DEVI LEIPER O'MALLEY
Hi! Here are some things about me that I'd love to share with you.
SOME THINGS I'VE MADE IN MY LIFE
Thousands of photographs.
A biography of my mother.
Plenty of mistakes.
Nine moves to different countries, three moves back.
SOME THINGS IN LIFE THAT HAVE MADE ME
Being kon kat, mixed race, Cambodian-American.
Graduating high school with only 6 other kids.
Working as a barista, receptionist, and waitress.
Navigating sexuality with sex workers in Uganda.
Falling in love with a friend.
Losing a parent.
SOME THINGS I'M PROUD OF:
I come from a lineage of social change and fateful moments. I'm a daughter of a human rights defender/mother and a United Nations director/father who met on the border of Cambodia and Thailand after the fall of the Khmer Rouge Regime.
Most recently, I was the Co-Executive Director for FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund the world’s largest participatory fund exclusively for young feminist organizers. From 2013-2019, I co-led the growth of the fund from incubation to independence, from a budget of 250,000 USD to over 4 million USD, cumulatively supporting over 150 groups of young feminists around the world. We grew from 2 staff to over 15 team members, and collectively created a virtual office culture across 6 continents.
I am passionate about building confidence in mobilizing resources for social justice and democratizing philanthropy. I am a co-founder of the Devata Giving Circle - the first Cambodian-American giving circle. Identity-based giving inspired me to make sure I was FRIDA's first individual donor (a few years before I applied for a job there). That way the first young feminist fund got its first donation from a young feminist.
My success at FRIDA is inextricably connected to the co-leadership structure and Ruby Johnson. Actually the only reason I considered the position in the first place was knowing that I would be doing this in partnership. We barely knew each other when we started. It's been a labour of love and I'm glad we came out of it as friends who continue to collaborate!
SOME MORE THINGS
YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ME:
I'm an extroverted introvert. I love going to concerts by myself - dancing on my own in a crowd. I enjoy being with people, but I get my strongest energy from smaller, intimate conversations. I recently learned the term "friendship as method" and feel it captures so much of my values and approaches to the relationships we want to craft in social justice work.
I'm good at most things I put my mind to, but I'm learning to be happy at things I put my heart in. The urgency of creating a more just world often creates days when I am "living to work" but I need to remember sometimes it's okay if I am "working to live" a life that is full and whole.
I have a MSc in International Development and Management from Lund University, and a BSocSc (Hons) in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester.