Speakers

 
 

Keynotes:

 

Amber Tamblyn is an author, activist, actress and director. She's been nominated for an Emmy, Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award for her work in television and film, including "House M.D." and "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants." She is the author of 3 books of poetry including the critically acclaimed best seller, “Dark Sparkler.”  Her debut novel “Any Man” will be released in the summer of 2018 on Harper Perennial.  She  wrote and directed the feature film, “Paint it Black,” based on the novel by Janet Fitch. The film, starring Alia Shawkat, Janet McTeer and Alfred Molina is currently available on Netflix. She reviews books of poetry by women for Bust Magazine, is a poet in residence at Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls and is a contributing writer for The New York Times. She is an avid proponent of equity and a founding signatory of the Time’s Up Movement. She lives in New York.

United States Senator Maggie Hassan is committed to working with members of both parties to represent New Hampshire values and to solve problems in order to expand middle class opportunity, support small businesses, and keep America safe, secure, and free. She is the second woman in American history to be elected both Governor and United States Senator, along with fellow New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen. 

Elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016, Senator Hassan is working to combat the heroin, fentanyl, and opioid crisis; expand access to job training and make college more affordable for our students and families; help innovative businesses grow and create good jobs; and build a more inclusive economic future where all people who work hard to get ahead can stay ahead. 

She is also focused on strengthening national security; protecting Social Security and Medicare; ensuring that veterans get the services that they need and deserve; combating climate change and preserving our natural resources; and protecting a woman's right to make her own health care decisions. 

Senator Hassan’s committee assignments allow her to focus on these as well as other critical priorities facing New Hampshire’s families, small businesses, and economy. She is a member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP); the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; and the Joint Economic Committee.

Senator Hassan was drawn to public service as an advocate fighting to ensure that children like her son Ben, who experiences severe disabilities, would be fully included in their communities and have the same opportunities that all parents want for their children.

In 1999, then-Governor Shaheen asked her to serve on the Advisory Committee to the Adequacy in Education and Finance Commission. Her experience as a business attorney and as a parent of a child who experiences disabilities enabled her to provide a unique perspective as the commission did its work.

Senator Hassan was first elected to the New Hampshire Senate in 2004, serving the people of the 23rd District, which included ten Seacoast towns. During her six years in office, she was selected by her colleagues to serve as President Pro Tempore and Majority Leader of the State Senate.

In 2013, she was sworn in as the 81st Governor of New Hampshire. Throughout her two terms as Governor, she responsibly balanced the state budget; created a business-friendly environment that encouraged innovation and saw New Hampshire’s unemployment rate drop to among the lowest in the nation; worked to implement a comprehensive, hands-on approach to the heroin, fentanyl and opioid crisis; and froze in-state tuition at state universities for the first time in 25 years while lowering tuition at community colleges. 

Maggie Hassan earned her B.A. from Brown University and her J.D. from the Northeastern School of Law. She and her husband, Tom, who serves as the President of School Year Abroad, live in Newfields and are the proud parents of two children, Ben (29) and Meg (24).

 

 
 
 

Brittany Packnett is an unapologetic educator, activist, writer, and national leader in social justice. Known as @MsPackyetti on social media, she is Vice President of National Community Alliances for Teach For America, where she leads partnerships with communities of color.

 Brittany is Co-Founder of Campaign Zero, a comprehensive policy platform to end police violence, and the author of the popular blog series, Falling in Love, which challenges women of all backgrounds to move boldly into their power. Recently she founded Love + Power, a platform to inspire and outfit people for justice. An active protestor, she sat on the Ferguson Commission and President Barack Obama’s 21st Century Policing Task Force.

 Brittany speaks worldwide and graced the April 2017 cover ofEssence Magazine. Brittany has been named one TIME Magazine’s 12 New Faces of Black Leadership, LinkedIn’s Next Wave, received the Peter Jennings Award for Civic Leadership and shares the number 3 spot on Politico’s 2016 Most Influential list.

