Paradox in Leading a Human Rights Funder Network


  • Andrew F. Simon Seton Hall University



funder network, human rights, paradox


This case study focuses on the leadership of International Human Rights Funders Group (IHRFG), a world-wide network of grantmakers committed to funding human rights efforts around the globe. Solving the many problems in the human rights domain requires the type of coordinated efforts that are possible in this type of funder network. The examination of the leadership team demonstrates some of the unique challenges in their work and exemplifies how paradox can emerge and limit opportunities for growth. Paradox theory is used as a lens for understanding interview data obtained from IHRFG’s leaders; paradoxes of learning and performing are highlighted. Consideration is also given to the presence of paradox throughout the IHRFG network. A greater appreciation for the presence and influence of paradox serves in understanding funder networks and provides practitioners with a means for overcoming restrictive mindsets.

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Author Biography

Andrew F. Simon, Seton Hall University

Psychology Department, Associate Professor