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BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS
Gail Leftwich Kitch, Chair
Gail Leftwich Kitch serves as Chief Operating Officer of the Voter Participation Center and Womens Voices Women Vote Action Fund. She previously served as Executive Director of By the People, an initiative of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, and as President of the Federation of State Humanities Councils. Prior to that she was Director of Cambridge Forum, in Cambridge, MA, and principal of Strategic Business Consultants, an international business consultancy. A lawyer by training, Kitch is a former chair of the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities and was a Radcliffe College Public Policy Fellow.
Theresa Loar, Vice Chair
Theresa Loar has been working at the nexus of business, human rights and diplomacy for over thirty years. Most recently, she was Senior Vice President for Global Corporate Affairs at CH2M, a Fortune 500 engineering firm where she worked with governments around the world on the political issues related to major infrastructure programs. She has particular expertise in multi stakeholder initiatives to combat modern slavery in supply chains. During the Clinton Administration, Ms. Loar worked at the highest levels of the US government to promote and protect women’s human rights, supporting the commitment of First Lady Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to put the advancement of women at the center of US foreign policy. She was also a co-founder and founding President of the Vital Voices Global Partnership and a Foreign Service Officer with postings overseas and in Washington, DC.
Anita Botti, Treasurer
Anita Botti, a consultant, previously served as chief of staff in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues. Before that, Botti served as a legislative liaison officer in the Department’s Bureau of Legislative Affairs and as the first congressional coordinator for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs and for the Under Secretary for Economic and Business and Agricultural Affairs. In 1997, Botti was seconded to the President’s Interagency Council on Women and served as chair of the US Interagency Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings. Botti worked closely with Congress to gain bipartisan support for, and ultimate passage of, the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000. Botti also represented the US in domestic and international fora dealing with trafficking and other global issues affecting women. Previously, Botti was as director of the US Refugee Reception and Placement Program (1992-1997). She began her career serving with the Peace Corps, both overseas and in the US.
Allison Ford, Secretary
Allison Ford is a manager of international government relations for United Technologies, a high-tech aerospace and building systems manufacturer with over 240,000 employees around the world. In her role, Ford monitors and analyzes developments in global policies that impact UTC’s business and international operations. She is responsible for engaging with embassies, NGOs, and foreign and US government officials to advocate on behalf of UTC’s international interests. Prior to working for UTC, Ford was a policy practice coordinator for Van Ness Feldman, an environmental and energy law firm with offices in Georgetown and Seattle. Ford graduated from Gonzaga University in 2004 with a BA in History and was a member of the UTC Employee Scholar Program where she received her Master of Public Administration degree in 2014 from George Mason University.
Jennifer Clinton has devoted her career to the fields of international education and business. As president of Global Ties U.S., she has worked to help strengthen the reach and capacity of member organizations, particularly in board governance, partnership and resource development, and strategic communications. She has also led a comprehensive effort to raise awareness in Congress and the public about the importance of public and citizen diplomacy. Previously, Clinton served as executive vice president of The Washington Center, special assistant to the president of OPIC, manager of international marketing for the Telecommunications Industry Association, and program manager for the STS Foundation, an international academic high school exchange program. Clinton holds an executive MBA from the UMD, a PhD from the UC Davis, BA from Marquette University.
Mary Brady has worked in non-profit management for over 25 years. Since 2007, she has served as executive director of The Economic Club of Washington, DC—a nationally recognized forum for speakers whose membership includes over 700 of the Washington region’s top business leaders. In addition to directing the day-to-day activities of the Club, Brady directs the Club’s scholarship program benefiting DC Public High School students; as well as a PhD fellowship program. Brady is the former director of administration at the Federal City Council, a non-profit that works for the betterment of DC. During her tenure she supported programs including a Potomac waterfront development study; several projects to revitalize DC public schools; support of the International Cultural and Trade Center and the MCI Center; rehabilitation of Union Station; and exploration of a National Music Center with support from the Smithsonian and then First Lady Hillary Clinton. Brady is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park.
