Meet Our Team: Sammy Luffy

Meet Our Team: Sammy Luffy

By: Funders for LGBTQ Issues Staff on March 20, 2024

Funders for LGBTQ Issues is proud to introduce Sammy Luffy (she/her), our new Director of Research!

We asked Sammy some questions to get to know her better.

What do you do at Funders and what strengths do you bring to your work?

As the newest Director of Research at Funders, I manage our long-term research projects— such as the Resource Tracking Report— and collaborate with our staff, members, and other stakeholders to conduct impactful research projects that are responsive to the needs of our communities, as well as carry out our organization’s goal to create an abundance of resources for the justice and liberation of all queer communities.

As a public health practitioner, I bring to my role a comprehensive understanding of health and human rights issues from a global perspective. Advancing LGBTQ rights and promoting the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ communities around the world have played a central role in my career to date—whether through ensuring the provision of safe and affirming HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment services for queer communities in PEPFAR countries during my time at USAID or through conducting an analysis of anti-abortion, anti-rights, and anti-LGBTQ organizations funding global opposition movements while at Fòs Feminista. While much of my experience has focused on LGBTQ issues at the global level, the challenges facing LGBTQ communities in the US closely mirror those of other countries, particularly since many US-based anti-LGBTQ organizations are actively exporting their anti-rights ideology and tactics abroad. In my role at Funders, I’m very excited to deepen my understanding of the domestic LGBTQ rights and funding landscape while also identifying areas of synergy with the global LGBTQ rights movement to ensure that our work recognizes the interconnectedness of domestic and global issues.


Who has inspired your career path most in your life?

My mentor and former supervisor Bergen Cooper has been the most influential and supportive person in my career to date. Throughout my career, I have often relied on informational interviews to determine my next steps and I first met Bergen through a mutual connection–my graduate school advisor and mentor, Dabney Evans. Dabney recommended that I speak with Bergen in early 2019 and after a 27-minute phone call with Bergen in April of that year, the rest is history. We began working together at CHANGE and continued to do so at Fòs Feminista. Without question, Bergen is the most brilliant, strategic, thoughtful, and caring supervisor and technical expert with whom I have had the joy of working. She not only has a wealth of expertise in global sexual and reproductive health and rights issues, but she is a passionate advocate and skillful researcher who is adept at designing research projects that advance specific advocacy objectives. In the four years we worked together, I couldn’t even begin to relay how much I learned from her, from research design to project management and stakeholder engagement. What strikes me most about her leadership style is how collaborative, trusting, and encouraging she is, which allowed me to grow as a technical expert, researcher, and advocate during our time working together. Though we don’t work together in the same capacity now, she continues to be an active source of support in my life. Bergen is one of the primary reasons why I am not only the professional I am today, but also the person I am at this moment. I am so grateful for her consistency and care as I have transitioned into new roles and count her as one of the very best friends I could ever have imagined.


If you could have any one superpower, which would you choose?

I love this question! Since I began working in other countries after college, I always wished that I could understand and communicate with others in any language. To be able to speak, read, and write in every language in the world would be such an incredible superpower! Until I find a way to make this happen, you’ll find me traveling the world (most recently to Zanzibar, Tanzania where I learned some Swahili) and on Duolingo where I currently have a 437 day streak as I beef up my Spanish skills. Portuguese and French are next on my list of languages to learn, so I’m open to any language-learning tips out there!

We’re so grateful to have you on our team, Sammy!

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