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Emily Leys - Global Director of Girls' Education, Room to Read
Emily Leys is the Global Director of Girls’ Education at Room to Read. She joined Room to Read eight years ago as the third member of its growing Global Office team and has been leading the Girls’ Education program since 2005. This holistic program supports disadvantaged girls to complete secondary school and develop the skills required to negotiate key life decisions. The Girls’ Education program includes life skills education, engages parents and communities, and provides local mentors for the over 10,000 girls that currently participate in the program in Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Zambia. Emily has spent the past 15 years working on global political and social issues, and her greatest passion is promoting gender equality. She lived in South Africa for three years working on youth empowerment and successfully led a local youth program in Cape Town, for which she was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow by the Cape Town Rotary Club. Emily earned a master’s degree in South African and African Politics from the University of Cape Town, South Africa and holds a bachelor’s degree in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Dr. Changu Mannathoko
Dr. Changu Mannathoko - Senior Policy Advisor, Education, UNICEF
Dr. Changu Mannathoko, UNICEF Senior Policy Advisor, Education, came to New York from the UNICEF Regional Office of Eastern and Southern Africa in Nairobi, where she worked as the Regional Education Advisor from 2000 to 2006. As regional education advisor, she worked with and travelled to 21 countries in the region, providing technical support in the areas of education, gender and development, gender, sexuality and HIV and AIDS in the education sector. She also worked on life-skills education, rights-based approach to programming, violence in and around schools and early childhood development. She was involved in innovative programmes including Child Friendly Schools for Africa, Delivery of Essential Services for Children (especially care and support), gender, sexuality and HIV and AIDS in education and the Girls' Education Movement.
She has also worked extensively on emergency preparedness and response in the education sector and transition to post conflict situations in countries like Burundi. Prior to joining UNICEF, Dr. Mannathoko established a regional course on Gender and Development for Southern Africa whilst at the University of Botswana.
In her current role, Dr. Mannathoko provides technical support and expertise to countries in the areas of gender equity and girls' education, capacity development, child-friendly schools as pathways to quality education, safety and security in schools, HIV and AIDS prevention, life-skills based education and United Nations partnerships for girls' education (UNGEI).
Dr. Mannathoko has a Master's in Education degree in Education Management from the University of Botswana and a PhD in Gender and Education from Birmingham University in the United Kingdom.
Jaykumar Menon - Senior Director, Education and Global Development, Prize Development, X PRIZE Foundation
Jaykumar Menon is an award-winning international human rights lawyer, an entrepreneur, a former McKinsey consultant, and an adjunct professor at McGill University. As director of the education and global development group at the X PRIZE Foundation, he is exploring prizes in water, clean energy, hunger, infectious disease, education technology, and other areas. As a lawyer, working with the Center for Constitutional Rights, and alongside community activists and private investigators, Jaykumar has represented the student leaders from Tiananmen Square against the former Premier of China (Li Peng), helped win a $4 billion judgment on behalf of victims of the Bosnian genocide against Radovan Karadzic, and freed a man from death row in Indiana. As a scholar (an adjunct professor at the McGill Institute for the Study of International Development, and a Research Fellow at the McGill-based Centre for International Sustainable Development Law), he has written articles in leading international human rights law reference books and law journals, including those published by the Oxford University Press. As an entrepreneur, he co-founded a venture-funded Internet company with current seven-figure revenues. Jaykumar is a published creative writer, and served as associate editor of a book published by McSweeney's. Jaykumar studied at Columbia Law School (J.D.), Brown Medical School (completed one year, as a member of the Program in Liberal Medical Education), the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs (M.I.A.), and Brown University (B.A.). Jaykumar hopes to creatively effect large-scale and just social change.
Kathryn Moeller - Doctoral Candidate, University of California, Berkeley
Kathryn Moeller is a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Berkeley in the Social & Cultural Studies program of the Graduate School of Education, and she is pursuing a Designated Emphasis in Gender, Women, & Sexuality. Her research and teaching focus on the relationships between education, feminism, and development. Her forthcoming dissertation examines the role of transnational corporations and their foundations in the field of girls’ education. Her field research in the U.S. and Brazil was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (2009-2010) and Fulbright-Hays (2009-2010). She is currently a National Academy of Education Spencer Dissertation Fellow (2011-2012) for the study of education. As a graduate student instructor, she has taught courses on global poverty, feminism, and the relationship between the U.S. and Latin America. Prior to graduate school, she taught in formal and non-formal educational settings in the U.S. and Honduras.
Uju Ofomata-Aderemi - Programme Director, Mobile4Good projects, OneWorld UK
Uju Ofomata-Aderemi is currently Programme Director, Mobile4Good projects at OneWorld UK, where she oversees mobile and Web-based community empowerment projects in Africa. In the last 5 years, she has overseen the development and implementation of the Learning about Living Programme, a sexual and reproductive health educational project which uses new media to empower adolescents (especially young girls), to improve their life chances. Following a successful two-year pilot in Nigeria, the programme is being scaled up across Nigeria, launched in Senegal and Morocco, and is set to launch in two other countries.
Uju has worked previously as a Pharmacist with GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals in Nigeria, and as the Head of Corporate Affairs, led the Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives of a bank in Nigeria. She has an MBA and a MPH from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom and her interest is in Public-Private and Voluntary sector partnerships for social development and poverty alleviation. Uju believes technology offers a real chance of improving healthcare for vulnerable groups if harnessed properly and is often seen speaking at conferences - including the World Economic Forum on Africa and mHealth summits - on the use of new media in health care, especially for young people.
