Maya Ajmera

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Maya Ajmera

1993 Fellow
Founder of Global Fund for Children

Maya Ajmera 1993 Fellow

Bold Idea 

Advance the dignity of children and youth around the world by making small grants to innovative community-based organizations working with some of the world’s most vulnerable children and youth, complemented by a dynamic media program that highlights the issues affecting children and celebrates the global society in which we all live.

Grassroots organizations worldwide are the true innovators, operating on the front lines to combat problems in their communities with groundbreaking methods. In many places around the world, governments and foreign aid have failed to provide support for innovative grassroots organizations. The Global Fund for Children (GFC) was founded with the belief that investing in grassroots innovation will unlock the key to addressing many of the most glaring social issues affecting children around the globe. Since 1997, The Global Fund for Children has invested nearly $14 million in 365 grassroots organizations in seventy-two countries around the world, touching the lives of over one million children. In addition to its innovative philanthropic model, GFC has developed a unique social enterprise program, the Global Fund for Children Books. With over 600,000 copies in circulation, Global Fund for Children books have reached over 2 million young readers.

Maya Ajmera founded The Global Fund for Children, a non-profit organization that invests in innovative, community-based organizations working with some of the world’s most vulnerable children and youth. Under Maya’s seventeen years of leadership, GFC awarded nearly $25 million in capital to nearly 500 grassroots organizations in 75 countries touching the lives of over 5 million children. In addition, GFC has a dynamic media program focused on children’s books, films, digital media, and documentary photography. She is an award winning children’s book author of over 15 titles including Children from Australia to Zimbabwe, Faith, and To Be a Kid with over 4 million readers worldwide. In 2011, Maya was appointed a Visiting Scholar at the Paul H. Nitze School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. She is also an advisor to, a video Q & A service where students go to get advice on every aspect of college and career planning. Maya serves on the board of visitors of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. She is co-chair of the board of Echoing Green, is a trustee of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, and a board member of New Global Citizens. She serves on numerous advisory boards including the Center for Advanced Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at Duke University, Washington Area Women’s Foundation, American India Foundation, and many others. She received her bachelor's degree from Bryn Mawr College and a master's of public policy from the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. Maya is a 2011 Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.

Learn More
  • 1993
  • Fellow
  • Civil & Human Rights
  • Poverty Alleviation & Economic Development
  • Global

Bold Idea and summary information may only be accurate as of the awarding of the Fellowship. Echoing Green attempts to maintain current Experience information, but for their most recent status it may be best to contact the Fellow directly.

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