Committed to resource justice with a feminist lens, I have spent over a decade working to create more equitable flows of funding. I've worked with large global or regional women's funds like FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund, Urgent Action Fund Asia Pacific, and the Global Fund for Women, but also with Devata, the first Cambodian-American Giving Circle.
I've also worked directly with activists, like the first sex worker collective in Uganda, and organizers of garment workers and LBTQI women in Cambodia - looking especially at what they need to create social change for their communities.
I have multiple perspectives that inform my thinking on social justice movements and the funding ecosystem, how institutions grow and change, and what it takes to bring new ideas to life.
This includes practicing more horizontal leadership, participatory decision-making, and working virtually, but also ensuring legal compliance, reconciling funder needs, and creating policies. I've learned how to navigate decisions and strategies of reform, resistance, recreation, and reimagination. (Spirit in Action, 2010)
Let's ask and answer questions together.
I can offer insights to challenge your thinking, inform your strategies, solve problems, and build culture.
This can be in the form of Strategy Development, Documentation and Research, Learning and Reflection, and more.
I enjoy helping others find ways to embody their values, lead by example, and advance their practice.
My collaborator, Ruby Johnson, and I are developing programs for coleadership.
Over the past 10+ years, I have worked with Devi as a co-worker, a grantee partner, and a consultant. In each of those roles, I have been struck by the creativity Devi brings to every aspect of her work. Devi is deeply committed to putting feminist and social justice values into practice and comes equipped with creative ideas about how to do that, especially in the field of philanthropy.
She’s a deeply thoughtful leader who is able to bring diverse voices into any project or meeting. Devi is caring colleague and she brings a tremendous amount of fun to her work. To this day, I’m always excited when I get to work with Devi, because I know that I will learn a ton, get do something radical, and invariably have many moments of laughter and fun along the way.
------ Betsy Hoody
Program Officer, Wellspring Philanthropic Fund
I successfully built a co-leadership practice and culture at FRIDA with Ruby Johnson. We co-created new ways of working, developed several planning templates and documents to guide our work, and established procedures and habits that nurtured our joint well-being and personalities. Here is an article we wrote about some of our learnings.
I have a range of experience raising resources. From 2013-2019, I was the key lead on FRIDA's Resource Mobilization efforts, helping to raise our budget from approximately 250,000 USD to 4.3 million USD. These funds primarily came from a range of private, family, corporate foundations, as well as donor advised funds and individuals.
Communities & Culture
I believe in creating collective culture through practices, symbols, and relationships. In my co-leadership at FRIDA, I nurtured rituals, creative expression, and standards of well-being. As an alternative to what we usually refer to as "human resources," we created a Communities & Culture Team to give name and accountability to this work.
I supported the implementation of the largest participatory grantmaking program for young feminists, evaluated here, and was a key member of the Breakthrough Project in Asia and the Pacific. I've worked my way up from Program Associate to Board Member: I know the ins and outs of different aspects of grantmaking programs from administration, strategy, and governance.
I understand the importance of collecting evidence for learning and impact. My largest project was my graduate research with sex workers in Uganda and the significance of considering sexuality in international development.
I also co-authored this recent article for the Gender and Development Journal on young feminist organizing.
I co-led FRIDA fund from start-up to scale: registering the fund, setting up a governance structure with democratic elections, writing policies, growing staff, building virtual systems and culture. Similarly, I accompanied the first sex worker-led collective in Uganda in their first six months; launched an alumni program, and founded a giving circle.
I look to diversify the sources of funding and the people making decisions about them. I am a founding member of the
the first Cambodian-American
I also seeded and supported the creation of NY-FEM, a small giving circle in 2014-16.
FRIDA was challenged by its Board, Staff, Advisors, and Grantee Partners to develop clear guidelines and principles on where it would accept funding. I co-convened a consultation with peer funders, and supported additional consultations with advisors and grantee partners. I then wrote the first draft of the Ethics Policy.