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Summit Speakers

Listed alphabetically by first name

Ana Oliveira, President & CEO, The New York Women's Foundation

Session: The Intersection of Girls, Race, and Economic Security

Ana Oliveira

Ana Oliveira, President & CEO of The New York Women’s Foundation since 2006, has dedicated her life to helping underinvested communities throughout New York City for over 22 years. At the New York Women’s Foundation, Ana’s leadership has resulted in several dimensions of growth including establishing a new strategic plan, sponsoring landmark research reports, increasing the visibility and impact of The Foundation, as well as overseeing a $50 million dollar sustainability campaign. In 2013, The Foundation’s 26th year of existence will have distributed a record of over $5 million in grants to organizations that promote the rights and economic security of women. Prior to her role at the New York Women’s Foundation, Ana served as the Executive Director of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis where she oversaw a complete organizational turn-around that included recovering from a $6.5 million debt, and resulted in a stable and expanded organization. Prior to that, Ana directed innovative community-based programs at Samaritan Village and the Osborne Association focusing on initiatives providing substance abuse, criminal justice, and medical related services for women, ex-offenders, and persons living with AIDS. Ana was also previously a substance abuse specialist at Kings County Addictive Diseases Hospital where she developed the first acupuncture detoxification clinic for methadone and alcohol involved patients and brought her practices to the Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center as a Clinical Supervisor. Ana has served as a member of the New York City HIV Planning Council, in the New York City Commission on AIDS, chaired the NYC Commission for LGBTQ Runaway and Homeless Youth, and most recently Co-Chaired Mayor Bloomberg’s Young Men’s Initiative. She is currently serving on the Board of the Women’s Funding Network. In 2005, Ana was profiled in Newsweek as “America’s Best,” a series highlighting ordinary individuals using their extraordinary vision on behalf of others. Ana has been honored with the Mutual Welfare League Certificate, (Osborne Association); Liberty Award, (Lambda Legal & Education Defense Fund); the Rosie Perez Fuerza Award, (Latino Commission on AIDS), the NYCLU Liberty Award; and the June Jordan Claim Award (Brotherhood SisterSol). Ana was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and resides in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She has an M.A. in Medical Anthropology and a PhD. (hon. from the New School for Social Research).

Barbara Gault, Vice President & Executive Director, Institute for Women's Policy Research

Session: A Call to Action: Pay Equity in Every State

Twitter: @bagault

Barbara Gault

Barbara Gault, Ph.D., is the Vice President and Executive Director of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Since joining the Institute in 1997 she has focused on a wide range of issues of importance to women and their families, including poverty, access to education, health, work-life balance, political engagement, and the need for expanded preschool and child care options for working parents. Her publications include Improving Child Care Access to Promote Postsecondary Success Among Low-Income Parents,  Resilient and Reaching for More: Challenges and Benefits of Higher Education for Welfare Participants and Their Children, “The Costs and Benefits of Policies to Advance Work Life Integration” as well as The Price of School Readiness: A Tool for Estimating the Cost of Universal Preschool in the States; and Working First But Working Poor: The Need for Education and Training Following Welfare Reform.  She has testified in Congress on low-income women’s educational access, has spoken on women’s issues in venues throughout the country including at White House sponsored events, and appears in a range of print, radio and television media outlets. Prior to joining IWPR, Dr. Gault conducted research at the Office of Children’s Health Policy Research, and served as a staff and board member of organizations promoting human rights in Latin America. She received her Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. from the University of Michigan. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Coalition on Human Needs, and is a Research Professor of Women’s Studies at the George Washington University.

Carol Penick, Executive Director, Women's Foundation of Mississippi

Session: Two-Generation Programs in Action: A Women’s Foundation Perspective

Twitter: @carol_penick

Carol Penick

As founding Executive Director, Carol Penick led the Foundation in its growth as an independent statewide nonprofit from its start as a small program at the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson when she started in 2007. Since the launch as the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi (WFM) in 2009, Carol’s vision for helping women in Mississippi thrive has grown the grantmaking base from $68,000 in year one to approximately $1 million in 2016, and has brought $4.5 million of investment into the state.

Her work in grantmaking, social change, and equality extends beyond WFM, as Carol is immediate past-president of the Mississippi Association of Grantmakers and continues to serve as board member. Carol has a leadership role on the board of the international Women’s Funding Network. She recently represented Mississippi at the White House Council on Women and Girls summit as part of Prosperity Together – a coalition of 28 women’s foundations – which committed $100 million toward advancing women’s economic security. Carol is a member of St. Andrews Cathedral.

