Board of Directors
Chair of the Board; Chairman, Susan Davis International
Susan Ann Davis, Board Chair of Vital Voices Global Partnership, is a pioneering woman business owner in the public relations industry. Over three decades, she has grown Susan Davis International into a global public affairs and strategic communications powerhouse, receiving accolades and recognition from industry peers and the respect of business and government leaders around the world. Internationally known for her expertise in strategic positioning, reputation management and crisis communication, Davis provides counsel to key industry and government executives worldwide.
A lifelong advocate for social entrepreneurship, democracy building and leadership development for women, she was the first International President of the International Women’s Forum, now representing 5000 women leaders. She is a former President of the National Association of Women Business Owners in Washington, DC and served as the first political action chair. Subsequently she was named National Women Business Owner of the Year.
Ms. Davis has been recognized for her leadership in Ireland and Northern Ireland by Irish America Magazine (“Top 100 Irish Americans and 75 Most Influential Irish American Women”) and The Flax Trust “For Service to Northern Ireland”. Her board involvement includes Self Help Africa, US; Medical Missions for Children; University College Dublin Graduate School of Business; Washington Ireland Program Trustees Council; St. Judes Professional Board and the US-Panama Business Council. She is also the Board Chair of Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation which now educates over 400 young girls in Afghanistan, and has recently begun classes for young boys. Razia Jan was a 2012 CNN Hero of the Year Finalist.
Vice-Chair of the Board; Dean of Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Carol Lancaster assumed the deanship of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 2010 after serving as interim dean for the previous year. She is a professor, scholar and practitioner of international politics, having served in government for thirteen years, including as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, and Deputy Administrator of USAID – a Presidential appointment. Her scholarly work includes ten books and numerous articles on foreign policy, the politics of foreign aid and the politics of development. She is currently working on two books: an edited volume on the Politics of Development for Oxford University Press, and Barak Obama’s Foreign Aid for the Center for Global Development. She has been a Fulbright Fellow, a Congressional Fellow, a Twentieth Century Fellow and a Carnegie Fellow among others.
Dean Lancaster is Vice Chair of the Board of Vital Voices, and Vice Chair of the Joint Advisory Board of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar. She also serves on the boards of the American Academy of Diplomacy, the Society of International Development, the American University of Afghanistan and other organizations. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a non-resident fellow at the Center for Global Development.
She is a graduate of the School of Foreign Service and received her Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.
Treasurer and Secretary of the Board; Retired Partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP
With nearly 30 years in public accounting, Ms. Molina was a partner with Deloitte & Touche and Ernst & Young. Prior to retiring, she served as Deloitte & Touche’s National Partner in Charge of the Initiative for the Retention and Advancement of Women where she was an advocate for diversity within a historically male-dominated industry. She led the firm’s strong commitment to advance highly talented women through the development of innovative career planning, mentoring, and leadership training and succession programs. She was recognized as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in the Accounting Profession” by Accounting Today. Since retiring, she has continued to focus on advancing and mentoring women through her participation as the Chair of the Claremont McKenna College’s Berger Institute for Work, Family and Children and as the Finance Chair and Board member of Vital Voices Global Partnership. Ms. Molina currently serves on the board of directors of DTS, Inc, a public digital entertainment company, and Royal Neighbors of America, a 200,000 member fraternal insurance company, specializing in providing insurance to women.
President and CEO, Vital Voices Global Partnership
Alyse Nelson is president and chief executive officer of Vital Voices Global Partnership. A cofounder of Vital Voices, Alyse has worked for the organization for 17 years, serving as vice president and senior director of programs before assuming her current role in 2009. Alyse has worked with women leaders to develop training programs and international forums in over 140 countries and has interviewed more than 200 international leaders, including Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former presidents Mary Robinson and Bill Clinton, as well as Nobel Peace Prize laureates Aung San Suu Kyi, Wangari Maathai, and Muhammad Yunus. Under her leadership, Vital Voices has tripled in size and expanded its global reach to serve a network of over 14,000 women leaders in 144 countries.
Previously, Alyse served as deputy director of the Vital Voices Global Democracy Initiative at the U.S. Department of State. Her position aided former First Lady Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s commitment to promote the advancement of women as a U.S. foreign policy objective. Alyse helped design and implement Vital Voices initiatives throughout the world. From July 1996 to July 2000, Alyse worked with the President’s Interagency Council on Women at the White House and U.S. Department of State. She attended the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, in 1995. Alyse is a Member in the Council on Foreign Relations. She serves on Secretary Clinton's Advisory Committee on Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society and is a Board member of Running Start and RAD-AID International.
Alyse is the author of the best-selling book "Vital Voices: The Power of Women Leading Change Around the World," which shares the stories of remarkable, world-changing women, as well as the story of how Vital Voices was founded, crossing lines that typically divide.
Alyse has been featured in international and national media, including the Washington Post, Financial Times, the Miami Herald, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Reuters, and has appeared on BBC, PBS, CNN, NPR, FOX News, and CNBC. She completed her graduate degree work at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. In 2006 Alyse was named one of ''Ten Women to Watch'' by Washingtonian Magazine and was honored by her alma mater, Emerson College, with the distinguished speaker award. In 2011 she was featured in Newsweek as one of ''150 Women Shaking the World,'' and in 2012 she was The International Alliance for Women (TIAW) World of Difference 100 Award recipient. In 2013, Alyse was invited to speak at the UK Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and at the Department for International Development’s Distinguished Speaker Series. In 2014, Alyse was invited to speak at the Oxford Union at Oxford University and Fortune Magazine named Alyse one of the 55 Most Influential Women on Twitter.
Global Vice Chair, Public Policy, EY
Beth Brooke-Marciniak is Global Vice Chair - Public Policy at EY and is a member of the firm’s Global Executive Board. Beth has public policy responsibility for the firm’s operations in 140 countries. In addition, she has global responsibility for the firm’s Diversity and Inclusiveness efforts.
During the Clinton Administration, she worked for two years in the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where she was responsible for all tax policy matters related to insurance and managed care. She played important roles in the healthcare reform and Superfund reform efforts. She has been named six times to the list of Forbes "World's 100 Most Powerful Women", and was named 2009 Woman of the Year by Concern Worldwide.
Throughout her career, Beth has been actively engaged in numerous civic and business organizations. She serves on the Boards of Vital Voices, The Committee for Economic Development, and TechnoServe. Beth is the Co-Chair of the Board of WEConnect International. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Aspen Institute, and the Women’s Advisory Board of the World Economic Forum. She is a member of the inaugural class of the Henry Crown Fellows of The Aspen Institute and the Committee of 200. Beth serves on the public policy advisory councils for Georgetown University and Indiana University. Beth also served on the International Council on Women’s Business Leadership led by Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Beth is passionate about using her leadership platform to make a difference in the world. She is a devoted advocate for the advancement of women around the world. Beth served on the US Delegation to the 53rd and 54th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
Editor in Chief, Newsweek & The Daily Beast
Tina Brown, Editor in Chief of Newsweek & The Daily Beast, is one of the highest-profile, most talked-about magazine editors in the world. From a young writer for Punch magazine and the Sunday Times, she quickly rose through the ranks of the magazine industry on both sides of the Atlantic to become editor in chief of Tatler, Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, publisher of Talk magazine and most recently, editor in chief of Newsweek & The Daily Beast.
Partnering with Barry Diller in 2008, Brown launched The Daily Beast – a news curation web site that quickly changed the way we consume news online – the tagline says it all: “Read this. Skip that.” In 2011, The Daily Beast merged with Newsweek magazine, and in just over a year Tina has increased newsstand sales of Newsweek by 30% and advertising pages by over 27%. The web site was recently awarded the 2012 Webby award for best news site, and in May hit a traffic high of 12.7 million unique visitors.
