Heydi joined Misean Cara in March of 2014. Heydi has extensive experience in advocating for human rights and providing social services to minority groups in Central and South America and Africa. While living in Boston, Massachusetts, she co-founded a school to address educational disadvantage among Latino and African-American children, and set up a project to address the health needs of sex workers in Central American countries and Brazil. She was also Chief Executive of Women United in Action, a non-profit which supports refugees and migrant women and children in Boston.
Heydi was CEO at Exchange House National Travellers Service, in Ireland, for seven years. She led and developed the organisation, in the service of Ireland’s most excluded citizens. She established numerous new services including prison work, suicide prevention and domestic violence services and, at a time of funding cut-backs, secured funding from the EU and private philanthropy. She expanded the geographical reach of the organisation through partnerships with other services nationally and internationally.
Driven by her own life experiences and by a conviction that human rights are for everyone, Heydi sees leading Misean Cara as a natural continuation of her work to date in the area of human rights for disadvantaged and marginalised people. She is inspired by the courage and lifelong commitment that are part of the missionary approach, and sees Misean Cara as a vehicle for supporting and promoting that approach.
Heydi sits on the Board of Directors of Dóchas, the Irish network of development NGOs, and is a Presidential appointee to the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission. She graduated from the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala with a B.A. in Economics and Education, from Cambridge College (Massachusetts) with a Masters in Non-Profit Management and from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University with a Masters in Public Administration and Social Policy.
During her spare time she enjoys surfing and eating mangoes, but not at the same time.