Cynthia Nimmo, CEO, Women's Funding Network


  • Highlighting the Impact of Women’s Foundations
  • Corporations and Philanthropy: Strategic Giving

Twitter: @cynthia_nimmo

Cynthia Nimmo

Cynthia Nimmo is the Chief Executive Officer for the Women’s Funding Network. She brings more than a decade of experience harnessing the power of philanthropy to improve the lives of women and girls. A proven leader with a passionate commitment for women’s equality, she most recently ran a successful consultancy advising a diverse group of for-profit and non-profit clients to advance social causes. Cynthia first joined Women’s Funding Network as an executive in 2003, first serving as Vice President of Member Services, and then as Chief Operations Officer, managing all programs, communications, membership and conferences. In that time, she oversaw the development of multiple tools, including a social impact assessment system that has been used by hundreds of organizations worldwide, grew the membership by 50 percent, and led multiple strategic planning processes to grow the network. Early in her career, Cynthia helped to launch, the first online network for women, and served as a Legislative Aide to United States Senator Dianne Feinstein. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and International Relations and a Bachelor of Art in Spanish from Santa Clara University. Cynthia is a member of Hispanics in Philanthropy, and has presented at numerous conferences. She is the Chair of the Sustainability Commission for the City of Sausalito and is the proud mother of Max.

Desiree Flores, U.S. Social Justice Program Director, Arcus Foundation

Session: Alliances Between Women’s and LGBTQ Philanthropic Communities

Desiree Flores

Desiree brings more than a decade of social justice grantmaking and program development experience supporting marginalized leadership and constituency building at the local, state, and national levels. Most recently, she was the Director of Board Affairs for Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its nonpartisan advocacy and political arm, Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Prior to that, she was a Program Officer at the Ms. Foundation for Women, where she led programs on reproductive justice, HIV/AIDS, and school-based sexuality education. Through this work, she advised and partnered with foundations, individual donors, national advocates, and community-based organizations to create a more racially diverse and politically powerful domestic pro-choice movement. Having grown up on a dairy farm in California’s central valley as the granddaughter of Mexican farm workers, Desiree is committed to supporting equality and opportunity for the United States’ most vulnerable communities. She holds a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and a master’s in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Elena Chávez Quezada, Sr. Program Officer, Walter and Elise Haas Fund and Steering Committee Member, Asset Funders Network

Session: Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap

Elena Chávez Quezada

Elena Chávez Quezada is a Senior Program Officer at the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, where she manages the economic security portfolio. In addition to supporting a range of organizations across San Francisco and Alameda Counties focused on workforce development, asset-building and policy, she serves on the steering committees of the Asset Funders Network, the Bay Area Workforce Funders Collaborative, and the California Asset Building Coalition. Elena came to the Fund from Tipping Point Community, where she worked as a Senior Program Officer in supporting 12 nonprofits fighting poverty in the Bay Area by leveraging financial and non-financial resources to help grantees increase organizational effectiveness and client impact. Elena moved to the Bay Area in 2008 to manage the California expansion of Single Stop USA, a national nonprofit that leverages community-based partnerships to provide access to government resources and free legal, financial, and tax preparation expertise. Prior to Single Stop, Elena worked on policy and advocacy issues in the areas of economic security and asset-building at the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program. She received a bachelor’s degree in Romance Languages and Literature from Harvard University and a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Elizabeth Barajas-Román, CEO, Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts

Session: A Call to Action: Pay Equity in Every State

Twitter: @elizabethwfwm

Elizabeth Barajas-Roman

Elizabeth has been a leader in progressive movements including advocating at the national level for the health and rights of immigrant women and their families. Most recently she was a manager at The Pew Charitable Trusts where she directed a portfolio of partners that campaigned for state and federal policy change to improve government performance. Previously, as the Director of Policy at National Latina Institute, Elizabeth directed the organization’s Washington, D.C.-based office where she was instrumental in expanding the visibility of the organization on the national stage. Elizabeth was frequently invited to be a voice in national policy discussions in the media, at the White House, on Capitol Hill and in target states.

In addition, Elizabeth’s leadership has been recognized nationally with a Center for Progressive Leadership Executive Fellowship, an appointment to the American Public Health Association Committee on Women’s Rights, and as a current member of the Association of Public Television Stations Leadership Council. Locally she is on the WGBY Public Television Board of Tribunes, a member of the steering committee for New England Women’s Policy Initiative, and a member of the External Advisory Board for the University of Massachusetts-Boston Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy. Elizabeth also serves on the Massachusetts Economic Empowerment Trust Fund Board, and the statewide Committee on Wage Equality.

