Catherine Hyde Townsend serves as the Senior Advisor for Disability Inclusion at the Ford Foundation where she leads an intersectional approach to disability inclusion in its grantmaking and operations.

Through lived experience and professional expertise, Catherine has built a network of relationships with key advocates and donors around the world to ensure funding best serves those most impacted by inequality, especially people with disabilities. Before Ford, she served as a Senior Program Officer at Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, developing new grantmaking portfolios protecting human rights defenders and advancing disability rights. In 2007, Catherine helped launch the Disability Rights Fund, serving as the co-chair of the Board for more than a decade. Catherine also served in various organizational development roles, including interim Executive Director, at the Human Rights Funders Group, a global network of donors responsive to intersecting forms of injustice.

Catherine holds an M.A. from Yale University in human rights and law and a B.A. from Hamilton College and chairs the Board of Directors for Women Enabled International. She’s currently writing a book, Disabling Philanthropy, about identity, power and participation in philanthropy.