Brittany Packnett

And a special video from

Sheryl Sandberg

 
 

Panelists:

Carmen Arce-Bowen is the Vice President of The Partnership, Inc. She is responsible for managing the finances of the organization, recruiting participants for all of The Partnership’s leadership development programs, executing all signature events, and managing the Next Generation Executive Program.

Prior to joining The Partnership Inc, Arce-Bowen served for over three years as Director of Personnel and Administration in the office of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick overseeing and managing all high-level personnel transactions matters in the executive branch. Prior to this position, she served as Project Director of ONE Massachusetts at the Public Policy Institute in Boston where she helped train more than 250 community leaders across the state on issues related to community empowerment, taxation, and public policy strategy.

Arce-Bowen has served on the boards of Massvote, Emerge Massachusetts and The Chelsea Collaborative. In 2010, Governor Deval Patrick appointed her to the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women. She is currently a career coach with the Posse Foundation and a member of the Alliance for Business Leadership.

Originally from Mexico, Arce-Bowen graduated with a LL.B from University Panamericana Law School in Guadalajara Mexico, a LL.M from Suffolk University Law School and a MALD degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy focusing on International Development on Social and Political Change. She resides in Watertown with her husband and daughter.

Carmen Arce-Bowen

Estefanía Vela Barba has a B.A. in Law by the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) and an LL.M. from the Yale Law School. She is currently developing her J.S.D. dissertation at Yale. She is interested in using social technologies, pop culture, and humor to bridge the gap between academia and public debates in Mexico. 

Estefanía Vela Barba

Hannah Riley Bowles is a Senior Lecturer and chair of the Management, Leadership, and Decision Sciences Area. She is a leading expert on how gender influences pay negotiations and more broadly on negotiation as a micro-mechanism of inequality. Her current research focuses on women's leadership advancement, examining both situational barriers and individual strategies. Her research appears in academic publications, such as the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Organization Science, Psychological Science, and Journal of Behavioral Decision Making. Her research has been featured in major news media, including ABC News, National Public Radio, New York TimesSlate MagazineThe Wall Street JournalTimeThe Boston Globe, and The Washington Post. She teaches “Conflict & Collaboration” in the MPP core curriculum and is the faculty director of Women & Power, the Kennedy School's executive program for women in senior leadership from the public, private and non-profit sectors. She won the Kennedy School's 2003 Manuel Carballo Award for Excellence in Teaching. She has been actively involved in negotiation and conflict management training, practice, and research for over 25 years, including early career opportunities to work for the governments of Argentina, Costa Rica, and Germany. She has a DBA from the Harvard Business School, an MPP from the Kennedy School, and a BA from Smith College.

Hannah Riley Bowles

Representative Lori Ehrlich is the House Chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Export Development, one of the newest committees in the State House, where she has an eye on growing Massachusetts’ trade and expanding access to new markets for Massachusetts businesses. Rep. Ehrlich is also the co-chair of the Sexual Assault Working Group, a subgroup of the Women’s Caucus, and has filed legislation for two sessions mandating sexual assault climate surveys on every Massachusetts campus. Over nearly a decade of public service, she has previously served as the Vice Chair of Health Care Financing, and Labor and Workforce Committees, and is a recognized leader on environmental issues. She has also founded two grassroots public health nonprofits. Lori received her Bachelors of Science in Accounting from Lehigh University, and a Master’s in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of GovernmentEhrlich proudly represents the communities of Marblehead, Swampscott, and Lynn.

Representative Lori Ehrlich

Michèle Flournoy is Co-Founder and Managing Director of WestExec Advisors, and former Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), where she currently serves on the board.

Michèle served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from February 2009 to February 2012. She was the principal adviser to the Secretary of Defense in the formulation of national security and defense policy, oversight of military plans and operations, and in National Security Council deliberations. She led the development of the Department of Defense’s 2012 Strategic Guidance and represented the Department in dozens of foreign engagements, in the media and before Congress. Prior to confirmation, Michèle co-led President Obama’s transition team at the Defense Department.

