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Heather Benjamin is the inaugural director of Nebula Fund, and has a background that bridges philanthropy, global policy advocacy, and grassroots activism. Prior to joining Nebula, Heather spent the last decade with Open Society Foundations Public Health Program, where she served as a Senior Program Officer focused on global HIV financing, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and health governance issues. In particular, her grantmaking focused on supporting activists working respond to transnational anti-gender movements and harmful donor aid conditionalities that are shrinking the space for sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice, sex worker rights, and LGBTQI rights.
Her advocacy work has focused on engaging bilateral, multilateral, and private donors to improve policies and leverage funding in support of comprehensive SRHRJ, rights-based HIV treatment and prevention, and sex worker rights. She served as a member of the International Steering Committee of the Red Umbrella Fund, a sex worker-led participatory fund that supports the rights of sex workers globally. She also served on the Private Foundations Delegation to the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Prior to joining Open Society, Heather served as the program director for Close to Home, a grassroots organization dedicated to preventing and reducing the impact of gender-based violence through community mobilization, youth organizing, and social change work, and began her career working in crisis intervention at a domestic violence shelter. A strong believer in community-led approaches and participatory approaches, Heather got her start as a youth activist focused on LGBTQI rights and sexual violence prevention.