Mika Brzezinski is the co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe and the author of three best-selling books. Her memoir All Things At Once became a New York Times best seller in January 2010. Her second book, Knowing Your Value, which examines the role of women in the workplace, reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list for business books in 2011. Her third book, Obsessed: America’s Food Addiction and My Own, debuted on the bestseller list in spring of 2013. In 2015, Mika released Grow Your Value, which is a sequel to Knowing Your Value.
In 2014, Mika partnered with NBCUniversal to produce events based on Knowing Your Value throughout the country. Knowing Your Value is a nationwide effort focused on empowering women to express their worth in business and in life. Through these events, Mika provided tangible, relatable advice that supports all women – at all ages and stages of their careers.
Prior to joining MSNBC in January of 2007, Mika was an anchor of CBS Evening News Weekend Edition and a CBS News correspondent who frequently contributed to CBS Sunday Morning and 60 Minutes. She reported live from Lower Manhattan for CBS News during the September 11, 2001 attacks.
A native of New York City, Mika is the daughter of Foreign Policy Expert and Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski. She is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and a Williams College alum.
Mika, along with her co-host, Joe Scarborough, was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame.
Julia Reed is a contributing editor at Elle Décor and at Garden & Gun magazine, where she writes a regular column, “The High & Low.” She also contributes to Southern Living and The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ magazine.
Reed grew up in the Mississippi Delta and began her career at Newsweek magazine’s Washington Bureau. For 20 years she was a contributing editor at Vogue.
She is the author of seven books, including: But Mama Always Put Vodka in the Sangria; One Man’s Folly, The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood; Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns, and Other Southern Specialties; and Queen of the Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomena. Her most recent book, Julia Reed’s South, Spirited Entertaining and High Style Fun All Year Long, was published by Rizzoli in May 2016.
She lives in New Orleans, where she served as board chair of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art for seven years. Currently, she is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Eudora Welty Foundation.
Sara Akbar is a Director in Oracle’s Government Affairs office. She manages workforce and education policy issues and serves as Oracle’s representative on philanthropic efforts and several international task forces, including the OECD. She frequently represents Oracle on STEM education issues from Kindergarten through Higher Ed. Before joining Oracle in 2004, she was a contract and business development specialist for information technology firms.
In addition to serving on the Women’s High Tech Coalition board, Sara currently sits on the board of Emergent Leaders Network, which focuses on developing community college student leaders and is on the Advisory Council for the DC STEM Network. She is an Ambassador for the Higher Achievement Program; participates with the Parent’s Association of a local Washington D.C. Boys and Girls Club; and was a founding board member of “mothertongue,” a Washington, D.C. women’s arts collective.
Sara holds a BA in International Relations from American University and a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Maryland.
Lauren Berger is the CEO & Founder of Intern Queen Inc. (www.internqueen.com & www.laurenbergerinc.com) She’s been a champion of the millennial generation since the term was coined. Ten years ago, she was one of them. Today, she’s their hero.
Berger is arguably the nation’s most in demand career and internship expert and speaks to thousands of high school students, college students, and recent grads every year, motivating and inspiring them. It all started from her unique personal experience as an ambitious student with no expert advisor to turn to: Lauren completed 15 internships while still in college-- interning everywhere from Fox to MTV.
Within three years of graduation, she founded Intern Queen to provide future grads with the resources she didn’t have. And futures became brighter all around the country as a result.
Her first book, All Work, No Pay: Finding an Internship, Building Your Resume, Making Connections, and Gaining Job Experience, is a national best-seller and her second book, Welcome To The Real World, came out in 2014. In the new book, Lauren re-writes the rules for millenials in the workplace, demonstrating how to succeed in their first, second, and third jobs after graduation. Recently Berger has been featured on The Today Show, Fox & Friends, the Marie Osmond Show, The New York Times, Seventeen Magazine, and more.
