Margaret Hempel, Ford Foundation

TITLE: Director, Gender, Sexuality and Reproductive Justice Program

FUNDING AREAS: Sexual and reproductive health and rights, comprehensive sexual education programs, HIV/AIDS, gender-based and sexual orientation discrimination

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PROFILE: Margaret Hempel's portfolio addresses the advancement of sexual and reproductive rights. Her team's grantmaking activities cover Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, China, Indonesia, India and the United States. Her foundation bio shares: 

Margaret Hempel leads the Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice team. Her work has focused on advancing the rights of women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people; reducing discrimination based on gender, sexual, or HIV/AIDS status; and ensuring that the priorities and leadership of women and young people who face multiple forms of social, economic, and political exclusion are central to the advancement of policies and programs for sexuality and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Her team has made grants in Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, China, Indonesia, India, and the United States.

Margaret's first tenure at the foundation was from 1990 to 1999. She served as a program officer and then as deputy director, working on human development and reproductive health. She returned in 2008 to direct the foundation’s SRHR work. In 2013, she assumed leadership of an expanded unit encompassing work on gender rights in addition to SRHR.

Before joining the foundation as a director, Margaret served for two years as vice president for programs at American Jewish World Service, an international development organization, where she managed the grant-making, international service, and advocacy programs. She also spent seven years as vice president for programs at the Ms. Foundation for Women and was responsible for grant-making, training, and advocacy work focused on strengthening policies and programs that benefit low-income women and their families in the United States.

Margaret has also worked for several international agencies and lived and worked in China and Burma. She has a master’s degree from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and a bachelor’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University.