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Taryn Higashi

Executive Director, Unbound Philanthropy

Taryn is the executive director of Unbound Philanthropy, which she joined as the first member of staff in 2008. Taryn has helped Unbound grow into a significant actor contributing to pluralistic, just, and equitable societies in the U.S. and the U.K. that recognize the rights and contributions of immigrants and refugees. In 2020, Taryn and Unbound were awarded United We Dream’s first-ever Believer Award and under her leadership Unbound was awarded the Mover and Shaker Award for Bold Peer Organizing from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy in 2019 and NAKASEC’s People Power Award in 2021.

Prior to Unbound, Taryn managed the migrant and refugee rights portfolio and was deputy director of the human rights unit at the Ford Foundation, where in 2003 she co-founded the Four Freedoms Fund, a collaborative that has re-granted more than $180 million to state and local immigrant organizations. For co-founding the Four Freedoms Fund, Taryn and Geri Mannion of the Carnegie Corporation received the 2008 Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking from the Council on Foundations.

Taryn also serves as the Chair of the Board of the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), and formerly chaired the advisory board of the International Migration Initiative at Open Society Foundations and co-chaired the board of Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees. Taryn is the granddaughter of immigrants from Japan.

Taryn Higashi's Blog Posts

We are In a Time of New Suns

The Center for Effective Philanthropy’s report, Much Alarm, Less Action: Foundations and Climate Change, reveals that many non-climate funders see climate change as outside the scope of their mission and resources, but still believe that it’s an urgent problem and...

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Recent Blogs