Board and Staff
Sara Abelow, The Overbrook Foundation
Sarah Abelow joined The Overbrook Foundation’s Human Rights Program in 2011. Currently, she works as a Program Officer managing the Foundation’s portfolios to advance human rights in the U.S. and Latin America. This grantmaking addresses democracy reform, gender justice, criminal justice reform, and supporting human rights defenders at risk. As a CoreAlign Generative Fellow, Sarah examined the role of philanthropy in supporting innovation in the reproductive health, rights and justice movement. Sarah holds a bachelor's degree from Pomona College.
Tesmerelna Atsbeha is a program officer on the Women’s Rights team at Wellspring Philanthropic Fund since 2016 where her grantmaking focus is reproductive rights in Latin America and global prevention of Violence Against Women programming. Her previous experiences include working at UNWomen in the Health and HIV/AIDS unit and at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health as part of the International AIDS Care and Treatment Program (ICAP). Prior to that, she was based overseas for ten years in Africa and Latin America working on Sexual and Reproductive Health research and implementation projects with UNDP, The Global Fund and several academic institutions. She holds a BA in International Relations from Brown University, a MPH from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; and a MA in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University.
Christine Clark, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Director at Large
Christine Clark is a Program Officer in Global Development and Population at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. She is responsible for grants that support family planning services and advocacy to protect reproductive rights in the United States. Christine has broad experience in public health and youth services, in the U.S. and internationally. Previously, Christine was the founding executive director of Teen Success Inc., a nonprofit organization based in California that provides a support network for teenage mothers. Christine began her career in reproductive health and rights as a volunteer teacher in rural Namibia. After three of her teenage students became pregnant and were forced to leave school, she began teaching sex education and helping the students advocate for the right of all girls to stay in school. She went on to teach sex education at the Teen Pregnancy Coalition of San Mateo County in California, facilitated the government of Namibia’s effort to integrate reproductive health and HIV prevention content into the national school curriculum, and coordinated the New York City Department of Health’s adolescent family planning program. More recently, she spent several years as part of the international team of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and was director of the Candie’s Foundation, which produces celebrity-driven ad campaigns to prevent teen pregnancy. Christine holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University.
Alexandra DelValle, Groundswell Fund
In her role as Senior Program Director at the Groundswell Fund, Alex manages grantmaking through Groundswell's four funds supporting the leadership of women of color and trans people of color advancing reproductive and social justice. Prior to joining the Groundswell Fund team, Alex served as the Program Director at Third Wave Foundation, a national feminist foundation dedicated to supporting youth-led efforts for reproductive and gender justice. Previously, Alex was the Deputy Director of UPROSE, a Brooklyn-based community organization that uses organizing and advocacy to develop intergenerational, indigenous leadership for the environmental justice movement. Alex also served as the Community Mobilization Coordinator at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and is a former board member of URGE. She holds a BA in Sociology and Women's Studies from Oberlin College, and a MPH in Reproductive, Adolescent and Child Health from Columbia University. Alex has co-chaired the Global Youth Working Group and Women of Color Working Group at Funders for Reproductive Equity (FRE), and is currently co-chair of the Board of FRE.
Kathy Hall, Summit Foundation
Kathy Hall is the director of the Empowering Girls Program at The Summit Foundation. Since joining Summit in 2010, Kathy has overseen the program’s focus on girls’ equality and youth leadership development through initiatives to address sexual and reproductive health & rights, child marriage/early unions, girls’ access to education and livelihoods, and gender norm change, with a primary focus in Mesoamerica. Kathy was previously Deputy Director of Women and Population at the United Nations Foundation. She also served as Co-Executive Director of Just Detention International. For almost nine years, she helped build and ultimately directed the Global Legal Program of the Center for Reproductive Rights, expanding its UN and human rights advocacy, U.S. foreign policy focus and regional programs, including documenting reproductive rights abuses. She also worked in private legal practice, was a law clerk to a federal judge and served on the Board of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), chairing its CEO search committee. She is a graduate of Princeton University and Columbia University School of Law. Kathy has co-chaired the Youth Leadership & Engagement Working Group and is currently co-chair of the Board of Funders for Reproductive Equity (FRE).
