aba Brelvi joined the staff of TCWF in
February as a program director. She
oversees the Foundation’s grantmaking
in the issues of diversity in the health
professions and women’s health.
In her position, she reviews and evaluates letters
of interest and grant proposals; prepares funding
recommendations for approval by the Foundation’s
Board of Directors; serves as liaison between TCWF
and Grantees, grantseekers and other foundations;
and monitors grant progress.
“Doing site visits is one of the best parts of my
job,” Brelvi said. “It’s a privilege to witness the
great work being done around the state to improve
Brelvi’s family is from India. She was born in the
United States but was raised mostly in the Middle
East. She holds a bachelor’s degree in community
health from Brown University and a master’s degree
in public health from Johns Hopkins School of
Public Health. Her commitment to social justice and
equality was instilled at an early age.
“I’m Muslim and was raised with the
understanding that Islam has a strong dimension
of social justice,” Brelvi said. “My family in India
was deeply involved in the Indian independence
movement, which is obviously connected to human
rights and social justice.
“The components of public health that I find
most interesting and compelling, and why I like
working in the field, are really about working to
ensure that everyone, regardless of who they are and
where they’re from, has equal access to high-quality
health care, to good food, to clean air – essentially,
working to see that everyone has an equal chance to
be healthy, which we all know isn’t currently the case.”
After completing graduate school, Brelvi
worked as a research and program associate with
Grantmakers In Health, a foundation affinity group
that represents TCWF and other health foundations.
She became familiar with TCWF through that
position. Most recently, she was director of health
services for Huckleberry Youth Programs in
“Before I started at the Foundation, I was
working at a community-based clinic,” Brelvi said.
“I know firsthand how important core operating
support grants can be to cover everyday costs – the
administrative assistant’s salary, the increase in rent
– because many other funders won’t cover those
kinds of expenses. It’s really satisfying to be able to
tell grantseekers that they don’t have to develop
new programs to qualify for funding – that TCWF
recognizes and values what they’re already doing.”
Brelvi works in the Foundation’s San Francisco
office. She lives in the Inner Richmond neighborhood,
near Golden Gate Park.
“I spend my free time trying to be the world’s
greatest aunt to my new nephew, reading cookbooks
and watching the Food Network,” she said.