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The Commissioners

Shahara Ahmad-Llewellyn is a former owner and Vice Chairman of the Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Inc., a privately held corporation and the fourth largest Coke bottler in the United States. Prior to the bottling business, she had a long, groundbreaking and successful career in the home health-care field. She received Presidential appointments from both President Clinton and President Carter. When General Colin Powell started America's Promise, he appointed her his first Vice Chairman.

Ms. Ahmad-Llewellyn is a founding member of several organizations and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of The National Constitution Center and of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Ms. Ahmad-Llewellyn is Co-Vice Chairman of The New 42nd Street and of Peace First.  Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed her a Commissioner to the NYC Commissioner on Women's Issues, where she is serving her second term.

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Joanna Barsh is a Director in McKinsey & Company's New York office.  She serves as a leader of McKinsey's Consumer, Retail and Organization Practices.  Since joining the firm in 1980, Joanna has served a broad range of consumer-facing clients.  Her client experience spans mergers and acquisitions, development of corporate growth strategy, and performance and operations transformation.  She also spearheads the Centered Leadership Project and co-authored the book, How Remarkable Women Lead, published by Crown Business.

Joanna is a strong advocate for women at McKinsey and beyond.  She has been a New York City Commissioner on Women's Issues since 2002, appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Joanna created "The McKinsey Centered Leadership Project," including a video archive of 100+ in-depth interviews with women leaders from around the world. Its objective is to accelerate the development of women leaders. She co-authored How Remarkable Women Lead, published by Crown Business (September 2009). Up to date news on the book and related topics can be found on Facebook's fan page at

A dedicated contributor to the New York community, Joanna has served the Partnership for New York City, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Manhattan Theatre Club, as well as St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the Alaska Conservation Foundation.  She has been a trustee of Sesame Workshop, the education organization responsible for Sesame Street, for 15 years.

Prior to joining McKinsey, Joanna held positions at Macy's and at Bloomingdale's.  She holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where she was a Baker Scholar. 

Joanna is passionate about many things, but at the top of her list is women's leadership.  She has two wonderful daughters, Gaby and Jetta and a husband (David) of 18 years.


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Katie Couric is anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric and also a 60 Minutes correspondent and the anchor of CBS News primetime specials. When the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric debuted on Sept. 5, 2006, Couric became the first female solo anchor of a weekday network evening news broadcast. Couric completed a 15-year run as co-anchor of NBC News' "Today" on May 31, 2006. While at NBC, Couric was also contributing anchor for "Dateline NBC." She was a "Today" substitute co-anchor from February 1991 until taking over the job permanently two months later. Couric joined NBC News in 1989 as deputy Pentagon reporter before serving as its first national correspondent in June 1990. Her NBC tenure included two stints covering the Gulf War.

A recipient of numerous awards and accolades including six Emmys and an Associated Press Award, Couric received the George Foster Peabody Award for her March 2000 series on colon cancer. After losing her husband, Jay Monahan, to colon cancer in 1998, Couric embraced the fight against the country's No. 2 cancer killer, helped establish The National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance as well as the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell. She was born in Arlington, Va. Couric was graduated with honors from the University of Virginia in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in English and a focus on American studies. She lives in New York with her two daughters.

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Stephanie Cuskley is the CEO of NPower, a national nonprofit focused on helping nonprofits across the country improve their IT and the communities they serve. Appointed in early 2009, she brings more than twenty years of diverse financial management, organizational development and leadership experience to her role. Stephanie began her career as an investment banker, first with Drexel Burnham Lambert in the mid-1980s, and then as an Executive Vice President with Integrated Resources, a large financial services firm, where she advised on its restructuring. She joined JPMorgan Chase (then Chemical Bank) in 1994, where she spent many years in High Yield origination and subsequently developed LeadershipMorganChase, a global culture change and leadership effort that helped JPMorgan Chase create and foster the cooperative leadership culture that has made it one of the largest and most successful companies in the world.  Stephanie serves on the New York Commission on Women's Issues, a role to which Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed her in 2002, and on the Resource Development Committee for the United Way of New York City. She is also a member of the boards of directors of two public companies, Insituform Technologies and Avantair. She earned her BA from the University of Toronto, and holds an MBA from Cornell University. Stephanie is married and has three children.

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Ronnie Eldridge hosts Eldridge & Co, a weekly show on CUNY-TV, Channel 75. From 1989 to 2001 she served on the City Council representing the west side of Manhattan. During the seventies and eighties her public service included years as Special Assistant to Mayor John Lindsay and Deputy City Administrator, Director of Community and Government Affairs at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a member of Governor Mario Cuomo's Cabinet and Director of the Division For Women. Ms. Eldridge was also the Director of Special Projects at MS Magazine and the first Executive Director of the MS Foundation for Women. She also was the Executive Producer of WOMAN ALIVE, a feminist series on network public television. She lives on the west side of Manhattan with her husband and has three children, five stepchildren, and soon to be eleven grandchildren.

