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Listening to Survivors

Nonviolence Programs

Legal and Policy Reform

Training and Education

Together, we can end gender-based violence against women and girls.

Global Rights for Women provides legal reform and systems change support through a survivor-centered coordinated community response that prioritizes equality and safety.

Our Team

Cheryl Thomas

Founder and Executive Director

Since 1993, Cheryl has worked with partners around the world to promote women’s human rights and achieve effective reform on violence against women.

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Sara Mowchan

Director of Operations

Sara brings 15 years of experience in driving organizational growth, including nonprofit consulting and management for organizations in Minnesota, Washington D.C. and abroad.

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Nicole Lindemyer

Director of Programs

Nicole is an attorney with decades of experience using law and policy to strengthen systemic responses to domestic and sexual violence through various roles.

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Vayuna Gupta

Legal and Policy Advisor

Vayuna Gupta is the Women’s Human Rights Legal and Policy Advisor at GRW. She is a New York and India qualified attorney and a first generation immigrant, bringing extensive experience from working in diverse jurisdictions and with individuals from various nationalities and cultures.

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Mingyu Ma

Program Coordinator

Mingyu recently graduated with a Master of Public Policy degree concentrating on gender policy and international education from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She holds a great interest in empowering underprivileged women in vulnerable situations through enhancing their exposure to educational and economic opportunities.

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Lachlan Anders-MacLeod

Program Manager, Pathways to Family Peace 

Lachlan is a graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison having majored in Political Science. Lachlan is passionate about international relations, political advocacy and interpersonal communication.

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Patricia Cumbie

Communications Manager

Patricia’s career has been focused on working with mission-driven organizations seeking to tell their stories through partnership and collaboration.

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Sophia Morrissette

Communications and Events Coordinator

Sophia graduated from Chapman University. She is passionate about creating sustainable solutions to end global gender-based conflict and tackle international policy reform.

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Christy Flikke

Part-Time Finance Manager

Christy has a Finance Degree and worked with high net worth clients and their businesses at U.S. Bank Private Client Group and before that in Credit Administration at Marquette Bank.

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Sophia Kulow

Part-Time Administrative Associate

Sophia is a 2023 graduate from the University of Minnesota, where she obtained her B.A. in Global Studies. Sophia is interested in the powerful impact of communications and community-centered programs on bringing people together to make a difference.

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Donia Hanaei

Director of Development

Donia is a development professional with a diverse portfolio of experience, including nonprofit consulting work for organizations in California and civil service experience in the AmeriCorps VISTA.

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Jon Heath

Pathways to Family Peace Facilitator

Jon is recognized internationally for groundbreaking work conducting men’s non-violence batterer intervention programming.

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Hunter Cardwell

Pathways to Family Peace Facilitator

Hunter graduated with her Master’s from Lindenwood University in Criminal Justice Administration. She found a passion in helping victims of violence seek justice.

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help end violence for women and girls

Join the team

GRW staff have been working in the violence against women field for decades. We’re tireless in our efforts to ensure that our network of partners has consistent access to the current best practices and developments happening across the globe on bettering responses to violence against women.

At least 1 in 3 women in the world are victims of domestic and sexual assault.

WHO, Violence against women prevalence estimates, 2018.

An organization dedicated exclusively to a woman’s human right to be free from violence.

This injustice and so many others convinced our founder and Executive Director, Cheryl Thomas, acclaimed human rights attorney, that women need an organization dedicated exclusively to their human right to be free from violence. Where survivor’s voices and experiences are the basis for legal reform and systemic change.

Since 2014, our global partnerships include 60+ women’s nongovernmental organizations, government agencies and U.S. Embassies, the United Nations, and global and local experts on violence against women. These trusted partnerships have advanced laws, values and practices aimed at eliminating violence against women and girls.

Together, we’ve impacted more than 65 million women with improved laws, policies and practices, and we will continue our work until all women are provided the human right to live free from gender-based violence.


Lynn Anderson, President, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Holiday Companies

Rebecca J. Bentzinger, Certified Clinical Pastoral Educator, UnityPoint Health

Kari Bjorhus, Development and Communications Committee Chair

Jane Blaney, Associate, Foley & Lardner LLP

Kathryn Goodwin Brackney, Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair

Holly Eng, Vice President, VP Global Law: Business Operations, Sustainability & Communications, Cargill

Richard Ihrig, Lawyer, Private Practice

Imani Jaafar, Director, Lead Risk Consultant, Target Corporation

Jim Jacobson, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Medica (retired)

Imrana Jalal, Special Project Facilitator, Asian Development Bank 

Kelley Lindes, Board Member

Rachel Pollock, Governance Committee Chair, Associate General Counsel, Meritex

Steve Quam, Eminent Domain Lawyer, Fredrikson & Byron

Christina Ruhinda, Executive Director, Tanzania Network of Legal Aid Providers

Magistrate Judge Becky Thorson, U.S. Magistrate Judge, Minnesota U.S. District Court

Patrick Weiland, Producer and Director, President at Intuitive Content


In Memoriam

Bob Hamilton, Chief Operating Officer, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. (1957-2023)

Ann Newhall, Chief Operating Officer, Rural Cellular Corporation (1951-2015)

Join the movement

Join the global movement to end gender-based violence.  

Get updates from the Global Rights for Women team about the work around the world to ensure justice for survivors and how you can advocate for ending gender-based violence in your community.