Global Fund for Children (GFC) is the only global nonprofit dedicated to finding, funding, and coaching truly community-based organizations that empower children and youth.

We are a trusted resource for journalists on topics related to international development, child and youth empowerment, grassroots investment and innovation, child rights and safeguarding, gender equity, and community and youth action for social change.

If you’re a journalist interested in speaking with an expert at GFC or would like to be added to our media list to keep up-to-date on the latest news, please contact us. Depending on the topic, we may also be able to connect you with one of our 100+ community-based partner organizations working in the areas of education, gender equity, youth empowerment, and freedom from violence and exploitation in more than 20 countries around the world.

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Press Contact

Kyra Gurney
Senior Communications Officer
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+1 (202) 222-0821

Our Impact

About Us

Global Fund for Children (GFC) partners to build a world where all children and youth enjoy equal resources and opportunities in society and live free from violence, discrimination, and exploitation. To that end, GFC invests in innovative local organizations, helping them deepen their impact and build their capacity for social change. Together, GFC and its partners advance the rights of children and youth facing poverty and injustice and equip them with the tools and skills to reach their full potential. Since 1997, Global Fund for Children has invested $51 million in more than 900 organizations, reaching 11 million children and youth worldwide. For more information, visit www.globalfundforchildren.org.

Experts

Rodrigo Barraza

Regional Co-Director for the Americas, Global Fund for Children

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Rodrigo BarrazaAreas of expertise: Gender and Masculinities; Youth Empowerment in Latin America; Migration in the Americas

Rodrigo Barraza supports community-based organizations throughout the Americas by co-leading GFC’s grantmaking and capacity development work in the region. He has extensive experience engaging boys and young men in promoting healthy masculinities and advancing gender justice, and he is an expert in workshop facilitation techniques. Rodrigo also has extensive experience working with migrant children and women in Mexico’s southern border region, and he is knowledgeable about youth empowerment in Latin America. Rodrigo had led GFC’s healthy masculinities initiatives in Mexico and Central America and supported the organization’s work with adolescent migrant girls in the Americas.

Prior to joining GFC, Rodrigo worked for Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Matías de Córdova and for Voces Mesoamericanas, where he was responsible for the Migrant Children and Youth program. Rodrigo holds a PhD in gender studies and a master’s degree in applied anthropology from the University of Salamanca in Spain, along with a master’s degree in international cooperation from the National University of San Martin in Argentina. Read his full bio here.

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Joseph Bednarek

Senior Director of Global Grantmaking, Global Fund for Children

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Joseph Bednarek headshot

Areas of expertise: Migration in Southeastern Europe; Support for Children Living with Disabilities; Civil Society in Eurasia

Joseph Bednarek supports community-based organizations around the world by leading GFC’s global grantmaking as well as the organization’s grantmaking and capacity development work in Europe and Eurasia. Joe has extensive experience supporting a range of civil society organizations in Europe and Eurasia, including organizations working with migrants in Southeastern Europe and with children with disabilities in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and other countries.

Prior to joining GFC, Joe worked as the Director and Education Programs Manager for the Ukraine field office of IREX, implementing education programs funded by the US Department of State. Joe has also worked as the administrative coordinator for the Chicago-based nonprofit Health for Humanity and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine. He has a master’s degree in Russian, Eastern European, and Central Asian studies from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Georgetown University. Read Joe’s full bio here.

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Shivonne Graham

Deputy Director, UK, Global Fund for Children

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Shivonne GrahamAreas of expertise: Fundraising in the UK; Feminist Leadership in the Third Sector; Crisis Management in the Third Sector

Shivonne Graham advances the rights of children and young people by fundraising to support community-based organizations around the world and by helping to lead GFC’s UK office. She has over a decade of experience leading charities as a Managing Director, Trustee, and Chair of the Board, which has given her extensive expertise in the Third Sector in the UK, including in fundraising and charity boards and governance. She also has extensive knowledge of feminist leadership and crisis management in the nonprofit sector.

