Stories power change. Stories change power.

p.h. balanced films is creating a world where important stories are told by the communities who know them best.


(Click to see/hide bios)
Piper Hendricks, Esq
Niyati Shah
Theresa Harris, Esq
After graduating from the University of Michigan law school, Piper’s legal career – and passion for human rights matters – began with an internship at the Arias Foundation and later the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica. She then returned to the United States where she enjoyed over two years at the Washington, D.C. office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP before serving as a judicial clerk in the Southern District of Florida. Piper then returned to D.C. to become the International Justice Project Director at The World Organization for Human Rights USA, where she managed accountability cases and oversaw impact litigation, coalition building, media strategy, and policies for raising public awareness. Piper then moved to the International Rights Advocates, where she continued litigating human rights matters.

After years of litigating before an “audience” of judges and opposing counsel, Piper decided to share the stories she saw in human rights cases through film and reach the public at-large. To do so, she founded p.h. balanced films. Her goal:  raise awareness of how each and every one of us are linked to global supply chains and how we can ensure human rights are respected in the making of the products we use. When she isn’t working on film, Piper is a legal consultant and remains active in the legal community. She currently serves on the Board of the Washington Foreign Law Society and recently completed a three-year term as the Chair of the D.C. Bar Association’s Immigration & Human Rights Committee.
Born in Ohio, as a first-generation South Asian, Niyati fondly remembers traveling to India throughout her childhood. After completing her undergraduate degree in Communications at the University of Cincinnati, Niyati earned a graduate certificate in Historical Documentary Filmmaking from George Washington University and produced a collaborative local film about religion in the Washington region. Niyati then worked for nearly seven years at Discovery Channel as a producer for the International Networks, creating and managing over 100 programs in 35 languages worldwide. There, she directed and created knowledge sharing tools between domestic and international departments and corporate clients, ensuring timely and on-budget development, production and delivery of original commissions and co-productions.

In 2010, she independently directed and edited short films in Ghana illustrating innovative development projects aimed at alleviating poverty. She was awarded the Women of Vision Scholarship and an Organization of American States fellowship in film and gender, respectively. Most recently, Niyati completed her Master’s degree in International Development/Conflict Management at Johns Hopkins University (SAIS).

Niyati is currently working on a short film for the Payment Systems Development Group at the World Bank. As the Director, Producer, Writer and Supervisor of the project, Niyati’s work aims to increase consumer awareness and conduct basic research among key stakeholders and culminates in documentary film on experiences in sending remittances and recommendations for improvement of the process.
Before moving to her current position at the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science), Theresa served as the Executive Director of Human Rights USA, where she built on years of human rights activism and community organizing. Theresa has been a dedicated volunteer with Amnesty International, coordinating AI USA’s Middle East Regional Action Network. Theresa has done outreach and publicity as a volunteer for the Florida Center for Survivors of Torture, and taught English to refugees in Florida through Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program. Theresa served for several years as a member of the board of directors of Amnesty International USA and a member of OMCT’s governing body (General Assembly).

Theresa received her J.D. from American University Washington College of Law, where she was a Public Interest/Public Service Scholar, an editor for the Human Rights Brief, and a member of the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law Student Advisory Board.  She holds a Master of Science in Planning from the University of Tennessee and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology.
Sara Murphy
John Rafferty, Esq
Sara began her career working for NGOs in the international development and disaster response fields. She had an epiphany one day, and thought she had invented the concept of ethical investing. While initially disappointed that others had thought of this long ago, she was fortunate to be able to enter the humming field of Sustainable and Responsible Investment (SRI). With the exception of a few years as an environmental consultant, she has never looked back. Her first job in the SRI field was with a Washington, DC-based research firm, where she conducted social and environmental analysis of publicly traded companies. From there, Sara moved to Europe to work as a senior sustainability analyst for a large SRI fund management team. Now back in Washington, DC, Sara is an independent writer and analyst, focusing on sustainability issues that are material to investors and consumers. Her primary clients include The Motley Fool and The Sustainable Investments Institute.

Sara holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia in French and Spanish, and a Master of Arts degree from George Mason University in Economics. Sara grew up in Asia and Africa, and has had the misfortune of observing first hand the direct and indirect effects of companies’ human rights abuses. Her hope is that, in some small way, her work can make such abuses a thing of the past.
After graduating law school in 2012, John received the SuperLawyers Pro-Bono Award for his dedication to combatting human trafficking. John then studied the scope of sex and labor trafficking as a Fulbright Fellow in Ecuador and now works in Philadelphia, representing victims of labor trafficking. John's creativity extends to film creation, website development and event photography. John formerly lived in Japan and Bahrain as a Naval Officer. John's experience with exploited migrant workers in the Arabian Gulf prompted him to leave military service and begin a path that would allow him to become a voice for exploited and enslaved workers around the globe.
Since our founding, p.h. balanced films has been incredibly fortunate to work with a variety of talented researchers, writers, videographers, editors and many others who have gone on to exciting and meaningful careers after their internship or fellowship with us. We are forever grateful for the contributions of:

Dominique Amri,  Rebecca Ballard,  Madison Detwiler,  Mary Donovan,  Tahirah Green,  Kate Holtermann,  Aiden Korotkin,   Rachel Pafe,  Anna Rohwer,   Erin Florence Dean, Jason Gaines,  Caroline Godfrey,  Molly Knight,  Franny Mestrich, Kate Ryan, Jason Schulman, Lindsey Sitz,  Betsy Walters, Cassandra Waters, Katie Zombo
We look forward to introducing you to the graduates of our pilot session later this year.
We are currently inviting mentors to match with our inaugural graduate class. If you are interested in serving as a mentor, contact us below or at


This fall, we are piloting innovative programming in Nepal.

Join our journey in the months ahead.

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The application period for our pilot session in Nepal opens
September 1, 2017.


There is growing recognition that when women succeed, their communities succeed. As Jessica Chastain recently noted, “We need more diversity. We’re not telling the stories of many, we’re telling the stories of few.” 

Our knowledge exchange and mentorship programs address that need.


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Copyright © 2017 p.h. balanced films | Based in Washington, D.C.