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Vivien Labaton Appointed Director of Strategic Programme Initiatives at The Atlantic Philanthropies

Resource type: News

The Atlantic Philanthropies |

New York, June 9, 2009 Vivien Labaton has been appointed Director of Strategic Programme Initatives at The Atlantic Philanthropies effective May 28, 2009. Labaton will work with Atlantic’s four programs in seven countries to develop and implement their grantmaking strategies to achieve social justice and developing cross-programmatic strategies. Labaton has extensive experience in law, human rights, grassroots advocacy and organizing.

She joined Atlantic in 2007 as a Fellow and in that role worked with senior leadership on special projects and managed the portfolio of grants within the Reconciliation & Human Rights Programme to strengthen civil liberties weakened under the Bush Administration. Prior to joining Atlantic in 2007, Labaton was a staff attorney and a Blackmun Fellow at the Center for Reproductive Rights and a law clerk to Judge Constance Baker Motley in the Southern District of New York. While in law school, Labaton worked with a human rights organization in Cambodia and with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund on their capital defense work. Before attending law school, Labaton was the Founding Director of the Third Wave Foundation, the only national philanthropic organization for young women. She oversaw every aspect of the organization and directed its vision and programs, which included grassroots organizing and advocacy, reproductive health and justice, and higher education, with an emphasis on low-income young women, young women of color, and lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth. During this time she was also a consultant to Gloria Steinem.

Vivien has been a remarkable source of insight to Atlantic’s grant making strategies since she joined the foundation in 2007, said Marcia Smith, Senior Vice President of The Atlantic Philanthropies. In this new role, she will help Atlantic develop and implement grant making strategies to promote and achieve social justice within and across each of our four program areas and in the seven countries where we work. Her contributions will be tremendously valuable to Atlantic as it focuses its strategies to achieve the greatest amount of change in its remaining decade.

The Atlantic Philanthropies is committed to making immediate improvements in the lives of people who need change the most by spending Atlantic’s entire endowment by 2020. It supports lasting change by:

Addressing the root causes of social injustice Focusing on advocacy for change rather than filling gaps in services

Funding efforts to challenge policies and institutions that systematically exclude or disadvantage people

Building on the strengths of individuals, organizations, communities and movements to advocate on their own behalf and on behalf of others

Supporting institutions and investing in leaders who can work for progressive change over decades

Working in partnership with government, whenever it can advance Atlantic’s goals and those of the organizations it supports.

“We are at a historic crossroads in which enormous opportunities have emerged alongside formidable challenges the economic crisis has disproportionately impacted those people who are the least well off, and yet for the first time in a decade there is significant opportunity for progressive organizations to align with the new Presidential Administration on a range of issues that are important to us, ” Labaton said.  “I am thrilled to work with Atlantic’s programs to deepen the understanding of social justice within our work and implement strategies to achieve it in Atlantic’s remaining years.”

Related Resources


Human Rights & Reconciliation

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United States


Vivien Labaton