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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

Catherine Hyde Townsend

Founder and Principal

With over twenty years of experience, Catherine Hyde Townsend 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, such as racial and gender justice, sexuality, and criminal justice. She serves as a consultant and trusted advisor to private donors, NGOs, and UN agencies with a focus on disability inclusion, gender, and intersectional identities.

Catherine combines her personal disability experience with a wealth of professional expertise to build disability cultural competence, connect disability to broader social justice issues, and help organizations and their staff understand more about the disability community. Internationally, she has an intimate understanding of disability-inclusive development approaches, women with disabilities, UN human rights mechanisms, and funding mechanisms to support disability groups. In both the US and abroad, she has championed disability "mainstreaming", particularly among women's and reproductive rights organizations.

From 2006 until 2017, Catherine served as a Senior Program Officer at Wellspring Philanthropic Fund where she partnered closely with activists to develop one of the first grantmaking portfolios focused on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She also helped launch the Disability Rights Fund, a participatory collaborative fund, where she serves 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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