In January 2007, Michèle co-founded CNAS, a bipartisan think tank dedicated to developing strong, pragmatic and principled national security policies. She served as CNAS’ President until 2009, and returned as CEO in 2014. In 2017, she co-founded WestExec Advisors, a strategic advisory firm.

Previously, she was senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies for several years and, prior to that, a distinguished research professor at the
Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University (NDU).

In the mid-1990s, she served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Threat Reduction and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy. Michèle is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including: the American Red Cross Exceptional Service Award in 2016; the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 1998, 2011, and 2012; the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award in 2000 and 2012; and the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service in 1996. She has edited several books and authored dozens of reports and articles on a broad range of defense and national security issues. Michèle appears frequently in national and international media, including CNN’s State of the Union, ABC’s This Week, NBC’s Meet the Press, BBC News, NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered and PBS’ News Hour, and is frequently quoted in top tier newspapers.

Michèle is a former member of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board and the CIA Director’s External Advisory Board, and is currently a member of the Defense Policy Board, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Aspen Strategy Group, and a Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. She also serves on the boards of CSRA, Amida Technology Solutions, The Mission Continues, Spirit of America, and CARE.

Michèle earned a bachelor’s degree in social studies from Harvard University and a master’s degree in international relations from Balliol College, Oxford University, where she was a Newton-Tatum scholar.

Michele Flournoy

Eva Galperin is EFF's Director of Cybersecurity. Prior to 2007, when she came to work for EFF, Eva worked in security and IT in Silicon Valley and earned degrees in Political Science and International Relations from SFSU. Her work is primarily focused on providing privacy and security for vulnerable populations around the world. To that end, she has applied the combination of her political science and technical background to everything from organizing EFF's Tor Relay Challenge, to writing privacy and security training materials (including Surveillance Self Defense and the Digital First Aid Kit), and publishing research on malware in Syria, Vietnam, Kazakhstan. When she is not collecting new and exotic malware, she practices aerial circus arts and learning new languages.

EVA GALPERIN

Judge Nancy Gertner is a graduate of Barnard College and Yale Law School where she was an editor on The Yale Law Journal. She received her M.A. in Political Science at Yale University. She has been an instructor at Yale Law School, teaching sentencing and comparative sentencing institutions, since 1998. She was appointed to the bench in 1994 by President Clinton. In 2008 she received the Thurgood Marshall Award from the American Bar Association, Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, only the second woman to receive it (Justice Ginsburg was the first). She became a Leadership Council Member of the International Center for Research on Women the same year. In 2010 she received the Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award. In 2011 she received the Massachusetts Bar Association's Hennessey award for judicial excellence, and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Brandeis University. In 2012 she received the Arabella Babb Mansfield award from the National Association of Women Lawyers, and the Leila J. Robinson Award of the Women's Bar Association of Massachusetts. Judge Gertner received the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement from the American Bar Association Commission on the Status of Women in the Profession in August 2014. She has been profiled on a number of occasions in the Boston Globe, the ABA Journal, Boston Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. She has written and spoken widely on various legal issues and has appeared as a keynote speaker, panelist or lecturer concerning civil rights, civil liberties, employment, criminal justice and procedural issues, throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. Her autobiography, In Defense of Women: Memoirs of an Unrepentant Advocate, was released on April 26, 2011. Her book, The Law of Juries, co-authored with attorney Judith Mizner, was published in 1997 and updated in 2010. She has published articles, and chapters on sentencing, discrimination, and forensic evidence, women's rights, and the jury system. In September of 2011, Judge Gertner retired from the federal bench and became part of the faculty of the Harvard Law School teaching a number of subjects including criminal law, criminal procedure, forensic science and sentencing, as well as continuing to teach and write about women’s issues around the world.

