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Jan 15

Moments of Voice for Malala
Malala Yousufzai, a fifteen year old Pakistani blogger, has been using her voice ...

Nov 27

Information and Communication Technology
A new article in The Guardian explores how information and communication technology can be used to empower girls worldwide. ...

Oct 2

Half the Sky
AUDACIA participants will be interested to see this new piece of work from Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn ...

Aug 17

10.11.12 International Day of the Girl
Thanks to the tireless efforts of AUDACIA participant Plan International, and its partners, the United Nations has declared October 11, 2012 to be the first-ever International Day of the Girl. ...

August 3

DFID Girls’ Education Challenge
DFID, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, is sponsoring a Girls’ Education Challenge. ...

Advisory Council

Elizabeth Colton is the Founding President of the International Museum of Women (IMOW), and served as Board Chair from 1993-2010. She continues to serve as a member of the museum's Global Council, a diverse group of international leaders committed to improving the lives of women. IMOW is an online social change museum that values the lives of women worldwide ( reaches more than 600,000 women and men from over 200 countries each year.

Elizabeth is an advocate and philanthropist to women's causes, human rights issues, the arts and political campaigns. She is a member of the Advisory Board of AUDACIA, Emily's List Majority Council, the International Women's Forum, Women Donors Network, and Women Moving Millions. She is a board member of Lykes Bros. Inc, a Florida-based agricultural industry corporation. She is a graduate of and former member of the Board of Trustees and Campaign Executive Committee of Emma Willard School and was an active member of the Women's Leadership Board, at Kennedy School of Government, Harvard.

A San Francisco resident since 1970, Elizabeth directed her own political and public affairs consulting firm for more than 20 years prior to devoting herself to building the International Museum of Women. She has worked with many of the major museums in San Francisco, as well as political, business and community leaders, philanthropists and grass roots organizations.

Ms. Colton graduated from Florida State University with a BA in Sociology. She is the devoted parent of RJ (Richard Joseph), age 28, and Ashley, age 24.

Elizabeth Dewberry is the author of four novels--His Lovely Wife (Harcourt), Sacrament of Lies (Putnam), Break the Heart of Me (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday), and Many Things Have Happened Since he Died (Doubleday). She has written essays and articles for publications as varied as Southern Accents, Southern Living, Image, Zoetrope, Modern Fiction Studies, and The Cambridge Companion to Hemingway. She holds a Ph.D. in Twentieth-Century American Fiction from Emory University and a B.S. From Vanderbilt and has taught at Ohio State University, Florida State University, and the University of the South. Her first full-length play, Flesh and Blood, premiered at the Humana Festival of New American Plays and went on to publication and production in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and elsewhere in the United States. She has also written and had professional productions of several one-acts and a second full-length play, Four Joans and a Fire-Eater. She has traveled Africa extensively and feels passionate about bringing best practices in education to developing countries and using the arts to empower girls and women. She serves as an Ambassador for Same Sky, a trade-not-aid initiative that helps HIV-positive genocide survivors in Rwanda get quality medical care and earn a living wage. She lives in Atlanta.

Meera T. Gandhi is a well-known humanitarian and social activist who divides her time between New York City, London and Hong Kong. She is the founder of The Giving Back Foundation. Mrs. Gandhi is noted for her Life Motto, "We are to the universe only as much as we give back to it." She grew up in India, England and Ireland and was educated in India, Canada and the United States, where she received her MBA. In 2007 Meera Gandhi completed the Executive Education Program from the Harvard Business School. Through her Giving Back Foundation Meera Gandhi is devoting her life to charity and to helping those in need: abused and hungry children, widows, the sick, the deaf and blind. She is particularly interested in education as the stepping stone to success. Mrs. Gandhi recently produced and directed an inspiring documentary, musical CD and coffee table book, all entitled Giving Back. The “Giving Back” film and book include touching vignettes of Meera's prominent and not-so-prominent friends and illustrates how their philanthropic endeavors are indeed changing the world. 100 percent of the proceeds from Meera Gandhi's brilliant Giving Back project will go to charity. Donna Karan International recently honored Meera Gandhi by naming her as one of its small group of prestigious leaders in the Donna Karan International “Women Who Inspire” initiative.