As Vanity Fair’s editor in chief, Brown pioneered celebrity journalism and increased its circulation from 250,000 to 1.2 million. Following her success at Vanity Fair, Brown went to the venerable literary magazine, the New Yorker, where she became the first woman ever to serve as the editor. Brown hosted a well-received television program, Topic A with Tina Brown, on CNBC and in 2007 her biography, The Diana Chronicles spent several weeks at the top of the New York Times best-seller list.
In March 2010, Tina launched the annual Women in the World summit, and following its globally recognized success recently founded the Women in the World Foundation, which will serve as a resource to all who seek to learn about and engage on issues of importance to women and girls.
Brown and her husband, Sir Harold Evans live in New York and have two children.
Head of BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research
Candace Browning is head of BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, a group that provides clients and employees of Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management with top-quality investment insights and ideas, industry and company overviews and asset allocation recommendations.
The BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research division has over 1,000 employees located across 20 countries. The team provides recommendations on more than 3,300 stocks and 1,060 credits globally as well as economic forecasts for nearly 60 countries and recommendations on 40 currencies.
From February 2003 to November 2008, Browning served as head of the Global Research Securities and Economics group at Merrill Lynch. She was named head of Global Research of the combined Bank of America Merrill Lynch organizations post the merger of the two firms. Under her leadership the group has won top awards in external polls globally.
Most recently, the research division was named Top Global Research Firm of 2011 by Institutional Investor magazine. Additionally, the group was named the No. 1 Global Broker by Financial Times/StarMine, as well as ranking No. 1 in the U.S. and Europe and No. 2 in Asia. The group was also named No. 1 in Asia and No. 2 in the U.S. in The Wall Street Journal Best on the Street 2012 Analysts Surveys.
Previous to her position as head of Global Research, Browning served as director of Equity Research for the Americas region, with responsibility for all research coverage in Canada, the United States and Latin America. From June 2000 to November 2001, she was based in London, serving as deputy director, Global Research Product, Pan-Europe, for Merrill Lynch EMEA Research Management.
Before joining research management, Browning covered the airline industry in the United States and was ranked in Institutional Investor's all-star analyst survey for 17 consecutive years. She holds an MBA in marketing from Columbia University and a bachelor's degree in history from Brandeis University. Browning is a member of the St. Paul’s School Board of Trustees and has been named for the last three years by American Banker as one of the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Finance. She serves on the board of Vital Voices, and is a Bank of America Global Ambassador (mentor). She is also the Bank of America enterprise executive sponsor of the firm’s Black Professionals Group.
Kay Ellen Consolver, resident in London, is an experienced Director and Charitable Trustee. In 2013, Brummell magazine in London honored her as one of 30 inspirational women on Boards. She has served on the Board of Russian Platinum, a Moscow based mining company, and currently sits on the Advisory Board of Mildwaters Consulting, a service provider to the oil industry globally.
During her 20 years at Mobil Corporation (ExxonMobil), she was Chairman and CEO of 7 global downstream companies, International Treasurer and Head of Worldwide Legal Services, travelling to 65 countries. She then joined eLawForum (now DryStone Capital) in Washington, DC, as a Board member and COO, to launch a company to reduce the cost for corporations of outside legal services. Moving to London, she pursued a life-long interest in the theatre, producing plays in London and New York. In recognition of her work, she was elected a Charitable Trustee of LAMDA (the UK’s oldest drama school); The Tricycle Theatre and Theatre 503; and in New York City, St Ann’s Warehouse – all award winning theatres.
The International Women’s Forum UK, of which she is a member, honored her by electing her Chairman. IWF UK invites to membership women leaders and is affiliated with the International Women’s Forum, a network of over 5000 leaders in 66 Forums from 26 nations - on whose Board she has served.