Judge Nancy GerTner

Jean Guo founded Konexio based on her research as a Fulbright fellow investigating migrant policy at the Paris School of Economics. Konexio provides digital skills training and workforce integration to refugees in Europe.  To-date, they have engaged over 30+ international and domestic partners, 100+ learners, and met with national leaders including former French president François Hollande, Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg, and French tech minister Mounir Mahjoubi. Currently incubated at Station F, touted as the world's largest startup incubator, Konexio is working to scale their digital programs nationally in France this year. Jean is a joint MPP/MBA student at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Business School, she graduated from Stanford with degrees in economics and human biology, and worked as a strategy consultant at Analysis Group. She is an occasional contributor to the Huffington Post Public Health column. 

JEAN GUO

Betsy Hodges was the 47th mayor of Minneapolis. In her role as mayor, she focused on three clear goals: running the city well, growing a great city and increasing equity. Her priorities were ensuring the City works well for everyone and that all people can contribute to – and benefit from – the growth and prosperity of Minneapolis.

Some of Mayor Hodges' key initiatives included: her Cradle to K Cabinet, creating a Zero Waste Minneapolis, improving police-community relations, and helping small businesses thrive.

Prior to becoming mayor, Betsy Hodges served on the Minneapolis City Council for eight years as the council member from Ward 13. On the Council, she served as chair of the Ways and Means/Budget Committee and the Intergovernmental Relations Committee. One of her major accomplishments was leading the fight to reform a broken closed-pension system that served neither the pensioners nor taxpayers well, which helped avert a $20-million increase in the property tax levy in 2012.

In her spare time, Mayor Hodges works on staying physically fit, writes, reads poetry and enjoys seasonal viewings of “Die Hard,” her favorite movie. She is known for her extensive collection of Wonder Woman memorabilia. She is an occasional karaoke singer with a very limited vocal range.

A Minnesota native, Mayor Hodges is married to Gary Cunningham, CEO and President of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association and a member of the Metropolitan Council. They have two children, four grandchildren and two cats

Mayor of Minneapolis Betsy Hodges (2014-2018)

 

Munira Khalif a Harvard junior and the 6th and current United States Youth Observer to the United Nations. She co-founded a youth-run non-profit organization called Lighting the Way, which works to make education more accessible and equitable for girls in East Africa. She was awarded the UN Special Envoy for Global Education’s Youth Courage Award, which honors young people fighting for universal education. Munira was invited twice to attend the annual White House Iftar dinner, which celebrates Muslim-American trailblazers both in the public and private sector.

MUNIRA KHALIF

Born and raised in Harlem, Sade Lythcott is the CEO of The National Black Theatre and the daughter of the late Dr. Barbara Ann Teer, legendary champion of African-American arts and culture. Sade currently serves as the Chair of the Coalitions of Theaters of Color, representing the oldest theaters of color in New York State and sits on the national board of advisors for ArtChangesUs . She is a recipient of the Networks Journal’s top 40 under 40 award, the 2015 Rising Star Award from 651 ARTS and the Larry Leon Hamlin Legacy Award from Black Theatre Network. In 2012 Sade wrote and produced the highly acclaimed musical A Time To Love, garnering 3 AUDELCO nominations and the Key to Harlem for her excellence in the Arts.

Amanda R. Matos is a Sheila C. Johnson Fellow and Master in Public Policy Candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School. She has devoted her career to racial and gender justice through capacity building, political education, and civic engagement in communities of color in the United States. She co-founded the WomanHOOD Project, which is a mentorship program for girls of color in her hometown of the Bronx, New York. Additionally, Amanda has led community organizing and policy initiatives at Planned Parenthood of New York City and Girls for Gender Equity. She is currently a columnist at Feministing.com and was recently appointed to the Millennial Policy Initiative Commission on Gender Equity to shape national policy recommendations on race and gender equity. Amanda graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in Race and Ethnicity Studies and Human Rights.

AMANDA R. MATOS

Lindiwe Mazibuko is a South African public leader, speaker, writer and academic fellow. She was the first black woman in South African history to be elected Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. 

Mazibuko is also the co-founder and Executive Director of Apolitical Academy, a movement to diversify public sector leadership globally.

