The Narrative Initiative Team



Jee Kim

Executive Director

For the past two decades, Jee has been a movement builder, resource mobilizer and dot connector for social change.

Before leading the Narrative Initiative, Jee was part of the Civic Engagement and Government team at the Ford Foundation, where his work focused on increasing the political participation of under-represented constituencies and mobilizing the grassroots base for social change. Prior to Ford, Jee launched, a national civic engagement project designed to build the political power of Asian Americans using social media and technology.

Previously, Jee served as a program director at the Surdna Foundation, where he managed grant-making portfolios in youth engagement, post-Katrina New Orleans, and nonprofit infrastructure over his eight-year tenure. He also worked in New York as a racial justice and immigrant rights organizer and as a journalist, editing the 9/11 anthology Another World Is Possible and The Future 500, an analysis of youth activism in the United States.

Jee received his Master's from Oxford University and his undergraduate degree from Columbia University.



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Juhu Thukral

Program Director

Juhu Thukral is a leading advocate on the rights of women, girls, and LGBTQ people. She is also an expert and strategist on narrative, framing, and digital storytelling. Her work focuses on sexual health and rights, gender-based violence, and the intersections of economic opportunity, immigration, and criminal justice.

Juhu is a founder of numerous ventures supporting women and LGBTQ people, and has been recognized as one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century by Women’s eNews, a Trailblazer by Re:Gender, and an Everyday Shero by NAPAWF. She was also selected to give the inaugural talk for the Anita Hill Lecture Series.

Before joining the Narrative Initiative, Juhu was the Director of Law and Advocacy at The Opportunity Agenda, and the Founder and Director of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center. She is also a founding Steering Committee member of the NY Anti-Trafficking Network. In 2010, she co-founded the NYC Women’s Salon.




Nima Shirazi

Project Manager, Programs & Communications

Nima brings his background in media, communications and marketing to the Narrative Initiative.

Before joining the initiative, Nima developed and oversaw external and internal communications strategies, multimedia production and media relations for The Atlantic Philanthropies. He also managed the foundation's grantmaking for media projects.

Nima is an editor for the digital foreign affairs magazine Muftah and his political analysis has appeared in Salon, Truthout, Mic and Al Jazeera English, among other outlets. He is a member of the Gulf/2000 Project, an academic forum and online resource service sponsored by the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University 

A classicist by training, Nima’s work experience has traversed the music, theater and film worlds, including stints at Miramax Films, New York Theater Workshop, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex and as a drummer in underappreciated rock bands. He holds a BA from Oberlin College.



Liz Hynes

Project Manager, Curriculum & Operations

Liz brings experience in coalition building, policy advocacy and organizational change to the Narrative Initiative. An interdisciplinary systems thinker, she has spent over a decade in the public sector reflecting on how complex systems interact and inform each other.  

Prior to joining the Narrative Initiative, Liz spent four years in philanthropy supporting civic engagement and immigrant integration in Los Angeles. She previously served as a legislative aide in the New York State Assembly, building community coalitions along with advocacy around affordable housing and predatory lending practices. Liz began her career as an intern in the U.S. Senate Press Gallery and developed campaign and advocacy skills working on campaigns in Virginia and New York.

Long committed to neighborhood organizing, Liz is currently active in the New York City  participatory budgeting process and other local organizing efforts. In addition to her obsession with the virtues of civic life, Liz devotes her time to music, writing and reading. She holds a BA in urban studies and literature from The New School.




Joseph Phelan

Curriculum Consultant


Rachel Weidinger

Technology Strategist