In the UK, she is a member of Chatham House, the Institute of Directors, the International Corporate Governance Network, WomenCorporateDirectors, the Oil Council and Women in Mining; and in the US, the National Association of Corporate Directors and the Women’s Forum of New York. She began her career with Cravath, Swaine & Moore, a New York City law firm. Upon receiving her law degree from Wisconsin University, she was the first woman appointed to clerk for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Manju Dhingra is a dynamic and highly motivated woman entrepreneur with exceptional interpersonal skills. With her husband, Sudhir Dhingra, she successfully co-founded and built one of India’s leading publicly traded and globally recognized apparel fashion house employing over 25,000 employees. Orient Craft Limited engages in the manufacture and export of garments in India. Its products include shirts, t-shirts, blouses, skirts, jackets, co-ordinates, children’s wear, and soft furnishings. The company also offers athletic sportswear, accessories, wear for men, and wear for women. Orient Craft Limited was founded in 1976 and is based in New Delhi, India.
Orient Craft Limited has consistently been one of India's top garment manufacture and export organizations. Today it stands strong with 21 facilties producing more than 100 thousand pieces of global fashion in a day. Catering to over 40 fashion brands and designers like Marc Jacobs, Diane Von Furstenberg, Polo Ralph Lauren Blue Label, Banana Republic, Michael Kors, DKNY, Express, Tommy Hilfiger, Macy's, Monsoon, Marks & Spencer, Ann Taylor, and Abercrombie and Fitch. Orient Craft stands true to the image of being 'the name behind names'.
Manju Dhingra is a consensus builder and an architect of innovative strategies and synchronised teams. Her role includes marketing and promotion of Orient Craft worldwide, while providing innovative leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility and strategy development. Her particular corporate social responsibility interests are networking for women empowerment and community investment strategies. She is an expert in relationship management and leveraging community partners.
Vice Chair, General Motors Foundation
Debbie Dingell is currently the president of D2 Strategies, and is chair of the Manufacturing Initiative of the American Automotive Policy Council. She recently completed a more than 30 year career at General Motors as a senior executive, where she headed the GM Foundation and public affairs. Mrs. Dingell has both a B.S.F.S. in Foreign Service and an M.S. in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University.
Mrs. Dingell is also a national Democratic strategist, a member of the Democratic National Committee and has chaired numerous political campaigns. As a respected, bi-partisan voice, she is a regular contributor to the Fox News Channel, MSNBC, co-hosts “AM I Right” on the Detroit Public Television station, and is a regular roundtable Panel participant on Detroit’s WDIV’s “Flashpoint” as well as several other media programs in Michigan and Washington, D.C. She is included in Washingtonian’s 2009 100 most influential women in Washington, DC and Detroit Crain’s listing of the 100 most influential women in Michigan.
Mrs. Dingell is married to Congressman John D. Dingell of Michigan.
Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky holds the Distinguished National Security Chair at the U.S. Naval Academy, is an adjunct Senior Fellow at Harvard University's JFK Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and is Chair of the World Affairs Councils of America. Recently, she was Senior Vice President and Global Head of Government and Regulatory Affairs for two years at Thomson Reuters.
From May 2001 to January 2009, she served as Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs; in February 2007, she became the President's Special Envoy to Northern Ireland and received the Secretary of State's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal, for her work. Previous government appointments include: Associate Director for Policy and Programs at the United States Information Agency, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, Deputy Head of the U.S. Delegation to the 1990 Copenhagen Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, and Director of European and Soviet Affairs at the National Security Council, the White House. From 1997-2001, she served on the President's appointed U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.
Ambassador Dobriansky was also Senior Vice President and Director of the Washington Office of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Council's first George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies. From 1994-98, she was appointed to George Mason University's Board of Visitors.
She received a B.S.F.S. summa cum laude in International Politics from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Soviet political/military affairs from Harvard University.
