Maile M. Zambuto joined the Joyful Heart Foundation as its Executive Director in 2008 and was named Chief Executive Officer in 2011. Founded by Mariska Hargitay in 2004, the mission of the Joyful Heart Foundation is to transform society’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, support survivors’ healing, and end this violence forever.
Born and raised in Honolulu, Maile attended Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles before returning home to pursue what would become her life’s work—advocating for survivors of violence and abuse. She served in leadership with the Junior League of Honolulu and the Children’s Justice Center, where she helped create self-empowerment programs for sexually abused girls. In 1999, she moved to New York City to pursue her career and spent more than a decade at Safe Horizon, the nation’s largest victim assistance organization, where she became the Chief Development and Marketing Officer. There, she led development campaigns to build child advocacy centers and expand domestic violence shelters throughout New York City, as well as prevention campaigns including Hope Shining, a national child abuse prevention campaign, and SafeWork, a workplace domestic violence program.
Her current focus as the CEO of the Joyful Heart Foundation is driving the sustainable growth of its expanded program portfolio in three areas: Healing, Education and Advocacy. Maile also serves on the National Advisory Committee for the Los Angeles-based organization Peace Over Violence, on the Board of Directors of a CALL TO MEN, a national organization dedicated to engaging men in ending violence against women and girls, and on the Executive Committee of NO MORE, the national awareness and engagement campaign to end domestic violence and sexual assault. Maile is a recipient of Women’s e-News’s 21 Leaders for the 21st Century and the Commissioner’s Child Advocacy Award from the NYC Administration for Children’s Services. A survivor herself, she speaks out and shares her story to both inspire healing and galvanize change to end violence and abuse. You can read her story on Joyful Heart’s website.