Alicia Harris is the Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice Program Officer at The Grove Foundation. Previously, she implemented sexual violence prevention education at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition, she has worked with a number of Bay Area organizations focusing on LGBTQ health, reproductive justice and sexuality education. Recently, she served as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors for ACCESS Women’s Health Justice, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending institutional and practical barriers to reproductive health. Alicia earned a BA from Vassar College and an MPH from UC Berkeley. Alicia is also Manager, Reproductive Justice Program at the Grove Action Fund.
Brook Kelly-Green, The Ford Foundation
Brook Kelly-Green leads the Ford Foundation’s Advancing Reproductive and Gender Justice Initiative. Her grant making supports the rights of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS in the United States and globally with a particular focus on supporting and increasing the strategic advocacy of communities most marginalized by race, gender, sexuality, economics and geography. Before joining the Ford Foundation in 2013, Brook worked as a human rights and policy advocacy attorney for a number of years with the U.S. Positive Women’s Network and later with the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS and AIDS United. With a focus on women living with HIV and sexual and reproductive health and rights, she has worked on the forefront of HIV-related legal and policy advocacy, public education and grassroots organizing. Throughout her career, Brook has been a key leader in advancing legal and policy developments related to HIV/AIDS, such as the implementation of the U.S. National HIV/AIDS Strategy, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the work of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law. After completing a clerkship in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Brook began her legal advocacy career as a Ford Foundation Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow. She earned a juris doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center, and a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Surina Khan, Women's Foundation of California
Surina Khan is CEO of the Women’s Foundation of California where she leads the Foundation’s work to advance gender, racial, and economic justice. The Foundation’s program strategy is focused on building community-based power through investing in nonprofit organizations, training community leaders in policy advocacy, connecting key partners, and mobilizing significant financial resources. For more than two decades, Surina has been a leader in the philanthropic and nonprofit social justice sector starting with local community-based publishing in New England and then shifting to national and global work on an array of social justice issues including women’s rights, LGBT rights, human rights, and democratic and civic participation. She served the social justice and philanthropic sector in a variety of ways including previous positions at the Ford Foundation, OutRight Action International, and Political Research Associates. She currently serves on several Boards including Funders for LGBTQ Issues, Alliance for Justice, La Cocina and the Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative. She is a recognized expert on gender, racial, and economic justice issues and is a frequent commentator on the power of women’s philanthropy.
Joanna Lauen, Irving Harris Foundation
Joanna Lauen is a Senior Program Officer at the Irving Harris Foundation where she leads its grant-making and field leadership in reproductive health, rights and justice by identifying opportunities to advance the Foundation’s broad interest in achieving more equitable outcomes for children and families. She has worked for the Foundation since 2000 and manages a portfolio of grants in a variety of strategy areas including: advocacy and public policy, leadership development and training, grassroots organizing and cross-movement building, and state based capacity building. In her tenure at IHF she spearheaded the Foundation’s shift to a justice framework in its reproductive health and rights portfolio, redirecting the bulk of its investments in this area toward organizations and initiatives led by and for communities most affected by reproductive oppression. She is a past co-chair of FRE’s Women of Color Working Group. Joanna received a Master’s in Public Policy with a focus on child and family policy from the University of Chicago in 1997. Prior to her position at the Irving Harris Foundation, Joanna was a Policy Analyst for the San Francisco Department of Human Services where she worked on a range of issues including child welfare, housing and homelessness and early education.
Elisa Slattery is a Senior Program Officer with the Open Society Foundations’ Women’s Rights Program, where she focuses on sexual and reproductive rights. Prior to joining Open Society, Elisa was a consulting researcher at Amnesty International, where she documented human rights violations stemming from Ireland’s highly restrictive abortion law. She previously worked with the health law program of the International Development Law Organization in Rome. Elisa also served as the regional director for the Africa program at the Center for Reproductive Rights, where her work focused on promoting reproductive rights through national, regional, and international accountability mechanisms and addressing the intersection of HIV and reproductive rights. Elisa has worked as a consultant on workers’ rights issues in Kenya, conducted comparative legal and human rights research on the rights of incarcerated parents at the Brennan Center for Justice, and researched the impact of welfare reform on families with disabilities at the University of North Carolina’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center. Elisa holds a JD from Columbia Law School and a MA in history from Duke University.
