The Doris Duke Philanthropies Announce Zeyba Rahman Promoted to Director of the Building Bridges Program

Friday, March 11, 2022

The Doris Duke Philanthropies Announce Zeyba Rahman Promoted to Director of the Building Bridges Program

New York, March 10, 2022 -- The Doris Duke philanthropies today announced the promotion of Zeyba Rahman to director of the Building Bridges Program. Rahman joined the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, an operating foundation that runs under the umbrella of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, as senior program officer in 2013. In that role, she has led the Building Bridges Program in grantmaking to support national efforts, working with U.S. Muslims, to increase mutual understanding and well-being among diverse populations for the benefit of stronger and more inclusive communities.

“Zeyba Rahman is an innovative, creative and tenacious leader. Her passion and perspicacity regarding the power of stories to change hearts and minds will drive our important Building Bridges Program to new heights,” said Sam Gill, CEO and president of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

With the conviction that the strategic use of arts and media can provide an effective social prescription toward this aim, Rahman has deployed funding strategies to elevate the use of culture and storytelling to shift harmful narratives, open up conversation and learning, and offer a window into our shared humanity.

Under her tenure, the Doris Duke philanthropies have invested in efforts ranging from the Sundance New Frontier Fellows program, which provided seed funding for the development of the Homecoming King on Netflix and The Secret Life of Muslims digital TV series, to the inclusion of Muslims stories as part of StoryCorps, the country’s largest archive of personal stories.

She also spearheaded the production of” The Secret History of Muslims in the U.S.,” a comedic history lesson on Muslims’ contributions to U.S. society that was featured in the New York Times. Additionally, Rahman’s writing on the use of arts and media to celebrate pluralism and drive social impact recently appeared in a collection of essays,  “Are the Arts Essential?,” which is published by NYU Press and received a starred review from Kirkus.

In this next chapter for the Building Bridges Program, Rahman will lead the program forward in its evolution with a focus on amplifying authentic narratives and representation, nurturing communities of changemakers, and strengthening the field.

Prior to joining the foundation, Rahman was a creative director/producer on projects developed to promote understanding and collaboration between diverse communities. She was director, Asia and North America for the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music, curator for BAM’s Mic Check Hip Hop, creative consultant, Public Programs, for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central and Later South Asia, and a senior advisor for the Muslim Voices Festival, among many other roles.

Rahman is the advisor to Artworks for Freedom and currently serves on the board of Grantmaker in the Arts.


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