Hawa Abdi, MD
Founder of the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation and HA Village
Called "equal parts Mother Teresa and Rambo" by Glamour magazine, Dr. Hawa Abdi is the founder of the Hawa Abdi hospital and camp where 100,000 Somalis, many of them refugees in their own country, receive food and medical care. Abdi studied medicine in Ukraine before returning home to become one of the first female gynecologists in Somalia. She graduated from law school at the Somali National University and opened a one-room clinic that later became the foundation that bears her name.
Photo: Martin Schoeller
Lynsey Addario has photographed conflict and humanitarian issues since 2000, when she traveled to Afghanistan to document life and oppression under the Taliban. Addario, who is based in New Delhi, India, has shot for The New York Times, National Geographic, and Time magazine in refugee camps and conflict zones across the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. Addario won a MacArthur Fellowship and was part of The New York Times team that won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting for her images in “Talibanistan.”
Shohreh Aghdashloo was born in Tehran and moved to England during the Iranian Revolution, and later became a citizen of the United States. She began acting at 18 with supporting roles in television and film, before acting in House of Sand and Fog, a performance that earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. In 2009, Aghdashloo won an Emmy for her role in House of Saddam. Most recently, she narrated the documentary Iranium, which explores the development of Iran’s nuclear threat.
Wajeha H. Al-Huwaider
Journalist and Activist
A noted Saudi journalist, writer, and women’s rights advocate, Wajeha H. Al-Huwaider was born and raised in Al-Hasa in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. During the last 10 years, she has launched several campaigns and attended many conferences on women’s issues and human rights issues. Al-Huwaider received the inaugural MEMRI Martin Luther King, Jr. Reformist Award, and is a member of the Human Rights Watch Advisory Committee for the Middle East and North Africa.
Madeleine K. Albright
Former Secretary of State, and Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group and Albright Capital Management, LLC
Madeleine K. Albright is chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm, and chair of Albright Capital Management LLC, an investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets. From 1993 to 1997, Albright was a member of President Clinton’s Cabinet and served as the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations. She was named the first female secretary of State in 1997, and became, at that time, the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. Albright chairs the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the Pew Global Attitudes Project, and is president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation.
Photo: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Author, Founder of the AHA Foundation
Born in Somalia as the daughter of a political adversary, Ayaan Hirsi Ali grew up in exile. She later struggled with Islamic principles regarding the oppression of women and, in 1992, escaped an arranged marriage by fleeing to the Netherlands, where she was granted asylum and eventually citizenship. While a member of the Dutch parliament from 2003 to 2006, her focus was on protecting the rights of women, which inspired her to establish the AHA Foundation. She is currently a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington and is the author of three books, most recently Nomad, the second volume of her autobiography.
Anchor, This Week With Christiane Amanpour
One of the world’s most renowned journalists, Christiane Amanpour is anchor of ABC’s Sunday morning political affairs program and also hosts primetime documentaries on international subjects. Until August 2010, she was the chief international correspondent and anchor of Amanpour on CNN. She has reported on and from the world’s major hotspots, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Somalia, and Israel. Amanpour has received every major broadcast award and was made a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for her “highly distinguished, innovative contribution” to journalism.
The Honorable Janet Bond Arterton,
United States District Judge
Janet Bond Arterton has served as a United States District judge for the District of Connecticut, sitting in New Haven, since 1995. In 2010 she participated in an in-country study of acid violence in Cambodia undertaken by Cornell Law School’s Avon Center for Women and Justice and continues to advise on the project. She currently serves on the Federal Judges Association board of directors. Arterton is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Northeastern University School of Law.
Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women
A renowned social and political activist, Michelle Bachelet most recently served as President of Chile from 2006 to 2010. In July, she was appointed as the first Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, which will lead, support and coordinate the United Nations’ work on gender equality and empowerment of women. Bachelet also served as Minister of Defense and Minister of Health for the Chilean government and is a longtime champion of women’s rights.
Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women
Cherie Blair is a leading barrister specializing in discrimination and human rights and a committed campaigner for women’s equality. Blair has spoken across the world on both issues and also on the need to improve the work/life balance for women and men. She is closely involved with over 20 charities with a special emphasis on those working with women, and children, and with those based in Merseyside, where she was born. In 2008, Cherie set up the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, which provides women in developing countries with business skills and tools to help them gain economic independence.
Photo: John Swannell
Michael R. Bloomberg
Mayor of the City of New York
Michael R. Bloomberg was elected the 108th Mayor of the City of New York in 2001. He is the founder of Bloomberg LP, a financial news and media company that now has offices in over 160 countries. Bloomberg attended Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Business School, and has two daughters, Emma and Georgina.
Honourable Emma Bonino
Vice Chair, Italian Senate
Since her election to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 1976, Emma Bonino has had a long and productive career working for human rights. From 2001 through 2004, Bonino was a visiting professor in Cairo supporting humanitarian issues in the Middle East and North Africa. Working with the government of Yemen and the NGO No Peace Without Justice, Bonino helped organize the Sana’a Regional Conference to inspire democracy in the Middle East and North Africa. Bonino has also campaigned for the ratification of the Maputo Protocol on Women’s rights in Africa and the abandonment of female genital mutilation.
