Steven M. Riskin is a the director of the grants strategy team and the Funders Initiative. A Middle East specialist, Riskin came to the Institute in 1994 from the Ford Foundation, where he was responsible for program development and grantmaking in Israel, focusing on human rights, social justice and conflict resolution. With the foundation’s Cairo office, he also engaged in program development in the Arab world. He has traveled extensively throughout the region.
Riskin has been a consultant to the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights and several foundations seeking to advance social justice and peace in the Middle East. He was a researcher at the Brookings Institution, a foreign affairs analyst at the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress and a co-founder of the International Human Rights Funders Group, an international network of over 300 foundations funding in the human rights field. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Compton Foundation, a California-based philanthropy that focuses its grantmaking on peace and security, environment and sustainability, and reproductive health and rights.