FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 28, 2011
Media and Communications Officer
Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice
NEW YORK, NY The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, a leader in national and international grantmaking and philanthropic advocacy for lesbian-led and LGBTI organizations, announced the growth of Grants leadership into two positions. Effective January 1st, 2012, Sangeeta Budhiraja will join the Astraea Foundation as Director of Programs and Mai Kiang, current Director of Programs, will assume a newly developed position as Director of Grantmaking.
The two director model is critical to Astraeas work and will position the Foundation as a leader in philanthropic advocacy. A stronger grantmaking structure will increase programmatic capacity and allow the foundation to reach wider audiences and deepen its collaborative work with grantee partners.
Since its beginning, the Astraea Foundations approach has been to build capacity, grow leadership and amplify the advocacy of emerging activist groups. Thirty-four years later, Astraea has grown into a philanthropic leader, funding LGBTQI organizations across 40 countries in addition to the United States. Astraea grantees work in coalition-building, lead policy campaigns and fight for LGBTQI rights around the globe. We are passionate about continuing our legacy and thrilled to be able to expand our reach, says Mai Kiang who has worked at Astraea in many capacities. Prior to becoming a Director at Astraea, Mai served on the Board of Directors and was a long time donor and community activist.
It feels like a homecoming, says Sangeeta Budhiraja who like Kiang, also has roots with the Astraea Foundation. Budhiraja previously worked as a consultant for Astraea from 2005 to 2007 on the International Grants Fund Panel. I am thrilled to be returning to the Astraea family at such an important time. She will be joining the Foundation after four years as the Program Officer at the Ms. Foundation for Women, where she managed the Foundations Movement Building, Southern Strategy, and Economic Justice Initiatives. Budhiraja, who holds a JD from CUNY Law School has strong ties in the LGBTQI community and consulted with FIERCE!, Queers for Economic Justice, and also worked at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission as the Program Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific.
Executive Director, J. Bob Alotta is thrilled with the new structure and hire. Sangeeta is a brilliant addition to an already stellar team. Our new programmatic structure will allow both directors to shine and increase Astraeas impact exponentially. Im very much looking forward to working with Mai and Sangeeta as we continue to turn transition into transformation.
Sangeeta Budhiraja brings over a decade of movement building experience and philanthropic advocacy skills to the Astraea Foundation as a seasoned activist, organizer, educator and advocate. Sangeeta joins the Astraea Foundation after four years as Program Officer at the Ms. Foundation for Women, where she managed the Foundation’s Movement Building, Southern Strategy, and Economic Justice Initiatives. During her time as Regional Program Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), Sangeeta served as member of Astraea’s International Funds panel. She also worked as a consultant to the International Fund from 2005-2007, and has worked with many of Astraeas international grantee partners. Sangeetas expertise with international women’s human rights, sexual rights, racial and economic justice is paired with a strong base in local movement building. She i