Maryam Elahi

President and CEO

Maryam Elahi is President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2013 and for more than 25 years, she served in positions of leadership in the international human rights community as an advocate, teacher, and grant-maker.

Maryam was the director of the International Women’s Program at the Open Society Foundations, a global philanthropic organization based in NYC from 2007 until 2013. She had previously been the founding director of the Human Rights Program at Trinity College in Hartford, establishing the first undergraduate college Human Rights Program in the United States. She taught courses on international human rights law at Trinity College, as well as, at the Oxford University Summer International Human Rights Program. Maryam directed the International Programs Office at Trinity College in 1997, oversaw numerous study abroad programs, and traveled extensively to create new ones with a human rights focus. She served as the Advocacy Director on the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe for Amnesty International in DC from 1990 to 1997, where she wrote and lectured extensively and provided congressional testimony and media analysis. Over the years, she led human rights missions to dozens of countries around the world.  

Maryam is a graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Boston College Law School, and Williams College. She currently serves on the boards of the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network and the Connecticut Council on Philanthropy. She was a former chair of the International Human Rights Committee of the American Bar Association and has served on numerous boards including the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, Center for Justice and Accountability, and ACLU of CT.  

Maryam is the recipient of the 2014 Boston College David S. Nelson Public Interest Law Award which recognizes an alum who has made significant contributions to the public sector or in public interest law. She was also recognized as a Global Impact Honoree by the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame in 2015.

Maryam is a member of the District of Columbia and Massachusetts Bar. She moved to Connecticut in 1997 and lives in Old Saybrook.

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