She was recently honored by Massachusetts-based Business West Magazine as a 40 under 40 awardee, and by Western Mass. Women Magazine as one of their Top 25 Women to Watch. She is a certified Project Manager Professional (PMP), a graduate of Oberlin College, and received her master’s degree in international policy from Harvard University.

Françoise Girard, President, International Women's Health Coalition and WFN Board

Session: Summit Welcome

Twitter: @FrancoiseGirard

Francoise Girard

Françoise Girard is President of the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) and an advocate and expert on women’s health, human rights, sexuality, and HIV and AIDS. Françoise was Director of the Public Health Program at Open Society Foundations (OSF) from 2006-2011, where she was also Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe and Haiti in the 1990s. From 1999 to 2003, she was Senior Program Officer for International Policy at IWHC, and thereafter a consultant for IWHC, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and DAWN, a network of women’s rights activists from the global South. She has played a key role in advocacy on reproductive health and women’s rights with UN agencies and at UN Conferences such as ICPD+5, Beijing+5, General Assembly Special Sessions on HIV/AIDS and on Children, ICPD+10, the 2005 World Summit (Millennium Development Goals) and the 2030 Agenda (Sustainable Development Goals).

Françoise currently serves on the Civil Society External Advisory Panel of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and on the Advisory Committee of the Health and Human Rights Division of Human Rights Watch. She was the Chair of the Leadership Programme Committee of the 2010 International AIDS Conference, a 20,000+ participant biannual scientific conference.

She has contributed many articles to peer-reviewed journals such as ScienceHealth and Human Rights, Global Health Policy, International Family Planning Perspectives and Reproductive Health Matters. Her other publications include “Negotiating Sexual Rights and Sexual Orientation at the United Nations,” in SexPolitics: Report from the Front Lines, 2007; and “Advocacy for Sexuality and Women’s Rights: Continuities, Discontinuities and Strategies since ICPD” in Reproductive Health and Human Rights: The Way Forward, 2009. She has been quoted by BBC Radio, NPR, Al Jazeera, Voice of America, Washington PostThe Guardian(UK), Boston Globe, Associated Press, CBC/Radio-Canada, Philadelphia Inquirer and The Nation, among others.

Françoise holds an M.A. in Political Science from McGill University and an LL.B. from the Université de Montréal. She was a law clerk to Justice Charles Gonthier of the Supreme Court of Canada. She speaks French, Spanish and Russian. She and her husband David Knott are fans of Baroque opera.

Florence Tercier Holst-Roness, Director, Issues Affecting Women Programme, Oak Foundation

Session: The Business Case for a Cross-Sector Approach

Florence Tercier Holst Roness

Florence Tercier heads the Issues Affecting Women programme of Oak Foundation, working to address international social and environmental concerns. The Issues Affecting Women’s programme primarily funds initiatives that address violence against women, intra-familial violence as well as trafficking and exploitation of women.

Florence Tercier built her career in the humanitarian field with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) where she worked in war-torn countries for several years and served as the Women and War Advisor specialised in developing policy and guidance on ICRC action in favour of women affected by war, in particular setting up institutional programme addressing rape and sexual violence. She was also a member of the Board and Vice-President of Médecins Sans Frontières- Switzerland.

Heather McCulloch, Founder, Asset Building Strategies and Director, Closing the Women's Wealth Gap Initiative

Session: Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap

Heather McCulloch

Heather McCulloch, founder and principal of Asset Building Strategies, works with philanthropic, nonprofit, public and private sector leaders to advance policies and strategies that support low-wealth households to build financial assets. Heather is currently leading the Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap initiative, a national discussion among asset-building and women’s economic security advocates, researchers, funders and practitioners about policies and strategies to address the gender wealth gap.  This spring she was a visiting professor at the University of California Berkeley, College of Environmental Design, co-leading a graduate course on tackling inequality through equitable development.  From 2013-2015, she was Director of the Tax Alliance for Economic Mobility, a national coalition advancing inclusive, progressive and equitable tax policy.  For the past five years, she’s served as chief consultant to the PolicyLink financial security team. Clients have included the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the national Asset Funders Network, CFED, the Levi Strauss Foundation, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Walter and Elise Haas Fund and others.  Heather earned a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She currently serves on the Financial Education and Asset Building Advisory Committee for the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

