Urgent Action Fund is led by an activist Board of Directors, who represent communities around the world. Urgent Action Fund’s decision-making is grounded in an international, feminist framework. Board members play a critical role in advising the Rapid Response Grants program as well as guiding the strategic direction of the organization.
Patricia is the Special Advisor on Sexual and Gender-based Violence to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and a Visiting Fellow at Kellogg College at the University of Oxford. Ms. Sellers is widely published on sexual violence in armed conflict and advises governments, international organizations, and civil society groups on international criminal law. From 1994-2007, she served as Prosecutor and Legal Advisor for Gender at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. She was the chief legal strategist in the landmark cases of Furundzija, Akayesu, and Kunarac—cases that recognized rape and sexual violence as war crimes. She was honored with the American Society of International Law’s Prominent Women in International Law Award. Recently, she consulted on the PBS series, Women, War and Peace.
Paulette has worked in the progressive movement for three decades on women’s rights, economic development, and philanthropy. She has worked for foundations and nonprofit organizations, owned a philanthropic consulting practice, and served on many nonprofit Boards. She founded and chaired Women’s Initiative for Self Employment for 15 years, a San Francisco nonprofit that has trained and financed over 12,000 low-income women to start microenterprises—together they’ve added 40,000 net new jobs to our economy. Paulette has also served as Chair of the Women Donors Network and as Chair of Equal Rights Advocates.
She currently serves as Chair of the Fund for the Center for Community Change and as a member of the Alliance for Justice Board, both national organizations based in Washington, DC. She also manages a family foundation in San Francisco where she lives with her spouse, David Friedman, and two yellow labs. They have three adult children.
An activist, author, and organizer in women’s and human rights movements for over four decades, Charlotte is the Founding Director and Senior Scholar at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University. She is the author of numerous essays and books, and has edited or co-edited nine anthologies including the Center’s reports on the UN Beijing Plus 5 Review and the World Conference Against Racism. Charlotte’s contributions to the women’s human rights movement have been recognized by many. She is a recipient of the White House Eleanor Roosevelt Award, a member of the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and was one of the “1000 Women Peace Makers” nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Roshmi is a leader in the feminist movement in South Asia and was also part of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) monitoring network in the region. She co-founded the North East Network, a women’s rights network, in North East India. Roshmi is well known for her pioneering work with women in the conflict affected regions of India, including documenting and analyzing the impact of war and conflict on the lives of women. She is associated with several organizations working on human rights including Human Rights Ahead, a Madrid based human rights resource group, and core group member of SANGAT, a South Asian feminist network. Rohsmi is also a member of the Asia Pacific Women’s Alliance on Peace and Security (APWAPS).
Previously, Roshmi was a Program Officer with the Ford Foundation, New Delhi office for several years supporting cutting edge work on women’s rights in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal, regional women’s human rights networks in the Asia Pacific region and collaborative cross regional programs with colleagues from Latin America. In addition, she previously worked with UN Women South Asia to set up their regional program on Women, Peace and Security.
Kamala is an activist on women’s human rights and a wide range of social justice issues. In post-authoritarian Indonesia, she played a leading role building a unique national mechanism for women’s human rights, and founded coalitions, initiatives and organizations within civil society, nationally and internationally. She initiated a national system of protection and support for women human rights defenders and set up the first and only women’s fund for women victims of violence in the country while she was leading Indonesia’s National Commission on Violence against Women (1998-2009).
In 2011, Kamala was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as a member of the its Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice under the Special Procedures mechanism. She is also a member of UN ESCAP and UN Women’s Asia Pacific Regional Advisory Group on Women, Peace and Security. In Indonesia, she coordinates a national coalition on truth and justice for past human rights violations and reparations for victims, and leads an indigenous resource mobilization organization for social transformation, which manages funds for human rights defenders and victims of violence, among others.
Sunila Abeysekera, former Urgent Action Fund Board Chair
Chela Blitt, former Urgent Action Fund Board Member
United States of America
Ariane Brunet, Urgent Action Fund Co-founder
Hope Chigudu, former Chair of the Board Urgent Action Fund-Africa
Jelena Dordevic, former Urgent Action Fund Board Secretary
Eleanor Douglas, former Executive Director Urgent Action Fund-Latin America
Marta Drury, former Urgent Action Fund Board Member, United States
Amalia Fischer, former Urgent Action Fund Board Vice Chair
Terry Greenblatt, former Urgent Action Fund Executive Director
Anissa Helie, former Urgent Action Fund Board Vice Chair
Algeria and France
Rachel-Alouki Labbé, former Urgent Action Fund Board Member, First Nations of Canada – Abenaki
Kaari Betty Murungi, former Urgent Action Fund-Africa Executive Director
Vahida Nainar, current Board Member Urgent Action Fund-Africa
Indai Lourdes Sajor, former Urgent Action Fund Board Member
Margaret Schink, Urgent Action Fund Co-founder
United States of America
Julie Shaw, Urgent Action Fund Co-founder and former Urgent Action Fund Executive Director
United States of America
Rita Thapa, former Urgent Action Fund Board Member
Rachel Wareham, former Urgent Action Fund Board Member
“An activist fund is one that speaks truth to power, and is able to prioritise and represent trends and colours from women who are often excluded from being heard because of language/culture/class/ethnic differences.”
-Rachel Wareham, Former Board Member