Clara Bingham is a journalist, author and documentary film producer whose work has focused on social justice and women’s issues. Her most recent book, Witness to the Revolution: Radicals, Resisters, Vets, Hippies, and the Year America Lost its Mind and Found its Soul, was published by Random House on May 31, 2016. Before she began working on Witness, Bingham produced a documentary that exposed the ravages of mountain top removal coal mining in Appalachia. The Last Mountain premiered at the Sundance Film festival in 2011, screened in theaters in over 60 cities, and won the International Documentary Association’s Pare Lorentz Award.
Bingham’s second book, Class Action: The Landmark Case that Changed Sexual Harassment Law, which she co-wrote with Laura Leedy Gansler, (Doubleday in 2002) was adapted into the 2005 feature film, North Country (Warner Bros) staring Charlize Theron and Francis McDormand. Both actresses received Oscar nominations for their roles in the film. Class Action tells the harrowing story of a group of female taconite miners in northern Minnesota who become the first women ever to sue a company as a “class” or a group, for sexual harassment. Class Action was a Los Angeles Times best book of the year and won the AAUW Speaking Out For Justice Award.
Bingham is also the author of Women on the Hill: Challenging the Culture of Congress (Times Books 1997), which chronicles the lives of four female members of the 103rd Congress following the 1992 “Year of the Woman” elections. As a Washington, D.C. correspondent for Newsweek from 1989 to 1993, Bingham covered the George H. W. Bush White House leading up to and during the 1992 presidential election. Her free lance writing has appeared in publications including, The Daily Beast, Ms., Vanity Fair,Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Talk, Glamour, The Washington Monthly, and United Press International, the wire service for which she wrote as a stringer from Papua New Guinea.Bingham also worked as a press secretary on the Michael Dukakis 1988 Democratic presidential campaign.
An expose about the Air Force Academy rape scandal that Bingham wrote for Vanity Fair earned her the 2004 Exceptional Merit in Media Award (EMMA) given by the National Women’s Political Caucus, and was anthologized in the Best American Crime Writing 2004 Edition. In January 2016, Investigation Discovery’s Vanity Fair Confidential series featured Bingham in its one-hour program about the Air Force Academy rape scandal.
Bingham was born into a newspaper family in 1963 in Louisville, Kentucky, and moved to New York City in 1968. She graduated from Harvard University in 1985 with a degree in History and Literature. In college, Bingham raced on the varsity alpine ski team for three years and served as co-news editor of The Harvard Independent. Bingham lives in New York City and has three children with her ex-husband David Michaelis. In April 2014, she married Joe Finnerty, who has three children of his own.
Lucy Blake is President of the Northern Sierra Partnership (NSP), a collaborative initiative to conserve, restore and expand opportunities to enjoy the magnificent landscapes of the northern Sierra Nevada and build the foundation for sustainable rural prosperity. Since its launch in 2007, NSP has conserved over 60,000 acres in the northern Sierra Nevada. The Partnership is working to more than double that conservation total by the end of 2018. Lucy has worked at the crossroads of conservation, business and public affairs for more than thirty years. Her past positions include:
-Director of the California Desert & Renewable Energy Working Group, a dialogue between leaders in the renewable energy industry, the environmental community, and utilities to promote the development of renewable energy in the California desert and the protection of the region’s unique ecosystems, landscapes and species;
-CEO of the Apollo Alliance, a national coalition promoting the shift to a clean energy economy;
-Founder and President of the Sierra Business Council, an association of over 500 businesses working for the economic, social and environmental health of the Sierra Nevada;
-Executive Director of the California League of Conservation Voters, the largest state political action committee for the environment in the nation.
Lucy has been honored with a number of state and national awards including the Edmund G. "Pat" Brown Award from the California Council for Economic and Environmental Balance (CEEB) and the MacArthur Award, awarded to individuals for exceptional creativity and initiative.
Since 1988, Lucy has also owned and operated Lemon Canyon Ranch, a 1400-acre cattle ranch in the Sierra Valley where she has worked first-hand to build the economic and ecological productivity of the natural landscape. She graduated with honors from Brown University in 1981. She currently lives in Palo Alto, CA with her husband, Steven Nightingale, and their 15-year old daughter, Gabriella.
