college, I felt the urgency to pursue meaningful work. Consequently, I left my job to join the Peace Corps, embarking on an enriching journey in Kazakhstan. This experience facilitated deep personal growth through community engagement, language acquisition, and cultural immersion, for which I am profoundly grateful.

Julia

Executive Administrator (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

I want to be a support and resource to the amazing group of people who make up MADRE.

Who inspires you?

People who help me find more beauty in the world.

Kari Smith

Program & Development Coordinator (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

To educate and inspire others through compelling writing that raises awareness of and support for MADRE’s critical work with our partners across the globe as we collectively find innovative ways to address the crises of our time.

Who inspires you?

I am inspired by people who are courageous and unapologetically themselves, living their personal truths. E.E. Cummings said it best: “To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”

Kate Alexander

Policy & Campaigns Officer (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

Our history has always been revisionist: it has systematically left out the experiences of BIPOC communities, especially women, girls, and LGBTQIA+ people. At MADRE, I am making sure that communities traditionally excluded from records of war and peace are front and center in our own community documentation, while our policy advocacy redistributes power and resources to historically marginalized communities on the frontline of conflict. Together, with grassroots solidarity, we’re building a just, feminist future.

Who inspires you?

No one today is braver than Iranian and Afghan women protestors and human rights defenders standing up for themselves despite seemingly immeasurable and endless obstacles. Grassroots, feminist leaders around the world inspire me every day. They are truth-tellers in unimaginable circumstances.

Laura Baron-Mendoza

Human Rights Officer (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

My driving force and mission, as a lawyer at MADRE, is to take human rights off the books to promote real and structural changes toward equity.

What does joy look like to you?

Joy is simplicity: bike riding with dad, enjoying breathing on the top of a mountain, singing with my two-year-old niece, drinking a hot chocolate with family (the list is too big).

Laura Martinez

Program Coordinator (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

I want to ensure young women and girls with differing abilities and backgrounds are able to get access and support to fund their dreams and ideas for improving their communities.

What does joy look like to you?

Joy is living with purpose, intention, and integrity. It is giving and receiving support and love without expectation. It is creating space for all our human experiences and inviting others in to share in that space.

Lauren Dasse, Esq.

Senior Director of Advocacy & Policy (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

To lead the organization’s strategic human rights legal advocacy and policy efforts, in collaboration with the MADRE team and grassroots partners across the world, and to advance gender justice in peacebuilding.

What’s a milestone you would like to highlight?

Prior to joining MADRE, I led a client-centered immigration legal services organization for detained children and adults, through a period of tremendous growth, strategically responding to challenges by increasing resources and programming to expand impact, advocacy, and services.

Lisa-Marie Rudi

International Justice Officer (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

I strive to prioritize transformative over punitive justice in our international justice work and for our feminist advocacy to continue to become even more actively anti-racist, anti-colonial, and trauma-informed. I also aspire to lean more into authentic community and support solidifying cultures of care within our community, including staff, consultants, and partners.

What does joy look like to you?

Surfing the perfect medium-sized wave on a longboard at sunset surrounded in the water by family and friends

Malika Aisha

Digital Content Strategist (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

My mission at MADRE is to amplify, celebrate, and honor the people and initiatives doing important work for Black and brown communities, LGBTQIA+ communities, disabled communities, and other communities made vulnerable to thrive.

What does joy look like to you?

Joy looks like redistributed wealth and a free world for communities made vulnerable by the long legacy of white supremacy. It looks like art, music, poetry, and laughter from the belly.

Marlow Murphy

Content Supervising Manager (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

I want to bring a bigger spotlight to MADRE’s amazing work and partners and share our vision with clarity and heart.

What are you building towards?

A world where everyone has the means to live and thrive and have a say in the decisions that affect them.

Nadine El-Nabli

Program Coordinator, Capacity Bridging (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

My personal mission at MADRE is to elevate and amplify our partners’ expertise, leadership, and knowledge within and across movements, and support them in strengthening their organizations as they work towards their visions for their communities.

What does joy look like to you?

When I think of joy, I think of these words from the book ‘Joyful Militancy’: “Joy is not an emotion at all, but an increase in one’s power to affect and be affected. It is the capacity to do and feel more. As such, it is connected to creativity and the embrace of uncertainty.”

Sephora

People & Culture Manager (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

I strive to create space for honest perspectives and experiences to not only be heard but also valued. I approach life with intentionality and an open heart; I will treat MADRE the same.

What does joy look like to you?

Joy, specifically Black joy, is resistance.

Sofía Monterroso

Program & Development Coordinator (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

My personal mission is to ensure the long-term sustainability of MADRE’s work and the work of MADRE’s partners by connecting with institutional funders on the critical importance of feminist and Indigenous and Black-women-led solutions to the world’s most pressing issues. I aim to embody MADRE’s feminist values and commitment to prioritizing those most impacted by climate change, gender-based violence, and armed conflict.

What are you building towards?

As Audre Lorde says, “…there is no simple monolithic solution to racism, to sexism, to homophobia. There is only the conscious focusing within each of my days to move against them, wherever I come up against these particular manifestations of the same disease.”