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Laura Ensler is a consultant to public, private and not-for-profit organizations in the field of early care and education. She provides assistance to program managers and administrators instituting change management strategies, assessment and evaluation. In addition, she facilitates and coordinates trainings and support for early care and education professionals. Prior to her consultant work, she was the Director of Community Development and Outreach for Children and Family Services of the Visiting Nurse Service (VNSNY) of New York and was the Director of VNSNY's Early Head Start Program in Rockaway, Queens. Prior to joining the VNSNY, she worked at Beth Israel Medical Center for PANDA, an early intervention program for drug-exposed newborns and their families and was the Director of the Family Center at Brooklyn Friends School. A frequent lecturer on the subject of the use of literature with young children, Ms. Ensler has taught at the NYU School of Continuing Education and the Bank Street College of Education. She is active in several national organizations including Reading Is Fundamental and the National Faculty of the Ounce of Prevention Scale Assessment Training. Ms. Ensler is a Trustee of the Brooklyn Public Library and is a Board member of Child Care Inc. She received her B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College and her Master's in Education from the Bank Street College of Education.

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Patricia Fili-Krushel serves as Executive Vice President of NBCUniversal with a broad portfolio of functions reporting to her, including Media Works, Business Strategy, Human Resources and Legal.  She reports directly to Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal.

Previously, Ms. Fili-Krushel was Executive Vice President of Administration at Time Warner Inc.  Her responsibilities included oversight of philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, human resources, worldwide recruitment, employee development and growth, compensation and benefits, and security. Ms. Fili-Krushel was responsible for launching shared services across the company for IT, real estate and facilities, and HR systems.

Before joining Time Warner in July 2001, Ms. Fili-Krushel had been CEO of WebMD Health since April 2000.

From July 1998 to April 2000, Ms. Fili-Krushel was President of the ABC Television Network.  ABC Television Network's ranking improved from third to first in the ratings during her tenure.  Prior to becoming President of the ABC Television Network, Ms. Fili-Krushel was President of ABC Daytime, and was responsible for introducing the daytime talk show "The View" and for leading ABC's daytime programming schedule to the number one position among women 18-49 years old.  While at ABC, she conceived and orchestrated SoapNet, a 24-hour soap opera cable network.

Before joining ABC in 1993, Ms. Fili-Krushel had been with Lifetime Television since 1988 as both Group Vice President of Hearst/ABC-Viacom Entertainment Services (HAVES), and Senior Vice President of Programming and Production of Lifetime Television. Prior to Lifetime, Ms. Fili-Krushel held several positions with Home Box Office, culminating her tenure as Vice President of Business Affairs and Production.  Before joining HBO, Ms. Fili-Krushel worked for ABC Sports in various positions.

Ms. Fili-Krushel holds a B.S. degree from St. John's University and an M.B.A. degree from Fordham University.

In 1998, Fortune featured Ms. Fili-Krushel among its "50 Most Powerful Women."  She has been recognized by New York Women in Communications, Inc. through their Matrix Awards for her contribution to the field of broadcasting. In 2006, she was inducted into the Museum of Television & Radio's "She Made It" Collection. She received the prestigious Vision Award for her contributions on behalf of the creative arts. The City of New York awarded Ms. Fili-Krushel the Crystal Apple Award for her distinctive career achievements and contributions to the entertainment community in New York.  In 1993, she received the Women in Film Muse Award.

Ms. Fili-Krushel serves on the Board of Trustees of The Public Theater of New York where she is a member of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Nominating Committee, the Board of Trustees of The Paley Center for Media, and Mayor Bloomberg's Commission on Women's Issues. She had previously served on the Board of Oxygen Media as Chair of the Compensation Committee.

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Vivian Fox was appointed Executive Director of the 1199SEIU Employer Child Care Fund and President of the 1199SEIU/Employer Child Care Corporation in January 2006. She brings over three decades of experience in creating and overseeing innovative health and social service programs, on both the local and national level. Ms. Fox joined the Child Care Fund after six years as President and CEO of the National Medical Fellowships, Inc. (NMF). NMF was established in 1946 to change the face of medicine by providing financial support and other incentives to minority medical students; and to articulate the vital role minority physician's play in the well being of our nation. Ms. Fox joined NMF after six years as the first African American woman to become Executive Director of the YWCA of the City of New York where she distinguished herself as a leader. The YWCA of New York City is the largest and oldest women's organization in the United States.

Ms. Fox has held several high level positions including Executive Director of the New York City Private Industry Council and Managing Director of the prestigious New York City Employment Committee, (NYCEC). Under her leadership the NYCEC designed several innovative programs including the highly acclaimed Office of the Future Training Laboratory. While employed at the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC), Ms. Fox held several senior positions including Program Officer and Corporate Secretary. In 1971, as Associate Director of the African American Institute's "Educators to Africa" program, Ms. Fox led over 150 American educators on a series of study tours in West Africa. Ms. Fox has served as a consultant to the Ford Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation where she evaluated the viability of several major national organizations. She is active on several Boards and Councils including the Harlem Hospital Advisory Board, New York Women of Distinction, and the New York Chapter of National Political Congress of Black Women. Ms. Fox is a former president of the Association of Black Agency Executives and an officer of the Greater New York Chapter of the Links. Ms. Fox holds a B.S. in Political Science from Hunter College. In 1989, she was inducted into the prestigious Academy of Women Achievers. In October 1995, the First Lady recognized her at the White House as one of the Nation's outstanding non-profit CEO's. In 1996, Ms. Fox became an ASPEN Scholar and recently completed the Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management series at Harvard University School of Business.

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Ester R. Fuchs is a Professor of Public Affairs and Political Science at Columbia University. After receiving her B.A. from Queens College, C.U.N.Y., she went on to receive her M.A. from Brown University, followed by a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago. She served as Special Advisor to the Mayor for Governance and Strategic Planning under New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg from 2001-2005. While at City Hall, Dr. Fuchs coordinated three significant mayoral initiatives: the restructuring the City's delivery of Out-of-School Time (OST) programs to children, youth, and families; the Integrated Human Services System Project (Access New York) to streamline the screening and eligibility determination processes, case management, and policy development and planning functions within and across the 13 human services agencies through the use of technology; and the merger of the Department of Employment with the Department of Small Business Services to align the City's workforce development programs with the needs of the business community.

