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Kavita N. Ramdas
Kavita N. Ramdas - Executive Director, Ripples to Waves
Kavita N. Ramdas is an inspirational and mindful leader, an advocate for human rights, open and civil societies, and a respected advisor and commentator on issues of social entrepreneurship, global development, leadership, education, health, and philanthropy. Kavita has spent her professional life shaping a world where gender equality and justice can help ensure human rights and dignity for all.
Kavita currently serves as the Executive Director of Ripples to Waves: Program on Social Entrepreneurship at Stanford University's Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL). She conceptualized and designed the program with key faculty leaders to deepen the links and learning opportunities among grassroots activism, global philanthropy, academia and the private sector while empowering social entrepreneurs to share ideas on gender, democracy and civil society.
Kavita served as President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, from 1996 to 2010, which grew under her leadership to become the world's largest public foundation for women's rights.
During her tenure, the Global Fund assets increased to $21 million from $3 million, giving women in more than 170 countries critical access to financial capital that fueled innovation and change.
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.
Kavita is the recipient of numerous philanthropic and leadership awards including the Council on Foundations' Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking and Legal Momentum's 2011 Women of Achievement Award. Kavita lives with her husband Zulfiqar Ahmad and daughter Mira in California.
Gina Reiss-Wilchins - Campaign Director of the Girl Up campaign, United Nations Foundation
Gina Reiss-Wilchins is the Campaign Director of the Girl Up Campaign - an innovative program to build and maintain a constituency dedicated to improving the lives of the world's hardest-to-reach girls. The "for girls, by girls" campaign mobilizes American girls to raise funds and awareness for UN programs that support the millions of adolescent girls growing up in developing countries. Through Girl Up's support, these girls will have the opportunity to become educated, healthy, safe, counted and positioned to be the next generation of leaders.
Before joining the UN Foundation's Girl Up program, Ms. Reiss-Wilchins served as Executive Director of TrueChild, an action tank devoted to bringing gender transformative approaches to US policy and programmatic work that challenges narrow, traditional ideas of masculinity and femininity and promotes gender equity for girls. Prior to TrueChild, she served as Managing Director of the Gender Public Advocacy Coalition, growing it from a small group of volunteers in New York City to a national organization with a budget of almost $2 million, headquarters in Washington, DC and a staff of 15. While there, she created a chapter system that was adopted by college youth advocates on 104 campuses in 26 states. Her 20+ years of advocacy and non-profit experience includes serving as Action Vice-President of NOW/NJ and founding member of Equality Federation.
Aubryn Allyn Sidle
Aubryn Allyn Sidle - Executive Director, Advancing Girls' Education in Africa (AGE Africa)
Aubryn Allyn Sidle is the Executive Director of Advancing Girls’ Education in Africa in Washington DC. AGE is a transformative NGO providing life-changing opportunities for young women in Malawi through targeted initiatives in education, mentoring and leadership development. Prior to joining AGE Africa, Aubryn worked as an advocate for youth voice, educational access, and gender equity both in the US and abroad. A seasoned practitioner of the youth development model, Aubryn directed youth-led community development programs for young women in some of the United State’s lowest performing inner city schools. In the California’s Bay Area she designed and implemented college access programs for first generation college students that had a 90% matriculation rate in its first year. In 2006, Aubryn returned to the field of international education pursuing her Master’s in Development Management at the London School of Economics. Aubryn lived and worked in East Africa for more than two years researching the efficacy of participatory approaches to agricultural development, and consulting for slum-based youth organizations in Nairobi. As the Executive Director of AGE Africa, she has broadened the organization’s reach in Malawi to include more students, and an increasing number of vital support programs that ensure student’s success in school. Aubryn has dedicated her time and energy to leading a talented program team in developing a curriculum model for girls’ empowerment that has had transformational outcomes for AGE Africa’s scholars. Aubryn obtained her Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University in Anthropology and Africana Studies, magna cum laude.
Cynthia Steele - Executive Vice President, EMpower Foundation
As Executive Vice President at EMpower, the Emerging Markets Foundation, Cynthia Steele oversees grantmaking and other program activities, relationships with private foundations, and co-manages other operations. She leads the organization's work on adolescent girls, including special initiatives to promote entrepreneurship and income generation for at-risk young women, and to bring gender perspectives to sports programming for youth.
From 2001-2004, Cynthia was Vice President, Programs for the International Women's Health Coalition (IWHC), overseeing IWHC's regional and international policy programs. Previously, Ms. Steele worked at Engender Health, an international health organization, for 18 years in diverse positions. She served on the executive team from 1996-2001, for three years each as Vice President for Resource Develoment and as Vice President for Program Innovations, where she led the global programs, providing strategic direction for new initiatives and program expansion. Previously, she managed grantmaking and programs for the Latin American and Caribbean region.
Cynthia is Chair of the Board of Directors of Girls for Gender Equity and serves on the Global Committee of the Council on Foundations and various international advisory bodies. She has spoken and written extensively on issues related to women's health, and education and economic empowerment for adolescent girls. She has worked in over 40 countries, and speaks Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
Cynthia has a Master's degree in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and attended the Senior Executive Program at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business.