Marcia Ann Gillespie is a trailblazer in the magazine industry and a leader in the women’s movement. She is a former editor-in-chief of two groundbreaking magazines, Essence (1971-1980) and Ms. (1993-2001) and was also the President of Liberty Media for Women, the company she co-founded that took ownership of Ms. in 1998. Marcia Gillespie has written extensively about issues relating to the African American community and about women, particularly Black women; several of her articles and essays are required reading in women’s studies classes and can be found in anthologies and collections. She is the co-author of Maya Angelou: A Glorious Celebration (Doubleday 2008). Currently the Director of Special Projects at Essence Ms. Gillespie is also a professor at SUNY Old Westbury College where she teaches writing for media.

Holly Gordon is the Executive Director of 10x10: The Girls Education Project. 10×10 harnesses the power of media to bring together forward-thinking nonprofits, action-oriented corporations and committed individuals dedicated to the empowerment of girls around the world through education. At the heart of 10×10 is a feature film that tells the stories of 10 extraordinary girls, from 10 developing countries around the world. These stories, written by an acclaimed female writer from the girl’s country and narrated by a celebrated actress, describe a unique personal journey of triumph and achievement against incredible odds. Presenting these stories together, the 10×10 film traces the journey of navigating adolescence as girl in the developing world today.

Prior to joining The Documentary Group, Holly Gordon was Director of Content for the Tribeca Film Festival, where she managed video collection and production for the 2007 Festival. She was the executive producer of Tribeca Presents: The Best of the Festival, a broadcast highlighting the award-winning films in the 2008 Festival. Before her tenure at the Tribeca Film Festival, Holly spent 12 years at ABC News, where she worked as a producer and booker for the major news broadcasts: World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, Good Morning America, 20/20 and Primetime. She was an integral part of ABC’s breaking-news coverage during the weeks following the September 11th attacks. For three years, as Editorial Producer for the ABC News magazine unit, Holly managed the team responsible for identifying and booking national and international stories. Holly graduated from Brown University with a BA in International Relations.

Since 2005 Dr. Gay McDougall has served as Independent Expert on Minority Issues at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. Prior to that she was Executive Director of Global Rights during which time she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for her innovative and highly effective work on behalf of international human rights. From 1997-2001 she served as an independent expert on various United Nations human rights bodies, including the UN treaty body that oversees the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Dr. McDougall also served as one of five international members of South Africa's 16-member Independent Electoral Commission which successfully organized and administered the country's first non-racial elections in 1994. From 1980 to 1994 she was Director of the South Africa Project of the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights under Law in Washington and in 1984 a Consultant on the United Nations Council for Namibia. She earned her JD at Yale University Law School and LLM in public international law at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Kavita Ramdas is the Executive Director of Ripples to Waves at the Social Entrepreneurship and Development Program Center on Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law (CDDRL) Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, as well as a Visiting Scholar at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, PACS. In Spring 2011, she will also serve as Practitioner-in-Residence at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. From 1996 to 2010, Kavita served as President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, which grew under her leadership to become the world’s largest public foundation for women’s rights. Prior to the Global Fund for Women, Kavita was at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, leading programs in Economic Development, Reproductive Health, and Population.

Dr. Nahid Toubia became the first female surgeon in Sudan in 1981. Recently, she worked as an Associate for Women’s Reproductive Health at the Population Council in New York City, and is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University School of Public Health. She is the founder and President of RAINBO, the Research Action and Information Network for the Bodily Integrity of Women. She is also a member of several scientific and advisory committees of the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and UNDP, and Vice-Chair of the advisory committee of the Women’s Rights Watch Project of Human Rights Watch, where she previously served on the Board of Directors. 

Jane Wales is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the World Affairs Council and the Global Philanthropy Forum and Vice President of the Aspen Institute. She is host of the nationally syndicated weekly National Public Radio interview show It’s Your World. From 2007 to 2008, she served as Acting Chief Executive Officer of The Elders, chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In 2008, Ms. Wales also chaired the Poverty Alleviation Track for the Clinton Global Initiative. Previously, she served in the Clinton Administration as Special Assistant to the President, Senior Director of the National Security Council and Associate Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. During her tenure as National Executive Director of the Physicians for Social Responsibility, the organization’s international arm was recipient of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize. Ms. Wales is a graduate of the Emma Willard School (Class of 1966).