Introducing the Intersex Fund team at Astraea!

Published on Jun 16, 2015

Astraea is excited to announce the new staff and international advisory board of intersex activists of the Intersex Human Rights Fund. The first of its kind, the Intersex Fund supports organizations, projects and timely campaigns led by intersex activists working around the world to ensure the human rights, bodily autonomy, physical integrity and self-determination of intersex people. With the generous support of seed donors Kobi Conway and Andrew Owen and a leadership gift from the Arcus Foundation, Astraea launched the Fund in late 2014 to honor the resilience, creativity and growth of intersex activism and to address the dearth of funding for intersex issues and communities.

USA- New York

As the Intersex Fund’s first program officer, Ruth Baldacchino will lead the Fund’s grantmaking, capacity building and philanthropic advocacy to support and amplify intersex activism globally. Ruth brings strong expertise and commitment to Astraea, having worked with the international intersex movement for many years, including anchoring the campaign to pass the Malta gender identity law, the world’s first comprehensive law banning intersex genital surgeries.

Working closely with Ruth will be Mauro Cabral as the Intersex Fund’s senior advisor. Mauro has been engaged in intersex and trans activism for many years, including work to increase access to funding for intersex groups around the world. Mauro is joined on the Fund’s advisory board by 6 intersex activists who together will guide Astraea’s strategies and funding decisions: Morgan Carpenter, Hiker Chiu, Dan Christian Ghattas, Natasha Jiménez, Nthabiseng Mokoena and Sean Saifa Wall.

Astraea is thrilled to have such strong leadership and expertise in the Intersex Fund. Stay tuned as we will announce our first round of grants soon!


Ruth Baldacchino, Program Officer

Ruth Baldacchino is from Malta and has extensive experience in community organising, international LGBTIQ activism and LGBTIQ research. Their human rights work started with the Malta Gay Rights Movement, where Ruth served on the Executive Committee for several years. Ruth was elected ILGA World Co-Secretary General in 2014 and has served on a number of boards in the past years including IGLYO, ILGA World and ILGA-Europe.

Prior to joining Astraea, Ruth worked at the Maltese Ministry for Civil Liberties in the areas of human rights and integration, where they were actively part of the process towards the passing of the groundbreaking Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act, and strategies/policies on trans and intersex students and migrants’ integration in Malta. They have been closely engaged with intersex activists, particularly through the co-facilitation and coordination of ILGA’s International Intersex Fora, for the past 4 years. Ruth holds an M.A. in Women’s Studies from University College Dublin and a B.A. (Honours) in Sociology from University of Malta. They are a PhD candidate in Sociology/Gender Studies, and lecture Queer Studies at the University of Malta.

Mauro Cabral, Senior Advisor

Mauro Cabral is an intersex and trans activist from Argentina. At this moment he serves as the Co-Director of GATE (Global Action for Trans* Equality). Previously, he coordinated the project “Intersex and Human Rights” at Mulabi – Espacio Latinoamericano de Sexualidades y Derechos (2007-2009) and, before that, the Latin America and Caribbean Trans and Intersex Area at IGHLRC (2005-2007). In 2006 he participated in the production of the Yogyakarta Principles and in 2009 he edited the book Interdicciones. Escrituras de la Intersexualidad en castellano. He lives in Buenos Aires.


Morgan Carpenter, Advisor

Morgan Carpenter is a social policy and technology policy researcher, intersex activist, and president of OII Australia, a national organization that promotes human rights and bodily autonomy for intersex people. Morgan engages in advocacy work at local, national and international levels, and has helped to secure intersex-inclusive national anti-discrimination legislation and a world-first Parliamentary report into intersex health and human rights. Morgan has been widely published and speaks internationally on intersex issues.


Hiker Chiu, Advisor

Hiker Chiu is the founder of Oii-Chinese since 2008. Oii-Chinese is a platform for Chinese-speaking intersex people to get information, awareness, connection and peer support, and an intersex human rights advocacy organization. Hiker Chiu was the first person to come out as intersex in Taiwan, initiating the “Global Free Hugs with Intersex Movement” in the 8th Taipei Pride Parade 2010. The only Asian delegate in the first and second World Intersex Forums held by ILGA, Hiker is devoted to work building intersex connections in Asia. Hiker is a PhD. candidate of the Graduate school of Human Sexuality Shu-Te University in Taiwan.


Dr. Dan Christian Ghattas, Advisor

Dr. Dan Christian Ghattas is an intersex activist and cultural scientist who has worked for intersex human rights in Europe and internationally since 2009. He is invited regularly as an expert on intersex issues at high-level policy events in Europe and has trained European NGOs on intersex issues. In 2013 Dan published the first empirical (pre-)study on the life situations of intersex individuals worldwide, covering 12 countries and most continents. He was one of the initiators of the 1st International Intersex Forum in 2011 and co-founded OII Europe in 2012.


Natasha Jiménez, Advisor

Natasha Jiménez is from Costa Rica and has been a trans and intersex activist for over 20 years. She is currently the General Coordinator for Mulabi in Costa Rica, which hosts the Intersex Secretariat for ILGA (the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association). She has been active at the LGBTTTI Coalition of the OAS and has done advocacy work at the UN denouncing violations of the rights of trans and intersex people in Latin America. She started her activism doing HIV/AIDS and STI prevention and care, and has been active in feminist, women’s and LGBT movements in Latin America. She has also been part of publications including “What is the Point of a Revolution if I Can’t Dance” by Jane Barry and Jelena Dordevic, “Interdicciones” by Mauro Cabral, and “INTER/ Experiencia Humana Intersexual en un mundo de dos sexos” by Elisa Barth, Ben Bӧttger, Dan Chistian Ghattas and Ina Shneider.


Nthabiseng Mokoena, Advisor

Nthabiseng Mokoena has been involved with intersex and trans* activism since 2011. From 2011-2012, she was the board member for Transgender and Intersex Africa (TIA), a South African organization working to advance and advocate for the rights of transgender and intersex persons in South African rural areas and townships. She became the advocacy coordinator for TIA in 2013 and 2014. She is currently the Regional Training and Capacity Strengthening Officer for the AIDS and Rights Alliance of Southern and East Africa. As an intersex person herself, Nthabiseng is currently involved in various intersex related activities in Southern Africa, such as capacity development of community based intersex groups, support group development and research. She is currently completing her Masters in Public Health.


Sean Saifa Wall, Advisor

Sean Saifa Wall is an artist, activist and writer. He is the founder of EMERGE, a project that increases social impact through visual artistry, which is the compilation of his life’s work that is grounded in community encompassing both his activist and creative contributions. He originally hails from the Bronx, but has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, before settling in Atlanta, Georgia where he calls home. Saifa has been published in Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation, Trans Bodies, Trans Selves and most recently, Untold Stories: Life, Love and Reproduction. He has been featured in the documentary, One in 2000, and has been a guest on Huffington Post Live and ABC News Nightline. In furthering his mission to increase the capacity of people to understand intersex issues and advocate, he was selected to present at the TEDxConference in Grand Rapids, Michigan.