Jennifer Lentfer

Director of Communications, Thousand Currents

Jennifer Lentfer is a farm girl turned international aid worker. She is the Director of Communications at Thousand Currents, a California-based international grantmaker and is the creator of the blog, She was named as one of Foreign Policy Magazine's "100 women to follow on Twitter” at @intldogooder

Jennifer is constantly looking for ways to portray the realities of people’s lives, their struggles, their strengths – as well as outsiders’ roles and mistakes – in an impatient, “silver bullet solutions” world. A book which she co-edited, Smart Risks: How small grants are helping to solve some of the world’s biggest problems, came out in 2017 and features the growing community of grantmakers that find and fund visionary grassroots leaders around the world. With her students at Georgetown University in 2014, she published “The Development Element: Guidelines for the future of communicating about the end of global poverty.”

Lentfer has worked with over 300 grassroots organizations in east and southern Africa over the past decade. She has served with Oxfam, Catholic Relief Services, American Red Cross, UNICEF, and Firelight Foundation, where she focused on organizational development and learning. 

Today she works to place community-driven initiatives and grassroots movements at the forefront of international aid, philanthropy, and social enterprise. It’s no wonder, given that her hometown of Bruning, Nebraska, USA has a population of just 248 people.