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HRFN’s Global Conference

Funding Futures Festival

24-26 April 2024

Tbilisi, Georgia

Festival Advisors

Adrian Coman

Arcus Foundation
Program Director, International Social Justice

Adrian has worked in advocacy, philanthropy, education, and politics for more than 20 years. Since 2013, he has been coordinating the International Human Rights Program at the Arcus Foundation in New York, advancing LGBT human rights. Adrian was executive director of the LGBT group ACCEPT in Romania, where he led campaigns contributing to the repeal of an anti-gay criminal law and the adoption of anti-discrimination provisions. Upon his immigration to the U.S. in 2002, he worked in philanthropy with the Baltic American Partnership Fund and in human rights advocacy with OutRight International. In 2009, he went to the European Parliament in Brussels to assist a legislator on human rights and anti-corruption. Adrian holds degrees in chemistry and human rights, and is fluent in Romanian, English, Spanish, and French.


angelika arutyunova

CCECCNA Collaborative Fund
Co- Founder

Angelika Arutyunova, a Co-Founder of CEECCNA Collaborative Fund, is an international social justice and resource advocate with over 20 years experience in bridging international funding and human rights and social justice organizing through thought leadership, strategic interventions, direct grantmaking, donor advice and advocacy, long-term programs and project design, feminist participatory action research, convenings, and more.


amira el-sayed

Director, Global Programmes

Amira leads Luminate’s global Participation & Dissent work, focused on making political power more inclusive and ensuring those who challenge power can do so safely and effectively. She previously managed the foundation’s global Civic Empowerment grants and investments.

Amira was previously Director of Programs and Strategy at Reboot, leading its New York-based Programs Team and working to advance civic participation and social action with a variety of philanthropic, government, and private sector partners. She also worked on Reboot’s theory of change and organisational strategy.

Prior to this Amira was a Programme Manager at Transparency International – Defence and Security. Amira first led the Africa Programme and later managed an initiative to develop global norms for responsible defence governance, as well as the Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index, TI’s flagship publication on defence and security.



Lulú Barrera

Numun Fund
Conversations Grower (Mexico)

Lulú Barrera is a human rights defender and feminist activist working at the intersection of tech, gender and human rights. She pioneered the work to combat online harassment against women in Mexico as founder and former lead of Luchadoras, a feminist organization that uses technologies to advance the fight for gender equality in the digital space. Her work and trajectory have been awarded locally and internationally for her contributions on feminist advocacy in digital media. She currently works at Numun Fund, a global fund created to support the feminist tech ecosystem in the Larger World.



Mariam Gagoshashvili

Independent Philanthropic Consultant

Mariam is a queer feminist activist, advocate, and grantmaker from Tbilisi, Georgia. Born and raised in the South Caucasus, she migrated to the US in 2013 and has since been splitting her time between New York City and Tbilisi. In her 17 years in the field of gender justice, Mariam has dedicated her efforts to strategically resourcing feminist and queer-led movements through participatory and trust-based grantmaking models and with an intersectional justice lens.

In her recent role as the Director of Programs at Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Mariam oversaw the International Fund’s work in the Global Majority countries. In this capacity, she managed a vibrant multi-national team of seven and an annual budget of over $5 million for the Fund’s grantmaking, capacity strengthening, accompaniment, research, and philanthropic advocacy efforts. Additionally, Mariam has worked at Global Fund for Women and Women’s Fund in Georgia, is among the founding advisors of FRIDA The Young Feminist Fund, and has served on the Board of Urgent Action Fund for Feminist Activism. She holds a Master’s degree in Gender Studies from Central European University (Hungary), is passionate about healing justice and holistic safety, and spends a lot of time daydreaming about our collective liberation.


Mukami Marete

UHAI – the East Africa Sexual Health and Rights Initiative (UHAI EASHRI)
Executive Director

Mukami is an African queer feminist mother of two, with a long and broad activist career of 18 years. She works at the intersection of organizational development, human rights, and social justice. Her career has focused in particular on the resourcing organizing for and by LGBTIQ persons and sex workers. Mukami applies her personal values of feminism, social justice, service to others, integrity, and excellence, as well as professional and social skills, towards making this world a just and loving place to live in.

She is currently the Co-Executive Director of UHAI – the East Africa Sexual Health and Rights Initiative (UHAI EASHRI). UHAI is an activist LGBTIQ and sex workers fund. Prior to joining UHAI, she worked for the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) and was actively involved in the sexual and reproductive health rights program, particularly with the right to safe and legal abortion and the rights of LGBTIQ people. Mukami also serves on the Boards of the Black Feminist Fund (BFF), the Global Philanthropy Project (GPP), the East African Philanthropy Network (EAPN) and the African Philanthropy Network (APN). She previously served at the Board of Green Peace Africa as well as the Sex Worker Donors Collaborative (SWDC).

She has an MBA in strategy and a bachelor’s degree in building Economics and management – both from the University of Nairobi. She has a postgraduate degree in Human Resource Management and is a certified public accountant trained by Strathmore University. Mukami is a mother of two and believes that love makes a family. She wants to be able to bring up her African children to thrive even as they exist in the patriarchal, racist, imperialist and sexist world that she finds herself in.