President, Dockser Family Foundation
Sonnie Dockser has been actively involved in the mission of Vital Voices to empower women for the past 10 years, and is a member of the Executive Committee. In 2003 she participated in a Vital Voices program in Northern Ireland that included women from Israel, the West Bank and Gaza to discuss and research best practices for conflict resolution, and the importance of women’s role in the negotiating process. In April 2010 the program “Young Women Leaders Building Peace and Prosperity” held its first session in Israel bringing women from Northern Ireland and South Africa to Israel.
In her role as President of the Dockser Family Foundation, she and her husband support education at the secondary school level and university scholarships. The foundation has special interest in programs focused on women’s issues and international study at Harvard University, Yale Law School, and the University of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Women’s Leadership Board at the Kennedy School at Harvard University.
Sonnie also supports the arts and medicine, including the Katzen Arts Center at American University, Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the National Gallery of Art, and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. She has served on Weizmann's American National Board, and for several years on their Governing International Board of Directors.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, HII-Finance Corporation
Mrs. Farouki is the founder and President of HII-Finance Corporation (“HFC”). Since its establishment, she has been responsible for originating and overseeing HFC's diverse investment portfolio and leading numerous U.S. businesses in their growth across national and international markets.
As an executive and active board member, she was instrumental in forming the vision and strategy for the Lab School of Washington DC, a leading school for the learning disabled. Mrs. Farouki is currently a member of the board of trustees for Vital Voices, the King Hussein Foundation, the King Hussein Cancer Center, the World Conference on Religions for Peace, and serves on the board of governors of the Arab American Institute, and the International Committee for the Arts of the Kennedy Center. Over the past 25 years, she has been actively involved and has had successful tenures with the following institutions: Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Middle East University, the Arab American Cultural Foundation, the Virginia-Middle East Peace Commission, the Washington Opera Company, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. Along with her husband, she also co-chaired the Middle East strategy group at the Aspen Institute.
Actor and Activist
Sally Field is a two-time Academy Award winner for performances in Robert Benton’s Places in the Heart, for which she also received a Golden Globe, and Martin Ritt’s Norma Rae, for which she received a Golden Globe, along with the New York Film Critics prize, the National Board of Review Award, the Los Angeles Film Critics Award, the National Society of Film Critics honor and Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival. Ms. Field has also received Golden Globe nominations for her work in Smokey and the Bandit, Absence of Malice, Kiss Me Goodbye, Steel Magnolias and Forrest Gump.
She received Emmy Awards for her title role in the landmark miniseries “Sybil” and for her performance on “ER.” Currently, Ms. Field is co-starring in the ABC series drama “Brothers & Sisters.” For her role as “Nora Walker,” Ms. Field has received a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Emmy Award as well as two Golden Globe nominations.
Ms. Field has served on the board of directors of Vital Voices since 2002. She has served as mistress of ceremony at Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards gala held at The Kennedy Center from 2002 through 2009.
Former Chairman, White House Endowment Fund
Nancy Folger graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a Bachelor of Arts in 1957. She received an A.M.T. from Harvard School of Education in 1958.
Ms. Folger began her career as a teacher in Montgomery County Public Schools. After a brief term in government as assistant to the administrator of EPA, she began working in public relations for Quaker Oats Company from 1973 to 1983. She has been actively involved in Democratic politics on the local level, as well as the national level.
Ms. Folger has had an active career in education, public relations, public service and philanthropy. She has served as a member of the White House Millennium Council, chairman of the board of the White House Endowment Fund. She is a consultant for Special Projects for the Children’s Defense Fund and serves as a member of the board of directors of the following organizations: the National Archives Foundation, Corcoran Gallery of Art Women’s Committee, Arena Stage, The National Symphony, Spoleto Festival USA, the White House Historical Association, and Live It, Learn It, an experiential education program for low income grade school children in the DC Public Schools. She is actively involved in events for many other local and national organizations.