Rachelle Weight, JD, Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation
Rachelle attended the University of North Texas, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. She then went on to attend Creighton University School of Law and is a member of the Nebraska Bar Association. Following law school, Rachelle pursued her interest in advocacy and public interest by working in public health areas primarily focused on maternal and child health, health disparities, and Medicaid advocacy. Rachelle briefly left the world of maternal child health to serve as a Grant Officer for Douglas County, Nebraska where she worked to develop projects and write grants in support of restorative criminal justice. She was delighted to return to working on issues of concern to women’s health by joining the Susan T. Buffett Foundation. Rachelle has been at the Foundation since 2007 and currently serves as the Senior Program Officer (U.S. Program) responsible for Social Change programs which includes grant making in the areas of policy and advocacy, culture change, movement building, and leadership development.
Teresa Younger, Ms. Foundation for Women
In 2014, Teresa C. Younger became President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women, the oldest women’s foundation in the United States. Under Teresa’s leadership, the Foundation launched the multimedia campaign, #MyFeminismIs; funded a groundbreaking report on the sexual abuse to prison pipeline; joined leading women’s foundations at the White House to announce a $100 million funding commitment called Prosperity Together to create pathways to economic opportunity for low-income women and girls; and led a campaign to hold the NFL accountable for violence against women. In 2016, Inside Philanthropy named Teresa as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in US Philanthropy”.
Email: narada (at) wearefre.org
Narada Lee has served as FRE’s Operations Director since 1999. Over her long tenure she has overseen the administrative side of the organization and impressed members with her superb meeting planning skills, lightning-speed response time and overall ability to make complicated things look easy. Narada came to FRE from her post as grants manager for the Moriah Fund, and she previously worked as a Marketing Officer at the Thai Embassy in Washington, DC in charge of textile trade between the US and Thailand. She holds a B.S. in International Business and Finance from American University. Narada lives with her husband Danny and two sons, Devin and Nolan, a dog and a cat in Rockville, Maryland.
Jacqueline Nolley Echegaray
Email: jne (at) wearefre.org
Jackie brings a lifelong passion for human rights and social justice—and 15 years of experience as a human rights grantmaker and advocate—to bear in conceptualizing, developing and implementing FRE programming. Her responsibilities include coordinating the International Funders and Youth Leadership and Engagement Working Groups; sharing the direction of FRE’s two annual conferences and fundraising. Prior to joining FRE, Jackie advocated for women’s rights and access to health services in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America at Catholics for Choice, where she also delighted in challenging the Catholic hierarchy and antichoice policymakers on television, radio, blogs and in print. Earlier in her career, Jackie contributed to women's rights movement building in Mesoamerica at Just Associates (JASS); provided financial support to human rights organizations in Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and the United States as a grantmaker at the Moriah Fund and supported a cross-national team of international human rights attorneys at the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL). A proud Peruvian-Texan, Jackie makes her home in Washington, DC.
Email: denise (at) wearefre.org
With decades of experience in the field, Denise leads FRE’s small staff in bringing funders together to maximize the impact of philanthropic dollars in reproductive health, rights and justice. Before joining the Network staff in 2000, Denise was an independent consultant providing a range of communications services for clients, including the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, Catholics for Choice (CFC), and the Innovation Center for Community and Youth Development. In this capacity, Denise authored and produced numerous publications and other written materials, including monographs, white papers, brochures, reports, journal articles, and grant proposals. Denise previously worked for CFC, where she served as Director of Education and Communications and then as Executive Vice President. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of CFC. She previously served on the Board of the Innovation Center for Community and Youth Development, a national organization.