Uma Natarajan

Individual Giving Associate (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

Collaborating with a dynamic team of change-makers, I am dedicated to cultivating meaningful relationships with our supporters and making a positive impact.

What does joy look like to you?

Joy is cuddling up with my precious cats, Pepper & Pumpkin while watching a movie and eating delicious food.

Victoria Calderon

Associate Director of Institutional Giving (she/her)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

I aim to deepen and grow vital institutional funds for MADRE and our partners to resource and uplift women and girl leaders and their communities facing gender-based violence, armed conflict, disaster, and the climate crisis.

What does joy look like to you?

Joy feels like running for fun, swimming in the ocean, and a dinner party with all of your closest family and friends.

Yeiri Robert

Grants Coordinator (she/ella)

What is your personal mission at MADRE?

My personal mission at MADRE is to fund and uplift women and girl-led grassroots organizations and movements working to transform their communities, as well as to shift power and resources from the global north to the global south.

What does joy look like to you?

I believe that joy is choosing to be happy regardless of my external environment, about choosing to love, and to be appreciative of all that I have. It’s also about community and working together toward our collective liberation.

Anika Rahman

Board Member (she/her)

Anika knows that individuals and organizations can inspire movements that benefit both people and the planet by advancing human rights for all, promoting a just society, and prompting climate action. She has dedicated her life to championing reproductive rights, gender justice, sustainable global development, and fighting racism in all its forms.

Throughout her career, with leadership positions at the Center for Reproductive Rights, USA for UNFPA, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the Rainforest Alliance, and NRDC, Anika has been a voice—and a catalyst—for change. Her commitment to advancing equality is also reflected in her management consulting practice for progressive nonprofits.

Anna Kennedy

Board Member (she/her)

MADRE and Anna were born in the same place, Nicaragua, during the US-sponsored Contra War. The hospital she was born in received its first ambulance because of MADRE, the same year she was born. Orphaned, Anna was adopted and moved to New York, where my parents were friends of MADRE. She grew up in NYC and then went to George Washington University, where Anna studied International Affairs.

After college, she worked for four years at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime as a criminal justice officer, focusing on human trafficking. While there, Anna co-organized a UN mission to Gulu, Uganda, where they conducted art therapy with former child soldiers and then held a successful UN benefit featuring that art. Her work was instrumental in establishing a UN trust fund for victims of human trafficking. Since leaving the UN, Anna’s focus has been on her art and, most importantly, raising her daughter.

Anne Hess

Board Co-Chair (she/her)

Anne is proud to be a founding board member of MADRE. Over the past 40 years, she has worked together with incredible staff and board members to make sure that the organization is on solid footing and expanding the work of amazing partners in strategic places. MADRE’s vision for a world that honors and respects women and girls’ rights is as vibrant as ever.

Blaine Bookey

Board Co-Chair (she/ella)

Blaine is a human rights advocate. As Legal Director at the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, she advances protections for asylum seekers. She has served as counsel in cutting-edge litigation expanding protections for women fleeing gender-based violence and challenging draconian policies that restrict access to asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. In addition, she teaches courses in human rights as an adjunct professor at the University of California College of the Law, San Francisco, and is a member of the Advisory Council for the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. Blaine proudly hails from Iowa, the Midwest, which welcomed her grandparents fleeing religious persecution.

Carla Christofferson

Board Member (she/her)

Carla is a partner in the Trial and Global Disputes practice in the Los Angeles Office of King & Spalding. Her practice focuses on high-stakes litigation and trials. Carla is also active in the Los Angeles community serving on both for profit and nonprofit boards. She was previously the co-owner of the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks.

Eunique Jones Gibson

Board Member (she/her)

Eunique is a cultural architect, brand builder, and social activist whose revolutionary campaigns have created global movements. In 2013, she launched Because of Them, We Can®, an award-winning campaign that has now evolved into a worldwide media platform for Black Excellence. She is also the creator of the hit game #CultureTags®, which encapsulates the nostalgia of the Black experience and Black culture. Eunique serves as the CEO and Chief Creative Officer of the innovative agency Culture Brands, as well as the CEO of The Happy Hues Company, an inclusive baby essentials company focused on nurturing happy and healthy babies. Collectively, Eunique’s portfolio highlights her commitment to representation and the celebration of culture & community.

A Bowie State University graduate and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Eunique has also received recognition for her work, such as the White House Champion for Change and Ebony Power100. She resides in Maryland with her husband, Chris, and their three children, Chase, Amari, and Sage.

Dr. Ramatu Bangura

Board Member (she/her)

Dr. Ramatu Bangura is leading the design and inception of the Children’s Rights Innovation Fund (CRIF).  Prior to CRIF, Ramatu previously served as a Program Officer for the NoVo Foundation’s Advancing Adolescent Girls’ Rights Initiative, where she funded work to advance the rights, leadership, and safety of adolescent girls in the United States and in the Global South. Ramatu has spent the last 25 years engaging in organizing, advocacy, and research on a host of issues impacting transnational girls, including early and forced marriage, sexual violence, trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation, and educational access for English Language Learners; in the United States and Central America. Ramatu earned both a Masters of Education (EdM) and Doctorate of Education (EdD) from Teachers College, Columbia University.

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