Bess Rothenberg leads the foundation’s office of Strategy and Learning. She works closely with all ten global offices to strengthen Ford’s capacity as a learning institution and ensure that learning and strategy are deeply embedded in all of its work.
Before joining the Ford Foundation in 2016, Bess served as deputy director of research and evaluation at Wellspring Advisors. In that role, she led strategic planning for international and US-based human rights work. Earlier, Bess was senior program officer for Africa at the International Women’s Health Coalition, and associate director of grants at American Jewish World Service. She has also served as assistant professor of applied sociology and African studies at Clemson University, and as associate director with Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Human Rights.
Bess earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Virginia. She was a Fulbright doctoral fellow at Humboldt University in Berlin, and earned her B.A. in sociology from Boston University.