Nina Blackwell

Executive Director

Nina is honored and humbled to lead the Firelight team. As Executive Director, Nina supports the entire team to listen, co-create, collaborate, learn, and document with our grantee-partners. Nina also works with the Firelight team and our grantees to set and deliver on our strategic impact and to engage donors in our work.

Nina joined Firelight as Executive Director in July 2015. Nina joined the Firelight Foundation from Humanity United, a leading human rights foundation, which is part of the Omidyar Group of philanthropies and represents one of the major philanthropic investments of Pam and Pierre Omidyar. As Senior Strategic Advisor and Head of External Affairs at Humanity United, Nina led the Communications, Policy, and Partnerships teams to support and leverage the organization's strategic work in the prevention of conflict, mass atrocities and modern slavery. Nina also had responsibility for Humanity United’s award-winning partnership with the Guardian News and Media, reporting comprehensively on modern slavery.

Prior to joining Humanity United, Nina spent several years at Yahoo! Inc., where she led two global teams as Senior Director of Americas Communications and Senior Director of Global Public Affairs. Nina was responsible for developing global communications across a broad range of issues including privacy, data governance, online safety, human rights and freedom of expression. Nina also built and managed a global corporate social responsibility communications practice, promoting Yahoo!’s sustainability, accessibility and safety programs, as well as Yahoo! For Good and the Yahoo! Employee Foundation.

Nina joined Yahoo! after seven years working for US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, first as Special Advisor and then as Press Secretary and Spokesperson. Her work with Senator Clinton began during her historic campaign for the United States Senate, proceeded through the aftermath of the 9-11 attacks and spanned the successful 2006 Senate reelection campaign and the 2008 Presidential Campaign.

A native Australian, Nina began her career with almost a decade working in Australian national and state politics, including three years as National Campaign Manager for an Australian Republic, culminating in the historic 1999 national republic referendum campaign and vote.

Nina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Psychology, a Master of Arts in Political Science and Women’s Studies and a Bachelor of Laws with Honors where she specialized in human rights and constitutional law.