The CLIMA Fund is a collaboration between Global Greengrants Fund, Grassroots International, Thousand Currents, and Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights. With one cross-cutting coordinator, the collaborative is directed by the collaborative’s four Executive Directors and a Hub Committee.
Lindley Mease / CLIMA Director
Lindley is dedicated to building solidarity for grassroots movements advancing just and regenerative solutions to climate change. In addition to coordinating the CLIMA Fund, Lindley is the Co-Founder of Blue Heart, an organization that organizes millennial donors to give to frontline organizations in the U.S. In these roles she is working to advance accountable philanthropy, and to elevate the stories of grassroots organizations building real political power. Lindley also teaches at Stanford University’s Design School; is a community mediator and counselor; an avid watercolorist and salsa dancer; and is a member of LeftRoots, a national formation of social movement activists. Lindley has a M.S. in Earth System Science and a B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University. Her roots run deep beneath the Cascades of Washington State and have spread to the Sierras and the Redwoods that surround her home of Oakland.
Gargi Sharma / Communications & Development Manager
As a human rights activist, advocate, and lawyer, Gargi has been involved in the feminist and environmental movement in South Asia for over twelve years. She is committed to decolonising the social justice movement and believes in mobilizing people power to create lasting social change. She graduated from Leiden University with an Advanced LLM in European and International Human Rights Law in 2018. Gargi is currently based in Haarlem, where she spends her free time exploring the city’s many museums and biking around North Holland.
Hannah Twomey / Learning & Evaluation Manager
Hannah is an activist educator, curriculum designer, writer, project manager, and connector of people, with a background in supporting grassroot social movements across Europe and Southeast Asia on food sovereignty and land access – including resisting land grabbing and extractivism and their roots of racism and colonization. She is passionate about creating spaces for people to reimagine and shape their futures toward a just and greater collective purpose, by connecting them with tools, perspective shifts, and movements. In doing so, she seeks to highlight the interlinkages between the personal and political, by raising awareness of how we embody and replicate patterns of oppression – from patriarchal value systems to racism –through our relationships to each other and the earth. Understanding how extractivist thinking creates separation and domination and cultivates ecological and social injustice is central to decolonizing these relationships, enabling healing, and promoting justice. Hannah holds a BA in Development Studies from Brown University and an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from the University of Oxford.
Chung-Wha Hong / Leadership Committee
Chung-Wha is the Executive Director of Grassroots International. For over 25 years, Chung-Wha has worked on a range of social justice issues locally and internationally, through organizing, policy advocacy, coalition building, and philanthropy. Named by the New York Magazine as one of the most Influential People in Politics, Chung-Wha helped to build the political clout of New York State’s immigrant communities through a comprehensive civic engagement program, and helped to win numerous legal, social, and economic rights and benefits for those communities. Chung-Wha’s past activism includes working on health care, worker rights, and human rights issues at the New York Immigration Coalition, Campaign to Save Public Hospitals, National Korean American Service & Education Consortium, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance AFL-CIO, and the Korea Information Project.
Kate Kroeger / Leadership Committee
Kate joined Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights as Executive Director in 2012, fulfilling a lifelong dream of pursuing her feminist activism at an organization dedicated to supporting women’s human rights defenders around the world. Kate learned about grassroots activism in India, where she was a fellow with the Aga Khan Foundation Canada in rural Rajasthan and later worked in the Tansa Valley of Maharashtra. She then moved to New York City, where she spent twelve years funding human rights and social justice work globally, at NetAid (now part of Mercy Corps) and American Jewish World Service (AJWS), where she oversaw grants to over 450 grassroots organizations in 36 countries. In an earlier incarnation as a policy wonk in the US government, Kate worked in the Department of Health and Human Services, and in the House of Representatives. Kate has earned degrees from McGill University, the London School of Economics, and New York University, and most recently received her Master’s in International Human Rights Law with Distinction from the University of Oxford. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former fellow at the Aspen Institute, she speaks French and Hindi.