Editor in Chief, Newsweek & The Daily Beast
Tina Brown’s journalism career began in 1973, when she started writing for the London Sunday Times, The New Statesman, and The Sunday Telegraph. Her revitalization of publications began at London’s Tatler, where circulation rose dramatically. Her tenure as editor of Vanity Fair from 1986-1992 increased circulation to 1.2 million, during which time the publication won four National Magazine Awards. She later became the first woman editor of The New Yorker. Subsequently, she hosted CNBC’s Topic A with Tina Brown and wrote the bestselling biography, The Diana Chronicles. In October of 2008, in partnership with Barry Diller and IAC, she launched The Daily Beast, named one of Time magazine’s Top 50 Websites of 2010. In 2011, The Daily Beast merged with Newsweek magazine. Today she is editor in chief of both.
Photo: Robert Caplin
Co-host, MSNBC's Morning Joe
A familiar face to fans of the news, Mika Brzezinski is seen on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Prior to joining MSNBC, Brzezinski was an anchor of the CBS Evening News Weekend Edition. She joined CBS News in 1997 as the anchor of CBS News Up to the Minute, but took a short hiatus in 2000 to co-host MSNBC’s weekday afternoon program Homepage. In September 2001, she returned to CBS to become their principal ground zero reporter after the terrorist attacks. Brzezinski published her bestselling memoir All Things at Once in January 2010.
A longtime social activist, Lydia Cacho founded a shelter for sexually exploited women and children in Cancun. In 2005, she wrote Los Demonios del Eden, in which she accused a hotel owner of child pornography and prostitution, and incriminated other Mexican politicians and businessmen for protecting the pedophile. Those denounced in her book targeted Cacho with violence; one sued and had her illegally arrested. She was freed when the United Nations Human Rights Council offered her political asylum. Cacho is currently a columnist at El Universal, Mexico’s main national newspaper.
Kathy Bushkin Calvin
CEO, United Nations Foundation
As chief executive officer of the United Nations Foundation, Kathy Bushkin Calvin helps build public-private partnerships to address the world's most pressing problems, and works to broaden support for the U.N. through advocacy and public outreach. Prior to joining the U.N. Foundation in 2003, Calvin served as president of the AOL Time Warner Foundation and led the company's corporate social responsibility initiatives. She joined America Online in 1997 as senior vice president and chief communications officer, following a career in politics, journalism, and public relations.
News Anchor, Good Morning America
In addition to anchoring ABC’s Good Morning America, Juju Chang is also an Emmy Award-winning correspondent for 20/20 and Nightline. She hosts Moms Get Real, a digital show for ABC News NOW, that cracks the façade of perfect mommyhood. Chang covered breaking news of the earthquake in Haiti and received an Emmy Award in 2010 for team coverage of the California wildfires. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a founding board member of the Korean American Community Foundation.
Student, A New Day Cambodia
Sokha Chen is a 16-year-old student living at A New Day Cambodia, an international non-profit organization located in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. When Chen’s parents died, the young girl ended up picking through the city garbage dump for food. She began living at ANDC in July 2007, and has since excelled in her studies. Chen attends 7th grade at Zaman International School, and is proof of what a talented young woman can do when given the opportunity.
Acid Attack Survivor, Cambodia
Yem Chhuon and her daughter Sophorn are survivors of a brutal acid attack in Cambodia that took place six years ago. At the time, Sophorn was 12 days old and is the youngest documented victim of acid violence, which has become increasingly common in Cambodia and often targets women. They have received extensive medical and rehabilitative care from Dr. Ebby Elahi, and support from the Virtue Foundation, Hagar International, the Children’s Surgical Center in Cambodia, and the Cambodian Acid Survivor's Charity.
John M. Duff, Jr. Professor of Law, Yale University
Amy Chua joined the Yale Law faculty in 2001. She is the acclaimed author of three books: World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability, a New York Times bestseller and Economist best book of the year; Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance—and Why They Fall; and Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, a riveting memoir of her attempt to raise her daughters according to strict child-rearing methods adopted from Chinese culture.
President Bill Clinton
Founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States
William Jefferson Clinton was the first Democratic president in six decades to be elected twice—first in 1992 and then in 1996. Under his leadership, the country enjoyed the strongest economy in a generation and the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, including the creation of more than 22 million jobs. After leaving the White House, President Clinton established the William J. Clinton Foundation with the mission to strengthen the capacity of people in the United States and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
After nearly four decades as a groundbreaking attorney, First Lady, and Senator, in January 2009, Hillary Rodham Clinton was sworn in as the country’s third female Secretary of State. She is a leading voice in global diplomacy and a passionate advocate for women and children’s rights. During her tenure as First Lady, Clinton became a champion for health-care reform and she and Madeleine K. Albright launched the Vital Voices Democracy Initiative. In 2000, Clinton became the first First Lady elected to the Senate, and the first female Senator to represent New York; in 2007, she began her historic bid for president.
Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations
In her numerous roles at the Council on Foreign Relations, Isobel Coleman focuses on the Middle East and South Asia. She is the director of the CFR’s Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative and the director of the Council’s Women and Foreign Policy Program. Her areas of expertise include democratization, civil society, and economic development, regional gender issues, educational reform, and microfinance. Coleman is the author and co-author of numerous publications, including the book Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women Are Transforming the Middle East.
Sharon Cooper, MD, FAAP
CEO, Developmental and Forensic Pediatrics, P.A.
Sharon Cooper is the CEO of Developmental and Forensic Pediatrics, P.A., a consulting firm that provides medical care for children with disabilities, and conducts research and training in child maltreatment cases. Cooper has also been a consultant to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, where she educates people about Internet crimes against children and sexual exploitation of youth. She serves on the board of numerous groups, including the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect and the International Association of Forensic Nurses.
