Monica Aleman Cunningham works from the foundation's Eastern Africa office. Her grant making has focused on increasing the capacity of national, regional, and global groups, cultivating men as allies, supporting national and regional networks, and strengthening programs that focus on economic opportunities, all to help build a sustainable and vibrant women's movement.
Before joining the foundation in 2011, Monica was executive director of the International Indigenous Women's Forum, a network of organizations in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. She also served as program and policy director at MADRE, an international women's rights organization and Ford Foundation grantee. In addition, Monica has worked as a coordinator and assistant for the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and has consulted for various organizations, including the Ford Foundation and Nicaragua’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Her extensive background encompasses expertise in community organizing, social movement building, and participatory monitoring and evaluation, all honed through her work over the years with national, regional, and global organizations. She also has written a number of opinion and issue-oriented articles, primarily on women's rights and the rights of indigenous peoples and communities.
Monica received her master's degree from the Intercultural Indigenous University, Popayán, Colombia, and her bachelor's degree in international relations, with a focus on political science and business administration, from the University of Mobile, Latin America Campus at San Marcos, Nicaragua. Her academic experience also includes special studies in diplomacy, women's human rights, human rights, the right to education, ethics, and politics in various institutions of higher learning in Latin America and the United States.