Person

Ali Noorani

Occupation:

“Nonprofit Operative”

Program Director, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

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Ali Noorani is an American advocacy-nonprofit operative. As of June 2024, Noorani was working as the program director of the “U.S. Democracy” program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, a role he started in June 2022. In that capacity, Noorani has helped direct millions of dollars to various nonprofit groups related to so-called election security and democratic values. 1 2

Background

From 2000 to 2003, Ali Noorani worked as the director of public health for a medical clinic in Boston, Massachusetts. From 2003 to 2008, he worked as the executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), which “works to advocate for the rights and opportunities of immigrants and refugees” according to Noorani. 3

From 2008 to 2022, Noorani worked as the president and chief executive officer of the National Immigration Forum, a left-of-center advocacy group that advocates for higher immigration levels, refugee admittance, and increasing U.S. foreign aid. 4 5

Noorani joined the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in 2022 as the director of the “U.S. Democracy” program. 6

Noorani is a board member of More in Common, a nonprofit group that opposes political polarization, and she was previously the chair of Roosevelt Forward, a policy group that aims to “equalize power in our society.” 7 Noorani has completed the Emerson Dial Fellowship as well as at the Arizona State University Social Transformation Lab. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has published two books on immigration. 8

Hewlett Foundation

As of June 2024, Noorani was working as the program director of the “U.S. Democracy” program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, a role he had started in June 2022. In that capacity, Noorani has helped direct millions of dollars to various nonprofit groups related to so-called election security and democratic values. 9 10

One initiative of the program, Trustworthy Elections, aims to “ensure officials execute elections so voters feel they are trustworthy, so they can take that experience and extrapolate to their perception of elections writ large,” in Noorani’s words. Another initiative, National Governing Institutions, attempts to bolster governing institutions. 11

According to Inside Philanthropy, Hewlett spent $96.9 million on “democracy-related grants” from 2014 to 2018, making it second only to the Ford Foundation in this spending area. Hewlett’s spending was primarily conducted through its Madison Initiative, which spent a total of $150 million on empowering U.S. Congress and bolstering campaign finance regulatory institutions. 12

One recipient of Noorani’s program’s funding is the Tech Talent Project, an initiative of the New Venture Fund that identifies insufficiencies in tech talent throughout the federal government and aims to address them. Other major recipients of “unrestricted funding” from Noorani include the Congressional Management Foundation, the United States Association of Former Members of Congress, the Bipartisan Policy Center, and the Partnership for Public Service. 13

Hewlett has also provided funding to controversial groups like the Stanford Internet Observatory and the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public. 14

References

  1. “Grants – U.S. Democracy.” Hewlett. Accessed June 9, 2024. https://hewlett.org/grants/?sort=date&grant_programs=70696.
  2. “Ali Noorani.” Hewlett. Accessed June 9, 2024. https://hewlett.org/people/ali-noorani/.
  3. “Ali Noorani.” LinkedIn. Accessed June 9, 2024. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alinoorani/.
  4. “Working Paper: Addressing the Increase of Central American Migrants.” Immigration Forum, May 2, 2019. Accessed June 10, 2024. https://immigrationforum.org/article/addressing-the-increase-of-central-american-migrants/.
  5. “Ali Noorani.” LinkedIn. Accessed June 9, 2024. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alinoorani/
  6. “Ali Noorani.” LinkedIn. Accessed June 9, 2024. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alinoorani/.
  7. “Ali Noorani.” LinkedIn. Accessed June 9, 2024. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alinoorani/.
  8. “Ali Noorani.” Hewlett. Accessed June 9, 2024. https://hewlett.org/people/ali-noorani/.
  9. “Grants – U.S. Democracy.” Hewlett. Accessed June 9, 2024. https://hewlett.org/grants/?sort=date&grant_programs=70696.
  10. “Ali Noorani.” Hewlett. Accessed June 9, 2024. https://hewlett.org/people/ali-noorani/.
  11. Scutari, Mike. “The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Gears Up for the Fall Election – and Beyond.” Inside Philanthropy, May 23, 2024. Accessed June 10, 2024. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2024/5/23/the-william-and-flora-hewlett-foundation-gears-up-for-the-fall-election-and-beyond.
  12. Scutari, Mike. “The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Gears Up for the Fall Election – and Beyond.” Inside Philanthropy, May 23, 2024. Accessed June 10, 2024. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2024/5/23/the-william-and-flora-hewlett-foundation-gears-up-for-the-fall-election-and-beyond.
  13. Scutari, Mike. “The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Gears Up for the Fall Election – and Beyond.” Inside Philanthropy, May 23, 2024. Accessed June 10, 2024. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2024/5/23/the-william-and-flora-hewlett-foundation-gears-up-for-the-fall-election-and-beyond.
  14. Scutari, Mike. “The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Gears Up for the Fall Election – and Beyond.” Inside Philanthropy, May 23, 2024. Accessed June 10, 2024. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2024/5/23/the-william-and-flora-hewlett-foundation-gears-up-for-the-fall-election-and-beyond.
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