A graduate of the University of Cape Town in South Africa and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in the United States, Lindiwe was an elected representative in South Africa’s National Assembly until May 2014, when she resigned from active politics in order to return to higher education. 

She has served as fellow of the Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard University and of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS) in South Africa. She is also a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and an advisory committee member at Apolitical.

Lindiwe Mazibuko

Dr McConnell’s research combines behavioral economics with field and laboratory experiments to understand and evaluate policies designed to change health behaviors, with a specific focus on maternal and child health. Her ongoing research in Kenya examines the effect of cash transfers incorporating pre-commitment on the choice of a high quality maternal delivery facility and the impact of vouchers with and without deadlines on the uptake of postpartum family planning.  Her work among low-income populations in Boston examines the impact of cash assistance on the amount of time that families spend engaging in Kangaroo Mother Care with babies born prematurely.  Her work focuses largely on urban areas with poor populations.  Dr McConnell enjoys broad collaboration with social scientists, physicians and health services researchers.

Nadya Okamoto, who grew up in Portland, OR, is 20-years-old and a Harvard sophomore. She is the Founder and Executive Director of PERIOD (period.org), an organization she founded at the age of 16. She is also the Co-founder and spokesperson of Next Fellows (nextfellows.org). PERIOD is now the largest youth-run NGO in women’s health, and one of the fastest growing ones here in the United States. In 2017, Nadya ran for office in Cambridge, MA. While she did not win, her campaign team made historic waves in mobilizing young people on the ground and at polls. Nadya recently signed with publisher Simon and Schuster to write a book to mobilize the Menstrual Movement (coming Fall 2018). 

NADYA OKAMOTO

As Director of Engineering Operations and Facilities for Ball Aerospace, Dorothy Rasco directs the development and execution of the strategy and budget for the company’s engineering operations, including: workforce planning, capital investments and facilities integration. She leads the execution of engineering initiatives and interfaces with local Colorado municipalities to ensure compliance with regulations. 

Prior to joining Ball, Dorothy retired from NASA after 31 years contributing to the Nation’s space program. She held numerous leadership positions during her tenure including the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas. As CFO, Dorothy was responsible for $4.4 billion budget and financial operations for planning, implementation, management and control of all business functions. Previously, she served as the NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington D.C.

Early in her career Dorothy designed and developed facilities such as the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at JSC, a one-of-a kind facility where the NASA astronauts train for space flights. She served as Manager for Flight Crew Equipment and Business Manager of the Space Shuttle Program, where she shared program responsibility and accountability for managing an annual budget of over $3.2 billion and a multi-disciplinary workforce of over 11,000 civil servants and contractors.

Dorothy also led the Transition and Retirement of the Space Shuttle program and its Fleet. In this role she led more than 1000 government and contractor employees and provided strategic and technical management for the program.

Dorothy’s many acknowledgments include the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the JSC Certificate of Commendation, the Equal Opportunity Award, Outstanding Performance Award, multiple NASA Group Achievement Awards, University of Rhode Island College of Engineering Distinguished Achievement Award and the Technology All Star award from Women of Color.

She serves on the Advisory Council for University of Rhode Island, College of Engineering and Texas Southern University, College of Science & Technology. She is a member of the Senior Executive Service, Society of Women Engineers; International Facility Management Association and the Asian Ball Resource Group.

Rasco holds a B.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of Rhode Island. She completed NASA’s Program/Project Management and Leadership Development Program and was awarded a NASA fellowships to the Smith College, Management Program, and the Harvard Business School, Leadership for Senior Executives.

Dorothy Rasco

Formerly Managing Director, Facebook India and South Asia; Managing Global Client Partner & Emerging Markets Lead, Facebook

Kirthiga joined as the first Facebook India employee in July 2010 and was Managing Director of Facebook India and South Asia until her move to Facebook HQ in 2016. She set up the India operations in Hyderabad -- supporting the company’s growing number of users, advertisers and developers worldwide -- and built their APAC SMB business. She played a key role in building and maintaining strategic relationships with top regional agencies and clients and building the mobile marketing ecosystem. From 2016 to 2018, she was Managing Global Client Partner and Emerging Markets Lead for Global Partnerships, which manages the company’s most strategic global advertiser relationships.