Vice President, Geoscience, ExxonMobil Production Company
Pam Darwin is responsible for geological and geophysical operations for ExxonMobil's global portfolio of producing properties. She joined Exxon in 1984 and has held a number of management positions including vice president, Americas, ExxonMobil Exploration Company. Ms. Darwin has served on ExxonMobil's Women's Economic Opportunity Initiative Advisory Group, is a sponsor for ExxonMobil's Science Ambassador Program, is the Houston Area United Way Loaned Executive Chair and is on the Executive Board of Directors for the National Ocean Industries Association.
Anita L. DeFrantz
President, Member of Board of Directors, LA84 Foundation
Anita DeFrantz began her long history with sports by competing nationally as a rower in 1975, while studying for a law degree at the University of Pennsylvania. DeFrantz participated in the 1976 Olympic Games, where she was awarded a bronze medal, and the 1978 World Championships, where she received a silver medal. She is a member of the International Olympic Committee, and in 1997 became the committee’s first female vice president. DeFrantz is currently president of the LA84 Foundation, which manages Southern California’s endowment from the 1984 Olympic Games.
Designer and CEO, VeVe Collections
Phelicia Dell is a rising talent from Haiti. She began working on her clothing line, VeVe, and joined Femmes en Democratie, the Vital Voices chapter in Haiti after the kidnapping and death of her husband. After designing a few handbag samples, she participated in the 2008 Vital Voices summit in Argentina and, last year, won the Diane von Furstenberg handbag competition, which challenged designers from Haiti, Guatemala, Nigeria, and Cambodia to create a handbag reflective of their country’s local traditions, based on a DVF pattern.
President and CEO, eBay Inc.
As president and CEO of eBay Inc., John Donahoe has redefined the company as a global e-commerce leader through a strong focus on innovation and customers. Under his watch, the company has aggressively grown payments businesses worldwide and made major strides in reinvigorating its core marketplace business. Donahoe joined the company in 2005 as president of eBay Marketplaces before becoming CEO in 2008. During this three-year period, revenue and profit for the division doubled. In 2010, Donahoe was appointed to serve on President Obama’s White House Council for Community Solutions.
President, Echoing Green
As president of Echoing Green, Cheryl Dorsey finds the next generation of talent to solve the world’s biggest problems. After co-founding a community-based mobile health unit in Boston, Dorsey was selected to launch the Echoing Green Fellowship program and lead the global social venture fund, which has awarded nearly $30 million in capital to 500 social entrepreneurs. She has also served as a White House fellow and special assistant to the U.S. secretary of Labor.
Managing Editor, Middle East and Africa, Reuters
Caroline Drees has worked for Reuters as a reporter, editor, and manager across the Middle East, Europe, and the United States for more than 15 years. Currently the global news agency’s managing editor for the Middle East and Africa, Drees has recently served as Middle East editor, bureau chief for Egypt, and she ran a collaborative project between Reuters and the UNDP to launch Iraq’s first independent news agency
Dr. Nawal El Saadawi
Writer, Activist, Physician, and Psychiatrist
Author Nawal El Saadawi is one of the most widely translated Egyptian contemporary writers. Her books are known for their bold statements against persecution of Arab women, addressing such subjects as genital mutilation and prostitution, and she has faced prison, death threats, and exile because of her writing. In 1982, she founded the Arab Women’s Solidarity Association, where she remains president. El Saadawi’s achievements have earned her numerous awards, including the International Writer of the Year award from the International Biographical Centre.
Dr. Ebby Elahi
Surgeon and Director, The Virtue Foundation
Dr. Ebby Elahi is a surgeon and the director of Fifth Avenue Eye Associates, and is an associate clinical professor of ophthalmology and global health at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. A world-famous oculoplastic and reconstructive surgeon, Elahi is also an impassioned philanthropist. He serves as director of global health at the Virtue Foundation, an international NGO that focuses on sustainable development through health care, education, and empowerment initiatives, and has led medical missions around the world.
Sir Harold Evans
Author, Editor at Large, The Week
Sir Harold Evans is an editor and author of two critically acclaimed, bestselling histories of America: The American Century and They Made America. His most recent book is a memoir, My Paper Chase, which covers his early life, his years as a leader in Britain's newspaper industry—as editor of London’s Sunday Times and The Times—and his "second act" in America, during which he founded Condé Nast Traveler and was president of Random House. In 2004, the queen knighted him for his contributions to journalism. Evans is editor at large of The Week, and moderates the magazine’s panel discussions with political and economic leaders.
Founder and CEO of Bajalia International and Bajalia Trading Company
Debbie Farah is a Social Entrepreneur. As a Palestinian-American, she is keenly aware of violence to women and justice issues. She is CEO-founder of Bajalia International Group and Bajalia Trading Company. The two companies are a collaboration of for-profit and non-profit based in Winter Park, Fla., working in 22 countries around the globe. Bajalia designs and distributes designer quality products assisting women globally to compete in an international market and become self sustaining. Over 70% of the international companies and workforce are women in emerging economies. While the for profit leads sales and marketing efforts the non-profit excels in entrepreneurial training and development workshops, while incubating businesses. On March 8 2011, International Women’s Day, Bajalia launched a handcrafted jewelry line on HSN.