The daughter of teachers and a native of Washington, DC, Janelle Irick Bynum believes education and opportunity form the foundation for success. A self-described “mathlete” at Madeira, she went on to earn full scholarships to complete her Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering at Florida A&M University, as well as her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Michigan.
Janelle has worked in the defense and automotive industries, first as a Summer Associate at Boeing Defense and Space Systems in Seattle, Washington, and later as a Steering Systems Engineer at General Motors in Saginaw, Michigan. Her experience includes product development in hybrid vehicle technology and working with global electronics suppliers in various international locations including Mexico, Taiwan, and France. Today she operates two restaurants in the Portland, Oregon area with her husband, Mark.
On January 9, 2017, Janelle was be sworn in as the Oregon State Representative for House District 51, serving the communities of East Portland and North Clackamas County. She credits her passion for leadership and public policy to her tenure as Madeira’s Head of Boarding during her senior year and her Co-Curriculum experience in working for the late United States Senator Arlen Specter (R) of Pennsylvania her junior year.
Janelle and her husband are the proud parents of Christine (15), Ellis (12), Caroline (8) and Asa (6). She enjoys coaching soccer, cooking, dancing, watching C-SPAN and community activism. Janelle proudly serves as a board member at the Ronald McDonald House Charity of Oregon and SW Washington, which provides a home away from home for families with sick children.
Samantha Meyer duPont is the Head Designer and Proprietor of Sam DuPont, an Atlanta-based lifestyle brand, marketing luxurious hand-crafted jewelry and accessories, home textiles, as well as curated works of art and furniture from local artists. Ms. duPont grew up in Beaufort, S.C and studied International Business at the University of Georgia. After graduation, she moved to New York City to pursue a career in fashion where she worked in both International Marketing and Merchandising for top fashion houses, including Nicole Miller, Ermenegildo Zegna, and LVMH brands, Donna Karan & Marc Jacobs. She returned south to Atlanta in 2003 where she opened a national fashion agency, Loot Inc, to focus on the development of emerging designer labels with sales offices in Atlanta, Dallas, LA & NY. In 2009 Ms. duPont took a hiatus to spend more time with her husband and focus on raising their two children, Phi and Bertie. Refreshed and inspired in 2012, Ms. duPont directed her passion towards developing her new brand, Sam DuPont. A webstore was launched in 2014 and a flagship studio opened in Atlanta in 2016. The brand is currently sold to 5-star hotel shops as well as fashion and lifestyle boutiques throughout the US.
A producer for television, the Internet and multimedia, Meg Froelich has produced documentary episodes for the A&E series “Biography” and “The Twentieth Century with Mike Wallace.” She worked on PBS’ “American Masters" and “The American Experience” series, as well as documentary series on education and childhood. She recently completed co-writing, producing and directing a documentary film about Colorado’s unique history entitled Strong Sisters: Elected Women in Colorado. (www.strongsisters.com)
Meg produced the CD-ROM and DVD versions of Our Times: An Encyclopedia of the Twentieth Century which included narration by James Earl Jones and several mini-documentaries. She produced the web sites for Our Times, Encyclonet, and for the National Archives of Singapore. Recently she has produced pro-bono pieces for non-profit organizations in Denver. She has begun to blog and will the launching her website www.uteratti.com.
Meg has served as a Greenwood Village City Councilmember and recently ran for the Colorado State House of Representatives. She is the former Executive Director of the Colorado Institute for Leadership Training, the Colorado Democratic House Majority Project, and ProChoice Colorado NARAL. Meg formed WE LEAD, an organization that trains progressive women to run for office and WE WIN a Political Action Committee (PAC) to conduct independent expenditures on behalf of women running in Colorado in the 2014 cycle.
Meg has taught social studies at the secondary and higher education levels.
She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and holds a Masters Degree in History from the University of Michigan.
Meg Goldthwaite serves as Chief Marketing Officer for National Public Radio, Inc. (NPR) where she leads the branding and communications efforts of one of the nation’s most iconic news organizations. Committed to creativity, innovation and social responsibility, Meg aims to attract new and diverse audiences to NPR and Member stations as she works to highlight NPR’s platform for the free and thoughtful exchange of ideas and information.