Kirthiga has also held the position of VP and GM of Phoenix Technologies India, Director of Product Management at Motorola, Director of Engineering at Silicon Graphics and Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton, with most of her professional career based in Silicon Valley, California.

She holds an MBA from Stanford University, where she graduated with top honors as an Arjay Miller Scholar, an M.S. in Computer Engineering from Syracuse University and a B.E. in Computer Science from Ambedkar University, India.  

Kirthiga has been featured in Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business and Fortune India's Top 50 Most Powerful Women in India among other recognitions. She serves as Vice Chair, Stanford Business School Management Board and member of Dean’s Leadership Council, Syracuse University College of Engineering and Computer Science. She is an Advisor to Ballet & Beyond NYC NGO. She is passionate about causes for children and about developing women leaders.

KIRTHIGA REDDY

Cleo Wade is an artist, poet, and author of the book Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom For a Better Life. She creates uplifting messages, blending simplicity with positivity and arresting honesty. Her writing, accessible yet empowering, speaks to a greater future for all women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community, preaching love, acceptance, justice, peace, equity, and equality.

Cleo’s artwork is founded on the idea that art should not only be in the name of all people, but should serve all people. This idea has inspired some of her larger scale public art installations, including a 25-foot love poem in the skyline of the New Orleans French Quarter titled “Respect,” as well as her follow up piece titled “She,” created in collaboration with graffiti artist Brandon Odums and is permanently installed on the face of a 50-foot warehouse building in the New Orleans Bywater neighborhood.

In the summer of 2017, Cleo created the “ARE YOU OK” project, a public booth for free, peaceful and loving conversation at the Hester Street Fair in New York City. Her latest public art installation of 10 word mantras on 46-foot screens entitled “Show Love Spread Love” is currently on view in Los Angeles on the facade of the Beverly Center. Other mediums of Cleo's art include drawing, painting, sculpture, neon text, and her recent dishware collaboration with Fishs Eddy is currently available in stores and online.

Cleo contributes regularly to W Magazine, Teen Vogue and has been invited to speak at TED Women, New York University, Columbia University, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Essence Music Festival, MLK Now at the Historic Riverside Church in Harlem, Cooper Union, and the Semi Permanent conference in New Zealand. Cleo sits on the board of the National Black Theater in Harlem and the Creative Council of Emily’s List.

She has been named one of America’s 50 Most Influential Women by Marie Claire, 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company, and “The Millennial Oprah” by New York magazine, as well as featured in The New York Times, Vogue, Essence, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Vogue Italia, New York Magazine, Refinery 29, W Magazine, Glamour, and People Magazine.

Claire Walsh is a Senior Policy Manager at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at MIT. Claire leads J-PAL's Government Partnership Initiative, a global fund to support governments in harnessing data and evidence to drive innovation and improve public policy. Claire also leads J-PAL's Environment & Energy team and works on J-PAL's Gender Sector, focusing on approaches to measuring women's empowerment. She previously served as interim Deputy Director of J-PAL Southeast Asia in Jakarta. Claire holds an M.A. from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University where she specialized in Development Economics and International Business Relations and a B.A. in Anthropology from Vassar College. Prior to joining J-PAL in 2012, she worked for NGOs working to improve the quality of education and employment opportunities for youth in East Africa.

Claire Walsh

 
 
 
 

Moderators:

Stephanie Burt is Professor of English at Harvard and the author of several books of poetry and literary criticism, most recently Advice from the Lights (2017) and The Poem Is You: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them (2016). Her reviews and essays appear regularly in several journals in the US, the UK and New Zealand, among them the New York Times Book Review and the London Review of Books. Someday she wants to write comic books.

Photo by Jessica Bennett, 2017.