Pamela Thomas-Graham - Chief Talent, Branding and Communications Officer, Credit Suisse AG
Pamela Thomas-Graham is the Chief Talent, Branding and Communications Officer at Credit Suisse AG. She is the first female member of the Executive Board of Credit Suisse, and has global responsibility for Human Resources, Corporate Communications, Corporate Branding and Advertising, and Corporate Citizenship.
Prior to joining Credit Suisse AG, Ms. Thomas-Graham was a Managing Director in the private equity group of Angelo, Gordon & Co. Previously she served as Group President of Liz Claiborne Inc's wholesale apparel business. Ms. Thomas-Graham was at NBC for six years, where she served as President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of CNBC television and a Director of CNBC International. She also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of CNBC.com, leading the creation of the start-up financial news website. Ms. Thomas-Graham began her career at McKinsey & Company, where she became the first black woman partner in the firm’s history.
Ms. Thomas-Graham is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Economic Club of New York, and sits on the boards of the New York City Opera and the Parsons School of Design. A member of the Visiting Committee for Harvard Business School, Ms. Thomas-Graham has also written three mystery novels. Ms. Thomas-Graham graduated with an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a J.D. with honors from Harvard Law School, where she was a member of the Harvard Law Review and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Harvard University with a B.A. in Economics. She currently resides in New York with her husband and their three children.
Dr. Nahid Toubia
Dr. Nahid Toubia - Chair, Salmmah Women's Resource Center
Nahid Toubia is a doctor of medicine with specialized degrees in surgery and health planning & financing. Dr. Toubia attended medical school in Egypt and in 1981 she became a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the first woman surgeon in Sudan. She also served as the head of the Pediatric Surgery department at Khartoum teaching hospital for many years. In the 1990's, she worked at the Population Council in New York City for four years as an Associate for Women's Reproductive Health and established the Reproductive Health and Law network with civil society members from 12 Arab countries. She later founded Rainbo, an international organization promoting women's reproductive and sexual health and rights in Africa. Dr. Toubia also founded AMANITARE, the first African network on sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls with members from 18 African countries. She has served as a member of several committees of the World Health Organization, UNICEF and UNDP and was the Vice-Chair of the advisory committee of the Women's Rights Watch Project of Human Rights Watch where she served on the Board of Directors. She was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Global Fund for Women. Currently she is back in Sudan working as a consultant for Reproductive and Maternal health. She recently worked as the acting Country Director for the Population Council and for Marie Stopes International, as the technical advisor for Maternal & Neonatal Health Program of CIDA in South Sudan.
Mark Tuschman - International Freelance Photographer
Mark Tuschman has worked as an international freelance photographer for more than 32 years. As a photographer committed to issues of global health and development, he was privileged to receive the photographer of the year award from the Global Health Council in 2009-2010. His work has been featured in many internal health and development conferences, including the Pacific Health Summit in London in June 2010, a conference promoting women's reproductive health care. Most recently, many of his images were used to illustrate the UNFPA 7 Billion Campaign.
Over the years, he has collaborated with several NGOs including the Global Fund for Women, EngenderHealth, Packard Foundation, Planned Parenthood, WomensTrust, and UNFPA to document and promote the essential work of these groups and their grantees. He has also done extensive work for Pfizer's Corporate Social Responsibility Programs in Ghana (documenting drug trials on river blindness) and in Ethiopia on trachoma prevention (in conjunction with the Carter Center and the International Trachoma Initiative). More recently he has documented social responsibility programs for Novartis, including treatment of leprosy in India and the Novartis Malaria Initiative in Kenya.
In 2010, he published Capital of Hope, which documents the WomensTrust program on the effects of microfinance and girls' education within a village in Ghana. He is working on a book on women's reproductive healthcare, with a major emphasis on girls' education. Of all the different projects he has photographed, it is the education of girls which gives him the most hope for a better world.
Anne van Zyl
Anne van Zyl - Head of Academy, Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls
Anne van Zyl was appointed Head of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in January 2010 having experience as Head of four very different schools, girls' boarding and day, co-ed, new and traditional in both urban and rural settings.
Attending St Cyprians School, Cape Town, then San Mateo High School, California as an American Field Service exchange student, Anne graduated with a B.A. from the University of Cape Town and post graduate degrees in education from the University of South Africa, a distance university serving over 100,000 students in Southern Africa. She started teaching French and English at Pretoria High School for Girls, a large traditional state school, where she became Principal in 1988.
In 1995, Anne was appointed Founder Head of St Stithians Girls' College, Johannesburg, built on the grounds of St Stithians Boys' College, an established traditional boys' school, with the vision of "combining the best of both worlds," co-ed and single gender education.
Subsequently Anne was Head of Stanford Lake College in Magoebaskloof and Bridge House, Franschhoek, both co-educational schools in the country.
In her 22 years as Principal, Anne has witnessed the political miracle of South Africa moving from Apartheid to democracy. Being part of sweeping change has been integral to her educational journey. Her present task at OWLA, a unique educational model, is a daunting but exciting challenge in transformation, hopefully contributing to nation-building in South Africa.
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