Solomé Lemma / Leadership Committee
Solomé Lemma is the Executive Director of Thousand Currents. With over 15 years of experience in philanthropy and social change, Solomé Lemma is committed to community- owned and -determined social transformation. Solomé joins Thousand Currents most recently from Africans in the Diaspora (AiD), an initiative she co-founded and led for four years before its merger with Thousand Currents. She is also one of the founders of Africa Responds, a diaspora-led humanitarian initiative that was created to galvanize support for grassroots organizations that fought the Ebola outbreak in parts of west Africa. Previously, she served as Global Fund for Children’s Senior Program Officer for Africa for over five years, managing a portfolio of over 100 grassroots organizations in about 25 countries. Solomé has also worked with the UN Development Programme in Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch in New York City, and International Rescue Committee in Liberia. She received a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a Bachelor’s in International Relations from Stanford University. Solomé was recognized as a White House Champion of Change for her work with diaspora communities and has been featured in both Forbes and the Washington Post. She was also named as one of Foreign Policy Magazine’s “100 women to follow on Twitter” at @innovateafrica.
Laura Garcia / Leadership Committee
Laura Garcia is the President u0026amp; CEO of Global Greengrants. Laura is a Mexican feminist who has advocated for human rights, social justice, and civil society throughout her career. Before joining Global Greengrants, Laura served for seven years as the Executive Director of Fondo Semillas, a Mexican nonprofit organization that finances grassroots organizations to achieve gender equality. Laura has vast experience in grassroots philanthropy, human rights, and movements for social justice, and she has co-created networks to promote community philanthropy in the Global South. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Peace and Security, from King’s College, London. She currently serves on the boards of Oxfam Mexico, Justicia Transicional MX, and El Día Después.
Carol Schachet / Steering Committee
Carol coordinates all aspects of development at Grassroots International, including collaborations and special projects, as well as engaging in story-telling to advance Grassroots International’s understanding of the role of social movements in creating a more just and sustainable world. She has served in this role at Grassroots International for 10 years. Prior Carol played a similar role on a national scale (with the same title) at RESIST, Inc., and previously worked as an organizer with ACORN and Witness for Peace. She has a Masters of Divinity focusing in the intersection of theology and politics.
Theary Chan / Steering Committee
Theary has been in fundraising and philanthropy for social change since 2000. Prior to joining UAF, she worked for or consulted a wide portfolio of social change & social justice organizations, including the (formerly) Grassroots Fundraising Institute, Heritage of Pride – NYC Pride, The Urban Justice Center’s Sex Workers Project, Tides Foundation & others. Most recently, she served as the Director of Philanthropic Services at Horizons Foundation, an LGBTQ Community Foundation. Theary grew up in Long Beach, CA as a first-generation immigrant and refugee of Cambodian/Khmer heritage. She has spent a lifetime reconciling the injustices within a historical perspective of genocide and the intergenerational trauma of its aftermath with a passionate belief in the best of humanity’s efforts towards resilience and kindness through philanthropy. Her guiding principles are rooted in upholding equity & justice through the active embrace of economic, racial, and gender justice values.
Kezha Hatier-Riess / Steering Committee
Kézha brings more than 20 years of experience in fundraising, communications, and strategic development to Global Greengrants Fund. Kézha has worked to protect the wildlife and ecosystems of Yellowstone National Park, to increase educational access for young people in New Mexico, and on a number of wildlife conservation projects. She has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Mills College and a M.S. in Wildlife Biology from Montana State University.
Rajiv Khanna / Steering Committee
Rajiv provides overall leadership of the Philanthropic Partnerships Program at Thousand Currents, overseeing donor engagement, the Thousand Currents Academy, Learning and Evaluation, the Buen Vivir Fund, and Diaspora Partnerships. He currently serves on the Board of the Management Assistance Group and on the Stewardship Circle
of Thrive East Bay. Rajiv has a Bachelor’s in English and History from Newman University in Wichita, KS, and a Master’s in history from The Ohio State University.