Heidi Hartmann, President, Institute for Women's Policy Research

Session: Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap

Twitter: @heidiatiwpr

Heidi Hartmann

Heidi Hartmann is the President of the Washington-based Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), a scientific research organization that she founded in 1987 to meet the need for women-centered, policy-oriented research. She is an economist with a B.A. from Swarthmore College and M. Phil and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University, all in economics. Dr. Hartmann is also a Research Professor at The George Washington University. Dr. Hartmann lectures internationally on women, economics, and public policy; frequently testifies before the U.S. Congress; and is often cited as an authority in various media outlets, such as CNN, ABC News, The New York Times, and PBS NewsHour. She has published numerous articles in journals and books and her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. She is a co-author of several IWPR reports, including Women’s and Men’s Employment and Unemployment in the Great Recession; Still A Man’s Labor Market: The Long-Term Earnings Gap; Unnecessary Losses: Costs to Americans of the Lack of Family and Medical Leave; Equal Pay for Working Families, and Strengthening Social Security for Women. She also serves as the Editor of the Journal of Women, Politics & Policy and served as the Chair of the Board of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Prior to founding IWPR, Dr. Hartmann was on the faculties of Rutgers University and the New School for Social Research and worked at the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. In 1994, Dr. Hartmann was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship Award for her work in the field of women and economics. She is the recipient of two honorary degrees.

Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat, President & CEO, Washington Area Women's Foundation

Session: Two-Generation Programs in Action: A Women’s Foundation Perspective

Twitter: @jlockwoodshabat

Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat

As President and CEO of The Women’s Foundation, Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat lends a unique perspective to local, national and global issues impacting economically vulnerable women and girls.

Lockwood-Shabat has devoted her career to improving the lives of underserved women and girls, a dedication born from her own experience. Lockwood-Shabat was 10 when both of her parents lost their jobs. From that day forward, her family struggled to make ends meet while her mother supported the family through various jobs. She saw first-hand the challenges of achieving economic security, and it has shaped and informed her work.

Lockwood-Shabat’s mission is driven by the knowledge that women are the world’s largest growing economic force, yet economically vulnerable women in this country and globally are underemployed, underpaid, and undervalued.

Her vision is to provide a platform to amplify the voices of these women here and beyond, building a strong collective voice that will help women break the cycle of poverty and thrive. Through strategic collaboration and sharing of effective best practices with other women’s groups nationwide, she believes communities can drive change to solve systemic problems and achieve economic security for women and girls.

Kilolo Kijakazi, Institute Fellow and Director, Integrated Financial Coaching Project, Urban Institute

Session: Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap

Twitter: @kkijakazi

Kilolo Kijakazi Take Two

Kilolo Kijakazi is an Institute Fellow with the Urban Institute. She works with staff across Urban to develop collaborative partnerships with organizations and individuals who represent those most affected by the economic and social issues Urban addresses, expand and strengthen Urban’s agenda of rigorous research on issues affecting these communities, effectively communicate the findings to diverse audiences, and recruit and retain a more diverse research staff at all levels. Kilolo also directs the evaluation of the Integrated Financial Coaching Project. Previously she was a program officer at the Ford Foundation, focusing on building economic security for working families and effectively incorporating the expertise of people of color into all aspects of the work, including research, policy and practice. Prior to that, Kilolo was a senior policy analyst for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities where she specialized in Social Security, participated in a White House conference on Social Security, and provided testimony before Congress. She also served as a program analyst for the US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service where she designed and monitored evaluations of the Food Stamp Program and non-custodial parents programs. Her publications include a book titled African-American Economic Development and Small Business Ownership. She is a board member of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, the Center for Global Policy Solutions, and the National Academy of Social Insurance, as well as a member of the Bipartisan Commission on Retirement Security and Personal Savings. Kilolo holds a PhD in public policy from the George Washington University, an MSW from Howard University, and a BS from the State University of New York at Binghamton.




Laura García, Executive Director, Semillas

Session: The Business Case for a Cross-Sector Approach

Twitter: @lauragarciac

Laura Garcia

Laura García is the Executive Director of Semillas, the only women’s fund in Mexico. Laura has a Masters Degree in International Peace and Security from King’s College, London, and graduated from the Colegio de México with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations. Before working at Semillas, she was a human rights advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. She has collaborated with various civil society organizations, such as the International Center for Transitional Justice and the International Council on Security and Development (ICOS), on projects which focused on human rights, transitional justice and Latin American drug policies. In 2006, she took part in the presidential campaign of Patricia Mercado, with whom she then worked at the Alternative Voice Foundation (Fundación Voz Alternativa). The following year, she worked at the International Criminal Court in The Hague on the first case in its history. Over the years, Laura has created strong links with universities in Mexico to promote academic activities related to international criminal law. She has taught international relations at the Tecnológico de Monterrey and has taken part in various workshops and talks about international conflict resolution, human rights and justice procedures in Latin America. Laura has published articles in Mexican journals about transitional justice, human rights and gender. She forms part of the National Network of Women Human Rights Defenders. She is a Board Member of Women’s Funding Network, and serves as advisor to the Gender Advisory Council at the Levi Strauss Foundation and recently at the Global Fund for Women.