Nino Ugrekhelidze

CEECCNA Collaborative Fund

Nino Ugrekhelidze is an Eastern European feminist and resource justice activist with over 15 years of experience working with grassroots-based feminist, LGBTQI, anti-militarist, and youth-led organizations and movements to advance gender justice and human rights.  She is the co-founder and co-leader of the CEECCNA Collaborative Fund, a new funding mechanism committed to mobilizing resources for intersectional social justice movements in Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus, Central and North Asia (CEECCNA).

Before co-founding the CEECCNA Collaborative Fund, Nino worked in various capacities with AWID, FRIDA The Young Feminist Fund, and Taso Foundation. Most recently, Nino accompanied philanthropic and humanitarian institutions and INGOs in designing their grantmaking and programmatic strategies for Eastern and Central European grassroots front-line responses to the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine. She facilitated the flow of over 20 million US Dollars directly to grassroots organizations and initiative groups impacted by the ongoing war. Born and raised in Tbilisi, Georgia, she is based in Barcelona, Spain.


Salome Chagelishvili

Women’s Fund in Georgia
Executive Director

Salome is a feminist activist from Tbilisi, Georgia, devoted to social and gender justice. She has been engaged in feminist, queer and green movements for over 12 years, working on issues of gender based violence, domestic violence, sexual and reproductive health and rights, LGBTIQ rights, [women’s] Labor Rights, Healing Justice and holistic and digital security and rights.

Since 2014 she has been actively working on safety and security issues of activists and Women Human Rights Defenders, providing integrated security and digital security workshops specifically for activists from under-privileged groups (queer persons, ethnic and religious minorities, rural women and girls, etc) as well as for bigger feminist organisations.

Currently, she is the Executive Director of the Women’s Fund in Georgia (WFG), fully engaged in women’s/feminist movement building, providing feminist funding, and encouraging local feminist philanthropy. She holds a Master’s degree in gender studies.


Samir Doshi

CS Fund
Director of Just Transitions

Samir K. Doshi is the Director of Just Transitions at the CS Fund working on supporting community power building and self determination through an intersectional approach to food/land sovereignty, worker justice, climate justice, grassroots democracy and more for a future built on joy, justice, belonging and liberation. Previously, Samir has worked as an organizer and facilitator for movement organizations and communities pushing for transformational change and a Just Transition through a foundation of racial, gender, and intersectional justice. He worked for the Obama Administration as a Senior Scientist and Deputy Division Chief for the USAID, where he led the Agency’s programming on agile development, responsible data and disaster feedback systems so programming could be more responsive and adaptive to community needs on the ground. Samir has held teaching and research appointments at the University of Cambridge, the Stockholm Resilience Centre, the Santa Fe Institute, and as a Senior Fulbright Scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Prior to his academic career, Samir worked as an environmental engineer and humanitarian responder for local organizations and indigenous communities around the world. He has also worked in kitchens and farms for many years, loves to cook, cultivate plants, play in the wild, and along with his plant ecologist wife Marit, is enraptured by their baby, Edhas Drømmer.


Saulo Araujo

Grassroots International
Director of Global Philanthropy

Saulo Araujo is the Director of Global Philanthropy at Grassroots International, mobilizing financial and other resources for initiatives led by grassroots organizations and social movements worldwide. He has served as a philanthropic advisor for the International Planning Committee on Food Sovereignty (IPC) — a coordination space of social movements and allies on global policies around food, biodiversity, peasant and indigenous rights, and the livelihood of fishing, pastoralist, and peasant families.

He also worked as the director of the Global Movements Program at WhyHunger and the Latin America Program Coordinator at Grassroots International. Saulo is a senior fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program and has served as a board member and advisor for many organizations, including The Food Project, New England Grassroots Environmental Fund, and Justice at Work.


Soheir Asaad

Rawa Fund
Director of Advocacy

Soheir leads the advocacy at Rawa Fund, working within progressive philanthropy and cross-movement spaces, to advocate for addressing harm caused by funding and realizing accountability. Soheir promotes trust- and solidarity-based approaches that return power to communities and support an infrastructure for independency in Palestinian community work.

Soheir is also the co-director of the “Funding Freedom” project. Soheir received a Master’s degree in international human rights law from the University of Notre Dame (US). Previously, she worked for years in legal research and international human rights advocacy for Palestinian rights.


Timiebi Souza-Okpofabri

Black Feminist Fund
Programs and Grantmaking Coordinator

Timiebi (they/she) is a writer, archivist and DJ from Trinidad and Tobago. Over the last few years, they have worked as a researcher and consultant, focusing on challenging the erasure of historical narratives of resistance through archives, storytelling, art and education. They are a co-founder of Batti Mamzelle, Trinidad and Tobago’s first queer DJ collective. Outside of work, they love hiking and the outdoors, making music and reading stories from the Caribbean, Africa and the diaspora.


Viviane Simakawa

International Trans Fund
Program Officer

Viviane is a transfeminist activist, researcher and economist based in Brazil. She has seven years of professional experience organizing and participating in initiatives related to SOGIESC issues, specifically within Latin American contexts. She is also a passionate researcher and is currently studying gender identity and expression as a Ph.D. candidate in Women, Gender and Feminist Studies at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA). Viviane’s involvement with activism and research on trans issues, particularly trans depathologization and initiatives at the local level in Brazil, has significantly influenced her work which is focused on resourcing and supporting trans people in various spheres and contexts. Viviane was previously a member of the ITF’s Steering Committee. She also holds a Master’s degree in Cultural Studies and a BA in Economics.

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