In her role as Women’s Funding Network Chief Communication and Engagement Officer, Deborah brings extensive experience from a career spanning media, healthcare, agency and human rights. Prior to WFN, Deborah served as Chief of Staff and Vice President of Communications at Global Fund for Women, where she led the organization’s communications, reputation/brand management, media relations and human resources.
Her agency experience as Senior Vice President at Fleishman Hillard International Communications, included specialties in healthcare, public health and the non-profit sectors. In addition to serving as Global Co-Chair of the Multicultural Practice group, Deborah helped guide award winning programs and initiatives for the firm’s global healthcare and environmental sustainability practice groups.
Deborah’s agency work was fueled by her experience as Director of Public Relations and Marketing for Truman Medical Centers, a large academic health system in Kansas City, Missouri.
An accomplished television news reporter and analyst for more than 30 years, Deborah has worked for local and international news organization and received numerous awards for investigative reporting and documentaries.
Outside of work, Deborah has been a tireless advocate for racial and social justice equity, political empowerment and freedom of the press. Her boards and community service reflect that commitment and include: Bay Area Blacks in Philanthropy, Association of Black Fundraising Executives, Wellesley Centers for Women, Global Press Institute, and The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Deborah has a BA in Journalism from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and is conversant in French.
Marcia Coné, PhD, is Chief Strategist and responsible for all Women’s Funding Network programs and initiatives.
Prior to WFN, Dr. Coné led the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island for more than a decade, during which she developed and spearheaded the organization’s flagship programs and strategic investments. The Fund’s transformation to a cutting-edge gender equality think-tank, continuously advocating for policy changes with a gender lens, resulted in more than two dozen legislative wins. In addition, the Fund produced reliable research on women’s representation across all sectors and provided policy recommendations designed to promote equity and strengthen the local economy.
Under her leadership, through its Women’s Policy Institute, Women’s Fund of Rhode Island led the state advocacy for paid family leave (Temporary Caregiver Insurance), positioning Rhode Island as a national leader in family and workplace policies; earning kudos from President Barack Obama in 2014.
Candice Elder joined Women’s Funding Network as the Executive Coordinator before taking on the role of Partnerships Manager. Prior to this, she worked as a paralegal for nine years at law firms specializing in the areas of employment, civil rights, and antitrust law.
Candice has worked with many non-profit organizations and boards. She is currently serving her second term as President of the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) Vanguard—a young professionals board dedicated to advancing the mission of MoAD by fostering long-term commitments to art, education, culture, and philanthropy. Candice has served five years on MoAD Vanguard where she has played an instrumental role in the strategic planning and fundraising for MoAD. Candice is also an advisory committee member for the African American Policy Forum’s “Breaking the Silence” Town Hall for Women and Girls of Color in Oakland, which will hear testimonies concerning education, interpersonal/intercommunal violence, impact of the criminal legal system, and displacement/gentrification. Candice also serves on the Board of Directors for the University of California, Berkeley Black Alumni Club.
Candice Elder holds a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley and a Masters of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati. As an Oakland native, she holds a special interest in social justice, the advancement of women and girls of color, programs for the elevation of low income women, and will always be steadfast in efforts for racial and gender equality.
Michaela is a strategist, digital media producer, storyteller and social scientist. Her approach to advocacy, communication and research, elevates constituent voices through participatory processes, and multimedia storytelling. She has been fortunate to collaborate with human rights activists and defenders around the globe, including Global Fund for Women, Memphis Music Initiative, Grassroots Girls Initiative, Tipping Point Community and EngenderHealth. Michaela holds a master’s of public health, a master’s of public affairs from the University of Washington with a focus on global health and storytelling, and a BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. You can learn more about Leslie-Rule and her work at http://www.factmemorytestimony.com/
Claudia began her work with the Women’s Funding Network as a communications fellow and continues to support WFN by producing one of its curated news vehicles, the Weekly Read.
Claudia currently serves as Development Associate for the St. Francis Center in Los Angeles, CA. In addition to her WFN fellowship, she completed internships at law firms in California, including Bet Tzedek Legal Services, the Children’s Law Center of California, and the Asian Law Alliance. Claudia has a Bachelor of Arts in Politics from Occidental College.
Karen joins the Women’s Funding Network as the Executive Coordinator coming from a range of experience in women-focused nonprofit work. She is interested in tackling issues of inequality across gender, race and class, with experience advocating for women from all walks of life in a variety of settings. Prior to this, she worked as an advocate at an agency serving poor and homeless women in the Boston area. She has performed administrative as well as client-facing work in centers serving those affected by sexual violence as well as in research and grant-making organizations.
Karen holds a Bachelor of Arts in International and Global Studies, and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies from Brandeis University, where she also attained a Masters in the Comparative Humanities. She is interested in how the fictional, theoretical and ethnographic text on intersectional feminism can bring knowledge to bear upon governance and philanthropy. Being originally from Brazil, Karen is keenly aware of issues facing immigrant women today, and she brings a global perspective to her efforts in the work against social injustices and inequalities.