Taryn Higashi

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Biographical Information

"Taryn Higashi is the executive director of Unbound Philanthropy. From 1997 to 2008, Taryn worked at the Ford Foundation where she managed the migrant and refugee rights portfolio and served as deputy director of the human rights unit.

"Prior to joining the Ford Foundation, Taryn was a program officer at The New York Community Trust, where she coordinated the Fund for New Citizens. She has also worked as a staff attorney and program coordinator for Safe Horizons in New York City, and as an associate at the law firm O'Melveny & Myers. From 1999 to 2008, Taryn served as a board member of Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, where she was co-chair from 1999-2005.

"Taryn's own family history informs her passion for justice for immigrants and migrants: "I am a third-generation Japanese American, and my mother's family was interned during World War II along with 110,000 other Japanese Americans-almost two-thirds of whom were United States citizens. Our history tells us that we cannot take our freedom to move, live, and work in this country for granted."

"Taryn's work has been widely recognized in her field. Recently, Taryn was a co-recipient with Geri Mannion of the Carnegie Corporation of New York of the Robert V. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking from the Council on Foundations. She has also received a 40th Anniversary Community Change Champion Award from the Center for Community Change, a Human Rights Visionary Award from the Border Network for Human Rights and an award from the National Immigration Law Center for her work to advance immigrants' rights.

"Taryn speaks frequently on trends and issues in immigration, speaking recently at Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. She was recently appointed to the advisory board of the International Migration Initiative of the Open Society Foundations. Taryn is a graduate of George Washington University Law School and received her bachelor's degree from the University of California at San Diego. She resides in New York City with her husband and son. "[1]



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  1. Unbound Philanthropy Board, organizational web page, accessed May 3, 2013.