Mara is Associate Director of Women’s Economic Rights in Oxfam’s Gender Justice and Inclusion Hub. Mara oversees and partners with other teams to advance women's economic rights through strategy development, program design, advocacy, fundraising, and team management. Under her leadership, the WER team coordinated a 20+ country campaign on gender justice amid the coronavirus crisis with expansive social media engagement, estimated media reach of 440 million people and legislative action in the US. She was lead author on an ambitious 5-country Oxfam report on the implications of unpaid care on women's livelihoods and health amid coronavirus conditions. Our team support savings group programming in El Salvador, Guatemala, Cambodia, Timor Leste, and Laos and women’s economic empowerment programming in Vietnam, Philippines and Honduras. Mara is also the global lead on the Women in Small Enterprise initiative, which includes Oxfam America’s first impact investing fund that focuses on women entrepreneurs in Latin America. She has over 20 years of experience working in the fields of women’s empowerment, international development, and emerging markets finance. Prior to Oxfam, Mara consulted with the Middle East Investment Initiative to develop a new form of small business insurance to help Palestinian exporters hindered by travel restrictions. Prior to that she worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as an emerging markets financial sector analyst. She has worked with various international finance and development organizations, including US Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the World Bank. She has an MBA from Johns Hopkins University and a Masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. Mara speaks fluent Latvian.
Blog Post List
March 9, 2021
When I moved back to Boston from New York City, my kids were little and only my husband was employed. With a newborn and a 3-year-old in the house, there wasn’t time to think about anything but survival. Luckily, my mom lived nearby and would come over weekly to help. I could have time to work on my resume, volunteer for organizations in the area to grow my network and look for jobs. The key factor here is that my child care was affordable—in fact, it was free —making my transition back into work far easier than it would have been otherwise. In a pandemic, many family members who used to help...