Margaret Coady, Executive Director, Corporate Social Responsibility and Coach Foundation, Coach, Inc.

Session: Corporations and Philanthropy: Strategic Giving

Twitter: @margaretcoady

Margaret Coady

As Executive Director of The Coach Foundation, Margaret works with the Foundation Board to deploy more than $5 million annually to high-impact non-profit organizations serving communities around the globe. In her role as Executive Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Margaret leads Coach, Inc.’s efforts at the intersection of corporate and community success, and develops opportunities for the company’s worldwide teams to participate in giving back to communities.

Margaret has had a longstanding career of thought leadership in corporate community engagement, having served as Executive Director of CECP, a coalition of 150 CEOs united in the belief that societal improvement is an essential measure of business performance. At CECP for more than a decade, Margaret was instrumental in establishing the non-profit as the top forum for inspiring and challenging CEOs and corporate philanthropic leaders to align community initiatives with core business strategy.

Margaret graduated with magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa honors from Williams College and was Valedictorian of her class at Columbia Business School. In 2013, she was one of 6 national finalists for the American Express NGen Leadership Award honoring nonprofit leaders age 40 or under.

Melanie Schnoll Begun, Managing Director, Head of Philanthropy Management, Morgan Stanley

Session: Corporations and Philanthropy: Strategic Giving

Melanie Schnoll Begun

Melanie Schnoll Begun is Managing Director and Head of Wealth Management’s Philanthropy Management group. She works with the firm’s most influential clients to focus, support, and scale their philanthropic endeavors. In addition to spearheading Philanthropic Consulting Services, Melanie launched and oversees the Morgan Stanley Global Impact Funding Trust (GIFT), the firm’s global Donor-Advised Fund, and Foundation Management Services, a platform for family and corporate foundations. Melanie exemplifies her professional work by living a life of committed action: She is the Nominating Chair and a former board president of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation New York City chapter, President of Morgan Stanley GIFT, and Co-Chair of Inwood Charities, among other roles. She holds a BA from Binghamton University and a JD from Quinnipiac University School of Law.

Paula Sammons, Program Officer, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Session: Funding Two-Generation Strategies to Eliminate Poverty

Twitter: @paulasammons919

Paula Sammons

Paula Sammons is program officer on the Family Economic Security team at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan. In this role, she provides leadership and oversight for the on-the-ground execution of foundation efforts that build economic security for vulnerable families and children through sustained income and asset accumulation. She recommends proposals for funding, manages a national portfolio of grants and designs and implements initiatives and projects that ensure the two objectives of family economic stability and workforce mobility. Specific strategies in these areas include integrated, comprehensive bundled services, asset development, and industry employer training partnerships while utilizing a two generation approach and racial equity lens. In addition to her national work, she serves on the place-based team of New Mexico. Prior to this team, she served as program associate on the Education & Learning team and helped manage a general portfolio of grants focused on school readiness and college and career readiness. Outside of philanthropy, Paula’s experiences have included serving as a clinical social worker, therapist and counselor in various settings including community mental health, secondary education and domestic violence. She has also had experience working across various sectors including the banking industry, business, retail, youth development and higher education. She holds a B.A. in in family life education and a master’s degree in social work. She currently serves on the Earned Income Tax Credit Funders Network and the Grantmakers Income Security Task Force. She resides in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Puja Dhawan, Director, Initiative to End Violence Against Girls and Women, NoVo Foundation

Session: Alliances Between Women’s and LGBTQ Philanthropic Communities

Puja Dhawan

Puja directs NoVo’s Initiative to End Violence Against Girls and Women.  In that role, Puja oversees NoVo’s largest operational program,Move to End Violence, as well as three of the initiative’s grantmaking priority areas: achieving economic justice for girls and women, addressing commercial sexual exploitation, and building a movement to end violence against girls and women in the United States.

Before joining NoVo, Puja was the Senior Program Officer for the U.S. Human Rights Fund at Public Interest Projects—a donor collaborative that provides strategic field-building support to social justice organizations engaged in human rights work within the United States. Puja joined the U.S. Human Rights Fund when it first launched in 2005, and over the next four years helped build the Fund’s grantmaking, program and fundraising work.

Puja has also done consulting work on developing domestic human rights funding and advocacy strategies. She authored a 2010 report for the Asian Law Caucus on integrating domestic human rights into the Asian American advocacy community, and consulted with the International Human Rights Funders Group. After law school, Puja worked as a Staff Attorney at Bay Area Legal Aid, where she represented battered women in their family law proceedings, and worked on gender and caste discrimination in South Asia at Human Rights Watch. Puja earned her J.D. from NYU School of Law and a B.A. with honors from the University of Michigan.  After violence against girls and women has finally ended, Puja plans on becoming a professional organizer (closets, not people).

Renée Joslyn, Director of Girls and Women Integration, Clinton Global Initiative

Session: The Business Case for a Cross-Sector Approach

Twitter: @msreneejoslyn

Renee Joslyn

Renée Joslyn is the director of girls and women integration at the Clinton Global Initiative. In this role she advises multinational corporations, philanthropists, NGOs, and multilateral institutions on increasing gender-focused investments in global development initiatives. She is also responsible for expanding the community of CGI members who incorporate a gender lens in their work. Prior to joining CGI, Joslyn was the senior advisor of impact and innovation at the Tides Foundation, where she developed collaborative giving models and grantmaking portfolios in gender equity, global health, human rights, economic development, and social justice. In addition, she developed and administered the Indigenous Peoples Fund, the Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund, and the Africa Family Planning and HIV Integration Fund. Before her work at Tides, she served as the director of corporate and foundation partnerships at the Ms. Foundation for Women.

Joslyn is a graduate of the University of New York at Buffalo and completed her Master of Human Services at Lincoln University.

Roslyn Dawson Thompson, President & CEO, Dallas Women’s Foundation

Session: State Senator Wendy Davis in conversation with Roslyn Dawson Thompson

Roslyn Dawson Thompson

Roslyn Dawson-Thompson is the President and CEO of the Dallas Women’s Foundation, and Board Chair of the Women’s Funding Network, an organization representing the 120 women’s funds worldwide. Dallas Women’s Foundation is a trusted leader in advancing social and economic change for women and girls through research, advocacy, grant making and empowering women’s philanthropy. The Foundation unlocks resources to improve women’s economic security, education and quality of life, to give voice to issues affecting women and girls, and to cultivate women leaders for the future.

Rye Young, Executive Director, Third Wave Fund

Session: Alliances Between Women’s and LGBTQ Philanthropic Communities

Twitter: @ryeyoungster

Rye Young

Rye Young is Third Wave Fund’s first Executive Director, carrying Third Wave Foundation’s work forward at its new Proteus Fund home. He began his career as an abortion fund hotline intern at Third Wave Foundation. Rye served in various program roles at Third Wave, and dedicated himself to developing systems for impact measurement and grantmaking, while crafting programs that met the needs of Third Wave’s grassroots, community-based organizations.

Rye strives towards a gender justice movement that is strong and interconnected across other social justice movements. He was a Grace Paley Organizing Fellow with Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, and serves on the Board of Directors of Funders for LGBTQ Issues and the New York Abortion Access Fund.

Sarah Haight, Assistant Director for the Ascend Network and Outreach, The Aspen Institute

Session: Two-Generation Programs in Action: A Women’s Foundation Perspective

Twitter: @sarahchaight

Sarah Haight

Sarah Haight is Assistant Director for Network and Outreach at Ascend at the Aspen Institute. The Aspen Institute’s mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. Ascend is a policy program of the Institute and a hub for breakthrough ideas and proven strategies that move parents, especially women, and their children beyond poverty toward educational success and economic security.

Prior to The Aspen Institute, Sarah spent six years as a fashion journalist. She held writing positions, covering design and culture, at Vogue, W, and Women’s Wear Daily. She earned her Master of Social Work degree from the Silver School of Social Work at New York University and has worked as a therapist in direct-practice clinical settings with low-income women in New York City, including an inpatient mental health facility and alternative-to-incarceration clinic, where she conducted individual, group, and family counseling sessions. She is licensed to practice social work in New York and the District of Columbia. She received her bachelor’s degree from Barnard College.

Sheri L. Scavone, Executive Director, WNY Women's Foundation

Session: Two-Generation Programs in Action: A Women’s Foundation Perspective

Sheri Scavone

Sheri Scavone is the Executive Director of the WNY Women’s Foundation. In her role, Ms. Scavone uses Foundation research data to educate, convene and forge collaborations with key community stakeholders about gender bias and other issues preventing girls and women from achieving economic self-sufficiency. She leads the Foundation to empower young girls, single mothers and aspiring female leaders through strategic initiatives and investments. Ms. Scavone is a tireless advocate for girls and women.

Sheri has over 30 years of experience leading and growing public and nonprofit organizations and advocating for causes. She currently volunteers her time to assist on the Board of Directors of SEFCU financial institution and the Gay and Lesbian Youth Services of WNY as well as with the Steering Committee of Save WNYCPC, Russell Sage College Annual Fund, University at Buffalo School of Social Work Dean’s Advisory Council, and as a member of Leadership Buffalo and many community organizations.

Ms. Scavone is a licensed physical therapist (Russell Sage College), earned an MS Executive Leader degree in Health Systems Administration (Rochester Institute of Technology) and has an advanced post-graduate certificate in Palliative Care (The Sage Colleges). Sheri is the former Director of the Cancer Services Program for the NYS Department of Health/Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, former President/CEO of Gilda’s Club Capital Region, Chief Development Officer at Bellevue Women’s Hospital, VP/COO WNY Physical & Occupational Therapy Group and also served as Senior Administrator–Surgical Oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

As a women’s college graduate and mother of twin girls, Ms. Scavone is passionate about harnessing the incredible resources of women to strengthen our community! Sheri, a native Western New Yorker, is honored to have joined the WNY Women’s Foundation in January, 2014.

Stephenie Foster, Senior Advisor and Counselor to the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, U.S. Department of State

Session: The Business Case for a Cross-Sector Approach

Twitter: @stepheniefoster

Stephenie Foster

Stephenie Foster has over 30 years of experience in domestic and international policy advocacy, government affairs, program development and training, and law, with a special focus on the critical role that women play in advancing public policy and development.

Stephenie currently serves as a Senior Advisor and Counselor to theAmbassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the US Department of State, where she is responsible for a wide range of regional and functional issues.  Previously, Stephenie served at the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, focusing on women and civil society, travelling extensively in Kabul and around the country to work with individuals and organizations.  Since 1997, Stephenie has participated in numerous international programs and projects sponsored by the United States State Department, the Vital Voices Global Partnership, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) and others.  This work has focused on programs to increase core civic engagement skills, strategic planning, corporate and democratic governance, and project planning and management.

Based on her experience in the design and evaluation of training programs, Stephenie has authored two manuals for Vital Voices, Advocacy and Running for Office: A Training Manual for Women and Ending Violence Against Women and Human Trafficking: A Guide to New Strategies (with Cindy Dyer), both published in March 2010.   In addition to her work at the US Embassy in Kabul, Stephenie has broad governmental experience, having served as Chief of Staff to two United States Senators (Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Christopher Dodd (D-CT)) and was appointed by President Clinton as General Counsel of the U. S. General Services Administration.

In the non-profit world, Stephenie was Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at Legacy (formerly the American Legacy Foundation), where she was widely credited with building a strong and effective government affairs presence.  Stephenie also served as Vice President for Public Policy at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA).

Stephenie is an attorney by training and was a litigation partner at Steefel, Levitt & Weiss (now Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP) in San Francisco, California.  She received a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.R.P. from Cornell University and a B.A. from the University of California.  She has also been a Professorial Lecturer at the Women & Politics Institute at American University in Washington, DC where she taught courses on women and public policy.

Surina Khan, CEO, Women’s Foundation of California


  • Alliances Between Women’s and LGBTQ Philanthropic Communities
  • A Call to Action: Pay Equity in Every State

Twitter: @surinakhan

Surina Khan

Surina Khan is CEO of the Women’s Foundation of California. For more than two decades, Surina has been a leader in the philanthropic and non-profit social justice sector starting with local community-based publishing in New England and then shifting to national and global work on an array of social justice issues including women’s rights, LGBT rights, human rights and more.

Before being appointed CEO in 2014, Surina served as a Director in the Democracy Rights and Justice Program at the Ford Foundation where she shaped more than $30 million in annual grantmaking around the world to expand rights for women, LGBT people, people living with HIV/AIDS, and in the area of strengthening democratic participation and governance.

Before joining Ford in 2011, Surina spent six years at the Women’s Foundation of California, serving as Vice President of Programs and providing strategic direction for grant making, strengthening the organizational effectiveness of social justice organizations and overseeing the Women’s Policy Institute, a policy advocacy training program for community-based leaders.

She previously served as executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, where she worked to advance the human rights of LGBT people and people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. Earlier in her career, Surina was a research analyst for Political Research Associates, conducting groundbreaking research on the Right’s attacks on women and LGBT people.

She currently serves on the Boards of Alliance for Justice, Funders for LGBTQ Issues, and OutRight Action International (formerly the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission). Surina is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Campaign for College Opportunity, the Ambassador Council for the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and a member of the Public Policy Committee for Southern California Grantmakers. She previously served on the boards of directors with numerous organizations including Funders for Population, Reproductive Health and Rights and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. Her writing and research have been published widely in print and online publications.

Tuti Scott, President, Imagine Philanthropy

Summit Facilitator

Twitter: @TutiScott

Tuti Scott

Tuti B. Scott serves as President of her consulting firm Imagine Philanthropy advising organizations, social enterprise leaders and philanthropists. She is a leader for women and an energetic speaker, trainer and facilitator inspiring people to act boldly, raise the visibility of their activism and shift behaviors and culture. The self-designated “Chief Inspiration Officer” of the women’s funding movement, Tuti has been speaker and leader in women’s rights, social justice philanthropy and women’s sports for three decades and enjoys supporting activists, families, and organizations to live their philanthropic values and materialize their visions. As a Spiritual Jock and women’s sports advocate, Tuti brings the topics of self-care, teamwork, competition, and personal excellence into her work.

Her company, Imagine Philanthropy, has worked with the membership and leadership of The Women’s Funding Network, Women Moving Millions, The Representation Project, International Women’s Development Agency, Equal Rights Advocates, Jewish Women’s Foundations, among others. Through leadership cohorts, organizational assessments, fundraising trainings and strategic planning workshops, Tuti has worked directly with more than 80 women’s funds in the past eight years.

Using her experiences as an athlete, basketball coach, Chief Development Officer and co-CEO for the Women’s Sports Foundation, and philanthropist, Tuti brings insights about sports, leadership, power and money to philanthropic circles, Board rooms, and business teams. Tuti was a certified fundraiser from the Association of Fundraising Professionals for 15 years and serves on the Board of Directors of Tides and the Women Win Foundation.

She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Ithaca College and a Master of Science degree in Exercise Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Prior to the 15 years spent at the Women’s Sports Foundation, Tuti worked as the head administrator at the Amherst Family Chiropractic Center, as membership director at the Women’s Sports and Fitness Foundation in the United Kingdom, and as a personal trainer and basketball coach in Western Massachusetts.

She has been a point guard her entire life and enjoys the role of building and changing tempo, sharing the ball, and making people look good. Her current sports interests include cross country skiing, stand up paddleboarding, yoga, cycling, dancing, and power walks with friends.

Wendy Davis, Founder, Deeds Not Words, and Former Texas State Senator

Session: State Senator Wendy Davis in conversation with Roslyn Dawson Thompson

Twitter: @wendydavis

Wendy Davis

Wendy Davis has been taking on tough fights her entire life. Elected to the Texas Senate in 2008, Senator Davis’s priorities were creating more good paying jobs for Texans and investing more in schools so children are better prepared for the future. She authored the law to ensure more DNA testing of rape kits, addressing the backlog of 20,000 untested kits, which led police to find and jail rapists.  In 2011, Senator Davis led her first filibuster against $5 billion in cuts to public education that have led to overcrowded classrooms, teacher layoffs and closed schools.
In June of 2013, Wendy stood for 13 hours on the floor of the Texas State Senate in a pair of pink sneakers, conducting a filibuster to prevent passage of a bill that would have devastating effects on women and families. Around the world, more than 200,000 citizens tuned in online to witness this historic event, with thousands making a pilgrimage to the Texas Capitol from throughout the state to stand with Wendy in a moment that would galvanize women throughout the country.
Wendy’s filibuster and her continued role in fighting for women’s gender equality has created an army of strong, engaged, and passionate women from diverse backgrounds who now look to her for direction and guidance. Her new non-profit initiative, Deeds Not Words, had its genesis in a question often asked by young women as Wendy travels and speaks to them around the country: “What do we DO?” Aimed at turning women’s passion into actionable skills, Deeds Not Words is focused on engaging, empowering and activating millennial women around issues important to them such as equal pay, reproductive autonomy, sexual assault on campus, college affordability and LGBTQ equality. In order to accomplish that, Deeds Not Words is not re-inventing the wheel or replicating the pro-active productive work being done by existing organizations. Instead, Deeds Not Words serves as a connector, uniting its audience with meaningful resources and concrete avenues for active participation in the work of a host of gender equality allies.


Sponsors & Partners

Women’s Funding Network is grateful for the support of our Summit sponsors and partners who share our vision that a better world for women and girls is a better world for all. 

kellogg        Hewlett Foundation

  Women's Foundation of Minnesota         Global Fund for Women      New York Women's Foundation

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