Woman of Color, Woman of Courage Award

Posted on 1/25/2008 11:35:17 AM


Mallika Dutt is the founder and executive director of Breakthrough, an international human rights organization using innovative high impact education, media and popular culture to transform communities and bring about social change. Breakthrough works through offices in India and the United States, the world’s two largest democracies, on several issues including women’s rights, sexuality and HIV/AIDS and racial justice and immigrant rights.

Mallika has been at the cutting-edge of the human rights movement for more than two decades exploring creative ways to incorporate human rights values into people’s daily lives. She has received several awards, is a sought-after public speaker, and has been interviewed by more than a hundred local and global media outlets on a range of human rights issues.

Mallika has authored several articles and essays including the widely referenced "With Liberty and Justice for All: Women's Human Rights in the United States." She was also the co-author of the globally utilized manual, "Local Action Global Change: Learning About the Human Rights of Women and Girls," which has been translated into more than ten languages.

Prior to founding Breakthrough, Mallika was the program officer for the Human Rights and Social Justice Program at the Ford Foundation’s New Delhi office. Mallika has also served as the Associate Director of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University and as the director of the Norman Foundation. She began her professional career as an Associate at Debevoise and Plimpton in New York City.

Mallika is a founder of Sakhi for South Asian Women and has served on several boards and committees, including the Human Rights Watch Women's Rights Project and Asia Watch, The Sister Fund, Asian American Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, Lt. Governor Committee on Public Police Relations, Committee on Sex and Law - the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and the U.S. NGO Coordinating Committee for the U.N. World Conference Against Racism. She is currently on the Board of WITNESS.

Mallika is a member of the New York State Bar. She has a J.D. from NYU Law School, a master's in International Affairs from Columbia University and an undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College.

Mallika grew up in Kolkata and Mirzapur in India and currently lives in New York with her husband Sumit Daniel Ghosal and their dogs, Piko and Sulta.

m a l l i k a @ b r e a k t h r o u g h . t v