In a career spanning more than 30 years, Daranee Petsod (she/her) has played numerous leadership roles to advance justice and equity for marginalized communities. She is a senior fellow with the Atlantic Institute and Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity, a network of changemakers from South Africa and the United States working in solidarity to challenge anti-Black racism and build a more equitable future. She was advisor to the California Immigrant Resilience Fund (CIRF), which she founded in 2020 as part of a $150-million public-private partnership with the State of California to provide cash assistance to undocumented immigrants impacted by the pandemic.
For 22 years, Petsod served as the founding president of Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR), which galvanizes U.S. philanthropy to advance justice and belonging for immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. Guided by her vision and leadership, foundations invested hundreds of millions to support citizenship and DACA, fight racist and xenophobic policies, address urgent humanitarian needs, and cultivate the belonging and contributions of immigrants in our society. Inside Philanthropy in 2017 named GCIR Funders’ Affinity Group of the Year, recognizing the organization’s leadership in pushing back against federal anti-immigrant policies.
As a consultant for more than a decade, Petsod helped foundations and social-change organizations develop their program and communications strategies. Her clients advocated to expand opportunities and rights for women and girls, protect Black family farmers, strengthen the rights of low-wage immigrant workers, and advance environmental justice in low-income neighborhoods.
In her role as interim executive director, Petsod shepherded the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights through its first leadership transition—while mounting an aggressive campaign to address the impact of the most sweeping federal welfare and immigration legislation in recent history. Petsod previously served as a program officer at the Field Foundation of Illinois, where she was responsible for a diverse funding portfolio, including health, education, housing, and economic security. At the Sophia Fund, she focused on issues affecting low-income women and girls of color, from gender-based violence to leadership development. Early in her career, she developed an innovative program for Southeast Asian refugee women impacted by gender-based violence at the Community Counseling Centers of Chicago and counseled abused and neglected children.
Petsod has served on the boards of directors of numerous nonprofit organizations including United Philanthropy Forum, Northern California Grantmakers, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and Future Without Violence. She is the recipient of the 2020 Journey to Justice Award from CHIRLA; the 2020 Outstanding Grantmaking Professional from the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Golden Gate Chapter; and a 2014 Professional Development Fellowship from the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation.