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Tara Abrahams - Director, 10x10: The Girls Education Project Action Campaign
Tara Abrahams currently serves as the director of the 10x10 social action campaign. 10x10 is a first-of-its kind global campaign to educate girls. The campaign combines the power of a groundbreaking feature film with the reach of a global, digitally-integrated social action initiative. Both elements drive home a simple message: a global commitment to educating girls in the developing world will bring about transformational change, economic growth and development. In her capacity as director, Tara manages 10x10’s partnerships with leading NGOs, corporations, and policy-focused organizations, connecting best-practice, girl-focused programs around the world to the 10x10 film production and campaign strategy.
Tara began her career in the nonprofit sector as the founding New York director of Health Leads (formerly Project HEALTH,) an organization that mobilizes undergraduate volunteers to partner with hospitals and implement programs that will improve the health of low-income children and families. Tara has served as managing director at Acelero Learning, a company that works in partnership with Head Start programs around the country to improve early childhood education for low-income children, and as a consultant at The Bridgespan Group, a firm that works with nonprofit and philanthropic leaders to develop strategies and build organizations that inspire and accelerate social change. Prior to her role with 10x10, Tara was the founding director at the Maverick Capital Foundation, a philanthropic organization focused on education and youth development in New York City.
Tara graduated from Harvard College and completed her MBA at the Harvard Business School. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.
Nancy Alexander - Consultant
Nancy is committed to social transformation, especially systemic change that takes place through and for women’s influence and energy. As a consultant, she helps organizations that are committed to improving the world to develop a clear, shared vision and the most direct ways to realize it. She also helps women philanthropists make more powerful and soulful decisions about how to use their resources.
Nancy is the founding alumna supporter of the Yale Women Faculty Forum, several hundred faculty and staff at Yale dedicated to diversity and equity. She has chaired the Community Fund for Women and Girls of Greater New Haven and its grants committee, leading them through a transition to an activist and advocacy funding organization; she also co-chaired the recently completed $76 million, record-breaking campaign for Emma Willard School. Nancy co-authored the strategic plan for the YaleWomen alumnae organization and is vice-chair of the board of Dwight Hall, the largest student community service and social justice organization in the US.
Nancy is a leading voice in advancing gender equity and inclusiveness in the architectural profession and the built environment, and is vice-chair of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation.
Nancy began her career in marketing and strategic planning with Procter and Gamble and American Express. After serving as a Bank of America vice president, she became an eco-business pioneer. Her BA (sociology) and MBA are from Yale; she wrote her women’s studies MA thesis at Southern Connecticut State University on women’s sacred space. Nancy attended Hunter College High School when it was all-girls.
Nancy has four daughters, two of whom graduated from Emma Willard School. When she and her husband adopted two of their daughters in Russia, her very first thought as the adoption was finalized was, "These girls are going to get to go to college."
Katie Couric - Journalist
Katie Couric is an award-winning journalist, veteran TV personality and New York Times best-selling author. Her new syndicated daytime talk show, Katie, will premiere in September 2012. Prior to joining the Disney/ABC Television Group, Couric was the anchor and managing editor of the CBS EVENING NEWS WITH KATIE COURIC, a 60 MINUTES correspondent and anchor of CBS News primetime specials. When the CBS EVENING NEWS WITH KATIE COURIC debuted on September 5, 2006, Couric became the first female solo anchor of a weekday network evening news broadcast. She also writes a monthly column for GLAMOUR magazine which features an interview with a new female role model every month and is active on twitter, @katiecouric.
In 2000, Couric launched the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance in association with the Entertainment Industry Foundation and Lilly Tartikoff, to fund new medical research in colorectal cancer. Couric is also a co-founder of Stand Up to Cancer and in May 2008 and then again in September 2010 she and her other network news counterparts participated in the Stand Up To Cancer broadcasts, an unprecedented effort that culminated in a one-hour, commercial-free, primetime program fundraising special, which featured live performances and appearances by legendary recording artists and stars from the worlds of film, television and sports.
Dana Dakin - Founder, WomensTrust
Dana Dakin founded WomensTrust, after a 40-year career in the financial services industry. With experience at the New York Stock Exchange and in pension consulting with Callan Associates, she pioneered the first creative agency to focus on marketing for institutional investment firms. From its start in 1976, Dakin Partners was associated with some of the great launches in the money management business, and went on to co-produce the eight-part PBS series, "Beyond Wall Street: The Art of Investing."
In 2003, to celebrate turning 60, Dakin shifted her focus to help women and girls in Africa break the cycle of poverty through education and entrepreneurship. She chose the village of Pokuase, a community of 20,000 people in Ghana, to pilot and test an entrepreneurial approach to women's empowerment that integrates microloans for women, education for girls, and healthcare.
Since then, WomensTrust has issued loans to more than 2,000 women, with repayment rates above 90 percent. Its keep-girls-in-school program has assigned scholarships to more than 700 girls, supplemented by leadership and computer skill-building classes. In 2012, WomensTrust will break ground in Pokuase for a resource center to facilitate partnering with other communities throughout Ghana.
Dakin graduated in 1964 from Scripps College with a senior honors thesis on Pan-Africanism. She served nine years as a Scripps trustee, and board member with the Women's Fund of New Hampshire. Dakin was named a 2008 Purpose Prize Fellow, and in 2010 received the prestigious Isabel Benham Award from the Women's Bond Club of New York. She resides in Wilmont Flat, New Hampshire.
Dr. Abigail E. Disney
Dr. Abigail E. Disney - President, Fork Films and Co-President, Daphne Foundation
Dr. Abigail E. Disney is the President of Fork Films and the Co-President of the Daphne Foundation.