Melinda French Gates
Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Melinda French Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she shapes and approves foundation strategies and advocates for the foundation's priorities, with a special focus on the wellbeing of women and children in the developing world. After joining Microsoft Corp. in 1987, Gates distinguished herself as a leader in the development of many of the company’s multimedia projects. In 1996, she retired as Microsoft’s general manager of information products, and began to focus on philanthropic efforts with her husband, Microsoft owner Bill Gates.
Photo: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Director, Women’s Rights Division, Human Rights Watch
Liesl Gerntholtz is an expert on women's rights in Africa, and has worked and written extensively on violence against women and HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa. Her work at Human Rights Watch has included documenting access to safe and legal abortion in Ireland and sexual and gender-based violence in Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake. Before joining Human Rights Watch, Gerntholtz worked for some of the key constitutional institutions promoting human rights and democracy in a post-apartheid South Africa, including the South African Human Rights Commission and the Commission on Gender Equality. A lawyer by training, she was involved in high-profile, strategic human rights litigation to promote women and children's rights, including a case that changed the definition of rape in South Africa.
United States Senator, New York
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has made her presence felt in Washington, helping lead the fight to repeal "Don't Ask Don't Tell," and passing legislation to provide health care for the 9/11 first responders that are sick from toxins at ground zero. The New York Times called Gillibrand's commitment to promoting transparency in Congress a "quiet touch of revolution,” and The Sunlight Foundation, the leading advocacy organization dedicated to openness in government, praises Gillibrand as a “pioneer” for her work.
Special Correspondent, Style and Culture, Newsweek & The Daily Beast
Widely hailed for her writing, Robin Givhan began her career as fashion editor at The Washington Post, where she covered the news, trends, and business of the international fashion industry. In 2009, she began covering Michelle Obama and the cultural and social shifts stirred by the first African-American family in the White House. She is the author, along with The Washington Post photo staff, of Michelle: Her First Year as First Lady. In 2006, she won the Pulitzer Prize in criticism for her fashion coverage. In 2011, she joined Newsweek & The Daily Beast.
Photo: Helayne Seidman
Senior Fellow, The New America Foundation
Eliza Griswold a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, received a 2010 Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. A 2007 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, she was awarded the first Robert I. Friedman Award for investigative reporting and the 2010 Lukas prize for her New York Times Best-selling book, The Tenth Parallel (FSG, 2010). Her reportage and poetry has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, among many others. She is the author of a poetry collection Wideawake Field (2007), and is at work a second collection also forthcoming from FSG. Her new book, Allegheny County, The Story of America's Crumbling Infrastructure will be published by FSG in 2013.
Dr. Amy Gutmann
President of the University of Pennsylvania
Since becoming the eighth president of the University of Pennsylvania in 2004, Amy Gutmann has raised $3 billion for the university, more than all previous fundraising campaigns combined. She has dramatically increased financial aid, replacing loans with grants for undergraduates, and has expanded Penn’s global partnerships. An eminent political philosopher, Gutmann has written extensively on ethics and public policy, democracy, and education. She serves as President Obama’s chair of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues and was previously provost at Princeton University.
Creator/Founding Editor, Jezebel.com
Anna Holmes is a writer and editor based in New York. The author of the 2003 book HELL HATH NO FURY (Ballantine) and the upcoming BOOK OF JEZEBEL (Grand Central Publishing, 2012), her work has appeared in such publications as the New York Times, InStyle, The New York Observer, Sports Illustrated, Glamour, Harper's, New York Magazine and Entertainment Weekly. In 2007 she created Jezebel.com, a website covering pop culture and politics that revolutionized online media for women and won numerous awards and accolades during her tenure. In 2010, after 3 1/2 years at the helm, she stepped down as Jezebel Editor in Chief to focus on branding projects for the website, freelance writing projects and travel.
Co-Founder and Editor in Chief, The Huffington Post
Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post, a nationally syndicated columnist, and author of 13 books. She is a frequent guest on television shows such as Charlie Rose, The Daily Show, The Rachel Maddow Show, and The Tonight Show. She was named to the Time 100, Time magazine's list of the world's 100 most influential people, and to the Financial Times list of 50 people who shaped the decade.
Activist and Actress
Renowned actress Ashley Judd has made as much of an impact on social and gender inequality as she has on Hollywood. Judd joined PSI (Population Services International) as a board member in 2004 after serving as the nonprofit organization’s global ambassador for its HIV education and prevention program (YouthAIDS) since 2002. In her work in countries such as El Salvador, Cambodia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Judd has brought awareness to gender inequality and poverty alleviation. Most recently, Judd served as a panelist at the Clinton Global Initiative to discuss the issues of safe water and the empowerment of girls in the developing world.
Retired Portland Police Sergeant
After over 29 years of working in law enforcement, Doug Justus has covered all areas of the field, from misdemeanors to homicide, for the city of Portland, Oregon. He has arrested over 1,200 suspects and written over 2,800 reports, and also was assigned to the Federal Human Trafficking Task Force. He worked on two missions of Operation Cross Country, which involved coordinating with the FBI, to rescue juvenile victims of human trafficking.
Owner, Krishna Printernational
Divya Keshav became committed to empowering women after taking over her father’s business in 2008. As the owner of Krishna Printernational, a firm which manufactures labels for multiple industries, she enrolled in the “10,000 Women” program at the Indian School of Business to hone her management skills. In a male-dominated industry, Keshav has hired and promoted female employees within her company, which has increased its revenue by over 100 percent each year since she became owner.
