Ambassador Catherine M. Russell, Co-Chair
Ambassador Catherine M. RussellAmbassador Catherine M. Russell served as Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues from August 2013 to January 2017. In this position, Russell led the State Department's efforts to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls around the world. Prior to assuming this position, she served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to Second Lady Jill Biden focusing on military families and higher education. During her tenure at the White House, Russell coordinated the development of the Administration's strategy to prevent and respond to gender-based violence globally. Russell previously served as a Senior Advisor to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on international women's issues. During the Clinton Administration, she served as Associate Deputy Attorney General. Russell also served as Staff Director of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senior Counsel to Senator Patrick Leahy. She received a BA in Philosophy from Boston College and a JD from George Washington University.
Lois Romano, Co-Chair
Lois RomanoLois Romano has had a distinguished career as a political journalist at The Washington Post, Newsweek and POLITICO. She now serves as a strategic advisor at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University. Romano was most recently the editor of Washington Post Live, the news organization's editorial events platform. In early 2015, she returned to the Post where she had a long career as a political correspondent and profile writer. Previously, she was a senior political reporter and the first editorial director of POLITICO events. She had been instrumental in shaping live editorial programming and content for the organization's dozens of issue-driven events. During her first career at the Post, she covered seven presidential races, served as a columnist, and was a regional correspondent based in Tulsa. Romano serves on the board and on executive committee of the International Women's Research Center. She holds a Masters degree in international relations from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.
Theresa Loar, Vice Chair
Theresa LoarTheresa 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 BottiAnita 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 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.
Mary Brady
Mary Brady 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
Elisabeth Bumiller 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
Dawn CalabiaDawn 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.
Jennifer Clinton
Jennifer ClintonJennifer Clinton has devoted her career to the fields of international education and business and recently joined Cultural Vistas as their president and CEO. Previously, as president of Global Ties US, 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.
Stephenie Foster
Stephenie Foster 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.
Gail Leftwich Kitch
Gail KitchGail Leftwich Kitch recently retired 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.
Shaista Mahmood
Shaista MahmoodShaista 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
Gebe MartinezGebe 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.”
Mary Catherine Toker 
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.
Maureen White
Maureen White 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.
Nancy Ziuzin Schlegel
Nancy Ziuzin SchlegelNancy 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.

Kim Kahnhauser Freeman
Kimberly Kahnhauser FreemanKim Kahnhauser Freeman is the executive director of the Women's Foreign Policy Group, a non-profit organization which promotes women’s leadership and amplifies their voices in international affairs through substantive global issues programming and mentoring. She brings over a decade of experience in international affairs and non-profit management.

Before assuming this role in September 2017, Kim served as the organization's associate director where she oversaw programming, membership and the WFPG's internship program. Prior to joining the WFPG in 2006, Kim completed a Fulbright teaching fellowship in Tirol, Austria; conducted research on public housing for the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service at Georgetown University; and managed operations for the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs. She graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with a degree in International Politics, during which time she studied at the University of Vienna, the Warsaw School of Economics, and the University of Silesia in Cieszyn, Poland. She frequently moderates global issues and career-focused programs for the organization in Washington, DC and New York. In 2011, she participated in the State Department's Young Turkey/Young America fellowship program.

Contact: kahnhauser[at]  |  @KimKFreeman

Patricia Ellis
Patricia EllisPatricia Ellis is President Emeritus and Co-Founder of the Women's Foreign Policy Group. She is also the President and Founder of Ellis Global Issues Forums LLC. In her 22 years leading the WFPG, she developed and moderated programs with high-profile speakers including Secretaries of State, ambassadors, and other foreign affairs experts. She also developed an active internship program and career events for thousands of next generation leaders. Before founding the WFPG, she was a foreign affairs reporter and producer for the MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour and a producer in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Washington bureau. Patricia taught at American University’s Washington Semester Program specializing in news coverage of foreign affairs. She also previously conducted research at the US Mission to the UN, and the Center for International Studies at MIT, and was awarded a fellowship at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Patricia was part of the MacNeil-Lehrer team that won the George Peabody Award for the documentary series on South Africa, “Faces of Apartheid” and an Emmy Award for coverage of the Grenada Crisis. She participated in the European Community Visitors Program and received the Netherlands Universities’ Foundation for International Cooperation Scholarship for graduate study in The Hague. She is a founding board member of the International Women’s Media Foundation, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Cosmos Club’s International Affairs Committee. She holds a BA from Wheaton College, an MA in international relations from NYU, and a graduate diploma in international relations from the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague.