Rebecca Rittgers is Senior Consultant to the Disability Rights Fund and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund. In 2019 she led the implementation of DRF/DRAF’s Commonwealth Leave No One Behind project, supporting disabled person’s organizations in a small group of Commonwealth countries to advocate for the implementation of their country’s Global Disability Summit 2018 commitments. In 2020, Rebecca continues to advance this funding stream in several non-pooled fund Commonwealth countries and supports the management team and program staff in various grantmaking, capacity building, and monitoring and evaluation projects.
Rebecca has dedicated her professional career to leveraging the tools of grant-making and people-led advocacy to advance human rights and social justice. She brings to DRF/DRAF expertise in the design and implementation of social justice campaigns, strategic communications strategies, advocate coalitions and donor collaboratives, and learning/ evaluation initiatives. She has worked across a spectrum of human rights issues, supporting both foundations and non-profits in the US and in Europe to reach their advocacy and funding goals.
Prior to DRF, Rebecca led The Themis Fund, a donor collaborative supporting the national campaign to end the death penalty in the United States. She worked to advance LGBTI rights, as a program officer at The Arcus Foundation and as an evaluator, conducting for the Ford Foundation an assessment of the US campaign for marriage equality. From 2001 to 2010, Rebecca developed and stewarded The Atlantic Philanthropies’ US Reconciliation and Human Rights Program, supporting campaigns on immigrants and refugees, ending capital punishment, ex-felon disenfranchisement, and indigent defense reform. Since 2016, Rebecca has also served as a mentor to emerging European leaders in the migrant and refugee advocacy community for The Social Change Initiative in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Rebecca holds a Masters of Economics from Boston University and a certification in Leadership Coaching from Rutgers University.