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Vijay Simhan

Director, Racial Justice & Equity and Forced Labor & Human Trafficking

As Director, Forced Labor & Human Trafficking, Vijay manages work that touches on issues of worker agency, safer labor migration, and corporate accountability, including leading a body of work that seeks to improve the experience and well-being of migrant workers traveling South Asia and Africa to the Gulf.

As Director, Racial Justice & Equity, he also leads an initiative that seeks to shift power and resources to BIPOC communities and empower them to define solutions that will lead to a just, sustainable, and inclusive society. This place-based strategy works with key partners in Atlanta, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., with some national partners as well.

In addition, Vijay also serves as Director of the Rights and Dignity (RAD) Working Group, which spans across the Omidyar Group (TOG) and exists to support and advance the rights and dignity of communities impacted by structures of oppression and marginalization, by transforming the tools of philanthropy so that we can be better partners to communities working to address the conditions and systems that threaten them.

Before joining HU, Vijay was Program Officer with Winrock International, where he led work on labor rights, migration, and anti-human trafficking projects in Africa, South America, and Asia. This included helping workers organize and advocate for their rights in the agricultural and textile sector as well as both partnering with and challenging corporate behavior as it relates to labor rights in supply chains in the tobacco and tea sectors. In addition, he served as Program Director for Winrock’s grant-making initiative that supported researchers to conduct applied research on pressing social challenges facing their communities.

Prior to Winrock, Vijay worked at the United States Institute of Peace as a Senior Specialist where he managed a portfolio of work around issues of good governance, security, and the rule of law. This included working on governance projects seeking to address the security gap that emerges in conflict and post-conflict states, creating the environment for various types of trafficking. This includes work in places like Afghanistan, Myanmar, Iraq, and Libya.

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