Our Steering Committee
Our Steering Committee is a diverse group of HRFN members representing broadly the interests, organizations, and institutions active in the human rights grantmaking field. The Steering Committee provides guidance on HRFN’s strategy, programs, and initiatives.
Monica Aleman Cunningham
Senior Program Officer, Building Institutions and Networks (BUILD)
Monica Aleman Cunningham is a senior program officer on the BUILD team at Ford Foundation, working to advance the foundation’s efforts to support and develop stronger, sustainable, and more effective social justice organizations and networks across the globe. Her areas of concentration in BUILD are Latin America; Civic Engagement and Government; and Gender, Race, and Ethnic Justice. Before joining Ford Foundation in 2011, Monica was executive director of the International Indigenous Women’s Forum, a network of organizations in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. She also served as program and policy director at MADRE, an international women’s rights organization. In addition, Monica has worked as a coordinator and assistant for the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and has consulted for various organizations, including the Ford Foundation and Nicaragua’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Monica received her master’s degree from the Intercultural Indigenous University, Popayán, Colombia, and her bachelor’s degree in international relations, with a focus on political science and business administration, from the University of Mobile, Latin America Campus at San Marcos, Nicaragua.
Rachel Freed (co-chair)
Vice President and Chief Program Officer
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
Rachel Gore Freed is a human rights lawyer, community organizer, and social justice advocate with a wealth of domestic and international experience. As UUSC’s Vice President and Chief Program Officer, Freed leads the organization’s creative and effective approaches to advancing human rights and oversees all aspects of UUSC’s programmatic work, including program and partnership development, advocacy and strategic communications, and justice education and outreach. Prior to joining UUSC, Freed was deeply engaged in community struggles around the world, including successfully litigating against Exxon for violations of the Clean Air Act in the Houston Baytown shipping channel, arguing for the right to seek asylum before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and representing low-income immigrants and detained asylum seekers pursuing relief from unjust deportation in New York City. Her experiences abroad include helping volunteer youth serve as peace witnesses in Gujurat, Northern India after communal rioting and serving on the team that prosecuted the former President of Liberia, Charles Taylor, and leaders of the rebel forces through the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Freed holds a bachelor’s degree with a focus in international development from the George Washington Elliott School of International Affairs and a doctor of law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School.
Senior Director of Civil and Political Rights and Advocacy
American Jewish World Service
Tracey Gurd is American Jewish World Service’s Senior Director of Civil and Political Rights and Advocacy, responsible for leading a key portfolio of AJWS’s grantmaking in the developing world and for directing our work to promote U.S. and global laws and policies that advance human rights. Prior to joining AJWS in 2016, Tracey held numerous roles at the Open Society Foundations, including Division Director of Strategy and Senior Advocacy Officer for the Open Society Justice Initiative. Originally from Australia, she was previously a research fellow at the University of Melbourne Law School and a policy analyst at both the Australian Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet and at the Australian Embassy in Budapest. She is a graduate of the Australian National University holds a Masters of Public International Law, Human Rights, and International Humanitarian Law from the University of Melbourne.
Director of Community Resources
Katy Love serves as the director of Community Resources team at the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that supports Wikipedia and sister sites. The Community Resources team increases the quantity, quality, diversity, and reach of free knowledge by making hundreds of grants each year to mission-allied organizations and people around the world. Katy has co-led the HRFN community of practice on participatory grantmaking, and is serving as an advisor to the forthcoming Grantcraft Guide on participatory grantmaking.
Before Wikimedia, Katy worked as a knowledge manager CARE International on a large collaboration between six of the largest humanitarian agencies, aimed to increase the speed, quality and effectiveness of humanitarian responses. She also served as an associate program officer at the Global Fund for Children overseeing grants to small grassroots NGOs. She have served as a volunteer grantmaker with many philanthropic organizations, including the Unitarian Universalist Funding Program, the Fund for Southern Communities, Washington Area Women’s Fund, giving circles, and more.