Member of the House of Lords, United Kingdom
Baroness Mary Goudie is a senior member of the British House of Lords and a global advocate for the rights of women and children. She is involved in promoting gender equity with both the G8 and G20 and is also the Chair of the Women Leaders’ Council to Fight Human Trafficking at the United Nations.
She is actively engaged in numerous philanthropic organisations including her role as a member of the Executive and Board of Directors of Vital Voices Global Partnership. In this role she has been involved in training community and business leaders and parliamentarians.
In the UK she is a founding member of the 30% Club steering committee, which aims to influence chairman into bringing more women onto UK corporate boards. She is also a trustee of the El-Hibri Charitable Foundation, based in the US, whose aims are to foster interfaith dialogue and to establish common ground and solutions to global challenges affecting mankind. Furthermore, she is a member of the Board of Directors of EuropEFE – the European Mission of the Education for Employment Foundation based in Spain (Fundacion Educacion para el Empleo).
She shares perspectives on her blog - www.baronessgoudie.com.
Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Pearson
Kate James is the Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Pearson. Formerly, Kate served as chief communications officer at the Gates Foundation, serving as the senior communications advisor for the foundation and was a member of the Management Committee. Kate oversaw internal and external communications for the foundation, partnering with the advocacy and policy teams in Global Development, Global Health and United States programs to complement and advance the foundation’s strategies and efforts.
Prior to joining the foundation, Kate worked in the financial services industry, where she most recently served as Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Communications for Citibank. She has held senior leadership roles at Standard Chartered Bank and GlaxoSmithKline in the areas of communications, international government relations, strategy and sustainability. Kate is also an active leader in the non-profit community, serving also as a trustee of Trade plus Aid.
Managing Director, jSolutions; International President, Manti Oil and Gas
L. Craig Johnstone is Managing Director of jSolutions. He served as US Ambassador to Algeria, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America, and Director for Resources, Plans and Policy in the Office of the Secretary of State. He was Vice President Europe for the Boeing Company, Senior Vice President at Cabot Corporation and President of Cabot Plastics International in Brussels. He also served as Senior Vice President at the US Chamber of Commerce. He has won numerous Government and Private Sector Awards including the Harriman Award for leading a rescue mission to Vietnam. He is married to Silke Johnstone and has four children.
President, Friends of Cancer Research
Marlene Malek is a supporter and board member of Vital Voices. She is widely recognized in Washington as a community activist and patron of the arts. Marlene is president of Friends of Cancer Research, a non-profit that raises awareness and provides public education about cancer research. She is a Washingtonian Magazine, "Washingtonian of the Year" for her work in building support for cancer research.
She serves on the Boards of Duke University Cancer Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and the Cancer Leadership Council at the Mayo Clinic.
Marlene is vice-chairman, Board of Trustees at Marymount University, and serves on the Boards of Best Friends Foundation and Bridges of Understanding.
She is board first vice- president, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Board of Ford's Theatre, and chairman of their National Advisory Board. Marlene resides in McLean, VA with her husband, has two grown children and four grandchildren.
Co-Founder and Vice Chair Emeritus, Vital Voices Global Partnership
Donna Cochran McLarty is co-founder and vice chair emeritus of Vital Voices Global Partnership. Currently she serves on the executive committee and as a liaison with the Clinton School of Public Service and the Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. As a member of those boards of advisors, Ms. McLarty is facilitating work-study opportunities for students to intern with Vital Voices. She and her husband Thomas F. McLarty III have also endowed a study abroad foreign business and political science scholarship program.
As a trustee of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Ms. McLarty created the multi-year, AmericArtes festival featuring the rich arts and culture of Latin America. She continues to serve as a member of the Kennedy Center’s International Committee on the Arts.
She also serves on the Blair House board of trustees, the World Conference of Religions for Peace, and is a member of the board of governors for Wesley Theological Seminary, where she co-chairs the Global Initiatives Council. Ms. McLarty is also a member of the Women’s Foreign Policy Group.
