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 also a fellow with Open Society Foundations and founder of a consulting practice Curating Words, Strategies and Sights for Justice and Rights, through which she advises foundations working on arts and social justice. She 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 Director for North America at EDGE Funders Alliance, 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. She currently serves on the board of 3Arts

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.