JESSIKA AVA (Founder and CEO Thrive Philanthropy)

Founder & CEO Thrive Philanthropy


Sneha’s Care is privileged to have Jessika Ava as a valuable advisor of Sneha’s Care, bringing a wealth of expertise and a decade-long commitment to international philanthropy, social justice, and animal welfare. Jessica is serving as the CEO and the Founder of Thrive Philanthropy, an organization aimed at breaking down funding opportunities and accessibility barriers to grassroots organizations outside the USA. With over a decade of experience in the non-USA social justice philanthropic sector, Jessika has focused on food systems change, veganism, and the One Health approach to Asian street animal welfare. Her academic background is diverse as she holds academic expertise in Biostatistics, Program Evaluation, and Nonprofit Management, Evolutionary Biology. She utilizes her qualitative knowledge and quantitative skillset to conduct meta-evaluations on grantmaking impact, contributing to evidence-based decision-making in philanthropy, and facilitating grassroots organizational growth, with a special emphasis on Global South and social justice organizations.

Previously, Jessika developed and led one of the world’s largest international vegan grantmaking and capacity funds, expanding the vegan food justice movement across 70+ countries, including historically neglected regions such as Africa, Southeast Asia, and non-English speaking areas.

In 2020, she launched the Africa Accelerator to enhance funding opportunities across Africa, employing an equity-based participatory co-design approach. This initiative resulted in increased financial and capacity support to over 100 Africa-based food systems organizations. Jessika is also involved in Africa Vegan Restaurant Week and is a co-founder of A Just World, an organization dedicated to strengthening food justice organizations in India.

Beyond her role in philanthropy, Jessika has a background as an Asian elephant conservation biologist in Northeast India. She also played a pivotal role in halting the entrance of India’s first intensive dairy factory farm.

Jessika is an accomplished international speaker and workshop leader, having presented at numerous conferences worldwide. She serves on the board of directors and advisory boards of multiple organizations. Additionally, she is the author of Brighter Green’s policy paper, “Beyond the Pail: The Emergence of Industrialized Dairy Systems in SE Asia.”

A tribal member of the Choctaw Nation, Jessika Ava is a Rockwood Leadership Equity in Philanthropy Fellow, Sloan Indigenous Scholar Fellow, and American Indian Graduate Fellow. She is deeply committed to the intersectionality of race and gender equity within the philanthropic space.

Jessika’s dedication to veganism is evident, having been vegan since 2007 and vegetarian since 1992. She divides her time between the USA and Nepal, actively engaging in philanthropic work and advisory roles. Additionally, she is involved with Sneha’s Care, contributing as a Program Evaluator, Organizational Development specialist, and mentor.

You can reach Jessika Ava at Her impact on the vegan, animal rights space is noteworthy, marking her as one of the first Native Americans to hold a leadership position in this domain.


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