Amy G. Lehman MD, MBA
Founder and Executive Director, Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic
While the Obama administration is working to provide universal health care for our nation, Dr. Amy Lehman is tackling the challenge at an international level. The founder of the Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic, whose mission is to address the problem of health-care access for isolated communities in the Great Lakes region of Central Africa, Lehman is also a board member of Seedling International and The New Prospect Foundation.
Beijing Bureau Chief, Newsweek & The Daily Beast
Veteran foreign correspondent Melinda Liu has covered China for much of her career, reporting firsthand not only on the Tiananmen Square crackdown, but also on the fall of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, Afghan conflicts and the ouster of the Taliban, the Persian Gulf War, and U.S. military interventions in Somalia and Haiti. Liu received the 2006 Shorenstein Journalism Award in recognition of her body of reporting on Asia, and is currently Beijing bureau chief for Newsweek & The Daily Beast.
Matriarch, Umoja Uaso Women’s Village
Rebecca Lolosoli founded a safe haven for women, as well as a training center to promote human rights and economic development in Kenya. After witnessing traditions that forced women to endure abuse, she spoke out on behalf of victims of rape, forced marriage, female genital cutting, as well as widows and orphans, and gathered 16 survivors to create Umoja Uaso Women’s Village. The women provide for their children and themselves through the sale of beaded jewelry and crafts, and have established a sickness and disability fund, community center, and school.
Chairman, Gilt Groupe
Susan Lyne serves as Chairman of Gilt Groupe. She joined the company as Chief Executive Officer in September 2008, less than a year after Gilt’s launch as a women’s apparel and accessories business. Today the company has over three million members, 500 employees and operates six distinct business lines in the U.S., as well as the leading flash sale site in Japan. Prior to joining Gilt, Lyne served as President and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO), where she steered the company’s recovery and return to profitability by a three-fold increase in advertising revenue and the diversification of its merchandising business. Before joining MSLO, Lyne spent eight years at Disney/ABC, rising to President of ABC Entertainment where she oversaw the development of shows such as Desperate Housewives, Lost, and Grey's Anatomy.
Co-Anchor Nightline, ABC News
For the past 16 years, Cynthia McFadden has traveled the world reporting for ABC News. She was named co-anchor of ABC News Nightline in 1994, and has focused much of her investigative work on human rights, particularly on injustices oppressing women and children. McFadden became co-anchor of ABC’s Primetime in 2007 and has earned many of broadcasting’s most coveted awards, including an Emmy, Peabody, Dupont, and Foreign Press Award. A graduate of the Columbia University School of Law, she is also known for her incisive reporting on a wide range of legal topics.
Counselor and Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
Ms. Cheryl Mills serves the Secretary as a special advisor on major foreign policy challenges and provides guidance to department bureaus with respect to such matters. She established the Department’s interagency global hunger and food security initiative and leads the Department’s diplomacy and development efforts in Haiti. From 2002 to 2009, Ms. Mills served as Senior Vice President at New York University. From 1999 to 2001, she was Senior Vice President for Corporate Policy and Public Programming at Oxygen Media. During the Clinton Administration, Ms. Mills was Deputy Counsel to the President at the White House. Prior to her White House appointment she was an associate at the law firm of Hogan and Hartson, where she represented various school districts seeking to implement the promises of Brown v. Board of Education. Ms. Mills received her Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School, where she was elected to the Stanford Law Review. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
President and CEO, The Paley Center for Media
From network correspondent to documentary producer to network executive to President/CEO of PBS, Pat Mitchell’s career is characterized by her focus on media as a powerful force for social change. Her work has been recognized with 44 Emmy Awards, five Peabodys, and two Academy Award nominations. Mitchell has received numerous honors, including the Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Leadership, the Women in Cable and Telecommunications Woman of the Year award, and she was also a 2008 Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame honoree.
Dr. Deqo Mohamed
OB-GYN, Doctor at Hawa Abdi Hospital
Dr. Deqo Mohamed spends half the year studying in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and the other half in Somalia, working at the private hospital and camp founded by her mother, Dr. Hawa Abdi. Mohamed went to medical school in Moscow. During the 10 years it took to earn her degree, she spent her summer vacations volunteering at her mother’s hospital, offering treatment, clean water, and food to patients. Mohamed came to America as a refugee in 2003 and earned her citizenship in 2008.
Photo: Martin Schoeller
Author and Activist
An award-winning author, feminist leader, political analyst, journalist, and editor, Robin Morgan has published more than 20 books, including the now-classic anthologies Sisterhood Is Powerful, Sisterhood Is Global, and Sisterhood Is Forever. A founder of contemporary U.S. feminism, she has also been a leader in the international women’s movement for 25 years, founding or co-founding numerous feminist organizations, including The Sisterhood Is Global Institute, www.GloablSister.org and The Women’s Media Center. In 1990, as Editor in Chief of Ms, she relaunched the magazine as an international, award-winning bimonthly free of advertising, resigning in 1993 to become Consulting Global Editor. She is a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Prize (Poetry), the Front Page Award for Distinguished Journalism, the Feminist Majority Foundation Award, and a host of other honors.
Wendi Deng Murdoch
Co-CEO of Big Feet Productions
Wendi Deng Murdoch is a businesswoman and co-CEO of Big Feet Productions, a film production company launched in 2008. She is currently producing the feature film Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, based on the 2005 bestselling novel. Prior to forming her production company, Murdoch provided strategic counsel to Myspace China, the groundbreaking social networking site. She is married to Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corporation, and the couple has two children.