Senior Consultant PILnet
Garth Meintjes was the executive director of PILnet from 2015 through 2021 and now serves as a Senior Consultant based in the organization’s New York office. Prior to joining PILnet, Garth served as the executive director of ISLP for nearly five years. In this role, he led the integration of the organization’s operations in the United States and Europe. Previously, Garth was chief operating officer at the International Legal Foundation, where he oversaw the expansion of their programs in Afghanistan and Nepal. Before this, he led the JEHT Foundation’s international justice program, which focused on challenging U.S. exceptionalism to international justice, particularly in its national security policies. Garth has a B.A. from the University of Stellenbosch, an LL.B. from the University of Cape Town, and LL.M. and JSD degrees from the University of Notre Dame.
Maitri Morarji (co-chair)
Director of Programs
Foundation for a Just Society
For nearly twenty years, Maitri has leveraged resources in support of global women’s rights movements through grantmaking, fundraising, and philanthropic advocacy. Prior to joining FJS, she was a senior program officer at Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, where she coordinated the land and property rights initiative and oversaw grants for international women’s movements. Maitri has also served as a program officer for East Africa at American Jewish World Service, the development officer for foundation relations at the Global Fund for Women, and a policy associate at Grameen Foundation USA. She conducted research in the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations on peacekeeping and conflict resolution and currently serves as the co-chair of the steering committees for Human Rights Funders Network and the Research Consortium on Women’s Land Rights. A native of India and Sweden, Maitri has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California, Berkeley and a master’s degree in international affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Baobá – Fundo para Equidade Racial
Selma Moreira is Executive Director of Baobá – Fundo para Equidade Racial, the first and only fund dedicated exclusively to the promotion of racial equity for the black population in Brazil. She also acted as Sustainability Manager at Alphaville Foundation, and as a Project Manager at Fundação Getúlio Vargas Incubator of Popular Cooperatives Technology (ITCP – FGV). She is a member of the Advisory Council of the Coca-Cola Institute in Brazil and of Greenpeace Brazil General Assembly. She graduated from Fundação Instituto Tecnológico de Osasco with a bachelor’s in Business Administration, and she holds post-graduate degrees in Strategic Management in Organizational Communication and Public Relations from the University of São Paulo School of Arts and Communication and in Social Enterprise Management from Fundação Instituto de Administração.
Founder and Executive Director
Alda Salomão is an environmental lawyer, land governance specialist and human rights activist. She is founder and current ED of Tindzila Fund in Mozambique. From 2002 to 2015, she served as the General Director and senior legal advisor of the Mozambican NGO Centro Terra Viva (CTV), which focuses on environmental research and advocacy, with land governance as its core theme. Apart from providing strategic and technical leadership to CTV’s three programmatic areas, Alda also led CTV legal support to the Community-based Natural Resources Management Platform (2008-2010) and to the Community Land Initiative – iTC (2006-2012). In 2017 Alda was elected National Human Right Commissioner and has been serving the Mozambican National Human Rights Commission responding for social and environmental rights and involuntary resettlements. Her mandate as National Commissioner ends in September 2022. Alda holds a Law Degree (Universidade Eduardo Mondlane-Moçambique), a Master’s Degree in Environmental Law (American University-USA) and a PhD in Human Geography and Spatial Planning (Utrecht University-Netherlands).
Maria Amália Souza
Senior Advisor, Founder, and Former Executive Director
CASA Socio-Environmental Fund
Maria Amália Souza is dedicated to designing systemic strategies that assure philanthropic resources reach the most excluded and vulnerable grassroots communities. She is a founding steering committee member of the Brazilian Philanthropy Network for Social Justice and leads her organization in many global/regional funders coalitions. In 2016, Amalia was a finalist among 7 global leaders for the Olga Alexeeva Memorial Prize on innovative philanthropy in the Global South. Her 30+ years of professional life include roles as Director of Member Services for the Association for Progressive Communications, International Communications Director for the Brazilian Union of Indian Nations, and Brazil Advisory Board Coordinator for Global Greengrants Fund. She has also worked with international NGOs, consulted with companies on their social investment assessments, and partnered with global grassroots networks. She is on the Advisory Board of The Ocean Foundation and is Board Chair for Nucleus of Information Technology Research and Training (NUPEF). Amália holds a degree in International Services & Development / Environmental Studies from World College West, participated in the Donnella Meadows Leadership Fellows Program, and trained in Biopsychology at Instituto Visão Futuro.