Elisabeth Bumiller is Washington Bureau Chief of The New York Times. Previously she was The Times' Washington Editor and Deputy Washington Bureau Chief. Before that she covered the Pentagon, the White House, John McCain's 2008 campaign and New York's City Hall for The Times. She also worked for The Washington Post in Washington, New Delhi, Tokyo and New York. In 2006 and 2007, Bumiller was a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center and a Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund. She has published three books, the most recent of which was Condoleezza Rice: An American Life.
Dawn Calabia is a consultant who works on issues of statelessness, aid to displaced populations, resettlement, and asylum. She served ten years in the UN as deputy director for the United Nations Information Center Washington office and as senior external relations officer for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Calabia was also director of refugee policy and development at the US Catholic Conference and has worked on the Hill. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a founder and commissioner of the Women’s Refugee Commission. In 1996, she was honored at the White House for her work with refugee women and children.
Kate Friedrich is the VP of Global Government Affairs at Thomson Reuters and serves as the Chairman of the Board of the Software and Information Industry Association. 2002-2010, Friedrich served as Special Advisor to the Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs. During this time, she also was an executive branch staff member to the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, was the Global Affairs Policy Coordinator for Afghanistan and served concurrently as Executive Director of the US-Afghan Women’s Council, a public-private partnership and presidential initiative designed to empower Afghan women. Previously, she worked at State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, the White House, and NSC. Boards/Memberships: Friends of the American University of Afghanistan, Bridge Fund, Grossman Burn Foundation, Publisher’s Advisory Board, is an advisor to the George W Bush Center’s Women’s Advisory Board and a member of the Atlantic Council.
Stephenie Foster, a partner of Smash Strategies, has deep and broad expertise in women’s economic and political empowerment, and decades of experience in government, the non-profit sector, and law. For the last five years, Foster served at the State Department, most recently as a senior advisor and counselor to the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues. She also served at the US Embassy in Afghanistan, focusing on women and civil society. Foster also served as chief of staff to Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Christopher Dodd (D-CT), was appointed by President Clinton as General Counsel of the GSA, ran her own consulting business, and was senior vice president for government affairs at Legacy. She has published multiple articles on women’s global engagement in politics, the economy and society and was a lecturer at American University.
Kate Irvin is Group Director, International Stakeholder Relations, for The Coca-Cola Company. Prior to assuming her current role, she was Strategic Projects Director for Company Chairman and CEO, Muhtar Kent. Earlier, she led the Company’s global leadership and internal communications function and held a variety of other public affairs and communications roles. Her 24 years with the Company includes corporate as well as operating unit experience. A native of Maryland, Kate holds a BA in Public Policy from Duke, a MPA from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Masters of Education from the Harvard School of Education.
Isabel Jasinowski has more than 30 years of experience in government relations, most recently she served as vice president of government relations and a corporate officer of Goodyear. In this position Ms. Jasinowski was responsible for all of the company's federal and state legislative affairs. Since joining Goodyear in 1981, she has represented the company's public policy positions on a host of global issues with direct strategic business implications. Prior to joining Goodyear, Ms. Jasinowski set up and ran the Office of Business Liaison in the Department of Commerce. She started her career as director of local issues for Governor Jimmy Carter's 1976 presidential campaign. She holds a BA from Barnard College and a MA from Columbia University.
Shaista Mahmood, originally from Pakistan, has been a leading figure in Washington’s philanthropic, diplomatic, ecumenical and political circles for over twenty years. She has devoted her considerable talents to encourage bipartisan bridge building among cultures and faiths and support for global efforts to promote the empowerment of women and girls. In response to 9/11, Shaista Mahmood and her husband Ray were moved to promote a better understanding of their Muslim faith through dialogue and their discussions have continued and expanded with the active participation from leaders from across the political spectrum. She serves on the International Advisory Board of USIP, the board of the World Affairs Council of Washington, DC and the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy. She was instrumental in advocating for the creation of the US Pakistan Women’s Council launched at the UN in 2012.
