Thought leaders

A selection of staff voices from Oxfam America. For media inquiries please contact [email protected].

  1. Abby Maxman

    President & CEO, Oxfam America

    As President and CEO of Oxfam America, Abby Maxman seeks to create a future that is equal. She mobilizes people and resources worldwide to make positive social change and to provide lifesaving support to people in crisis.

    Over 30 years, Abby’s approach has been informed by the everyday economic, climate, and gender injustices faced by the people she works with and for, as well as her experience living and working through social change movements, regional and geopolitical shifts and humanitarian and development challenges. These include: apartheid in southern Africa; the HIV/AIDs and Ebola epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa; chronic food insecurity and famine in Ethiopia; post-genocide relief and recovery in Rwanda; strengthening community organizations during the Rose Revolution in Georgia; and large-scale responses to humanitarian disaster in Haiti.

    Abby strives for accountability by examining and changing the power dynamics within the aid sector. Since joining Oxfam America in 2017, she has transformed the Senior Leadership Team and Board of Directors to be more representative of the diversity of people Oxfam works with and has elevated the organizational focus on gender and climate justice and fighting inequality.

    Abby is a leader on safeguarding systems and cultures in the aid sector, as well as humanitarian and development policy, practice, and learning. She has been at the forefront of Oxfam’s response to the COVID pandemic; launching and leading the organization's ambitious 2030 strategy; championing accountability, and galvanizing action for vaccine equity.

    Recognizing that long-term change to address the root causes of poverty and injustice requires joining with others, Abby plays an important role supporting, coordinating, and sharing efforts and expertise with NGOs and other organizations. This includes serving as Vice Chair of Interaction, Chair of the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response, Representative on the UN Inter Agency Standing Committee, and representing Oxfam on the boards of Frontline AIDS, Global Executive Leadership Initiative, and the Classy Leadership Council.

    Abby has served as Deputy Secretary General of CARE International, Vice President of International Programs and Operations and in leadership roles in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Middle East for CARE USA. She has also served with US government agencies, the German development agency, and the UN World Food Programme. Abby holds a BA in History and Political Science, a Masters in International Administration, and several Honorary Doctorate degrees. She is a mother of three and lives in MA with her husband and children.

    Meet Abby Maxman
    Photo of Abby Maxman
  2. Nabil Ahmed

    Director, Economic and Racial Justice

    Nabil leads Oxfam's agenda on economic justice that engages policymakers, advocates, and activists to address inequality in the US and internationally. He is a strategic advocate and convener, influencing policies and discourse on wealth inequality, financing, health and worker power at the intersection of class, race and gender. He has led alliances and teams to win policy progress with governments and the private sector.

    Based in Washington DC, Nabil joined Oxfam America in 2022. He is a public speaker and contributor on inequality issues, on outlets including Bloomberg, Al Jazeera and AFP.

    Nabil was formerly Oxfam International’s Head of Executive Strategy and Communications, based in Nairobi, Kenya, where he led strategic influencing and public engagement efforts to tackle inequality and the climate crisis. He was the lead author of Oxfam’s flagship global inequality report in 2022, “Inequality Kills,”, and led Oxfam’s work to raise attention on inequality at the Davos World Economic Forum (WEF) since 2016. He led Oxfam’s engagement with the International Labor Organization’s Global Commission on the Future of Work and the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council, and represented Oxfam on the WEF Advisory Board on Risks.

    He co-founded the People’s Vaccine Alliance that fostered a movement of millions of people, and led efforts with world leaders and Nobel Laureates to challenge pharmaceutical monopolies over Covid-19 vaccines.

    Nabil was formerly a national organizer, worked in the private sector at Unilever, and is a graduate of the University of Manchester, UK. He is a Board Member of Amnesty International UK, and co-hosts EQUALS, Oxfam’s global podcast about inequality.

    Meet Nabil Ahmed
    Photo of Nabil Ahmed
  3. Gina Crista Cummings

    Vice President of Advocacy, Alliances & Policy

    Gina is the Vice President of Advocacy, Alliances & Policy for Oxfam America where she oversees research, policy, advocacy, campaigning, and building Oxfam's network of US allies, partners, and supporters to influence the US government and US corporations.

    Gina joined Oxfam America in 2006 as an Organizing and Alliances Manager where she developed the Sisters on the Planet ambassadors program, as well as alliances with chefs and other key allies. She then served as Director of campaigns setting the strategic direction for Oxfam’s advocacy campaigns and developing the team structures to support them.

    Prior to joining Oxfam, Gina was Chief Operating Officer of Physicians for Human Rights, a nongovernmental organization that uses medicine and science to document and advocate against mass atrocities and severe human rights violations around the world. She managed day-to-day operations and supervised senior teams that oversaw policy, media, and fundraising work; forensic investigations; research; campaigns; and human resources.

    Gina’s work included looking at the impact of torture in Guantanamo prison; juvenile justice in the US; asylum and human rights in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chechnya, Sierra Leone and Rwanda; and forensic investigations to determine crimes against humanity and genocide in Guatemala, Honduras, Rwanda, Iraq, and Afghanistan. She also served as the organization’s Director of Campaigns, organizing medical and nursing school programs, and establishing partnerships and projects with Partners In Health, the American Public Health Association, and other health-related organizations.

    Meet Gina Crista Cummings
    Photo of Gina Crista Cummings
  4. Bob Ferguson

    Senior Manager of Brand & Engagement

    Bob Ferguson (he/him/his) manages the Brand & Engagement and Music Outreach programs for Oxfam America from his office just outside NYC, where he is responsible for Oxfam's relationship with some of the world's most respected music artists, and at whose concerts Oxfam connects their hunger, poverty, and social justice campaigns with hundreds of thousands of music fans every year.  He has twice been nominated for Emmy Awards, and won for his work on Oxfam's collaboration with The New Pornographers for the "Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk" music video.

    Meet Bob Ferguson
    Photo of Bob Ferguson
  5. Dr. Nick Galasso

    Head of Research

    Nick Galasso joined Oxfam America in 2012 as an American Council of Learned Societies Public Fellow (2012-2014). He has over twenty years of experience promoting social justice in international development. As Head of Research, Galasso manages a team of researchers who provide the strategic and intellectual foundations Oxfam relies on to set agendas.

    Galasso’s own research focuses on economic inequality, with a particular focus on the relationship between wealth and democracy. His work has examined how international systems of trade impact inequality, and how international financial and development institutions help or hinder inequality reduction. For the past six years, Galasso has led Oxfam’s work to assess the consequences of far-right nationalism on issues including gender justice and migrant rights. Galasso’s research has been published in academic and policy journals, including Foreign Policy Analysis, Global Policy, and Turkish Policy Quarterly. His research has been cited in numerous news outlets including The Economist, The New Yorker, Vox, USA Today, The Washington Post, and NPR. Outside of his research roles, Galasso served as the Oxfam International Head of Office in Washington, DC to coordinate Oxfam’s World Bank and IMF advocacy. From 2016-2018, he was hosted by the Council of Independent Colleges as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. Galasso has a Ph.D. in Global Governance from the University of Delaware.

    Meet Dr. Nick Galasso
    Photo of Dr. Nick Galasso
  6. Ben Grossman-Cohen

    Director, Campaigns

    Ben Grossman-Cohen is Oxfam America’s Director of Campaigns. For 15 years he has led advocacy campaigns to change federal, state, local and corporate policies. He cut his teeth on electoral campaigns working as an organizer and media representative on local, state and Presidential campaigns. Ben has been with Oxfam since 2010 where he has led impactful campaigns on climate change, gender equality, and economic justice.

    Meet Ben Grossman-Cohen
    Photo of Ben Grossman-Cohen
  7. Dr. Kaitlyn Henderson

    Senior Researcher (Staff Elected Board Member)

    Kaitlyn Henderson is a senior researcher and the staff-elected member of Oxfam’s Board of Directors. Previously, Dr. Henderson was a Brent Scowcroft Award Fellow with the Aspen Strategy Group, which focused on national security and foreign policy through Track II diplomacy. Dr. Henderson completed her PhD in modern Latin American history at Tulane University, where she received the Peter T. Cominos Memorial Award for her dissertation work. During her graduate work, her research focused on race and politics in twentieth-century Cuba. She is an affiliate of the Instituto Cubano de Investigación Cultural Juan Marinello and has worked closely with the Fundación Nicolás Guillén and the Instituto de Historia de Cuba.

    Among other projects, Dr. Henderson is the lead researcher and author of Oxfam’s Best States to Work Index, a look at how states treat workers and working families in the US. This index captures 25 policies across three themes – wages, worker protections, and rights to organize – and includes all 50 states plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico. There were special editions of the index released in 2020 focused on COVID and in 2021 focused on working women. Dr. Henderson is a member of the Oxfam Research Network (ORN), a coalition of researchers across all Oxfam International, and works within the ORN as a member of the Gender Working Group. She writes regularly for Oxfam America’s Politics of Poverty Blog.

    Meet Dr. Kaitlyn Henderson
    Photo of Dr. Kaitlyn Henderson
  8. Ashfaq Khalfan

    Director, Climate Justice

    Ashfaq Khalfan is Oxfam America's Director of Climate Justice. He was previously the Director of Law and Policy at Amnesty International. As part of that role, he led Amnesty’s effort to deepen its engagement at the global level on climate justice from 2015 onwards, including developing its policy and strategy on climate change and established a global, across-Amnesty-movement project team to advance climate justice in all parts of its work.

    Ashfaq holds a doctoral degree in law from Oxford University, and law degrees in common and civil law, and an undergraduate degree in political science and international development from McGill University. He has worked for over 20 years as a manager, and in research, policy work and advocacy on sustainable development, economic and social rights and wider human rights policy and strategy. Prior to working at Amnesty International, Ashfaq headed the Right to Water Programme at the Centre for Housing Rights and Evictions and was a Founder Director of the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law.

    A key area of focus, including in his doctoral research, is States’ legal obligations under human rights law to people outside their borders, and he is recognized as a leading global thinker in this area. Ashfaq played a key role in advocacy to secure the United Nations’ recognition of the human rights to water and sanitation as legally binding rights.

    Meet Ashfaq Khalfan
    Photo of Ashfaq Khalfan
  9. Diana Kearney

    Lead, Legal & Shareholder Advocacy Private Sector

    Diana Kearney is Senior Legal and Shareholder Advocacy Advisor at Oxfam America, where she leads the organization’s legal and shareholder proposal activism. This includes identifying and executing legal strategies to forward Oxfam’s antipoverty mission, such as joining in litigation, filing amicus briefs in the U.S. and foreign courts, submitting appeals to regional human rights bodies, and providing legal analysis to Oxfam staff. She also supports Oxfam campaigns by filing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) shareholder resolutions at publicly traded companies. Her work currently focuses on corporate accountability, indigenous land rights, asylum rights, and climate justice.

    Prior to her time at Oxfam, Kearney taught international law in Cardozo Law School’s Human Rights & Atrocity Prevention Clinic. She holds a J.D. from NYU Law, an M.Sc. in International Development from Lund University, and a B.A. from Boston University.

    Meet Diana Kearney
    Photo of Diana Kearney
  10. Dr. Laté Lawson-Lartego

    Chief Innovation Officer, aGILE

    Dr. Laté Lawson-Lartego leads Oxfam’s Global Innovation Lab for Equality (aGILE), which is focused on identifying innovative solutions to problems created by inequality. He also leads Oxfam America’s work on creating equitable, nourishing, and regenerative food systems for all.

    He has held other senior leadership positions with Oxfam and other international organizations including CARE, where he and his team pioneered the organization’s first Market Engagement and Agriculture Value Chain Development strategy and implementation—an initiative that reached more than 10 million people.

    Dr. Lawson-Lartego earned a doctoral degree in business administration at Georgia State University in the US, with a focus on innovative business strategies and value co-creation between business and bottom-of-the-pyramid (BOP) people. He also earned master's degrees in economics and business from the University of Lomé in Togo, and in social and rural development from Reading University in the UK.

    Dr. Lawson-Lartego’s publications include “Socio-Technical Innovation Bundles for Agri-Food Systems Transformation.”

    Meet Dr. Laté Lawson-Lartego
    Photo of Dr. Laté Lawson-Lartego
  11. Eric Muňoz

    Associate Director, Inclusive and Resilient Food Systems

    Eric Muñoz leads Oxfam America’s work at the intersection of food security and climate justice. He manages a team that advances program, policy and advocacy initiatives that address agriculture’s potential to end hunger and poverty and respond to climate change. Since joining Oxfam in 2010, Eric has contributed to the development of community-based sustainable agriculture programs and lead advocacy initiatives on the US Farm Bill, the Feed the Future initiative and the Global Food Security Act, as well as reform of US food aid programs. He collaborates with Oxfam and partners, including in Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Ghana, and Ethiopia, to encourage governments to increase spending on and improve policies that benefit smallscale food producers. Eric supports Oxfam America’s work on agriculture development initiatives such as re-greening the Sahel, an effort to scale agro-forestry practices across West Africa.

    Eric served as the Oxfam International lead for agriculture investment policy, coordinating a team across the confederation engaging with multilateral institutions such as the Committee on World Food Security. He also works with Oxfam’s Humanitarian policy team on hunger hotspots, for example as a co-author of the Hunger Virus: How Covid-19 is fueling hunger in a hungry world.

    Prior to joining Oxfam America, Eric worked as a Senior Policy Advisor for Bread for the World. He studied English Literature at Rice University and International Relations at the Joseph Korbel School for Advanced International Studies.

    Meet Eric Muňoz
    Photo of Eric Muňoz
  12. Dr. Tawanda Mutasah

    Vice President of Global Partnerships & Impact

    Dr. Tawanda Mutasah is Vice President of Global Partnerships and Impact (GPI), with responsibility for overall strategic and operational leadership of Oxfam America’s GPI division, and for identifying, nurturing, and maintaining a wide range of strategic partnerships within and outside the Oxfam International confederation on all matters related to programmatic impact and global networks. Mutasah joined Oxfam America in 2021, bringing over 25 years of international nonprofit management and program leadership and innovation in a vast range of areas from humanitarian response to advocacy and long-term development. He was the Senior Director of International Law and Policy at Amnesty International where, among other things, he established and operationalized the global human rights movement’s Sustainable Development Goals engagement and partnerships.

    Before that, Mutasah served as the Global Director of Programs at the Open Society Foundations (OSF), where he stewarded a $400M budget. He had previously held a variety of other positions in the global OSF complex, including Executive Director of the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa. Mutasah also previously worked for Oxfam Great Britain. And he has served on governing and advisory boards for global institutions that include the Center for Civilians in Conflict, Open Society Justice Initiative, and Rutgers University’s Center for Women’s Global Leadership; as well as African entities that include Trust Africa, and the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa. Among other initiatives credited to his leadership over the years, Mutasah founded the Southern Africa Resource Watch, which researches and advocates on extractive industries.

    A graduate of Harvard Law School, New York University Law School, the Graduate School of Public & Development Management at the University of the Witwatersrand, and the University of Zimbabwe, Mutasah has taught at the Paris School of International Affairs on international humanitarian law and human rights laws.

    Meet Dr. Tawanda Mutasah
    Photo of Dr. Tawanda Mutasah
  13. Scott Paul

    Associate Director, Peace and Security

    Scott Paul leads Oxfam’s US government advocacy to end inequality in areas experiencing humanitarian crises, armed conflict, and state fragility. During his tenure at Oxfam, Scott has spearheaded the organization’s work on a number of complex emergencies, including protracted crises in Yemen and the Horn of Africa. His advocacy often focuses on the political drivers of violence and rights violations, the role of the US government, and the financial exclusion of vulnerable communities.

    Scott is a frequent media commentator with outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and Al Jazeera and has testified before Congress. His published work focuses on international humanitarian law, the use of force, and bank de-risking, among other issues.

    Before joining Oxfam, Scott was the UN representative for CIVIC and led campaigns at Citizens for Global Solutions to strengthen the US government’s commitment to international cooperation and the rule of law. As a student and young professional, he was a co-founder and the first Chair of SustainUS. Scott graduated from New York University Law School and did his undergraduate work at Columbia University and St. Petersburg State University.

    Meet Scott Paul
    Photo of Scott Paul
  14. Dr. Kimberly Pfeifer

    Director, Knowledge for Impact

    Kimberly Pfeifer is the Knowledge for Impact Director at Oxfam America, where she oversees the production of research and trends analysis. She serves as the editor of Oxfam America's Research Backgrounder Series and is a member of the organization’s Gender Resource Group. Kimberly co-founded and co-leads the Oxfam Confederation’s Research Network.

    She has written a number of Oxfam International Policy Briefing Papers focused on trade and agricultural issues, and has managed numerous research projects, including on issues of biotechnology, the future of agriculture, food security, agricultural innovation, trade, extractive industries, and economic inequality.

    Prior to joining Oxfam, Kimberly worked for the AFL-CIO as a researcher with the Center for Strategic Research in Corporate Affairs. She has also worked for the Aga Khan Foundation in Zanzibar, Tanzania. While in Tanzania, Kimberly held a Research Fellowship with the Institute of Development Studies, University of Dar es Salaam. She received her MA and PhD from the University of Florida in Political Science and African Studies. She has a number of publications and papers critiquing models of development, and on land and natural resource politics.

    Meet Dr. Kimberly Pfeifer
    Photo of Dr. Kimberly Pfeifer
  15. Dr. Alivelu Ramisetty

    Chief Gender Justice & Inclusion Officer

    Alivelu leads Oxfam America’s Gender Justice and Inclusion portfolio and serves on the Global Partnerships and Impact Leadership Team. Working with Oxfam since 2010, Alivelu  inspires and collaborates with the  leadership teams of Oxfam America to define and implement gender justice and inclusion policies and systems.

