Maya Trabin


A seasoned writer, editor, and strategist, Maya Trabin has devoted her life and work to confronting injustice and creating a more equitable world.

Whether developing digital strategies or creating tailored content to express an organization’s highest goals, Maya brings together deep strategic and technical knowledge to help people and organizations share their unique story with the world – and be heard. She believes in the power of storytelling and the act of listening. In perhaps her biggest ahead-of-the curve moment as part of her Master’s thesis in the 2000s, Maya conducted participatory research on youth voices in HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns – as social media was being born, capturing the radical transformation of how we speak and listen to each other.

Maya holds a Master’s degree in International Development with a focus on human rights, social justice and gender studies from the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands, and a BA in Community Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Why are you a strategist for good?

“Not long ago, I found a dusty, black-and-white photo of my mother marching in the streets as a kid. It got us talking. I didn’t grow up in a very political household, but it turns out that my mother had – from passionate dinner debates, to quiet into-the-night talks. This photo, and the moment it captured, was an affirmation of so much that drives me, with one foot in history and the other marching ahead.”

What’s your superpower?

“The ability to help people get ‘unstuck’ in their work. At its core, this is about listening deeply, making space, and helping people be accountable to their own vision of what’s possible.”

Who is your intellectual crush?

“Maria Popova, who has built a corner of the internet (Brain Pickings) that’s committed to examining ‘meaning across literature, science, art, philosophy, and the various other tentacles of human thought and feeling.'”


Bay Area Jewish Healing Center

Borealis Philanthropy

Center for Gender & Refugee Studies

East Bay Community Foundation

Tides’ Advancing Girls

Trust-Based Philanthropy Project

Transparency & Accountability Initiative