Marissa Tirona

Program Officer, Building Institutions and Networks (BUILD), Ford Foundation

Marissa Tirona is a program officer on the BUILD team, working to advance the foundation’s efforts to support and develop stronger, sustainable, and more effective social justice organizations and networks across the globe. Before joining Ford in 2017, Marissa was director of Blue Shield Against Violence at the Blue Shield Foundation of California, where she led programmatic, policy, and grant-making efforts to address, prevent, and ultimately end domestic violence throughout the state. Prior to that, she was senior project director at CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, where she designed and led comprehensive, multiyear leadership initiatives. She had previously served as program director of the National Employment Lawyers Association and, before that, as an employment attorney at two national law firms.

Marissa has deep experience in organizational and movement capacity building and speaks on and writes about issues related to design thinking, systems change, movement and field building, network and adaptive leadership, and strategy. She has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including Oakland Kids First, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, and the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area. She holds a JD from the Santa Clara University School of Law, is a member of the California State Bar, and has a BA in English literature with a concentration in women’s studies from Swarthmore College.

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