    Alivelu leads and catalyzes Gender Justice and Inclusion work across thematic and functional departments, with Oxfam Country and Regional Leadership within the Oxfam confederation, and builds synergy in gender justice work across long-term development, humanitarian, and advocacy and campaigns. She leads the feminist approach work with colleagues within Oxfam America, as well as across the agency and with partners and allies, to design and deliver Oxfam’s Feminist Principles commitments.

    Alivelu leads the development of a robust and systematic approach to putting inclusion and gender justice at the heart of all of Oxfam America’s work, through long-term development. Alivelu leads in the sector on topics such as transformational leadership for women’s rights, addressing gender-based violence and Unpaid and Underpaid Care work.

    Meet Dr. Alivelu Ramisetty
    Photo of Dr. Alivelu Ramisetty
  16. Rebecca Riddell

    Policy Lead, Economic and Racial Justice

    Rebecca Riddell is the policy lead for economic and racial justice at Oxfam America. Her work focuses on advancing economic and racial justice and human rights, in the US and globally.

    Based in New York, Rebecca joined Oxfam in 2023. She is an international human rights lawyer with a background in addressing extreme inequality and excess corporate power and promoting economic and social rights. Previously, she co-led a research and advocacy initiative at New York University School of Law that partnered with communities and movements around the world to document the risks of privatizing public services. Prior to that, she served as a Senior Advisor to the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, carrying out investigations and advising governments on policies relating to tax, social spending, and other areas. She also worked at Human Rights Watch, where she investigated abuses against refugees and asylum seekers, and served as a law clerk to the honorable James Cott in the Southern District of New York.

    She graduated summa cum laude from Kenyon College with a degree in political science, and received a Fulbright grant to teach in Thailand. She graduated cum laude from NYU Law, where she led the Unemployment Action Center, a city-wide non-profit that supports people seeking unemployment insurance.

    Meet Rebecca Riddell
    Photo of Rebecca Riddell
  17. Dr. Mikhiela Sherrod

    Director, US Domestic Programs

    Dr. Mikhiela Sherrod is the Director of US Domestic Programs at Oxfam America. She has over 17 years of experience leading non-profit organizations and working as a community organizer with Black farmers and rural communities of color in the U.S. and developing countries. As the lead coordinator and director of the Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education, Inc., Dr. Sherrod worked with rural communities and coalitions to build capacity and infrastructure to achieve social and economic justice in the local food system and led an organizational revitalization that build capacity to sustain the work. As the executive director of Agricultural Missions, Inc., an ecumenical non-profit organization, she successful led a decades long development and capacity restoration project in Liberia and Sierra Leone that resulted in the formation of an association of cooperatives engaged in regenerative agricultural practices and adaptation and mitigation strategies to address climate change.

    Dr. Sherrod has over 10 years of experience leading research and evaluation projects for non-profit and philanthropic organization, including incorporating and using a racial equity lens to assess work priorities and integrate equitable practices and strategies. She has an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tuskegee University, a PhD in Genetics from the University of Iowa, and completed the first year of an MPH in Epidemiology from Rutgers University.

    Meet Dr. Mikhiela Sherrod
    Photo of Dr. Mikhiela Sherrod
  18. Irit Tamir

    Senior Director, Private Sector Department

    Irit Tamir is the Director of Oxfam America's Private Sector Department. In her role, she is focused on working with companies to ensure that their business practices result in positive social and environmental impacts for vulnerable communities throughout the world. She leads a team of advisors that engage the private sector on tax, business and human rights, vaccine equity, legal advocacy, supply chain and labor relations, climate change and gender and racial equity. She oversees the private sector engagement from campaigns and advocacy to collaborations and programs focused on corporate behavior along with a work focused on investors and shareholder advocacy.

    Prior to working at Oxfam, Ms. Tamir was the Director of Government Relations at the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, where she successfully lobbied for an extensive federal and state legislative agenda. She co-led the effort to pass the Sudan Divestment Bill in Massachusetts, which required the state pension funds to divest from companies doing business with the Government of Sudan in an effort to halt its human rights violations in Darfur. Ms. Tamir is an attorney with a masters in international law and has taught Business and Human Rights as an adjunct at Boston College Law School. She sits on the Board of the Fair Labor Association and co-chaired the Working Group on Business and Human Rights for the New York City Bar Association. A devoted human rights activist, she has spoken publicly about inequality, human rights, climate resilience, and the food system. Ms. Tamir has had years of experience in government relations and is a former prosecutor who supervised civil rights prosecutions and hate crimes.

    Meet Irit Tamir
    Photo of Irit Tamir Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Google+