Previously, Meg was Chief Marketing Officer at Conservation International (CI), an organization dedicated to protecting nature for the benefit of us all. Meg proudly launched CI’s award-winning campaign which invites the human race to listen to a simple message – Nature doesn’t need people. People need nature. An avid SCUBA diver since age thirteen, in 2016 Meg was thrilled to dive into the creation of CI’s virtual reality series, including its first film, “Valen’s Reef,” an underwater exploration of one of the most beautiful and biologically diverse places in the Pacific Ocean.
Prior to Conservation International, Meg served in leadership positions at Women for Women International and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund where she helped Haiti tell its hopeful stories of smart, sustainable economic development. At the World Wildlife Fund, she brought Earth Hour – WWF’s signature climate change initiative – to the United States in 2008. Meg’s corporate background includes 15 years in the telecom industry, leading teams in marketing, operations, and strategic partnerships.
Born in Washington, DC, Meg graduated from Maine’s Colby College where she studied French and Government, and she received her MBA from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Shari Goodwin is a business strategist, leadership coach, author, speaker, and horsewoman with over 25 years of experience, including starting four companies and serving as Director of Program Strategy for a global engineering firm. One of her start-ups, an information technology staffing and consulting firm, generated $2.1 million in its first year. As a former environmental scientist, she led the development of winning proposals valued to $65 million. She owns Jaeger2, a successful coaching and consulting firm, and is author of the inspirational Amazon best-seller, Take the Reins! 7 Secrets to Inspired Leadership, which blends the best of leadership and sales strategies with lessons from horses. Shari holds a Master’s degree in biology, undergraduate degrees in Zoology and English, and is trained in executive and personal coaching and equine-assisted psychotherapy. She is a member of the Board for George Mason University’s Women in Business Initiative and has memberships with Women in Technology, the Association for Talent Development, numerous local Chambers of Commerce, and the Equine Experiential Education Association.
Catharine Gilliam Burns has worked with environmental and conservation organizations for over 30 years. After beginning her career as an attorney at McGuire Woods in Richmond, she came to Washington to work as a lawyer, editor and policy strategist at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. When the Trust asked her to lead a national coalition of groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council, Audubon Society, Trust for Public Land and the American Planning Association, her focus broadened from architecture and design to the protection of natural resources.
Catharine has spent most of her career as a consultant to non-profit conservation organizations. She headed the environmental division of the Carol/Trevelyan Strategy Group, a firm that pioneered online advocacy for progressive causes. In 2010, Catharine founded Community Collaboration, LLC, which works with clients to develop grassroots support and strategies for public policy campaigns.
Catharine is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Architecture and Washington & Lee Law School. She now divides her time between homes in Brownsburg, Virginia and Chapel Hill, N.C.
Brandon Holley is the CEO of Everywear, an ecommerce platform that she started in 2014. From 2010 through 2013 she was Editor-in-Chief of Lucky, the award-winning magazine about shopping and style. Before that Ms. Holley was the Editor in Chief and business lead of Yahoo! Shine, one of the largest online destinations for women, which she launched in 2007. Previous to that she was Editor in Chief of Jane from 2005 until 2007. In 2001 she launched ELLEgirl and previous to that post was a senior features editor at GQ from 1998 to 2000. She started her magazine career as a writer for Paper magazine and worked as a fact checker for Rolling Stone. In 2002, Ms. Holley was named one of Advertising Age's Women to Watch. Ms. Holley graduated from Barnard College.
Emi Kolawole is a multi-media professional with over a decade of experience and the founder Dexign LLC based in Fairfax, Virginia. She has worked in television, web and print media. The founding editor of the Innovations section of The Washington Post, Emi was invited to serve as the editor-in-residence at The Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University -- widely known as the d.school. From 2013-2016, she served as the editor-in-reisdnece and as a senior media designer and lecturer at the d.school. In that time, Emi worked at the crossroads of media and design thinking with a focus on bias (race, gender and sexuality) and creative practice. She designed and facilitated workshops, classes and experiences in addition to her work running the d.school blog, 'the whiteboard,' which she launched in 2013. She was a member of the d.school's Media Experiments Project conducted in collaboration with Knight Foundation. Prior to that, Emi was a producer for PostPolitics at The Washington Post, the associate producer for "Washington Week with Gwen Ifill" and a staff writer for FactCheck.org, covering the 2008 presidential election. Emi is a graduate of Wellesley College and American University. She is the founding Shaper and former Curator of the Global Shapers Palo Alto hub -- an initiative of The World Economic Forum, and she is an alumna of the French-American Foundation Young Leaders program.
Larsen and her husband, Robert, live in Concord. They have two adult children.
Katherine MacLane is a Director at Pi Executive, an Executive Talent Advisory Firm specialized in executive recruitment and leadership consulting. Katherine’s primary focus is luxury retail and hospitality, and includes retail start-ups, beauty and wellness. She specializes in senior-level executive search, with a focus on brand-oriented retail and multi-channel consumer goods.
In addition to her search experience, Ms. MacLane has more than 15 years of experience in Luxury Retail and Hospitality, working with notable companies such as Four Seasons, Rosewood, Hermes, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. She previously served on the Board of Directors for the Rodeo Drive Committee, responsible for the success and promotion of retail sales on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, in collaboration with all brands represented.
Prior to joining Pi Executive, Ms. MacLane successfully ran her own luxury apparel brand and Ecommerce site for six years, in congruence with consulting for several brands. She built the product and brand from scratch and reached millions with her marketing strategy. She has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, CBS News, CBS Sunday Morning and countless regional newspapers and magazines as an expert in the luxury retail space. Katherine’s former company is now studied in undergraduate and graduate business programs at universities worldwide. Her strategy and pricing model was used in a 2013 textbook by McGraw-Hill, written by a Dartmouth professor, titled Crafting and Executing Strategy: The Quest for Competitive Advantage: Concepts and Cases, 19e.
Ms. MacLane earned her undergraduate degree in Public Affairs and Corporate Communication from Southern Methodist University and currently lives in Darien, CT with her husband and her two boys. In her free time, she serves on her church’s financial board, teaches Pure Barre classes and volunteers for several Scottish associations in New York.
Alexis Merin is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Washington, D.C. Alexis sees adolescents, adults and couples dealing with a wide range of issues, including mood and anxiety disorders, relationship difficulties, family struggles, work-related stressors, and financial troubles. Fascinated by the complexity of the human experience, the challenges that arise as people attempt to achieve lasting change and the ways that therapists can best help facilitate that change, Alexis’s work with her clients focuses on each individual’s life experiences and the ways that these affect personality structures and behaviors. Her aim with each client is to develop a therapeutic relationship that helps increase the patient’s awareness of his or her internal struggles, in order for them to make healthier choices in life and to achieve increased personal satisfaction. Alexis received her BA in History from Tufts University and her Psy.D. from George Washington University.
Emery Hurst Mikel, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT, LCPAT is the founder and director of Water & Stone, a Creative Arts Therapy PLLC in Brooklyn, NY. Her therapeutic work focuses on adults dealing with challenges in life from anxiety, grief, and loss to Alzheimer’s disease and related diagnoses. She mentors other therapists, throughout the US, interested in private and community practice and wrote a book with that in mind, The Art of Business: a Guide for Creative Arts Therapists Starting on a Path to Self-Employment, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers in 2013. Along with running her business she supervises interns, guest lectures at George Washington University and runs community workshops focused on art, meditation, mindfulness, and business development. Currently, she is working on her next book and a podcast for those in the helping professions. She received her BFA in Drama: Directing from Carnegie Mellon University and her MA in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology: Art Therapy from Naropa University. www.creativelyhealing.com
Moderator- Joan Mower is the head of development and training at the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the U.S. Government agency which oversees the Voice of America (VOA). She has also served as the public relations director for BBG and VOA. Currently, she oversees training and broadcasting projects in Nigeria, Mali, South Sudan, Angola, Burundi, DRC, Cote D’Ivoire and Bangladesh. Ms. Mower is also an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University. From 2007-2008, she was the spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State on Sudan issues. Before joining the BBG, Ms. Mower served as the director of international programs/Africa and Latin America at The Freedom Forum/Newseum. She supervised offices in Johannesburg and Buenos Aires. At the foundation, she promoted press freedom, and worked frequently in Mali. Ms. Mower has also served as a Foreign Service Officer. She began her career as a journalist. For 10 years she covered Washington for the Associated Press. She graduated from the University of California/Berkeley and holds an M.A. in African Studies from Johns Hopkins. An avid tennis player, Ms. Mower grew up in Africa, living in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa.