Dr. Fuchs was also appointed by Mayor Bloomberg to serve as Chair of the 2005 NYC Charter Revision Commission. She was the first woman to serve in this capacity. Before going on a public service leave to join the Bloomberg Administration, Dr. Fuchs was Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, Chair of the Urban Studies Program at Barnard and Columbia Colleges, and founding Director of the Columbia University Center for Urban Research and Policy. She continues to serve on the NYC Economic Opportunity Commission, the Workforce Investment Board and the Mayor's Sustainability Advisory Board. She was recently appointed to the Committee on Economic Inclusion of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and is a member of the Boards of the Fund for the City of New York and the Citizen Union. Dr. Fuchs lives in Manhattan with her husband, Daniel Victor, and their three children.

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Rosa M. Gil, D.S.W. is the founder, President and CEO of Comunilife, Inc. a non-for-profit community based organization. The Agency's mission is to expand access to the continuum of behavioral health care, social services, and affordable housing for all New Yorkers including persons living with mental illness or HIV/AIDS. Dr.Gil has had a distinguished career in the fields of health, mental health, social services, and higher education. She is the former Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation, as well as, Health Policy Advisor to Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and University Dean for Health Sciences at the City University of New York. She served as Commissioner on the Commission of Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century; Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg Commission on Women Issues; Governor George Pataki's Adult Homes and the Mentally Ill Task Force; the Surgeon General Report on Mental Health; the National Advisory Board Council of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency of the U.S. Department of Mental and Human Services; Board of Trustees of Group Health, Inc.; EmblemHealth, Inc.; and the Pfizer Women Advisory Board. She is a founder and past President of the Hispanic Mental Health Association. Dr. Gil has written numerous articles on mental, ethnicity, and child welfare and gender issues. She is the co-author of the "Maria Paradox", the first authoritative book on self-esteem and Hispanic women.

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Natatia L. Griffith is a Commissioner, New York City Commission on Women's Issues (appointed by Michael Bloomberg, Mayor, New York City), a newly elected Vice President, New York Women's Agenda, and a member of the Advisory Boards of Ogilvy Mather North America, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Equality Now - NYC (human trafficking focused). She is also a member of the Board of the National Coalition of One Hundred Black Women (NCBW) and an appointed member of the Friends of the New-York Historical Society.  Ms. Griffith also serves as the appointed DPI/NGO Alternate to the United Nations on behalf of the NCBW, and co-chairs the NCBW International Committee and Government Affairs of the New York Women's Agenda. 

In support of a partnership between the NCBW and the Firestone Natural Rubber Company, Natatia recently conceptualized the Dear American Friend Initiative (an international empowerment program for women) and co-chaired its inaugural launch by organizing a  nation-wide initiative that secured medical equipment and supplies, books and school supplies, sewing machines and clothing that were donated to the John F. Kennedy Hospital, William V. S. Tubman Teachers College, University of Liberia, Carver Mission Academy, Cuttington College, the Liberian Market Women and the Liberian Teacher Training Program (Rural Teacher Training Institutes).

Natatia presided over the New York Coalition of One Hundred Black Women, Founding Chapter for two consecutive terms (2004 - 2007).  Under her leadership, the Coalition embarked on a very progressive agenda - it launched a "go-green" tree planting initiative, erected permanent signage as a tribute to the founders of the Coalition of One Hundred Black Women at 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell/New York State Office Building, established and awarded over $80,000 in scholarships, enhanced the Coalition's signature mentoring Role Model Program, kicked-off the P.O.W.A. Program - a new mentoring initiative with a particular focus on high school girls, established the Beacon Awards, as well as "A Conversation with…" - a series of intimate interviews with industry leaders and celebrities.   Substantive forums were also hosted -- on Darfur, alternative treatments for cancer and on the depiction of youth in America, to name just a few.

Natatia led the Coalition in successful collaborations that resulted in the passage of legislation, including the elimination of the statute of limitations on rape and sex crimes in New York, the placement of Automated External Defibrillators in police cars and government buildings, and the establishment of the nation's most stringent penalties against Sexual and Labor Trafficking enacted in the State of New York.

As Co-Chair, Government Affairs, New York Women's Agenda and on behalf of the Equal Pay Coalition NYC (EPCNYC), Natatia helped organize a forum on the issue of Equal Pay, which featured Lilly Ledbetter.  The EPCNYC was instrumental in gathering support for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which became the first legislation signed into law on January 29, 2009, by President Barack Obama.  Bestowed awards for her demonstrated leadership, Natatia has appeared as a guest speaker and on local radio shows.

As Deputy Director, Budgets, with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), she is part of a team that oversees an annual budget in excess of $15 billion dollars.