A former Federal Communications Commission member, Susan Ness is the head of Susan Ness Strategies, a communications policy consulting firm, and a Senior Fellow at the SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations (Johns Hopkins University). She co-led an Obama Presidential Transition agency review team, and lectures on domestic and global communications policy and on women’s leadership.
During her FCC tenure, Commissioner Ness played a leading role on spectrum policy, competition, and new technologies, and often represented the FCC internationally.
Previously, she was founding CEO of GreenStone Media, LLC, which produced award-winning syndicated talk programming for women, and was Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication (U Penn). She was corporate VP and group head of a national bank and assistant counsel to the Banking Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.
She served on the board of two publicly traded companies. Her past civic leadership included Montgomery County Charter Review Commission chair and Commission for Women president. She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, the FCBA, and Women Corporate Directors.
Manager, JKH Group LLC; Author and Community Volunteer
With a focus on leadership, power and influence, Dr. Karen Otazo is a keen follower and analyzer of current events in government, business and media. She uses her curiosity and continuing research to support leaders worldwide.
After a 20-year career with energy companies ARCO Oil and Gas and Ashland Oil, Karen Otazo spent 15 years in consulting and writing focusing on organizational and talent development. Dr. Karen has been a no-holds-barred, dynamic thinking partner and executive coach for executives in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. She is the author of The Truth About Managing Your Career and The Truth About Being a Leader, Pearson/Prentice Hall – Business Books and I’m Really Listening Even If I’m Not Looking at You: Learn how our brains work with our senses.
Dr. Otazo serves as executive director of Citizens for Affordable Energy, a non-profit formed with her husband, John Hofmeister to educate and advocate for sound energy policies. She is also on the board of the Tahirih Justice Center.
Managing Partner, Strategic Expansion Partners
Nancy Prager-Kamel is co-founder and managing partner of Strategic-Expansion Partners, an international firm specializing in business expansion and corporate-government relations. She was the CEO of a U.S.-European Merchant Bank, and headed the Investment Banking business for a global Chinese financial institution.
Mrs. Prager-Kamel is a national commissioner for UNESCO and corporate ambassador for the U.S. State Department-Vital Voices initiative, teaching entrepreneurship. She serves on the steering committee for Tri State Ventures. Mrs. Prager-Kamel also sat on the Board of Directors of Select University Technology, Inc., where she was chairman of the board of four of their nascent companies: Titan Folding Technologies, Inc., AquaCool, Inc., MacVision, and MTU Software, Inc.
Mrs. Prager-Kamel is the main UN representative for Vital Voices Global Partnership. She directed an NGO (World’s Children’s Day) and was Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for UNICEF (U.S. Committee). She has served on the Board of Directors of Vital Voices Global Partnership, the Global Academy, Human Rights Watch, Immigration and Refugee Services of America, the U.S. Committee for Refugees, Georgetown University, the American Italian Cancer Foundation, and the Foreign Press Association. She has received the “Grand Prix Humanitaire” from the French Government.
President and Co-Founder, The Summit Foundation
Victoria P. Sant is the co-founder and president of The Summit Foundation and The Summit Fund of Washington. The Summit Foundation provides support for international adolescent leadership training and reproductive health initiatives and the conservation of the Mesoamerican Reef ecosystem, and The Summit Fund of Washington focuses its efforts on improving the health and sustainability of the Anacostia River and preventing teen pregnancy in the District of Columbia.
