Eric K. Ward a long time civil rights strategist, is the Executive Director of Western States Center (WSC). Based in the Pacific Northwest and Mountain States, WSC works nationwide to strengthen inclusive democracy by building movement, developing leaders, shifting culture and defending democracy. From 2014 – 2017, Eric worked as a Ford Foundation Program Officer, where his grant-making supported efforts to combat inequality. Prior, he was the Program Executive for The Atlantic Philanthropies, U.S. Reconciliation and Human Rights Programme, United States and led the foundation’s grantmaking efforts in immigration and in support of American Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities. Eric is a 2018-2019 Open Society's New Executive Fellow and currently serves on the board of directors of Proteus Fund and the artist driven, Revolutions Per Minute (RPM).