Stephanie Burt

Megan Costello grew up outside of Boston in Reading, Massachusetts. She came to Boston in 2005 to attend Suffolk University where she earned her degree in Sociology: Health and Human Services. Megan’s passion has always been politics and government, especially assuring women’s participation. She is a veteran of many political campaigns including President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign in Iowa, Senator Markey’s 2013 special election for the US Senate, and Martin J. Walsh’s campaign for Mayor of Boston, serving as his campaign manager. Following the campaign, Megan joined Mayor Walsh’s administration as Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement.

The Mayor's Office of Women's Advancement was created by Mayor Walsh in 2014 and is dedicated to ensuring equal opportunities and enhancing the quality of life for women and girls in the City of Boston. Boston has been a leader on equal pay under Megan’s leadership. The office implemented a unique pay equity model that has been nationally recognized. It includes the participation of employers, individual women, and government to address both policy and culture to close the gaps. Megan sits on the board of the External Advisory Board of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy (CWPPP) at UMass Boston, and the Boston Women's Workforce Council. She lives in Dorchester.

Lucia leads J-PAL’s gender sector focused on analysis related to reducing gender inequality. She also works on J-PAL’s Finance Sector. J-PAL’s mission is to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. Prior to joining J-PAL, Lucia worked for NGOs based in Latin America, including the microfinance and women's development organization Pro Mujer and Habitat for Humanity Guatemala. She holds an MPA with a concentration in Economic and Political Development from Columbia University and a bachelor's degree in Anthropology from Yale University.

Lucia Diaz-Martin

Nancy Gibbs is the visiting Edward R. Murrow Professor of Practice of Press, Politics and Public Policy. Until September 2017, she was Editor in Chief of TIME, directing news and feature coverage across all platforms for more than 65 million readers worldwide. She has interviewed five U.S. presidents and is author of more cover stories than any writer in TIME’s near-100 year history. Gibbs was named TIME’s 17th editor in September 2013, the first woman to hold the position, and remains an Editor at Large. 

She is the co-author, along with Michael Duffy, of two best-selling presidential histories: The President’s Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity (2012), which spent 30 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list, and The Preacher and the Presidents: Billy Graham in the White House (2007). She has lectured extensively on the American presidency, including at the Bush, Reagan, Carter, Johnson and Truman libraries, the Aspen Institute, the Dallas World Affairs Club, the Commonwealth Club and the National Archives  

Gibbs was born and raised in New York City. She graduated from Yale summa cum laude, with honors in history, and has a degree in politics and philosophy from Oxford, where she was a Marshall scholar. She has twice served as the Ferris Professor at Princeton, where she taught a seminar on politics and the press.

 Kesha was elected at 22 to represent Burlington in the Vermont House of Representatives, where she served four terms. In her early political career, she was the youngest legislator elected in the country. She served on the House Ways & Means Committee, Housing & Military Affairs Committee, and Natural Resources & Energy Committee, where she was Vice Chair. In 2016, she left the legislature to run for Lieutenant Governor, falling short in her bid but becoming the first woman of color to earn a double digit share of the vote in a statewide race.  Throughout her legislative career, Kesha has passionately championed expanded tax incentives for statewide economic growth, green job creation, paid family leave, expansion of early and higher education opportunities, affordable housing, and civil rights. She has spearheaded the expansion of assistance to first-time homebuyers, protecting victims of domestic and sexual violence, and ensuring Vermonters do not have to choose between a paycheck and taking care of a sick child.  Kesha is now pursuing a Mid-Career MPA with a focus on health care innovation and the opioid epidemic. She currently serves on the boards of Emerge Vermont, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, and the Vermont Natural Resources Council, and is a Harry S. Truman Scholar and Oxfam "Sister on the Planet" Climate Change Ambassador.