Barbie Latza Nadeau
Italy Correspondent, Newsweek & The Daily Beast
Barbie Latza Nadeau is author of the Beast Book Angel Face: The True Story of Student Killer Amanda Knox. She has reported from Italy for Newsweek Magazine since 1997 and for The Daily Beast since 2009, covering crime, culture, politics, travel and The Vatican. Nadeau is a frequent contributor to CNN Traveller, Departures, Discovery and Grazia, and appears regularly on CNN, BBC and NPR.
Co-Founder and Coordinator, AFEM/SK
Chouchou Namegabe risks her life as a female journalist to raise international awareness of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s rape crisis. In 1997, Namegabe began working for a radio station, determined to use media to fight injustice, and rose to become a staff journalist and producer. She launched a show that aired testimonies of rape survivors, and in 2008, Namegabe became the coordinator of South Kivu Women’s Media Association (AFEM). She has received the Fern Holland Award from the Vital Voices Global Partnership for giving a voice to female victims.
President and CEO, Vital Voices Global Partnership
A co-founder of Vital Voices, Alyse Nelson has worked for the organization for 13 years, serving as vice president and senior director of programs. She has worked with women leaders to develop training programs and international forums in over 120 countries and has interviewed more than 200 international leaders. In addition, Nelson served as deputy director of the Vital Voices Global Democracy Initiative at the U.S. Department of State and worked with the president’s Interagency Council on Women at the White House.
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Managing Director, World Bank
Overseeing the World Bank’s operations in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, South Asia, and Africa, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has led efforts to refurbish countries afflicted by food, fuel, and financial crises, and recently chaired a replenishment of $49.3 billion toward grants and loans for the world’s poorest countries. Okonjo-Iweala also served as finance minister and foreign affairs minister of Nigeria. She is the founder of Nigeria’s first indigenous opinion research organization, and as chair of the Nelson Mandela Institute, co-founded the African Institutes of Science and Technology.
Photo: Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank
Dina Habib Powell
President Goldman Sachs Foundation, Managing Director and Global Head of Corporate Engagement Dina Habib Powell serves as president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation and global head of corporate engagement. The foundation seeks to foster economic growth and opportunity through programs offering business education, access to capital, mentors, and networks to small business owners in the U.S. and women entrepreneurs around the world. Powell also serves as president of Goldman Sachs Gives, a firm donor-advised fund. Previously, she served as assistant secretary of State for educational and cultural affairs and assistant to the president for presidential personnel in the White House.
Honorable Jeanine Pirro
TV Host, former District Attorney, & Judge
Jeanine Pirro is a highly respected former District Attorney and county judge, elected politician, sought-after legal commentator, author, champion of women’s rights, and mother of two. She brings her many years of professional and life experience to the daytime television court genre to her Emmy nominated TV court show "Judge Pirro." Judge Pirro is also the host of the Fox News Channel's "Justice with Judge Jeanine" which premiered in January 2011. Pirro received considerable recognition for starting one of the nation's first domestic violence units as well as internet pedophile sting operations.
Activist and Actor
The daughter of legendary actors Michele Placido and Simonetta Stefanelli, Violante Placido made her feature film debut in Enza Negroni’s Jack Frusciante è uscito dal gruppo, adapted from the popular novel of the same name. She has since appeared in over two dozen movies, including Oliver Parker’s Fade to Black, and has been nominated for numerous awards including the prestigious David di Donatello Award and The Silver Ribbon Award by the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists. At the 2002 Venice International Film Festival, she and Valentina Cervi shared the Wella Prize for their performance in Sergio Rubini’s L’anima gemella, and six years later, Placido took home the Kinéo Prize for her performance in Claudio Cupellini’s Lezioni di Cioccolato. A passionate musician, Placido released an album of self-penned songs entitled Don’t Be Shy in 2006, and in 2011, released a new duet with M.E. Giovanardi - an Italian adaptation of Sonny and Cher’s famous single, Bang Bang. She is currently working on songs for a new album.
Former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser; Professor of Political Economy at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business
One of the most influential women in the world of global politics, Condoleezza Rice served as secretary of state and national security adviser under President George W. Bush and played a crucial role in developing U.S. foreign policy when America went to war. Rice is the author of several books, most recently Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family, which chronicles her experience growing up in race-torn Alabama in the 1950s. Rice serves on the boards of C3, Makena Capital, the Commonwealth Club, The Aspen Institute, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. She is currently a professor of political science at Stanford and is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.
ABC News Correspondent, 20/20
Deborah Roberts joined the ABC newsmagazine 20/20 in June 1995, and reports regularly on a wide variety of stories for the newsmagazine program and World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer. Roberts has covered international news on the ground from all ends of the globe including Barcelona for the 1992 Summer Olympics, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait during the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War, and most recently from Africa on the HIV/AIDS crisis and orphans. She has received industry acclaim and recognition for work including an Emmy for her coverage of the CA wildfires, a Clarion award for her coverage of abuse within the Amish community, and another Emmy for her emotional, in-depth reporting on an Ethiopian American woman’s journey back to Africa to find her mother.
President, Rockefeller Foundation
Dr. Judith Rodin has been president of the Rockefeller Foundation since 2005. The Foundation supports and shapes innovations to ensure that more people can access globalization’s benefits and strengthen resilience to risks. She was previously president of the University of Pennsylvania, the first woman to lead an Ivy League institution, and provost of Yale University. She is the author of numerous academic articles and books, her most recent being, The University & Urban Revival: Out of the Ivory Tower and Into the Streets.