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Cynthia Hayes is President and Founder of Hayes Strategies, an independent consulting firm focused on strategic leadership development. Since 1993 Ms. Hayes has brought a combination of strategic vision and operational savvy to her clients, helping them develop the strategies, leadership strengths and operational structures needed to respond to changing market conditions, maximize new opportunities and manage transitions. Hayes Strategies has worked across a number of industries with prestigious clients such as American Express Company, JPMorgan Chase, The Walt Disney Company, AIG, Merrill Lynch, and Discovery Communications, Inc. Prior to starting her firm she spent three years at McGraw-Hill, as an internal consultant and strategic planner for the company's media businesses, and started her career in a similar role at Time Inc. In addition to her consulting work, Ms. Hayes has developed and taught a number of executive training workshops and seminars. Based on her strategic leadership expertise, these courses provide client companies with a means of developing internal strength in strategic and analytical thinking, managing change and effective communication. She has also taught graduate level courses in management at New York University Sloan School of Business. Cynthia received her M.B.A. from Harvard and her B.A. from the Wellesley College.

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Katherine S. Kahan is a member of the board of Citizens' Committee for Children of New York, a research and advocacy group that champions the cause of children throughout the five boroughs. In 2001-2002 she was Honorary Chair of The New York Women's Foundation, a cross-cultural alliance of women helping low-income girls and women achieve sustained economic self-sufficiency and self-reliance. In addition, she was a long-time board member of Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, a settlement house that provides services for New Yorkers of all ages. Ms. Kahan received a B.A. degree in Art History from Smith College and an M.A. in English from Teachers College at Columbia University.

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Meryl R. Kaynard serves as Special Counsel to the President of Queens College and, as a key member of the executive management team, provides guidance on all legal matters impacting the student body, faculty and administration.  These matters include all labor and employment issues and claims arising in the higher education setting (including those related to tenure and promotion and the implementation of new policies and laws), all legal concerns related to endowments, gifts and bequests, structuring transactions and preparing contracts related to the use of the university/college's intellectual property and resources, and handling immigration and other matters related to international students and faculty. 

Prior to this, Meryl headed the Employment Law and Benefits Group at JPMorgan Chase for close to 20 years, servicing every line of business, the Corporate Human Resources function, and senior management.  The group provided full advice and counseling services with respect to all employment and benefit matters, and had the distinction of handling much of the firm's employment related litigation in house. She also served as the Director of Diversity & Special Counsel at a global law firm Fortune 100 firm, an associate at a management labor and employment firm, Assistant Corporation Counsel for the New York City Law Department and a Judicial Clerk to a Federal District Court Judge.  In all these roles, Ms. Kaynard's focus has been (and remains) on the proactive practice of law and problem solving. 

Ms. Kaynard is active on numerous not for profit boards and professional organizations, is a longtime advocate of increasing diversity (including that of the legal profession), and has a special interest and focus on issues impacting women. She was a founding member and Chair of WIN - JPMC's women's leadership employee networking group, co-led JPMC's Women's Task Force, was active on the Steering Committee for the Office of the General Counsel's Diversity Council, and was of-counsel to JPMC's ground breaking Supplier Diversity Program. Among the not for profit Boards and Advisory Boards on which Ms. Kaynard serves (or has served) are the following: Legal Advisory Council and the Family Initiative Advisory Board for Legal Momentum, Corporate Advisory Board for the Corporate Circle at the National Conference of Research on Women (NCRW), Co-chair of the Corporate Board of Advisors for Women Work!, the Academy of Women Achievers Advisory Board for the YWCA of New York, the Board for New Alternatives for Children (NAC), and co-chair of the New York Women's Bar Association Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity for Women. Ms. Kaynard also serves on advisory boards for the Hofstra University School of Law, Long Island University School of Management, and the NYU Center for Labor and Employment Law.  Meryl was inducted into the YWCA Academy of Women Achievers in Industry in 2000 and was an Adjunct Visiting Professor at the Hofstra University School of Law, teaching "Advanced Issues in Labor and Employment Law", inaugurating the Samuel M. Kaynard Distinguished Visiting Professorship in Labor and Employment Law.
Ms. Kaynard received her B.S. from Cornell University, attended Fordham Law School, and graduated from Wayne State University Law School where she was on the Law Journal. She lives in New York, is married to an architect and city planner, and has two wonderful daughters.

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Nancy Kolben is the Executive Director of Child Care Inc., a leading early care and education policy and advocacy organization in New York City. CCI is working to promote quality early learning, healthy development and care for children, birth through school-age. Ms. Kolben is a co-convener of Winning Beginning NY, a statewide coalition to promote quality early learning opportunities for children from birth through school age. She serves on the Children's Cabinet Advisory Board appointed by the Governor. She is a coordinator of the Early Childhood Strategic, a New York City based partnership of 20 organizations and individuals working in partnership with the public sector to expand early education opportunities across the city. She also served as President and Founding Board Member of the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, a national network of organizations promoting quality child care. Ms. Kolben has guided the development of numerous publications on all aspects of early childhood policy and has spoken extensively on a comprehensive vision for early care and education.

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Marcia Brumit Kropf joined Girls Incorporated®, the nonprofit organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold,SM in the Fall of 2003. Dr. Kropf oversees the implementation of the organization's current business plan and is currently a member of the Core Planning Team developing the next strategic direction for the Girls Inc. network. She has direct responsibility for the National Services, Program & Training Services, Research, IT, and Human Resources departments. She heads the organization's IT Council and is leading an enterprise-wide multi-year initiative to address the needs of Latina girls aged 6 to 18. Dr. Kropf is a member of the New York City Commission on Women's Issues and the Expert Advisory Panel for New Moon, as well as an advisor to the Jeannette Rankin Foundation. She serves as co-chair of the COO Peer Network for the National Human Services Assembly. She represents Girls Inc. at the K-12 Alliance for the National Council of Women in IT and is a member of the alliance leadership team. Previously, Dr. Kropf spent 12 years at Catalyst, the premier nonprofit research and advisory organization working to advance women in business, as Vice President of Research & Information Services. She oversaw the Research Department, the Information Center (a special library focusing on women and work), and Catalyst's efforts to advance technologically in the 21st Century. She also led the Work and Family team of experts, the group advising companies on a range of topics including flexible work arrangements, leaves of absence, and childcare. Prior to her work at Catalyst, Dr. Kropf spent over 20 years working in public education in a variety of positions, from classroom teaching to software design, focusing primarily on curriculum design and evaluation. Dr. Kropf earned her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College, a Master of Arts in Teaching from Oberlin College, a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Reading Education from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Communication and Technology from New York University.

