Puja Dhawan


Puja directs NoVo’s Initiative to End Violence Against Girls and Women. In that role, Puja oversees NoVo’s largest operational program, Move to End Violence, as well as four of the initiative’s grantmaking priority areas: achieving economic justice for girls and women, addressing commercial sexual exploitation, movement building in the Global South, and building a movement to end violence against girls and women in the United States.

Before joining NoVo, Puja was the Senior Program Officer for the U.S. Human Rights Fund at Public Interest Projects — a donor collaborative that provides strategic field-building support to social justice organizations engaged in human rights work within the United States. Puja joined the U.S. Human Rights Fund when it first launched in 2005, and over the next four years helped build the Fund’s grantmaking, program and fundraising work.

Puja has also done consulting work on developing domestic human rights funding and advocacy strategies. She authored a 2010 report for the Asian Law Caucus on integrating domestic human rights into the Asian American advocacy community, and consulted with the International Human Rights Funders Group. After law school, Puja worked as a Staff Attorney at Bay Area Legal Aid, where she represented women in their family law proceedings, and worked on gender and caste discrimination in South Asia at Human Rights Watch. Puja earned her J.D. from NYU School of Law and a B.A. with honors from the University of Michigan. After violence against girls and women has finally ended, Puja plans on becoming a professional organizer (closets, not people).