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Catherine Hyde Townsend
Founder and Principal

Catherine Hyde Townsend's headshot: A middle-aged woman smiling warmly wearing glasses with medium length dark brown hair dressed in a dark teal shirt

With two decades of experience, Catherine is a recognized thought leader on disability inclusion and rights with deep knowledge about how disability intersects with the most pressing issues of our time. She serves as a consultant and trusted advisor to private donors, NGOs, businesses and UN agencies with a focus on disability inclusion, gender, and intersectional identities.

A mother of two teens, former triathlete and and disabled woman, she connects a wealth of professional expertise to powerful story telling. Catherine has proven success in motivating staff, strengthening disability cultural competence, helping organizations and their staff understand the diversity of the disability community. Internationally, she has an intimate understanding of development, women, girls and non-binary people with disabilities, UN human rights, and more inclusive funding approaches. In both the US and abroad, she's been a leading voice, championing the importance of disability mainstreaming.

From 2006 until 2017, Catherine served as a Senior Program Officer at Wellspring Philanthropic Fund where she partnered closely with activists to develop the first grantmaking portfolio focused on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She also launched the Disability Rights Fund, a participatory  fund, where she served as co-chair of the Board for more than a decade. She currently serves as President of the Board of Directors for Women Enabled International.


For more information about her professional and educational background, please see Catherine's resume.

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