She is a filmmaker, philanthropist, and scholar. Her first film was the acclaimed Pray the Devil Back to Hell about the Liberian women who peacefully ended their civil war. She is currently producing the mini-series Women, War & Peace for PBS, about the unreported role of women in peace processes around the world.
Along with her husband, Pierre Hauser, Abigail co-founded the Daphne Foundation in 1991 and has since played key roles in philanthropy and social activism.
Abigail holds degrees from Yale, Stanford and Columbia. She lives in New York City with her husband and four children.
Meera Gandhi - Founder, The Giving Back Foundation
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 CEO and 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."
Meera Gandhi is the daughter of an Irish mother and an Indian father. She grew up and was educated in India, the UK, Canada, and the United States, where she received her MBA. In 2007 Meera Gandhi completed the Executive Education Program from the Harvard Business School. She is married to Vikram Gandhi of Credit Suisse and they have three children.
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.
100 percent of the proceeds from the projects will go to charity. Donna Karan International recently honored Meera Gandhi by naming her as one of its "Women Who Inspire." In the words of Kerry Kennedy, "Meera Gandhi is one of those remarkable women whom the angels must have sent to teach us a lesson on how to conduct a fruitful life."
Holly Gordon - Executive Director, 10x10: The Girls Education Project
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.
Trudy E. Hall
Trudy E. Hall - Head of School, Emma Willard School
Trudy received an M.A.L.S. from Duke University, an M.Ed. in counseling and consulting psychology from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a B.S. in psychology and sociology from St. Lawrence University.
Her positions of leadership in independent school education include Associate Head of the Hutchison School, Head of Miss Hall’s School, Dean of the Culver Girls Academy, Dean of Faculty of the Culver Academies, guidance counselor and admissions officer at the Savannah Country Day School, and Dean of Students at Stoneleigh-Burnham School.
She also taught geography at the International School in Saudi Arabia and social studies at Culver and Stoneleigh-Burnham.
Trudy’s career in private education took her from Jamaica, to the Near East, to numerous schools along the U.S. coast, to the Midwest and back. She is currently the Vice-President of the Board of Trustees of the New York State Association of Independent Schools. She has also served on the boards of the National Coalition of Girls’ School, the Robert C. Parker School, the YWCA of the Capital District, the Rensselaer County Chamber of Commerce and Headmistresses of the East.
She also led the initial conceptualization for AUDACIA, the global forum for girls’ education, which is designed to garner resources for programs and practices that hold promise for eradicating the barriers—poverty, violence and prejudice—that prevent some ninety million girls from receiving a quality education or any education at all. Emma Willard School is the founding sponsor for the Forum.
Trudy is an avid international traveler, and her favorite avocation is visiting schools throughout the United States and around the world.
Carol Jenkins - Board Chair, AMREF USA and Founding President, The Women's Media Center
Carol Jenkins is an award-winning writer, producer and media analyst. She is a sought-after speaker and writer on issues relating to the media, specifically the participation of women and people of color; women’s participation in the political and economic structures in the US; and the health of women in developing countries, particularly on the African continent.
An Emmy-winning former television journalist, she was founding president and board member of The Women’s Media Center, the groundbreaking non-profit aimed at increasing coverage and participation of women in the media. Carol Jenkins is Chair of the Board of Directors of AMREF USA (The African Medical & Research Foundation) - a 53 year old organization based in Nairobi that is the largest African health NGO on the continent. Carol is a member of the President's Council of Advisors at The National Council for Research on Women and formerly served on the boards of the Ms. Foundation for Women and The Feminist Press.
She is the co-author, with her daughter Elizabeth Gardner Hines, of
Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire
. A biography of her uncle, it was winner of Best Non-Fiction award from the Black Caucus of The American Library Association. She was an Executive Producer of Eve Ensler’s Sundance award-winning documentary,
What I Want My Words to Do to You
Ms. Jenkins is a recipient of both the Lifetime Achievement and International Reporting awards from the National Association of Black Journalists/NY.
Jensine Larsen - Founder and CEO, World Pulse
Jensine (Yen-See Nah) Larsen is a social media entrepreneur, international journalist, and recognized leader in the movement for global women's empowerment. At age 28 she founded World Pulse - an action media network bringing women a global voice - after working as a freelance journalist covering indigenous movements and ethnic cleansing in South America and Southeast Asia.
After successfully launching a print magazine, in 2007 Larsen turned her eyes to the future of communications technology in the developing world. She pioneered an interactive global women's newswire where women worldwide - including those using internet cafes and cell phones from rural villages and conflict zones - can speak for themselves to the world and solve global problems.
Most recently, Larsen has launched a new program that is training women in new media, citizen journalism and empowerment and fostering a network of women citizen journalists from some of the most forgotten regions of the world.
Today 50,000 women from 185 countries are connecting through World Pulse and producing a multiplier effect of change. Women previously unknown by the global public are having their stories picked up by the BBC, CNN, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation, the UN, and the Huffington Post and beyond. In addition, by networking through World Pulse's website grassroots women leaders are finding job opportunities, starting new programs and businesses, launching women's cybercafes, and finding international speaking opportunities that are changing their lives and lifting their communities.
Jensine has appeared on NPR and PBS and presented keynotes and panels at TED, Skoll World Forum for Social Entrepreneurship, Bioneers Global, Nobel Women's Initiative, Digital Earth, WebVisions, Women in Technology International, the Women's Funding Network, and the Conference on World Affairs, to name a few.