Shivonne has 25 years of experience in marketing, fundraising, and communications in a range of charities and nonprofit organizations, leading teams to success at Shelter, Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres, Comic Relief, Global Radio Charities, Amref Health Africa, and most recently as Managing Director of Women for Women International – UK. Shivonne is an alumnus of Civil Society magazine Fundraising’s 50 Most Influential list. She holds a degree in development and international relations from the University of Sussex. Read her full bio here.

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John Hecklinger

President and CEO, Global Fund for Children

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Global Fund for Children President and CEO John Hecklinger.Areas of expertise: Social Innovation; Trust-Based Philanthropy; Grassroots Investment

John Hecklinger drives social change by helping effective community-led organizations around the world connect with the resources they need to empower children and youth to reach their full potential. He is an expert in social innovation and grassroots investment and a passionate advocate for trust-based philanthropy. John also has extensive knowledge about how the nonprofit sector operates. He has been interviewed, spoken at conferences, and written articles on trust-based philanthropy, sparking social innovation in complex systems, and disrupting the way philanthropy gets done, among other topics.

John joined GFC in 2017 after more than two decades in global philanthropy and the private sector. Prior to joining GFC, he served in a series of roles at GlobalGiving, driving the growth of the world’s first crowdfunding marketplace for global causes. John previously led partnership efforts at CARFAX Vehicle History Reports and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bangui, Central African Republic. He holds a master’s degree in English from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Virginia. Read John’s full bio here.

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Kulsoom Khan

Senior Regional Director for Asia, Global Fund for Children

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Kulsoom Khan headshot

Areas of expertise: Anti-trafficking in Asia; Social Entrepreneurship; Youth Empowerment in Asia

Kulsoom Khan supports community-based organizations throughout Asia by leading GFC’s grantmaking and capacity development work in the region, as well as by setting GFC’s regional strategy and building networks for GFC and its partners. She has extensive experience supporting youth empowerment and social entrepreneurship programs throughout Asia, as well as anti-trafficking and child protection efforts in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and other countries.

Prior to joining GFC, Kulsoom led several initiatives at the social entrepreneurship organization Ashoka, including managing global relations with Asia offices, developing the Global Fellow Security program, and expanding the organization’s work in Pakistan. Kulsoom currently serves on the Board of the global translocal network Accountability Lab, and on the Board of Vision, a citizen sector organization that increases awareness of child abuse and develops child protection interventions in Pakistan. She previously helped launch Vision’s Child Rights Initiative. Kulsoom holds a master’s degree in human rights law and a bachelor’s degree in law and society from American University. Read her full bio here.

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Alexander Kyerematen

Regional Program Director for Africa, Global Fund for Children

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Alexander Kyerematen

Areas of expertise: Community-based Organizations in Africa; Livelihoods and Economic Empowerment Programs in Africa; the African Private Sector’s Role in Development

Alexander Kyerematen supports community-based organizations throughout Africa by leading GFC’s grantmaking and capacity development work in the region. Alex has extensive experience supporting livelihoods and economic empowerment programs in Africa and is knowledgeable about philanthropy and development across the continent, including the African private sector’s role in pushing development outcomes and the challenges facing civil society groups in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, and South Africa.

Prior to joining GFC, Alex served as a Senior Associate Program Director at Geneva Global, where he collaborated with community-based organizations to design and implement strategic philanthropic investments. He previously negotiated the placement of bilateral and multilateral project funds and structured and managed disbursements to support public-private partnership projects while at Fidelity Bank Ghana. Alex holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the College of Wooster, a master’s degree in international business and policy from Georgetown University, and an MBA in international business from Hult International Business School. Read Alex’s full bio here.

