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To build a more peaceful, just, and equitable world: A Q&A with Alexandra I. Toma

June 13, 2022

Headshot_Alex_Toma_Peace_and_Security_Funders_GroupSince 2013, Alexandra Toma has served as executive director of the Peace and Security Funders Group (PSFG), which connects and supports the global community of public, private, and operating foundations and individual philanthropists advancing peace and security efforts in order to build a more peaceful, just, and equitable world.

Prior to joining PSFG, Toma was executive director of the Connect U.S. Fund, a funder collaborative focused on incentivizing collaboration as a tool to meet today’s global challenges. While a director at the Ploughshares Fund, Toma founded the Fissile Materials Working Group, a coalition that she grew to 80 U.S. and international organizations providing action-oriented policy solutions to combat nuclear terrorism. Before her nonprofit experience, Toma served as a foreign policy and defense advisor to Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA).

Supriya Kumar, global partnerships manager at Candid, asked Toma about the importance of peace and security funding, how the field has evolved in the last 20 years and more recently with the crisis in Ukraine, as well as what best practices and success look like in peace and security funding.

Supriya Kumar: Can you share a bit about what the Peace and Security Funders Group does, as “peace and security” can seem amorphous to some of us?

Alexandra Toma: The Peace and Security Funders Group connects and supports the global community of funders advancing peace and security efforts to build a more peaceful, just, and equitable world. I’m often asked, “What does peace and security mean?” I tell my friends and family that it’s basically everything on the front pages of most newspapers around the world, [which is] truer today than ever, given the war in Ukraine, crisis in Sri Lanka, and other global crises. Peace and security is the front-page news relating to war, conflict, defense, national security, and peacebuilding. Without peace and security, none of the other charitable issues we care about can be accomplished, such as girls’ education, health, and even climate goals. When war strikes, all of our other charitable endeavors and goals either take a back seat or they’re so much harder to accomplish....

Read the full Q&A with Alexandra Toma, executive director of the Peace and Security Funders Group.

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