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Front Line USA Foundation

Photo: 2022 Front Line Defenders HRD Awardees visit the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations in New York. © Front Line Defenders

Front Line USA Foundation

Front Line USA Foundation is a public charity (501(c)3), founded in 2015, whose mission is to protect, defend, support and act for and with human rights defenders whose lives and health are at risk as a result of their peaceful and legitimate activities.


Rini Banerjee, the President of the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, has two decades of experience in philanthropy. An Integrated Capital Fellow at RSF Social Finance, she has served as Executive Director at Foundation for a Just Society, Program Officer at the Overbrook Foundation, and Program Director at the New York Women’s Foundation. She is a trustee of the Mertz Gilmore Foundation and Board member of Funders for Reproductive Equity, and has co-created or served on groups including the NYC-based Asian Women’s Giving Circle, Philanthropy Advancing Women’s Human Rights, the Groundswell Fund, and the Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing. She was a past Board Chair of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) and past Board member of South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!). She holds a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University and a BSc in finance from NYU’s Stern School of Business.

Louis Bickford - Chair of the Board. Louis has been working in the field of international human rights and transitional justice for over 20 years. He was a member of the Senior Management team at the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) from 2001-2010, and later worked at RFK Human Rights as a member of the Executive Leadership team, and as the director of the European Office. From 2012-2017, Bickford managed the global human rights program at the Ford Foundation. He is also an adjunct professor at Columbia University and New York University, and is the Founder and CEO of MEMRIA, a social enterprise that works with community organizations like libraries and museums to develop oral histories projects and collect and share personal stories. Louis is chair of the Front Line USA Foundation.

Maria Mulcahy is the CEO of the Iris O’Brien Foundation and the Irish-based Head of Philanthropy for the Digicel Group. She was involved with "People in Need" from 1988 to 2000. She was responsible for organizing the RTE telethons, which raised €28 million. She was Director of Fundraising for the 2003 Special Olympics World Games.

Regan Ralph served as the founding president and CEO of the Fund for Global Human Rights from 2002-2022. Prior to launching the Fund, she was Vice President for Health and Reproductive Rights at the National Women’s Law Center in Washington DC, where she led advocacy, policy and educational strategies to promote the quality and availability of health care for women in the US. From 1992-2001, Regan helped to build and direct the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, where she developed campaigns to ensure the prosecution of sexual violence in conflict as a war crime, to secure recognition of gender-based persecution as grounds for asylum, and to promote women’s rights in countries including Russia, Egypt, Turkey, South Africa, Pakistan and Mexico. Regan is a graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School and studied international law at the London School of Economics and Arabic at the American University in Cairo. She serves on the boards of EG Justice, Crisis Action, and the Center for International Policy.

Katrin Wilde - As Executive Director of the Channel Foundation, Katrin Wilde guides its grantmaking, advocacy, and collaboration in order to support and promote leadership in women’s human rights, gender equality, and feminist philanthropy around the globe. She serves on the Board of the Mize Family Foundation, the Philanthropy Council of the Global Fund for Women, and the Advisory Board of the Center for Human Rights at the University of Washington. Previously, she was a member of the Board of Directors for Engaged Donors for Global Equity (EDGE) Funders Alliance. She is a Co-founder of the Pacific Northwest Global Donors Exchange. She has done research for UNDP Nepal, the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, and the International Rescue Committee. Previously, she worked as a journalist in Thailand and a book editor at Farrar, Straus & Giroux. She received her master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University.


Mary Grecco, a Certified Public Accountant, serves as Front Line USA’s Assistant Treasurer working with the Board to ensure the financial well-being of the organization. Through February 2022, Mary was the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Operations for The Overbrook Foundation, a New York based family foundation dedicated to protecting human rights and conserving the natural environment. Prior to her role at the Foundation, Mary acted as both Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer for Overbrook Management Corporation, a family office and registered investment advisory firm.


Front Line USA Foundation is a separate and independent charity and does not accept online donations. It supports the work of Front Line Defenders.

To make a tax-deductible donation, checks can be made out to 'Front Line USA Foundation' and sent to:

Front Line USA Foundation, 31 West 34th Street, 7th Floor #7010New York, NY 10001

Please include your full name, address and email contact information, so that the receipt for the donation can be sent to you.

If you prefer to make a donation by credit card, or for more information about Front Line USA Foundation, please contact Laurent Aldenhoff, Head of Development and interim Deputy Director at Front Line Defenders.


For requests related to the work of Front Line Defenders in the US, please contact our US representative, Ana Cutter-Patel.