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Kimberly McClain

Regional Co-Director for the Americas, Global Fund for Children

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Kimberly McClain headshotAreas of expertise: Trust-based Philanthropy; Youth Empowerment in Central America; Grassroots Civil Society in Latin America

Kimberly McClain supports community-based organizations throughout the Americas by co-leading GFC’s grantmaking and capacity development work in the region. Kimberly has extensive experience supporting youth empowerment programs in Central America and practicing trust-based philanthropy, and she is knowledgeable about grassroots civil society across Latin America. She has led the expansion of GFC’s partnerships for adolescent girls in Central America; innovation in monitoring, evaluation, and learning; and the design of GFC’s global education response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to joining GFC, Kimberly served as the Regional Director for East and West Africa, Latin America, and global projects at the international development nonprofit Pact and conducted research and designed programming in Guatemala and El Salvador. Kimberly began her career in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, working for a local nonprofit focused on gender and rural development. She has a master’s degree in social change and development and international economics from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and a bachelor’s degree in international studies from American University. Read Kimberly’s full bio here.

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Corey Oser

Vice President of Programs, Global Fund for Children

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Corey OserAreas of expertise: International Development; Human Trafficking; Girls’ and Women’s Empowerment

Corey Oser advances rights and opportunities for young people by helping youth-centered and youth-led organizations become more effective and connected. Corey has more than 20 years of experience working in international development with local and international NGOs to empower women and girls, prevent and respond to human trafficking, and address other important issues. Her regional expertise includes East Asia, East and West Africa, and the Balkans.

Corey joined GFC in 2017 after establishing and leading a global capacity-strengthening effort at Polaris that equipped organizations to identify victims of trafficking, respond effectively, and create data-informed solutions. Corey previously spent a decade improving economic and social outcomes for women and girls in conflict-affected countries through leadership roles with Women for Women International. She holds a master’s degree in international affairs and development from the George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree from Bates College. Read Corey’s full bio here.

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Hayley Roffey

Managing Director and Designated Safeguard Lead, Global Fund for Children

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Hayley Roffey Areas of expertise: Youth Empowerment; Shifting Power in Philanthropy; Fundraising

Hayley Roffey advances the rights of children and young people around the world by fundraising to support community-based organizations and by championing youth participation in philanthropy. She is an accomplished senior leader in the nonprofit sector, with expertise in development and fundraising and more than a decade of experience working to empower children and youth. Hayley champions shifting power in philanthropy by promoting participatory grantmaking and involving young people in decision-making processes.

Prior to joining GFC in 2017, Hayley led asphaleia action, a UK charity that delivers specific interventions to vulnerable children and young people, including unaccompanied migrants, across the south of England. In addition to extensive fundraising experience, Hayley has also started new organizations as an external consultant and led business development projects with UK-based charities. Hayley holds a postgraduate diploma in marketing and marketing management from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a postgraduate degree in magazine journalism from Cardiff University, and a bachelor’s degree in drama and dramatics/theater arts from the University of Winchester. She is also trained as a designated safeguard lead. Read Hayley’s full bio here.

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Karen Walker-Simpson

Director, Funder Safeguarding Collaborative

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Karen Walker-SimpsonAreas of expertise: Safeguarding; Preventing Sexual Harassment and Abuse

Karen Walker-Simpson leads Funder Safeguarding Collaborative (FSC), which is housed within Global Fund for Children and was created to strengthen the ability of grantmaking organizations to prevent abuse and exploitation across their operations. Karen has more than two decades of experience developing and delivering services to children and families in the UK, Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

Karen started her career working with children in care in the UK before moving to Ecuador to run Fundación Juconi, which provides therapeutic support for street-working children and their families. Prior to joining GFC, Karen spent eight years as a Safeguarding Specialist for international NGOs working across Africa, Asia, and Latin America before moving to Comic Relief as the organization’s Head of Safeguarding. Karen has a master’s degree in international human rights from the University of London and is completing her professional doctorate, which examines the effectiveness of safeguarding standards and donor requirements when applied by NGOs in East Africa, at University of Bedfordshire. Read Karen’s full bio here.

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Global Fund for Children (GFC) UK Trust, created in 2006, is a UK registered charity (UK charity number 1119544). We work to generate vital income, create new fundraising opportunities, and raise awareness of the invaluable work of GFC’s grassroots grantees. Our aim is to extend the reach of GFC in the United Kingdom, Europe, and beyond.

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