Mrs. Sant is president of the National Gallery of Art. She is a member of the board of The Phillips Collection, Vital Voices Global Partnership, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Population Action International, Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE), The Brookings Institution, The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and Kakenya Center for Excellence. She is a chair of the Stanford in Washington Council and also serves on the World Wildlife Fund National Council, the National Geographic Council of Advisors, The Woods Institute for the Environment Advisory Council, the International Council of MoMA - Museum of Modern Art and is a member of ArtTable. Mrs. Sant completed her term on the Stanford University Board of Trustees in 2007. She is emeritus member of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region.
entrepreneur, Vice President, Google[x]
Megan is an entrepreneur, tech evangelist, engineer, catalyst and connector. At Google[x], Megan works on a range of projects including co-creating/hosting SolveForX and co-creating WomenTechmakers. She was VP New Business Development across Google’s global engineering and product teams for nine years - managing early-stage partnerships, pilot explorations, and technology licensing, led acquisitions for Google Earth,Google Maps and Picasa, and GM-ed Google.org’s engineering transition adding Google Crisis Response, Google for Nonprofits, Earth Outreach/Engine and increased employee engagement. Prior to joining Google, Megan was CEO and earlier, COO of PlanetOut, the leading LGBT online community, where the team broke through many barriers and partnered closely with AOL, Yahoo!, MSN and other major web players, and was early at General Magic and Apple Japan. Over the years, Megan has contributed to a wide range of engineering projects, including an award-winning bicycle lock, space station construction program, solar cookstoves and was a member of the MIT student team who designed, built and raced a solar car 2000 miles across the Australian outback. She holds a bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT, where she now serves on the board. She completed her master's thesis work at the MIT Media Lab. @smithmegan
Former Director, U.S. State Department Art in Embassies Program
Ms. Swig is founder & president of ComCon International, member, Board of Directors of The Swig Company and founder of Roselyne C. Swig Artsource (1978-94). She has devoted decades to philanthropic and community service efforts, at local, national and global level with principal focus on women’s empowerment, social welfare issues, fine art, political advocacy and education. She was appointed Director of the U.S. Department of State Art in Embassies Program by President William J. Clinton (1994-97). Ms. Swig is founder of SF Partners Ending Domestic Abuse. Additional board memberships include: Mills College, Lifetime Trustee; SF Art Institute; Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archives; NPR Foundation; AIPAC; American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee; United Religions Initiative; Jewish Community Federation of SF, Peninsula, Marin & Sonoma Counties (past president, Women’s Division and past president, Board of Directors ’92-’94); SF Museum of Modern Art, and SF Contemporary Jewish Museum, past chairperson. Ms. Swig served the City and County of San Francisco as past president of SF Arts Commission; SF Library Commission and co-chairperson, design committee, SF Holocaust Memorial. Ms. Swig attended UC Berkeley and UCLA; awarded Honorary Degrees from SF Art Institute; University of San Francisco; Mills College and Santa Clara University.
Executive Vice President for Wholesale Lending, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
Kathleen Vaughan is an executive vice president with Wells Fargo & Co and currently leads the national Wholesale Lending business for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, the largest mortgage company in the United States.
Kathleen is a member of the Most Powerful Women’s list issued by FORTUNE and is a member of the Vital Voices Board. In addition to her professional responsibilities, she is a mentor in the FORTUNE/US State Department International Mentorship program and has hosted women mentees from Zimbabwe, Kenya, Egypt and Argentina.
Kathleen won the WF volunteer service award and sits on the Board of the La Pietra Coalition.
Fashion Designer & President of CFDA
Diane von Furstenberg first arrived in the fashion world in 1972 with her iconic wrap dress, the seed of what is today a full fashion house. By 1976, Diane had sold millions of her dresses, coming to symbolize female power and freedom to an entire generation. Today, the DVF collection includes ready-to-wear, shoes, handbags, accessories, eyewear, swim, DVF by H. Stern fine jewelry and watches, rugs, home and luggage.
In 2005, Diane was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) for her impact on fashion, and one year later, was elected the CFDA’s new president, an office she continues to hold. A firm believer in the infinite power of women, Diane sits on the board of Vital Voices, a women’s leadership organization that empowers emerging women leaders and social entrepreneurs around the world. In 2010 she established The DVF Awards with The Diller- von Furstenberg Family Foundation to honor women who have displayed leadership, strength, and courage in their commitment to their causes.