Masum Momaya

Nonresident Fellow, Global Cities

Areas of expertise: Global Cities


Masum Momaya, EdD, has 20 years of experience working at the intersection of arts and culture, social justice, and international affairs as a researcher, curator, writer, educator, grantmaker, and nonprofit organization director.  As a nonresident fellow with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Momaya is working on a forthcoming publication on Global Cities and Culture exploring how global cities engage arts and culture to address their most pressing challenges in cultural and public diplomacy.

Momaya is currently director of North America for the EDGE Funders Alliance, which organizes within philanthropy to increase resources for communities and movements creating systemic change towards social, economic, and environmental justice. She is also a consultant for foundations working on arts and social justice and has curated exhibitions and public programs about racial justice and immigrant rights at the Smithsonian Institution and about women's rights at the International Museum of Women (now the Global Fund for Women). Previously, Momaya served as lead researcher and writer of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) and on the boards of Amnesty International’s Women’s Human Rights Program and the Third Wave Foundation.

Momaya's articles, podcasts, and exhibitions have been translated into more than a dozen languages, including a review of Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s Half the Sky for the Women’s Policy Journal of Harvard. She is an avid public speaker and has taught courses at Harvard University, Stanford University, Simmons College, and the University of Maryland.

Momaya's work has been featured on NPR, the Associated Press, BBC News, Agence-France Presse, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, The Times of India, The Hindu, Vogue India, and

Momaya earned an AB with honors and distinction in public policy and feminist studies from Stanford University and a master's degree in education and a doctorate in human development from Harvard University. She is a graduate of the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs in San Francisco and has conducted research at the Centre for Development Studies at Oxford University.