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Ellen Levine was appointed Editorial Director of Hearst Magazines in 2006. In her role, Ms. Levine will be responsible for strengthening current titles, developing new titles domestically and internationally, and evaluating opportunities for brand extensions, books, and digital alternatives. Ms. Levine made publishing history in October 1994 as the first woman to be named Editor-in-Chief of Good Housekeeping since the magazine was founded, in 1885. During her tenure, she was instrumental in launching new titles at Hearst Magazines, including O, The Oprah Magazine in 1999, the most successful magazine launch ever. She has also worked on the development of titles such as Weekend and Quick & Simple. During Ms. Levine's role as Editor-in-Chief at Good Housekeeping, the publication received a National Magazine Award from the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) in 1999 and was nominated for a National Magazine Award in general excellence in 2005. The magazine has also received many industry accolades, including Adweek's "The Hit List" in 2005, "The Big List" in 2003, and "The Hot List" as one of the top ten magazines in 2002. In January 2004, ASME and the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) inducted Ms. Levine into the Magazine Editors' Hall of Fame. Ellen Levine currently serves on the charitable boards of the New York Restoration Project, Bette Midler's effort to revitalize parks in all boroughs of New York City, and the Board of Advisors of New York Women in Communications. Her corporate boards include Gaylord Entertainment and Lifetime Television. Ms. Levine appears regularly on Good Morning America. She is the author of numerous books and articles, and her work has appeared in many publications, including the New York Times. She began her journalism career at the Record in Hackensack, New Jersey, following her graduation from Wellesley College. Ms. Levine resides with her husband, a physician, in New York City. They have two sons.

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Carolyn Buck Luce is the Ernst & Young Global Life Sciences Sector Co-Leader responsible for serving global life sciences companies with assurance, advisory, tax and transaction solutions. In that capacity, Ms Buck Luce is responsible for E&Y's strategy, thought leadership, resourcing, learning and solution development to best serve our clients in the Life Sciences Industry.

Prior to joining Ernst & Young, Ms. Buck Luce spent seventeen years in lending, investment banking, consulting and government service where she was involved in a diverse range of capital market activities for both public and private companies in a wide variety of industries.  She started her career working for the US State Department in the Soviet Union, stationed in Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moscow. Ms. Buck Luce received her BS from Georgetown University where she graduated magna cum laude as a member of Phi Beta Kappa and her MBA from Columbia University, where she is currently an adjunct professor.

Ms Buck Luce currently serves in a variety of capacities in the area of advancing women's leadership including Chair of the Board of the New York Women's Foundation, member of the Global Advisory board of the Healthcare Women's Business Association, and, in 2007, Ms Buck Luce was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg as a Commissioner of the New York City Commission on Women's Issues.   She is also the Chair of a multi-company task force exploring "The Hidden Brain Drain - Women & Minorities as Unrealized Assets" and is the co-author, along with Dr. Sylvia Hewlett, of multiple articles published in the Harvard Business Review, including a 2008 article entitled "The Athena Factor - Reversing the Brain Drain in Science, Engineering and Technology.

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Terry J. Lundgren is Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer of Federated Department Stores, Inc. Terry Lundgren assumed the title of Chairman, President & CEO of Federated Department Stores, Inc. on January 15, 2004. Prior to this, he served as President & Chief Operating Officer, a title he assumed in March 2003 after having served as President & Chief Merchandising Officer since May 1997. Federated is the parent company of Macy's and Bloomingdale's. Lundgren began his retailing career in 1975 as a trainee with Bullock's, a Los Angeles-based division of Federated. In his capacity as Chief Merchandising Officer, Lundgren was credited with effectively easing the merger of Federated's and Macy's merchandising functions, and initiating the strategic development and marketing of a strengthened private brand program within Federated. As Chief Executive Officer, Lundgren led Federated's acquisition of The May Department Stores Company in August 2005, again nearly doubling the size of the company. Today, Federated is a premier national retailer with more than 900 department stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Gaum. Lundgren is a native of Long Beach, California, and a graduate of the University of Arizona where he gave the commencement address to the graduating class of 2000 and was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Laws degree. He was also awarded the honorary Doctor of Commercial Sciences degree from Suffolk University in 2001. Lundgren has been appointed Commissioner on Women's Economic Development by the Mayor of New York. He is also a member of the Young Presidents Organization, serves on the membership committee of the Economic Club of New York, and is involved with the New York City Principal for a Day Program. Lundgren has two daughters and resides in New York City with his wife, Tina.

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Debra Martinez is the CEO of DM Associates whose company provides management expertise. As President of the Grand Council of Hispanic Societies in Public Service, she represents Hispanic Societies of the Fire Department, Transit Authority, Corrections, Parks, Sanitation, Taxi & Limousine, Auxiliary Police, NYC Housing Authority, NYC Department of Transportation, Triboro Bridge and Tunnel and the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women. Previously she served as Chair and Executive Director of the State Consumer Protection Board. Ms. Martinez received a B.S. degree in Psychology from Tufts University and an MS in Education from the Lehman College of the City University of New York. She is a graduate of the CORO Leadership Program sponsored by the NYC Partnership.

