Cleopatra Kambugu

Director of Programmes, The East African Sexual Health and Rights Initiative (UHAI EASHRI)


Cleopatra Kambugu, is a Ugandan transgender activist and grantmaker, blends an academic foundation in molecular biology and genetics with lived experiences as a transwoman in Uganda, enriching her insight into the societal layers of the HIV pandemic. Her pursuit of healthcare amidst Uganda's 2014 Anti-Homosexuality Bill features in the Netflix documentary "The Pearl of Africa."

Currently, Kambugu serves as the Director of Programmes at UHAI EASHRI, an indigenous activist fund supporting sexual and gender minorities and sex worker communities across seven East African countries since 2007. She passionately champions SRHR reforms, inclusive health initiatives, and trust-based philanthropy, emphasizing activist-centric participation.

Kambugu innovates in grantmaking, targeting communities marginalized from conventional funding. Her advisory roles, like her association with Transgender Europe's Trans Murder Monitoring project and a seat on the International Trans Fund board, along with her guidance to emerging funds, underscore her commitment to holistic advocacy.

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