Gebe Martinez, founder and principal of GM Networking, was a journalist for 33 years for news organizations including the Los Angeles Times, Politico and Congressional Quarterly. She also served as a news analyst for networks including PBS, NPR, and BBC. Martinez entered the issue advocacy arena as a writer and policy analyst for the Center for American Progress. Beginning with the 2012 election season, she has focused her communications work on campaigns to engage the Latino vote. Martinez has provided strategic communications services for groups such as National Immigration Law Center, Mi Familia Vota, and Voto Latino, to promote commonsense immigration reform policies and to advance Hispanic civic engagement including voter registration and voter turnout. She also works with Diane Guerrero, an actress who is a cast member of “Orange Is the New Black” and “Jane the Virgin.”
Donna Cochran McLarty
Donna Cochran McLarty is an advocate for national and international efforts to support women, children and families. With a strong emphasis on cross-cultural understanding, she encourages international education and supports cultural diplomacy and interfaith dialogue. McLarty is a founding member and board co-chair emeritus of the Vital Voices Global Partnership and serves on the executive committee and as a liaison with the Clinton School of Public Service, where she and her husband have endowed the McLarty Global Fellowship program, which enables students and faculty to work with Vital Voices and Georgetown’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security. A former trustee of the Kennedy Center and a creator of the AmericArtes Festival, she continues to serve on their International Committee. She also serves on the Blair House Board of Trustees, the World Conference of Religions for Peace, the Meridian Council on Women’s Leadership, the Women’s Forum of Conservation International, and co-chairs the Global Initiatives Council at Wesley Theological Seminary.
Mary Catherine Toker
Mary Catherine Toker is Vice President of Government Relations for General Mills. In this capacity, she leads the company’s government relations initiatives and provides strategic leadership on a broad range of public policy issues around the world. Toker joined General Mills in 1988 having served on the legislative staff of Senator George J. Mitchell (D-Maine). She currently serves as the Chair of the International Committee of the Grocery Manufacturers Association. She is also an appointee to the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade, which provides recommendations to the US Trade Representative on a wide range of agricultural trade policy issues. Toker also serves on the Boards of Directors of the Congressional Hunger Center and the Public Affairs Council.
Nancy Ziuzin Schlegel
Nancy Ziuzin Schlegel is the Vice President, International Government Affairs for Lockheed Martin International. In this role, she has responsibility for customer focus initiatives, diplomatic community outreach, and senior executive international customer engagements. She brings 30 years of experience in the political, international trade, and global defense and aerospace sectors. She worked on Capitol Hill and in the Executive Branch, as well as in a major trade association and in increasing leadership roles within the Lockheed Martin Corporation. Before moving to her current role, she served as Vice President of International Business Development, and previously directed the corporation’s liaison with Congress and the Executive Branch on priority international programs, defense cooperation, exports and trade policy. She studied Diplomacy and World Affairs at Occidental College in California, and graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington with a BA in Political Science. She is active in international women’s leadership organizations.
Maureen White is a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins SAIS. She was the senior advisor on humanitarian issues in the Office of the Special Representation to Afghanistan and Pakistan in the Department of State (2009-2013). In the Clinton administration, she represented the US at the United Nations Children’s Fund (1997-2001). In addition, she was national finance co-chair of the Hillary Clinton for President Campaign 2008 and served as national finance chair of the Democratic National Committee. Prior to that, she had a career in international economic research in New York, London and Tokyo. She serves on the boards of numerous organizations involved in global issues including the IRC, NDI, the Center for Global Development, International Women’s Health Coalition, and the American Academy in Berlin. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Atlantic Council. She has a BA from Mount Holyoke and an MSc (Econ) from the London School of Economics.
Patricia Ellis, Ex-Officio
Patricia Ellis, President and Co-Founder of the Women's Foreign Policy Group, previously covered foreign affairs for the MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, was a fellow at Harvard's Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, and taught at American University, specializing in foreign affairs news coverage. She is a founding member of the International Women's Media Foundation and member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She frequently moderates programs and speaks on the media and foreign policy, and international affairs careers.