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Melissa Mendez-Garcia is the Director of the Catalyst Program at City Parks Foundation. The catalyst program focuses on three-four parks across the city and dedicates resources and support over a span of four years. The program is dedicated to encouraging community re-investment and to fostering community building activities that foster local stewardship. Formerly, Melissa was the researcher and program director at the Women of Color Policy Network at NYU Wagner. At the Network she developed and administered the Beyond the Window policy program, which aims to cultivate a new generation of advocate-researchers who are young women of color. She earned her MPA from NYU Wagner (2003) and her B.A. from Columbia College-University (1995). Melissa also served as the Chief of Administrative Services for Manhattan at NYC Parks 1999-2001.

She has been an adjunct instructor at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and for the College Now program at Medgar Evers College, CUNY.

She is an advisory board member for the Striplin Foundation and for the Asian American Student Advocacy project at the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families.

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Mary C. Muphree is a Senior Advisor at the Sloan Center for Innovative Training & Workforce Development, Center for Women & Work, Rutgers University. From 1985 to March of 2005, she served as the Regional Administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor, Reg. 2 Women's Bureau. In that capacity, she represented the interests of over six million working women in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Dr. Murphree currently serves on several boards including the Women's City Club of New York, and Wider Opportunities for Women, Washington, D.C. Dr. Murphree received her B.A. degree from Hollins College, Roanoke, Va. and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University.

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Maria Otero founded Women's Venture Fund when the notion of micro lending was just forming. The organization serves women who are striving to attain financial independence and the long-term security that comes through owning a successful business. Women's Venture Fund does more than provide capital. It builds on the life experience of each client to develop her self-confidence, expand her understanding of opportunities, and provide the skills, training and resources needed to own a progressively complex enterprise. Incorporated in 1994, Women's Venture Fund began with a charter to help two communities and today serves the entire New York Metropolitan area. This year marks the organization's launch of its full service in New Jersey. Ms. Otero grew up in New York City and graduated from Queens College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. After serving as an Assistant Attorney General in Albany, she returned to New York City in 1993. As she re-established herself in her native city, Ms. Otero joined the Board of Directors of the New York Women's Foundation. Through the activities of this professional association, the idea of the Women's Venture Fund evolved. Ms. Otero appears often on the local and national media for her expertise on entrepreneurship and women's issues. In 2002, Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Ms. Otero to the Commission on Women's Issues and currently serves as a judge for the Forbes Business Competition.

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Merble Reagon is Executive Director of the Women's Center for Education and Career Advancement in New York City. The Women's Center was established in 1970 to meet the workforce development needs of women who had a marginal relationship to the paid work force and continues to serve low-income women and their families through a variety of programs and services designed to help them achieve economic self-sufficiency. Ms Reagon has worked for more than 35 years to create greater opportunities for low-wage workers in the business and public sectors. She has conducted management, diversity and workforce development training for non-profit, legal and women's organizations, government agencies and others.

Her current work includes introduction and promotion of the groundbreaking Self-Sufficiency Standard for the City of New York (2000 and 2004) and the enthusiastically welcomed web-based New York City Self-Sufficiency Calculator. The Standard calculates how much income it takes for families to live and work in the five boroughs of New York City. The Calculator estimates a working family's eligibility and benefit amounts for federal, state and city work supports and tax credits. These economic development tools have been distributed to and are being used by thousands of caseworkers and counselors in the five boroughs of New York City.

Ms Reagon has held leadership positions with national, regional, state and local employment and training organizations. She has received numerous awards including the Ellen Lurie Award from the Community Service Society in recognition of her efforts on behalf of the poor, the Susan B. Anthony Award from NOW NYC and the Wiser Hero Award in 2003 from the Women's Institute for Secure Economic Retirement. She is a graduate of Smith College and the New York University School of Law. Current community involvement includes the following board memberships: Wider Opportunities for Women, New York State Defenders Association, Justice Fund, Westbeth Artists Housing, the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York, and the Lucius and Eva Eastman Fund.

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Shirley Rodriguez Remeneski recently retired from a vigorous government track but continues to work diligently, remaining active with several volunteer organizations. Currently, Ms. Remeneski serves as the President of 100 Hispanic Women, Inc., an organization she founded in 1996 composed of dynamic and professional women, committed to empowering Latinas in various fields. In 2002, 100HW launched The Young Latinas Leadership Institute (YLLI), a four-year scholarship program sponsored by CUNY. This past January, YLLI graduated its third class of scholars and inducted five new Latinas to the program, now boasting 30 students.

Her most recent achievement is her vision for and heavy involvement with the establishment of The Bronx Global Leadership Institute for Girls (BGLIG), an all girl, dual-language charter school located at 750 Concourse Village West in the South Bronx which opened September 2008. Her experience as chair of the Board of Directors and founder of BGLIG attests for her drive and arduous commitment to her community. This technologically and culturally rich school promotes self-confidence in the young girls with the vision to create global leaders by providing them with a challenging and productive environment while also giving them an opportunity to build on their cultural development by engaging them in things such as dance and violin lessons. The school has started at kindergarten and first grade, adding an additional grade each year.