Dr. Reena Pande is Chief Medical Officer of AbleTo, a national behavioral healthcare provider. Reena serves as a passionate voice for the need to bridge the gaps between medical health and behavioral health. She spearheads AbleTo’s data analytics and outcomes research. In addition to her work at AbleTo, Dr. Pande is a practicing cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA and Instructor at Harvard Medical School. Reena earned her undergraduate degree in Biology from Harvard University, her M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and a Masters degree in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her internship, residency training, and fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease and Vascular Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Fatima Quander (AEA/SAG-AFTRA) has performed with FRESHH Inc. Theatre Company, DC Hip Hop Theatre Festival, Rep Stage, Everyman Theatre, Centerstage, Theater of the First Amendment, the Folger Elizabethan Theatre, Imagination Stage, and Discovery Theater; she has also performed in house and on tour with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Fatima is also a Senior Adjunct Instructor at Howard Community College and is a company member with Young Playwrights' Theater (YPT). She also serves as a teaching artist with a number of schools and programs throughout the DC area including Poetry Out Loud, Folger’s Secondary School Shakespeare Festival, Sitar Arts Center, and YPT. A native Washingtonian, she received her MFA from Actors Studio Drama School in NYC and her BA from Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin.
Sadie Quarrier has been a Senior Photo Editor at National Geographic magazine for 14 years and has been in photojournalism for 24. She is responsible for planning, producing, and editing 20 or more stories a year on all media platforms including print, digital and social. Sadie works with the photographers and filmmakers on a diverse range of topics from conservation, natural history, indigenous cultures, archeology, and adventure/exploration. She has won over a dozen awards for these stories from top industry organizations.
Sadie is on the grant review committee for the NGS Expeditions Council and the Young Explorer Grant program which fund a variety of media-driven projects. She also teaches photography on select National Geographic’s Kids Photo Camps in countries including Cuba, Qatar, India, and Costa Rica.
June Schreiner is an actor living in Los Angeles, California. She started her acting career in DC, working in professional theaters while simultaneously enduring US History and Physics at Madeira. Most notably, she played Ado Annie in Arena Stage’s Oklahoma!. After graduating from Madeira in 2012 she moved to New Orleans to attend Tulane University where she took a break from the lime-light to study sociology and philosophy. Four years, her bachelor's degree, and many pounds of crawfish later, June decided to re-launch her acting career and move out west to LA LA Land. After being in LA for only a few months, she began to pave her way into the film and television world. She guest stared in an episode of Pure Genius this past November, and an episode of NCIS last December. In March, she will be appearing in an episode of Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders- tune in! When she’s not on set or auditioning, June might be practicing yoga, taking scene study classes, reading plays or writing skits for a sketch comedy club she started with some friends. She also works as a photographer for a club in LA called Women Who Whiskey and nanny’s for the world’s cutest six-year-old.
Rev. Katherine Stanford is a pastor at the Old Presbyterian Meeting House in Alexandria, VA. She is passionate about working with and mentoring youth and about a range of social justice issues. Katherine earned a B.A. in English with Theater Studies from Yale University and an M.F.A. in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. After a career as a professional actor she returned to grad school, receiving her Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School. Also trained in pastoral care as a Stephen Minister and hospital chaplain, Katherine finds the most balance in her life parenting two amazing teens.
Gillian Thomas is a Senior Staff Attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Women’s Rights Project. She previously litigated sex discrimination cases at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Legal Momentum (formerly NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund). Her work has appeared in publications including Slate and The Atlantic, and she has been interviewed by NPR, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. She's a graduate of Yale University and the University of Michigan Law School, and lives in Brooklyn.
Actress and director Holly Twyford has performed in dozens of productions in the Washington Metropolitan area, where she is proud to have worked in many of the highly acclaimed theaters in and around Washington, including Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theatre and Woolly Mammoth Theatre to name a few. Nationally, Ms. Twyford has appeared in various productions and readings in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Red Bank, NJ and Santa Cruz, CA. She has been nominated for multiple Helen Hayes Awards and is a four-time recipient for her portrayal of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet at the Folger Shakespeare Library and her performances in Studio Theatre’s The Shape of Things, Signature Theatre’s Little Dog Laughed and Folger’s production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona. She was honored with the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Emery Battis Award for Acting Excellence for her portrayal of Anna in Harold Pinter's Old Times. Ms. Twyford is proud to be a Lunt-Fontanne Fellow as well as a charter member of the Studio Cabinet, Studio Theatre’s affiliated artist program. She has appeared in several independent films, including John Waters’ Pecker, and on the small screen, appearing in the hit show Homicide: Life on the Street and with a few choice lines in House of Cards. Her credits also include numerous commercials, voiceovers, and educational and training films. As a director Ms. Twyford most recently helmed A Lump of Coal for Christmas at Adventure Theatre. She has directed twice for Studio Theatre’s 2ndStage; Edgar and Annabel and Mary Kate Olsen is in Love as well as The Amish Project at Factory 449 and Stop Kiss at No Rules Theatre Company. Ms. Twyford is proud to be a resident of Washington, D.C.
Nikon Ambassador and National Geographic magazine photographer Ami Vitale has traveled to more than 90 countries, bearing witness not only to violence and conflict, but also to surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit. Throughout the years, Ami has lived in mud huts and war zones, contracted malaria, and donned a panda suit— keeping true to her belief in the importance of “living the story.” In 2009, after shooting a powerful story on the transport and release of one the world’s last white rhinos, Ami shifted her focus to today’s most compelling wildlife and environmental stories.
Her photographs have been commissioned by nearly every international publication and exhibited around the world in museums and galleries. Recently, she joined Ripple Effect Images, an organization of renowned female scientists, writers, photographers and filmmakers working together to create powerful and persuasive stories that shed light on the hardships women in developing countries face and the programs that can help them. She is also on the Photojournalism Advisory Council for the Alexia Foundation.
Currently based in Montana, Ami Vitale is a contract photographer with National Geographic magazine and frequently gives workshops throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Kate is President, US Regions at Huge where she is responsible for the growth and success of Huge in regional markets across the United States, including Washington DC, Oakland, Los Angeles, and Portland.
Kate’s passion for driving digital transformation in nonprofits and government led her to found the Huge DC office with two colleagues in 2012. As Managing Director, she grew the office from three employees to over 60 and led mission-oriented revolutions at Federal Student Aid, the US Department of Energy and the White House.
Her relentless focus on digital innovation extends to thought leadership in AI, anticipatory design and user privacy, not only as it applies to the federal government, but as it applies to any company or organization with a desire to lead its industry in the digital space. She previously served VP, Client Services at Huge’s headquarters in Brooklyn, where she created and marketed a first-of-its-kind community investment platform with PepsiCo, a cutting edge ecommerce and editorial experience for Barneys New York and a user-centric online and in-store digital experience for Target.
In her nearly 20 years of industry experience, Kate has always stood at the forefront of emerging business technologies. In 2001, she cofounded an open-source software development startup that, two years later, was acquired by MySQL. Before joining Huge, she was Vice President, Program Director at Digitas, where she led the project and operational management of the Consumer Card Services Group division of American Express, overseeing more than 120 concurrent projects pushing the boundaries of integrated marketing and web design.
Today, Kate continues to drive innovation in business models and service delivery, crafting new professional capabilities and building a network of technology experts and evangelists in the DC area. She is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and holds a BA in political science and history from Colby College.