Executive Editor and Anchor, Charlie Rose
Charlie Rose is executive editor and anchor of Charlie Rose, the nightly one-hour interview program that engages in one-on-one in-depth conversation and round table discussions about important issues of our time. Since 1991, Rose has done more in-depth hours with Nobel laureates, and extraordinary men and women of science, politics, art, business, sports, technology, literature, and entertainment than any other program in the world. These conversations have made him a cultural and intellectual curator of our time, providing accessible profiles of the people who influence our world and define the human story. He is a recipient of the Legion d’honneur from France in September 2010.
Malika Saada Saar
Founder and Executive Director, The Rebecca Project for Human Rights
While getting her M.A. in Education at Stanford, Malika Saada Saar taught public school in a poor, high-crime area, an experience that inspired her to become a political activist. She founded the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, a non-profit organization which advocates for public policy reform and justice for women whom society neglects. Saada Saar is founder of Crossing the River, a written and spoken word workshop for mothers in recovery from substance abuse. She is also on the board of directors for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and served on the Obama campaign’s Women Policy Committee.
Founder and CEO, Women for Women International
The founder and CEO of Women for Women International, Zainab Salbi is one of today’s leading philanthropists. Over its 17-year history, her humanitarian organization has distributed more than $89 million in direct aid and helped 271,000 female war survivors access social and economic opportunities. President Clinton honored Salbi for her work in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1993, and nominated her for Harper’s Bazaar 21st century heroines. She is the author of Between Two Worlds: Escape From Tyranny.
Chief Operating Officer, Facebook
As Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg oversees the firm's business operations including sales, marketing, business development, human resources, public policy, and communications. Sandberg was previously vice president of global online sales and operations at Google.She also helped launch the company's philanthropic arm. Sandberg also served as chief of staff for the United States Treasury Department under President Bill Clinton. Sheryl has been named one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business by Fortune and one of the 50 Women to Watch by The Wall Street Journal.
Author & Co-Founder, Girls Leadership Institute
Rachel Simmons is an internationally-renowned expert on girls, bullying and leadership development. She is the author of two New York Times bestsellers, Odd Girl Out and The Curse of the Good Girl. A Rhodes Scholar and co-founder of the Girls Leadership Institute, a national non-profit, Simmons develops workshops for girls and adults. She is also an advice columnist for Teen Vogue magazine and has been featured in Newsweek. You can find her at www.rachelsimmons.com.
Most Americans can remember where they were March 12, 2003 when the news broke that Elizabeth Smart had been recovered and was safely back with her family. Elizabeth’s captors had controlled her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape. Her abduction and recovery motivated parents, law enforcement, and leaders world-wide to focus on children’s safety, the vigilance of everyday people in finding missing children, and the belief that there is always hope, we can never stop searching for each and every missing child. Elizabeth is currently serving an LDS mission in France following her dream to share with others what has given her strength. During this past year she triumphantly testified before her captor and the world about the very private nightmare she suffered for nine months and how she determined to survive and continue her life after tragedy. Elizabeth will continue at Brigham Young University following her return studying music with an emphasis on harp performance. Elizabeth has become an advocate for change related to child abduction and recovery programs and legislation.
President, American Express OPEN
Since joining American Express in 1990, Susan Sobbott has largely contributed to the company’s growth. For the past four years, she has been the general manager of American Express’ second-largest business unit, OPEN, and has furthered its role as the leading card issuer for small businesses across the U.S. Under Sobbott’s leadership, OPEN has launched an array of innovative small business products and marketing initiatives. As a longtime advocate of female entrepreneurs, Sobbott’s efforts have earned her a number of awards.
Correspondent, 60 Minutes
Lesley Stahl has been an acclaimed 60 Minutes correspondent since 1991. Prior to joining the news program, Stahl served as CBS News White House correspondent during the Carter, Reagan, and George H. W. Bush presidencies. She also served as moderator of Face the Nation, on which she interviewed major U.S. officials, including George Bush and Dan Quayle. Stahl received a Lifetime Achievement Emmy in 2003, and an Emmy for her provocative "Punishing Saddam” report on 60 Minutes, which argued that the U.N.’s sanctions against Iraq were causing unjust suffering amongst Iraqi citizens, particularly children. Her autobiography Reporting Live recounts her experiences in Washington.
Since her first nomination for The Deer Hunter in 1978, Meryl Streep has been nominated for an unprecedented 16 Oscars, including her portrayal of Julia Child in Julie & Julia. She’s been honored for both her dramatic and comedic turns, for roles in films as diverse as Kramer vs. Kramer, Sophie’s Choice, Heartburn, Out of Africa, The Devil Wears Prada, and Doubt. She will next be seen in The Iron Lady, a film inspired by the events of Margaret Thatcher’s life.
Photo: Brigitte Lacombe
Editor in Chief, The Daily Dish
Andrew Sullivan was one of the pioneers of online journalism more than a decade ago. His blog, The Daily Dish, is currently found on The Atlantic.com, where his incisive and blunt observations about the news reach more than a million readers every month. Sullivan has written several books and in his most recent, The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It, How to Get It Back, Sullivan argues for a conservatism based on practical restraint, individual freedom, constitutional norms, and skepticism. He has written extensively on a wide range of issues from the crisis in the Catholic Church to the war in Iraq, civil liberties, and torture. In February 2011, it was announced that, from April, The Daily Dish will be moving to a new home–at Tina Brown’s Daily Beast website.