Kesha was elected at 22 to represent Burlington in the Vermont House of Representatives, where she served four terms. In her early political career, she was the youngest legislator elected in the country. She served on the House Ways & Means Committee, Housing & Military Affairs Committee, and Natural Resources & Energy Committee, where she was Vice Chair. In 2016, she left the legislature to run for Lieutenant Governor, falling short in her bid but becoming the first woman of color to earn a double digit share of the vote in a statewide race.

Throughout her legislative career, Kesha has passionately championed expanded tax incentives for statewide economic growth, green job creation, paid family leave, expansion of early and higher education opportunities, affordable housing, and civil rights. She has spearheaded the expansion of assistance to first-time homebuyers, protecting victims of domestic and sexual violence, and ensuring Vermonters do not have to choose between a paycheck and taking care of a sick child.

Kesha is now pursuing a Mid-Career MPA with a focus on health care innovation and the opioid epidemic. She currently serves on the boards of Emerge Vermont, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, and the Vermont Natural Resources Council, and is a Harry S. Truman Scholar and Oxfam "Sister on the Planet" Climate Change Ambassador.

Kesha RAM

Ashley Spillane is a strategist focused on the intersection of politics and pop culture. Ashley has more than a decade of experience empowering people to change the system through such powerful vehicles as voting, activism, and running for office. As the head of organizations like Rock the Vote, The Atlas Project, and democratic GAIN, she developed and implemented campaign strategies, drove measurable impact, and forged large-scale cause marketing partnerships with companies including iHeartRadio, Microsoft, Verizon, USAToday, Twitter, and Tinder. In addition to her consulting work with Impactual LLC, Ashley is currently a fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School. 

Ashley Spillane

Lakshmi Srinivasan is a Senior Systems Engineer at Lockheed Martin Energy. She works on a novel flow battery technology, which can be used for utility grid upgrades and the integration of renewable energy. She has worked in several sectors of the alternative energy industry, including TerraPower (nuclear), Clipper Windpower, General Compression (compressed air energy storage) and Tesla Motors (electrical vehicles and battery storage). She graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and recently finished a Masters in Energy Science and Technology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. During her master's, she studied the intersection of technology, economics and policy as they relate to climate change, focusing on the challenge of transitioning developing economics to a low-carbon future. Apart from clean energy, she is interested in encouraging more women and girls into STEM fields. During her time at Tesla she organized and participated in several workshops for local high school and middle school girls, introducing them to engineering concepts and providing a hands-on experience in the problem-solving and collaboration that are crucial in technical careers. She hopes to continue that kind of outreach in her current role. 

Lakshmi Srinivasan

Lauren N. Williams is the features editor for Essence. She assigns and edits articles, profiles and special reports on topics including reproductive rights, gun violence, politics, public health and social justice. She also manages Essence’s career, finance and technology content. Articles she has edited have won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists. Her work has also been nominated for a 2017 National Magazine Award.

Williams is also a 2018 Fellow at Harvard’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism. She studying the historic contributions of black women to American society, with a focus on how they have shaped culture and trends.

Lauren Williams

Workshops:

Alex de Aranzeta, M.A., J.D. is a public speaker and inclusion strategist, committed to moving the needle in the civic and innovation communities for social good.  Alex currently manages diversity and EEO compliance for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, serving 50,000 government employees.  Previously, Alex worked at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, where she investigated, mediated and resolved hundreds of cases of harassment, discrimination and sexual misconduct, led statewide anti-discrimination training and outreach, and built a model language access program.  

Alex is also the Founder of Accessity, an inclusion strategy firm that helps startups and organizations solve beyond equal. She has been a featured  speaker on inclusion within the tech community for StartupBus' Women in Blockchain and Major League Hacking, and diversity advisor for MIT hackathons.  She volunteers her expertise in dispute resolution as an AAUW Facilitator and serves as a Council Member for the City of Boston's SPARK Council on millennial engagement.  

Alex earned her bachelor's degree in classical studies and Spanish from Dickinson College, her master's degree in Hispanic Studies from Boston College, where she was a Fellow, and her law degree from New England Law | Boston. 

Twitter: @dearanzeta

Alex de Aranzeta