Kristine Pearson - CEO and Founder, Lifeline Energy
Kristine Pearson is CEO and founder of Lifeline Energy (formerly Freeplay Foundation) which addresses energy poverty for women and girls through access to information, education and light. A not-for-profit social enterprise based in London, UK and Cape Town, South Africa, Lifeline Energy designs, develops and manufactures the solar and wind-up media players, radios and lights it distributes. Since 1999, Lifeline Energy has distributed more than 500,000 self-powering radios for group listening conservatively reaching 20 million listeners. It operates mainly in sub-Saharan Africa and works across health, education, agriculture, peacemaking, emergencies, economic empowerment and the environment. It won the first Tech Museum of Innovation Award in 2001 in the education category. Its latest innovation, the Lifeplayer MP3 is a finalist in INDEX: Design to Improve Life Awards.
Kristine conceived the idea of the successful Lifeline radio, the first radio designed and engineered for distance education and children living on their own. Her innovative work with the Lifeline radio led her to be honored with Silicon Valley’s prestigious James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award and TIME magazine named her as a Hero of the Environment. She is a fellow of the Schwab Foundation and serves on the Global Agenda Council’s New Energy Architecture Committee, both of the World Economic Forum. Kristine serves on the Women's Leadership Board of the Kennedy School at Harvard University, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, and the UN Foundation’s Sustainable Energy Practitioner Network.
Gayle Peterson - Principal and Senior Partner, Headwaters Group; Associate Fellow, Said Business School
Gayle Peterson, Principal and Project Lead, Headwaters Senior Partner, and Managing Director and Associate Fellow, Said Business School, University of Oxford. As Headwaters' co-founder, Gayle has more than 20 years of experience in civil society, human rights, and sustainable development. She has extensive experience in program development and evaluation in poverty alleviation, multi-sector partnerships, and gender inequality. At Oxford University, she is developing a research and executive education program titled Women and Children at the Centre Initiative, which focuses on curriculum development aimed at improving the lives of women and chidren globally through aid and social investing, based on field research in Brazil, Mexico, Haiti, Gaza, Ghana, India, China, and Russia. Gayle has served on the German Marshall Fund and International Finance Corporation Monitoring and Evaluation Advisory Group. She is currently writing a book to be published by Stanford University Press, titled "Good, Wicked, Evil: the Art, Science, and Business of Global Giving" which incorporates results from more than 1,000 interviews with leading global donors and 25 case studies demonstrating emerging trends and practices in global giving.
Kathleen Ponze - Director of New Initiatives, The Young Women's Leadership Network
Kathleen Ponze is the Director of New Initiatives for The Young Women's Leadership Network. Kathleen holds a BA in French, a Master’s in French and Romance Philology, and an MA Philosophy all from Columbia University where she taught French and was the first managing editor of Semiotext(e). Kathleen was a research assistant to the Dean of the Arts at Queens College as well as the Assistant Director of Marketing for the Kalso Earth Shoe Company before working as Assistant to the Treasurer at a New York division of Mitsubishi International Corporation. In 1985 she became a teacher of French and Spanish in NYC. She was selected as the Principal of The Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem in 2001 where she created an exemplary learning community. She was recognized in 2005 by NASSP as one of 10 national Breakthrough High School Principals. She is the recipient of the Harlem Children’s Storefront School Educator of the Year Award. She has presented on the YWL model at numerous conferences.
Kathleen is partnering with NCGS on the Advisory Board for the National Conference on Girls’ Education(NCGE) to be held in Washington DC in February 2012.
Kathleen provides a wide variety of educational training and supports to principals and teachers in YWL network and affiliate schools.
The Young Women’s Leadership Network(YWLN) is a non-profit founded by Ann and Andrew Tisch to support both the girls’ schools and to implement the CollegeBound Initiative (CBI).
Sara Bowers Posada
Sara Bowers Posada - Portfolio Manager, Nike Foundation
Sara Bowers Posada has worked on education and child protection since 1998 in countries including Zimbabwe, Uganda, Guatemala, India, the United States, and Afghanistan. She is currently a Portfolio Manager at the Nike Foundation, funding programs that empower adolescent girls worldwide. She spearheads Nike Foundation’s education and legal rights investments and works closely with partners such as Save the Children, Landesa, Synergos, and Equality Now. Sara also leads the Learning Action Network grant portfolio, which promotes more and better girl-focused programs among key Foundation partners.
Before joining the Nike Foundation, Sara designed and implemented education programs in South Asia with Catholic Relief Services. Chief among these programs was the PACE-A community-based education program in Afghanistan, which worked with both remote communities and the Ministry of Education to create locally-led, government-recognized schools to provide rural children and adolescent girls access to education for the very first time.
Sara holds a master’s degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a bachelor’s degree in government from Wesleyan University.
Anika Rahman - President and CEO, Ms. Foundation for Women
In February 2011, Anika Rahman became the President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women, the leading foundation committed to building women's collective power to ignite change across the United States.
Anika Rahman has spent her life and career fighting for women’s rights and dignity. Her passion took root during childhood, when she was raised by women in her native Bangladesh. From them she learned courage, tenacity and the will to always fight for justice.
Anika came to the US to attend Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She then earned a Juris Doctorate from Columbia Law School, and upon graduation, joined the New York law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Following her passion for social justice, it wasn't long before Anika transitioned to the non-profit arena. In 1993, she joined the Center for Reproductive Rights as a staff attorney, and soon became their first director of international programs. While at the Center, Anika built her non-profit management and fundraising skills, growing a staff of 20 and raising an annual budget of $2.25 million. In 2004, Anika became the president of Americans for UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund), where she dramatically increased the institution's resources and negotiated a $37 million bequest.
For nearly two decades, whether focusing her efforts in the United States or around the world, Anika Rahman has been instrumental in raising awareness and support for the global fight for women's human rights.