Sushma Raman is the president and chief executive officer of the Heising-Simons Foundation. She is an interdisciplinary and experienced philanthropic leader. Sushma brings over two decades of experience launching, scaling, and leading social justice and philanthropic programs and collaboratives, including helping build capabilities of grassroots human rights organizations and their leaders. She has also taught graduate courses in the public policy schools at UCLA, USC, Tufts Fletcher School, and Harvard Kennedy School.
Sushma is a board member at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and, prior to joining the Foundation in 2023, was the executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy since 2015. Her work prior to that included time as a program officer and program manager at the Ford Foundation, where she launched and managed a $100 million global initiative to support emerging human rights and women’s funds globally, and experience as a program officer at the Open Society Foundation, where she launched and coordinated a portion of a $50 million grantmaking program supporting immigrant and refugee rights and the impact of welfare reform. Sushma also led the Southern California Grantmakers Association as its president from 2007 to 2012.