Vice President, External Affairs
Riva Silverman is the vice president of external affairs at HIAS, where she promotes HIAS’ unique human rights mission by generating revenue and building awareness of the organization’s work around the world.
Riva has more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit and philanthropy sectors, establishing and expanding diversified donor programs to promote human rights and religious freedom, largely through Jewish social justice organizations.
Riva was the founding vice president of development at Shatterproof, a national organization launched in 2012 that is dedicated to preventing, treating, and ultimately ending addiction to alcohol and other drugs. The organization’s business plan—which she co-wrote—was recognized by the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Health Matters Initiative as a featured solution to tackling addiction.
As director of development at American Jewish World Service (AJWS), Riva led a team that more than doubled the organization’s revenue to $50 million in seven years. She also served a leadership role in AJWS’s organizational redesign.
Riva has held senior development positions at the Masorti Foundation and the New Israel Fund. Earlier in her career, she was program director at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights, where she developed and implemented human rights activities in conjunction with winners of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.
Riva has a B.A. from Columbia University, a B.A. from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and an M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She is a past president of Congregation Beth El in Norwalk, CT, where she lives with her husband, attorney Abram Heisler, and their three children.