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Freedom Fund announce board and leadership changes

Press release
March 24, 2020

London – The Freedom Fund is pleased to announce the appointment of Mahendra Pandey to its Board of Directors. Mahendra is the Senior Manager, Forced Labor and Human Trafficking, at Humanity United (HU).

Mahendra has worked in Saudi Arabia as a migrant worker and experienced first-hand the poor working conditions that many Nepali migrant workers face. While in Saudi Arabia, he developed a Nepali migrant rights network which he then turned into a leading Nepali NGO, Pravasi Nepali Coordination Committee (PNCC). Previously, he served as the Founding Chairperson of PNCC, establishing groups in destination countries with the goal of helping workers stranded in detention centers across the Arab Gulf region, as well as advocating for labour migration reforms in Nepal.

Mahendra holds a master’s degree in digital media and storytelling from American University at Washington D.C.

The Freedom Fund also extends its deep gratitude to Ed Marcum and Hisham Mundol, both of whom stepped off the Board this month. Ed Marcum, the Managing Director at Working Capital, has been a Board member since the Freedom Fund commenced its operations in January 2014.  Hisham Mundol joined the Board in May 2016 at which time he was also Executive Director for India & Child Protection at Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. They have both contributed hugely to the success of the Freedom Fund, and we express our deep thanks to them for their service.

Alan McCormick, Chair of the Freedom Fund said, “I want to thank Ed Marcum and Hisham Mundol for their contributions to the Freedom Fund.  Since its inception, they have been crucial in helping the Fund become one the most high impact and effective organisations delivering resources and the building capacity of front line organisations.  We are delighted to welcome Mahendra to our board, his deep knowledge of the sector and personal experience will bring an invaluable perspective to this next chapter of the Freedom Fund.”

The Freedom Fund is also delighted to announce the appointment of Amy Rahe as Interim Director, North America. Amy will join the Freedom Fund effective 1 April 2020 and oversee the Fund’s work and relationships in North America.

Amy joins the Freedom Fund from her role as Managing Director of Survivor Alliance where she has successfully managed and implemented key partnerships, programs, operations and organizational strategy within the U.S.  Amy has been a leading voice on the need for survivors to be included in more meaningful ways within the anti-slavery movement through avenues such as employment and leadership.  Prior to Survivor Alliance, Amy worked at BlackRock as a Chief of Staff to the head of the Factor Based Strategies Team.  She previously taught a course at UC Berkeley on Domestic Sex Trafficking and acted as an advocate and mentor for youth in Oakland being commercially sexually exploited.  Amy graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies.

The Freedom Fund acknowledges the crucial role that Survivor Alliance has played in helping us understand the critical importance of sharing power with leaders from the survivor community. We have agreed to work closely with Survivor Alliance during this transition, and explore other ways we can support them, over and above our current financial and programmatic support.

Minh Dang, Executive Director of Survivor Alliance, stated strong support of Amy’s appointment, despite the challenges it will pose for her organisation, stating: “Amy Rahe is a force to be reckoned with. With humility and grace, Amy has been an incredible asset to the work of Survivor Alliance. When I launched Survivor Alliance in 2018, it was precisely with this goal in mind – for survivor leaders to help shape the direction of the anti-slavery movement from the inside. I’m thrilled for Amy to take on a leadership role at Freedom Fund and within the anti-slavery sector and look forward to continued and deepened collaboration with her and Freedom Fund going forward.”

“We are delighted to welcome Mahendra and Amy to the Freedom Fund Board and team,” said Nick Grono, CEO of the Freedom Fund. “Their proven leadership in the field of modern slavery will be huge assets to our work and movement.”

About the Freedom Fund:

The Freedom Fund is a leader in the global movement to end modern slavery. We identify and invest in the most effective frontline efforts to eradicate modern slavery in the countries and sectors where it is most prevalent. Partnering with visionary investors, governments, anti-slavery organisations and those at risk of exploitation, we tackle the systems that allow slavery to persist and thrive. Working together, we protect vulnerable populations, liberate and reintegrate those enslaved and prosecute those responsible.

Written by
The Freedom Fund