Rachel Weintraub’s fundraising and board expertise is in part a result of her sixteen-year tenure (1988-2004) at Human Rights Watch, based in New York. Rachel served as Deputy Director of Development, Director of Council Outreach, and Director of International Special Events at this leading international human rights organization. Rachel was the organization’s first development professional and was responsible for building and managing its successful fundraising operations in several major U.S., Canadian, and European cities including Boston, Geneva, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Stockholm, and Toronto.

As Deputy Director of Development and Director of Council Outreach, Rachel was instrumental in establishing the Human Rights Watch Council, an international donor membership group comprised of regional committees. She developed recruitment strategies for Council leadership, recruited membership and solicited lead gifts, served as the primary development contact for many of the organization’s largest initial individual donors, and supervised development staff and consultants servicing the various cities in which she worked. As a staff member of the Endowment Committee, Rachel also helped develop strategies and assisted in implementing the organization’s first endowment campaign. Throughout her tenure, Rachel worked closely with the Founders and Board of Directors on the organization’s ongoing expansion and served as a lead staff member of the Development Committee.

As Director of International Special Events, Rachel created and built the organization’s fundraising event program in the United States and Europe, while working closely with a Special Events Committee made up of active board members and donors. Rachel founded the organization’s annual fundraising dinners honoring human rights monitors from around the world held initially in New York and Los Angeles and subsequently in Geneva, London, San Francisco, and Toronto. The event program served as the entry point for donors into the organization and a first step in their cultivation as major donors. In addition, Rachel was a Founder of the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival and was responsible for the Festival’s fundraising through the annual Film Festival Benefit Galas in New York and London.

"I want you to know that your many acts of kindness and thoughtfulness on my behalf are much appreciated. Your competence, sincerity and enthusiasm are such important ingredients in our success and have been important to me more than you know."

           —Robert L. Bernstein (1923-2019)
Founder and Chair, 
Human Rights Watch

"During her 16 years of service to Human Rights Watch, Rachel Weintraub created Human Rights Watch's special events program, which is now replicated by numerous other organizations. She created our annual monitors dinner, our signature event, raising over $2.5 million in six cities with more than 2,500 attendees. She helped broaden our development and outreach in Europe, supported the London committee as they grew into an established committee, and started our efforts in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Geneva, Stockholm, and Toronto. Rachel has also been an important part of the Film Festival efforts, having been central to its founding and to the development of its Opening Night Galas. She is great working with people and knows our board members, donors, and history better than almost everyone. We thank her for her many years of service and will miss her partnership in our work, and her support and friendship. And we know that she will bring to other organizations the same attention to detail, impeccable taste, and commitment to human rights that she displayed here."

Michele Alexander, Deputy Executive Director, Development & Global Initiatives, Human Rights Watch

"I have known Rachel Weintraub for more than twenty years and am delighted to say that any group would benefit from exposure to her acute intelligence, her generous spirit, and her considerable gifts. Both at Human Rights Watch where I first saw her in action, and at Parnassus: Poetry in Review where we worked together for several years, I have been impressed with Rachel’s skills and by the representative force of her presence in a room. She has a constant awareness of the complicated currents of feeling that are present in all human encounters and the organizational capacity to take a disparate group of people and get them working together to create projects that take an almost palpable symphonic form. Rachel’s taste, energy, self-possession, wit and rich laughter define her as a remarkable woman."

Wendy Gimbel, Author
Board member, 
Parnassus: Poetry in Review Foundation


Rachel’s philanthropy expertise and networks are enhanced by her current and former board affiliations with U.S. literary organizations including Four Way Books press, Parnassus: Poetry in Review Foundation, Poets House, and Salamander literary journal. She also helped conceptualize and design Human Rights Watch’s London event, “Cries from the Heart,” which featured human rights poetry from around the world.

"Rachel has served as a board member on a number of important literary organizations in New York, and is also a founding and continuing board member of Salamander, the Boston-based literary journal that I launched in 1992. She has been instrumental in assisting me with key aspects of the magazine. Her involvement with readings and events in New York City and Boston, her ability to focus on short-and long-range organizational goals, and her sense of the current literary scene are invaluable to me. Rachel is a clear thinker. She has a gift for bringing people together, and an impressive professional experience as a fundraiser."

— Jennifer Barber, Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Salamander (1992-2019)

"I have known Rachel since 1995. Her active and effective work as a board member of Poets House, Parnassus, Salamander, and Four Way Books, aligns her with some of the country’s most prestigious literary organizations and publications. Rachel has helped the development of our organization. She is tenacious, generous, perceptive and a terrific team player. Rachel never takes on a project she can’t handle. She is organized, even-keeled, creative, smart, responsible and good-natured. Rachel Weintraub is a woman of exceptional abilities, whose rich professional career will bring a lot to your organization."

 — Martha Rhodes, Director & Founding Editor, Four Way Books


Rachel Weintraub holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from University of California, Santa Barbara. She also completed undergraduate course work at Pembroke College, Cambridge University and postgraduate course work at New School University, New York and Royal Academy of Arts, London. Rachel is a published poet and a painter, and she teaches the study of Ekphrastic poetry bi-annually in the Osher Lifetime Learning Institute, California State University Monterey Bay.