Ms. Remeneski has spent the majority of her career involved in government and the non-profit world and has held leadership positions since the launch of her career in 1996. She most recently serves as Senior Vice President at the Empire State Development Corporation's Economic Revitalization Division, where she was appointed in January 2002. At Empire State Development, Ms. Remeneski was responsible for overseeing economic development for distressed communities in New York State. She designed projects and programs to stimulate community growth which lead to the creation of permanent jobs and sustainable business enterprises. Prior to her position at Empire State Development Corp., she was Deputy Commissioner and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Officer for the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development where she served since 1994. She managed the Office of Equal Opportunity and Community Affairs, which consisted of five units: Equal Employment Opportunity, Fair Housing, Economic Development, Contract Compliance, and Labor Standards.

President and Founder of 100 Hispanic Women, Inc.; Chair of the Board of Directors of The Bronx Global Learning Institute for Girls (BGLIG); Chair of the Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center; Commissioner of the Mayor's Commission on Women's Issues; Multicultural Advisory Committee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Greater New York Hospital Association: Advisory Task Force on Diversity in Health Care Leadership; Member of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Member of the Board of Directors of Boricua College; Member of the Foundation Board of Hostos Community College; Vice Chair of the Foundation Board of Boricua College.

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Margarita Rosawas appointed Executive Director of the Grand Street Settlement on May 15, 1995. Grand Street Settlement operates programs for over 10,000 people annually. Its mission is to encourage and nurture self-determination among families and individuals through learning, advocacy, support, and community building. Grand Street programs include early childhood education, after-school education, youth development and leadership, adult education, and a senior citizens' center. Ms. Rosa is responsible for the overall management and direction of the agency.

Margarita Rosa was the New York State Commissioner of Human Rights from 1990 through 1994. She was appointed to the position by Governor Mario M. Cuomo. She was the first woman, the first Hispanic and the youngest person to serve in this position. Ms. Rosa currently serves on the Boards of Directors of the AlumniCorps (formerly Princeton Project 55), Rx Compassion and Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School. Ms. Rosa has been a member of the Boards of Directors of the Foundation for Child Development, the National Philanthropic Trust, NPower, the Human Services Council, the Non-Profit Coordinating Committee, United Neighborhood Houses and Legal Services for Children, among others. Ms. Rosa graduated cum laude from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts in History and received a Law degree from Harvard Law School.

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Lynn Sherr is a Contributing Editor at More Magazine and you can find her online at The Daily Beast, on television with PBS' Worldfocus, on radio with NPR and in print at numerous magazines. She is an Award-winning broadcaster and author who recently left ABC News full-time after more than thirty years, including more than twenty as a correspondent with the ABC Newsmagazine 20/20.

She has covered a wide range of stories, specializing in women's issues and social change, as well as investigative reports. She has received numerous awards, including an Emmy, two American Women in Radio and Television Commendation awards, and, among other honors, a George Foster Peabody Award.

Prior to her assignment at 20/20, Sherr was a national correspondent for ABCNEWS, where she was also part of the network’s political team for every election cycle through 2000. Sherr also reported on the NASA space shuttle program from its inception in 1981 through the Challenger explosion in 1986, anchoring almost every mission from launch to landing.

She is a graduate of Wellesley College, where she served as a trustee.

Before joining ABC in 1977, Sherr was a reporter for WNET-TV in New York and WETA-TV in Washington, D.C., both public television stations. Prior to that, she reported for WCBS-TV in New York, and The Associated Press in New York and Condé Nast Publications.

She is the author of her memoir, Outside the Box: My Unscripted Life of Love, Loss and Television News, published in September 2006; the biography, Failure Is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Own Words; and co-author of Susan B. Anthony Slept Here: A Guide to American Women's Landmarks, and 10 editions of “The Women's Calendar.”

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Marlene Springer was appointed President of the College of Staten Island of The City University of New York (CSI/CUNY) September 1994. She earned her Ph.D. in English Literature and an M.A. in American Literature at Indiana University. Prior to her presidency, she served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at East Carolina University (ECU). Her most recent publications include: "The Presidency as Journey (Not Destination)," The Presidency, Winter 2003, American Council on Education; Focus: Reflections on the Presidency, The Presidency, Spring 1999, American Council on Education; Ethan Frome: A Nightmare of Need, Thomas Hardy's Use of Allusion, and Edith Wharton and Kate Chopin: A Reference Guide; co-editor with Haskell Springer of Plains Woman: The Diary of Martha Farnsworth, and editor of What Manner of Woman: Essays of English and American Life and Literature. As a member of numerous civic and professional boards Dr. Springer garnered many awards, including the Distinguished Woman in Education award from Alpha Beta Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International (1998). Dr. Springer has also been a member of the Board of Directors of American Council on Education and the Chair of College Consortium for International Studies. In 2002, she chaired the evaluation team for SUNY Oswego, Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of College and Schools and was appointed vice chair of the Mayor's New York City Charter Revision Commission. In 2003, Dr. Springer moderated a NYC panel discussion called, "What Johnny Doesn't Read: Test and Textbook Censorship in Our Schools."

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Joan Steinberg is an active civic leader currently serving on numerous boards and commissions, among them the Citizens Budget Commission, the Board of Trustees of the Juilliard School, and the Citizens' Committee for Children. She is also on the Board of the Correctional Association of New York and the American Associates of the National Theatre. She is a past board member of Guild Hall of East Hampton, The National Council for Research on Women, the V-Day Advisory Board, the Osborne Association, Gilda's Club of New York, and the Institute for the Advancement of Health. Ms. Steinberg's professional experience includes participation in the Release on Recognizance Project of the Vera Institute of Criminal Justice and several years as an analyst in the research division of Loeb Rhoades and Co. Ms Steinberg received a B.A. degree in Political Science from DePauw University and a Master's degree in Geography from Columbia University.

