New Director of Anti-Human Trafficking Fund Announced

NEO Philanthropy is proud to name Gratienne (Sienna) Baskin, Esq., a Fulbright Scholar with extensive senior level work in fighting for the rights of sex workers and survivors of trafficking, as new director of the NEO Anti-Trafficking Fund.

The Fund is a partnership with the Oak Foundation and housed at NEO Philanthropy.  It makes strategic grants to organizations working at the intersection of trafficking, migration, labor rights, LGBTQ rights, economic/social justice and human rights against human trafficking in the U.S., and coordinates convening and related fund activities for the grantees.

“I am honored to join NEO’s team and strengthen its anti-trafficking portfolio,” said Baskin.  “The current cohort of grantees help survivors recover and thrive every day while advancing new policy solutions to end trafficking. I am thrilled to support them, while leveraging the Oak Foundation’s global vision and NEO’s innovative style. Together we can lift this important human rights field to the next level.”

Baskin was managing director, and, before that, Equal Justice Works Fellow/staff attorney, of the Urban Justice Center’s Sex Workers Project, where she developed mission and strategy to protect the rights of victims of trafficking; acted as chief counsel in legal cases; managed human rights documentation research; and was a principle media spokesperson on the issue. Prior to that she worked on reproductive health and criminal justice issues at the Philadelphia Women’s Center, and she recently conducted research as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar on New Zealand’s decriminalization of prostitution.

“NEO Philanthropy is committed to advancing efforts that build social movements for democracy, human rights and justice,” says Michele Lord, NEO President. “We are proud to partner with Oak Foundation and stand with organizations and networks that embrace a rights-based approach to combating human trafficking, exploitation and violence against women and others.  Sienna Baskin is uniquely qualified to lead this effort, with extensive experience at the front lines of the issue.”

NEO Philanthropy and long-time supporter Oak Foundation have taken a lead role in bringing together funders and advocates working in the anti-trafficking sector as the issue has risen in prominence. There are currently 12 grantees in the portfolio, all stand-out U.S.-based organizations employing a human rights-based approach to combating human trafficking. A round of grants took place on the heels of President Obama’s designation of January 2015 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

NEO hosted a gathering of funders and advocate leaders in October 2015 to mark the release of the new report and field scan, ”A Moment of Opportunity: A Tipping Point in the Fight Against Human Trafficking in the United States,” which analyzed the field and identified opportunities to grow the movement to end human trafficking and exploitation.


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