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March 16, 2022

Ms. Foundation Announces Promotion of Ellen Liu to Vice President of Grantmaking and Capacity Building

The nation’s oldest women’s foundation taps longtime staffer with experience managing reproductive health, capacity building, and social justice grantmaking.

NEW YORK – Today, the Ms. Foundation for Women announced the promotion of Ellen Liu to the role of Vice President of Grantmaking and Capacity Building. Ellen brings over 15 years of experience in grantmaking, capacity building, policy advocacy, and organizational development in support of social justice organizations both in the United States and internationally. 

In her new role, Liu will lead the Ms. Foundation’s grantmaking and capacity building programs to strengthen women and girls of color-led organizations and leaders, and advocate for greater funding for women and girls of color-led movement building, organizing, and advocacy work.

“We’re thrilled to be promoting one of our esteemed colleagues,” said Teresa Younger, President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women. “Ellen has been an integral part of our organization for over a decade, and her expertise and leadership makes her an integral member of the Ms. Foundation team. I look forward to continuing our strong partnership in her new role as she further builds upon our work in support of women and girls of color across the country.”

Liu joined the Ms. Foundation in January 2011 as a Program Officer in Reproductive Health, and has been instrumental in supporting the work and visibility of grantee partners in the reproductive health, rights, and justice movement. In her various roles at the Ms. Foundation, she has designed and hosted grantee convenings to support the deepening of relationships, peer learning, networking, and movement building. She also established the Ms. Foundation’s first grantmaking and capacity building program on sex education in the U.S. South.

During her time as Director of Women’s Health, she launched a new state-level funding initiative to support grassroots organizations to advocate for reproductive health services in the Affordable Care Act rollout and implementation. In 2020, Liu designed the Activist Collaboration Fund grantmaking initiative and created new partnerships to increase leadership development opportunities for grantees.

“I’m incredibly proud of my work at the Ms. Foundation over the past ten years, especially the relationships that we’ve built with our grantee partners on the ground,” said Liu. “So much of our work is about building trust and respect, and understanding, listening, and believing in their vision and needs to address their communities. I am so grateful to work with incredible colleagues who make this work possible and am excited to continue our important work in this new role.”

Prior to joining the Ms. Foundation, Ellen served as the Program Officer at the Open Society Foundations’ Public Health Program, where she worked with health and human rights organizations in Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and East and Southern Africa to strengthen protections for people living with HIV and AIDS and TB, people with mental disabilities, ethnic minorities, and people in need of palliative care.

She currently serves on the board of The Brush Foundation and on the steering committee of the Asian Women Giving Circle; she is an active member of Funders for Reproductive Equity, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, and Asian American/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy. She is the proud mom of a young biracial son.

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The Ms. Foundation for Women transforms our democracy by building women’s collective power. Guided by a gender and racial justice lens, we resource grassroots movements that center women and girls of color, advance feminism in philanthropy, and advocate for policies that improve women’s lives across the country. Since 1973, we’ve opened up worlds of possibility for women and girls. But to finally achieve justice for all, we need you in our fight. ​Learn more and get involved at ForWomen.org