Reflections from past and new board members

In conversation with Michael Reichert, Ron Legrand, Brian Malte, and Shruthi Jayaram

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When we launched Equimundo in 2011, we knew it would be important for the organization to be governed and have oversight by a board of directors composed of experts and allies across a number of related fields. Our board members have included authors, researchers, philanthropists, media specialists, and corporate leaders and they’ve all helped to ensure Equimundo maintains its high quality work and is accountable to the movement for gender equality more broadly. As we transition into a new board term, we talked to Michael Reichert and Ron LeGrand who are transitioning off the board, and Brian Malte and Shruthi Jayaram, who are joining it.

Michael Reichert
Retiring board member


Stepping off Equimundo’s Board after 6 years, I appreciate how much the organization has achieved – which gives all of us on the board the wonderful lift of contributing successfully to work we care deeply about.

Once I realized I would be raising two sons, advocating for healthier lives for men became my life’s work. Developmental science has always been a guiding light for me and the chance to shine it on boys and boyhood has been deeply satisfying. I do lots of things on behalf of that commitment, but my partnership with Equimundo provides a large, global context to those initiatives. The organization’s wholehearted embrace of gender equality means Equimundo goes to places few organizations go, with a passion matched by rigor and savvy that is truly inspirational.

I have tried to hold out the essential goodness of boys and men, even as we must look at the harm they do – especially now, in times of resurgent male supremacy. Our responsibility to build a boyhood that matches boys’ humanity is central for the world we hope to create, an understanding at the heart of Equimundo’s Global Boyhood Initiative. I enjoyed partnering with Caroline Hayes and others on the GBI team to draft a forthcoming Making the Connections paper. Now, with the State of American Men study and the campaign being built around its findings, we are extending a powerful developmental perspective to the lives of younger men. I’ve learned that these are complicated, difficult aspirations whose time may have come.

Ron LeGrand
Retiring board member

During my last tenure on Capitol Hill with the House Judiciary Committee, I served as the lead Democratic staffer working on the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which was signed into law by President Obama. In the course of working on that legislation, I met with advocates and survivors as well as family members of victims. I learned more than I ever thought I knew and witnessed the anguish of those who shared their tragic experiences. As I convened meetings with them, I observed that if there were 30 or 40 people in the room, I was often the only man. When I inquired about the absence of men the common response was, “Men tend to regard this as a ‘woman’s issue’”. I knew that nothing could be further from the truth. At that point, I became an advocate against gender-based violence and decided to dedicate my remaining years to educating men about the topic and how they could make a positive difference.

In 2015, as a father of six sons, I attended a briefing on the State of the World’s Fathers, and I wanted to be more involved. The message of responsible and involved fatherhood resonated with me and is consistent with my teachings to my sons to be present, involved fathers and equal partners. Equimundo’s advocacy for gender equity is consistent with my personal and lifelong beliefs in the equality of all persons, regardless of gender.

Serving on Equimundo’s Board has allowed me to add to my knowledge and skills as I’ve spoken publicly to various organizations and to men’s organizations in particular, always referencing Equimundo as my trusted resource.

Equimundo has added to my knowledge in all aspects of its work and enabled me to draw on its work as a research-based resource for my writing and public speaking engagements. On a more personal level, I drew on my board service as a lifeline in dealing with my experience of domestic violence and abuse a year ago. I will also be forever indebted to Equimundo for its support as I cared for my mom who passed away at 99 years old in April, 2023.

Brian Malte
New board member

Joining Equimundo’s board of directors is very meaningful to me. As a father of two twenty-something young men, I have tried to model care and empathy as healthy masculine traits. While I believe I have done a pretty good job, my boys are often influenced by their male peers, entertainers and athletes–some of whom push harmful and violent narratives of what it means to be a man in today’s society. Parents can only do so much and I appreciate Equimundo for their work to help us shape a more caring and nurturing society for my boys and all men around the world.

I am very much looking forward to exploring partnerships with the gun violence prevention movement (including my organization, the Hope and Heal Fund) and Equimundo, where we can work on addressing violent imagery and dangerous narratives that exist wherever men turn, such as movies, sports, video games, and music lyrics which all play to the violent side of being a man, often depicting men “settling” differences using firearms.

Shruthi Jayaram
New board member

I’m honored to be on the Equimundo board. Supporting men and boys in navigating issues of their own identity is, in my view, critical if we are serious about moving towards gender equality and universal enjoyment of human rights.  It is a growing component of our own work at Dalberg as well. I know so many men – including in my own family – who need the support offered by Equimundo and could benefit from the policies they advocate for. And peaceful and prosperous men to me also mean peaceful and prosperous homes and childhoods, which ultimately means a more peaceful and prosperous world. It’s not easy and there are real tradeoffs in this work, but I think it is critical.

I’m very much looking forward to getting to know Equimundo’s talented team and my fellow board members better. I’m also really looking forward to learning more deeply from their work, and to bring the best of our work at Dalberg to their attention as well. I’m excited about the planned expansion of their US portfolio – advancing justice, equity, mobility in the US is a big professional focus of mine. Plus, speaking as a concerned citizen about the state of men and boys in our country, we need their expertise and wisdom here more than ever.

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