Sushma Raman Bio
Sushma Raman is the Executive Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. She brings over two decades of global experience launching, scaling, and leading social justice and philanthropic programs and collaboratives, building capabilities of grassroots human rights organizations and their leaders, and teaching graduate courses in the public policy schools at UCLA, USC, and Harvard Kennedy School.
Sushma has worked at the Ford Foundation, where she managed a $100 million global program (the second largest in the Foundation’s history at that time) where she helped launch and scale social justice and women’s funds around the world, and at the Open Society Foundation, where she was a Program Officer on the founding staff for US Programs, staffing a $50 million fund established by philanthropist George Soros to support immigrant and refugee rights.
Sushma is the co-author, along with Bill Schulz (former executive director of Amnesty International USA and Carr Center Senior Fellow), of the book The Coming Good Society: Why New Realities Demand New Rights, released by Harvard University Press in June 2020. This forward-looking book examines the coming changes to the human rights landscape and argues that rights must adapt to new technological and scientific realities or risk being consigned to irrelevance.
Sushma is the host of the Carr Center’s Justice Matters podcast, a contributor to Foreign Policy magazine, and a facilitator for many Carr Center events, including the Human Rights in Hard Places and the Struggle for Black Lives series. She was a Fellow with the German Marshall Fund and the UCLA Luskin School, and is currently a member of the board of RFK Human Rights, established by the family of Bobby Kennedy. She has taught graduate courses on inter-sectoral leadership; philanthropy and nonprofit management; global civil society, the NGO sector, and the state; and policy communications for decision makers.
Born and raised in India, Sushma has a B.A. in Economics from Smith College, a M.A. in African Studies from UCLA, and a midcareer MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, where she was awarded the Lucius N. Littauer Fellowship for her academic and leadership achievements.