Co-Founder, International Civil Society Action Network for Women’s Peace and Security Sussan Tahmasebi is an Iranian women’s rights and civil society activist and co-founder of the One Million Signatures Campaign, which works to end gender-biased laws in the country and the Iran CSO’s Training and Research Center (ICTRC), focused on empowering civil society. Though Tahmasebi’s work in Iran has caused her to be arrested, interrogated, and subjected to home search, she has never ceased to advocate for women’s rights. In 2010, she was honored with Human Rights Watch’s Alison Des Forges Award for extraordinary activism.
U.S. Managing Editor, Financial Times
After a long tenure at the Financial Times, Gillian Tett is now U.S. managing editor, where she leads the paper’s editorial development and U.S. news on FT.com. The British Press Awards named her Journalist of the Year in 2009 and Business Journalist of the Year in 2008 for her consistently excellent work. She is the author of Saving the Sun: A Wall Street Gamble to Rescue Japan From Its Trillion Dollar Meltdown, and The New York Times bestseller, Fool’s Gold: How Unrestrained Greed Corrupted a Dream, Shattered Global Markets and Unleashed a Catastrophe.
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is deputy director of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Women and Foreign Policy program. She has spent the last five years reporting on women entrepreneurs in conflict and post-conflict regions, and her reports from Afghanistan have appeared in the Daily Beast, New York Times, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, and Christian Science Monitor. Her upcoming book, The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, which tells the story of a young Afghan entrepreneur whose business created jobs and hope for women in her neighborhood during the Taliban years, will be released March 15th by HarperCollins
Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues
Melanne Verveer is the first person to hold the position of ambassador at large for Global Women’s Issues, created by President Obama in 2009. As director of the State Department’s focus on global women’s issues, Verveer coordinates foreign policy issues and activities relating to the political, economic, and social advancement of women around the world. She most recently served as chair and co-CEO of the international nonprofit Vital Voices Global Partnership, and also held positions in the Clinton administration, and was chief assistant to then-First Lady Hillary Clinton in her activities to advance women’s rights and further social development.
Photo: Sharon Farmer
Diane von Furstenberg
Chairman and Founder, Diane von Furstenberg Studio L.P
Diane von Furstenberg first arrived in the fashion world in 1972 with her iconic wrap dress, the seed of what is today a global fashion lifestyle brand. By 1976, von Furstenberg had sold millions of her dresses, introducing female power and freedom to an entire generation. In 1997, she re-emerged on the New York fashion scene and began rebuilding her company. In 2005, von Furstenberg was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America and has been president of the CFDA since 2006. Von Furstenberg is also on the board of Vital Voices, and in 2010 established The DVF Awards to honor the courage of female social activists around the world.
Photo: Lorenzo Agius
Creator, Co-Host and Executive Producer, ABC’s The View; Correspondent, ABC News
The first woman to co-host network news, Barbara Walters is a broadcast journalism legend. Since joining ABC News in 1976, she has interviewed every American president and first lady since Richard Nixon’s administration. For 25 years, Walters co-hosted ABC News’ celebrated 20/20, and her Barbara Walters Specials continue to bring in top ratings. Prior to joining ABC, she appeared on NBC’s Today Show for 15 years. In 1997, Walters created and became co-host and co-executive producer of the award-winning daytime ABC talk show The View. Walters has earned many accolades over the years, including lifetime achievement awards from the International Women’s Media Foundation and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She is also the author of a memoir, Audition.
Photo: Donna Svennevik / ABC
Eva Walusimbi was one of the first entrepreneurs of Solar Sister, an ExxonMobil partner and social enterprise that provides women with training and support to create solar micro-businesses, providing household income for women, and light for their communities. Walusimbi sells solar lights and recruits other female entrepreneurs throughout Uganda. Her work with Solar Sister helps to provide economic opportunities to many women, bringing resources and light to the 1,600 orphans and other vulnerable children at Uganda’s Maranatha schools, which she established with her husband in 1989.
Social Innovation Lead, IDEO
Jocelyn Wyatt joined IDEO, an online platform that tackles global challenges, as the network’s social innovation domain leader in 2008. While at IDEO, she has built social enterprises and advised businesses in the developing world, using the market to create social change. Prior to IDEO, Wyatt served as an Acumen Fund fellow in Kenya, interim country director for VisionSpring in India, and international training manager for Chemonics, a contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Vice President, Global Social Innovation, HP
As vice president of HP’s office of Global Social Innovation since October 2009, Gabi Zedlmayer leads an international team of experts focused on solving social issues with HP talent and technology and driving economic growth. Her team works to develop social innovations in education, health care, entrepreneurship, and community engagement. Zedlmayer also heads HP’s Global Citizenship Council and serves as a member of the board of directors of Junior Achievement Young Enterprise (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), and the European Union Commission’s e-skills leadership board.
Author and Activist
A widely known champion of women’s rights, Dalia Ziada joined the American Islamic Congress at the age of 25 as the founding director of its Middle East and North Africa bureau based in Cairo, Egypt. Ziada is dedicated to promoting freedom of expression and nonviolent action in her homeland, Egypt, and the whole Middle East. In 2010, she co-authored New Narrative for Muslim Women in the Middle East, a guidebook for policymakers, and also launched the nationwide campaign “AB Human Rights” to educate kids about human rights.