Lakshmi S. Mani
Lakshmi is the Program Director of Girls First Fund, providing overall leadership for the Fund’s programmatic work, including implementation of its “Funding Plus” strategy and managing the program team. Working closely with the Fund Director, Lakshmi supports in consolidating GFF strategically and programmatically to ensure alignment between grantmaking practices and operational policies and the Fund’s strategic vision, values, and feminist principles.
She brings to the Fund technical expertise on gender justice and women’s rights programming and a track record of feminist organizing in Liberia, geared towards co-creating just and equitable communities with peer feminists, women and young activists, LGBTIQ networks, and civil society organizations at national and community levels. She has over 15 years of experience in fundraising, strategic planning, policy advocacy, and developing and managing multisectoral partnerships with donors (national and international) in international humanitarian and development settings.
Prior to joining GFF, she served as the Country Director for ActionAid Liberia, providing leadership and oversight of ActionAid’s international program in Liberia for the promotion of women and girls’ rights, including education, sexual and reproductive health, and prevention of sexual and gender-based violence. As a Liberian Feminist, she is also a member of the Technical Working Group of the Liberian Feminist Forum, a national chapter of the African Feminist Forum established in 2014 in Liberia. Born and raised in Liberia, Lakshmi moved to the US in 2002, completing her undergraduate studies at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is currently based in Liberia.