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Sally Susman is Executive Vice President, Policy, External Affairs & Communications for Pfizer Inc, the world's largest biopharmaceutical company whose diversified health care and consumer products are sold around the world. She is a member of Pfizer's Executive Leadership Team, chairs Pfizer's Political Action Committee and is Vice Chair of The Pfizer Foundation, which promotes access to quality health care, nurtures innovation and supports the community involvement of Pfizer's 100,000 employees.

Ms. Susman directs Pfizer’s global communications efforts, its interactions with external and internal audiences, and its public affairs activities, including relations with the governments of all nations in which the Company has operations or markets products. Ms. Susman also heads the firm’s corporate responsibility group and plays a key role in shaping the Company’s policy initiatives.

Before joining Pfizer in 2007, Ms. Susman was Executive Vice President of Global Communications at The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., where, for seven years, she directed global strategy for the corporation and its 28 brands. Ms. Susman was a member of the company’s Executive Committee and served as Company spokeswoman.

Ms. Susman has also held several senior communications and government relations posts at American Express Company. From 1995 to 1998, she was based in London, where she was responsible for corporate communications and government relations for American Express throughout Europe.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Susman spent eight years in government service focused on international trade issues. Her positions included Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs in the U.S. Department of Commerce and Legislative Assistant for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

Ms. Susman holds a B.A. in government from Connecticut College; she has also studied at the London School of Economics. Ms. Susman is a Commissioner on the New York City Commission on Women's Issues, and she also serves on the board of the International Rescue Committee. She lives with her family in New York City.


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Jeanette Takamura is Dean of the Columbia University School of Social Work. Dr. Takamura is the first female Dean at the nation's oldest school of social work. She has served in senior positions in the state government of Hawaii and from 1997 to 2001 was Assistant Secretary for Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to serving in government, she held faculty and administrative appointments in higher education. She has received numerous awards, among them the Lucy Stone Award from the White House for her advocacy and the enactment of the National Family Caregiver Support Program, which provides support to older women, many of whom are family caregivers. She has been a member of national and international boards and working groups. Dr. Takamura earned a B.A. degree in Political Science and Sociology and a Master's of Social Work degree from the University of Hawaii and her Ph.D. in Social Policy from Brandeis University.

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Angie Wang has more than thirteen years of combined experience in nonprofit administration and management, program development, grantmaking, resource development and program evaluation. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, Angie served as Director of Programs at The New York Women's Foundation where she oversaw the Foundation's grantmaking, capacity building, evaluation, and public education and advocacy initiatives. Prior to the Foundation, Angie was a Program Director at the September 11th Fund where she managed a national grant program for case management and coordination of services to victims of September 11th and a grant program for health care services for dislocated workers in New York and Washington D.C. From 1997-2003, Angie worked at Safe Horizon in a variety of capacities in the areas of crisis counseling and trauma support programs for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, and individuals and families impacted by September 11th tragedy. Angie is a native Californian and holds a B.S. in Community and Regional Development and a B.A. in Women's Studies from the University of California, Davis. She worked in variety of positions in the areas of public health, environmental protection, and housing and homelessness in Northern California, before coming to New York City. She serves as a Commissioner on the NYC Commission on Women's Issues, and on the board's of the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families and Peoples Production House.

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Sheila Wellington was appointed Clinical Professor of Management at the New York University/Leonard N. Stern School of Business in September 2003. A leader and advocate on behalf of women in business, Ms. Wellington currently teaches a course she developed, Women in Business Leadership. Prior to joining NYU, she was President of Catalyst, the preeminent non-profit organization on women's private sector leadership. Under her leadership, Catalyst tripled in size, opened new offices in Toronto and San Jose, and initiated research and advisory services programs that have highlighted annual measures of women's progress in the uppermost ranks of corporate America through censuses of women corporate officers and top earners and of women board directors. She also spearheaded the most comprehensive research to date on women of color in corporate management. Ms. Wellington is the author of Be Your Own Mentor, a highly successful book focusing on issues of organizational change and women's advancement. A nationally recognized speaker on these and related topics, she is a board member of the Institute for Women's Policy Research and The Transitions Network and serves as a Commissioner of the New York City Commission on Women's Issues. Ms. Wellington received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Yale School of Public Health in 2002 and was inducted as a Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources.

Prior to Catalyst, Ms. Wellington served as Vice President and Secretary of Yale University. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wellesley College, Ms. Wellington earned concurrent master's degrees in public health and urban studies at Yale University. She is married, has two sons, and is the grandmother of Max and Lily Wellington.

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Melinda Wolfe has led talent management initiatives with a passionate focus on diversity at five major global companies over her career. In August 2008, she joined Bloomberg L.P. where she heads Professional Development, overseeing a full continuum of human capital management responsibilities.

Beginning her career at Merrill Lynch, Ms. Wolfe first served public and private sector clients, leading and managing billions of dollars of municipal utility and project finance transactions over a 14-year period. In 1995, she was selected to head the Office of Diversity Strategy and Programs, a move which launched her career in human capital management.

Subsequently, she directed the Office of Global Recruiting and Training at Credit Suisse and later joined Goldman Sachs in the Investment Management Division, responsible for staffing, training and development programs. As a Managing Director, Melinda helped to initiate the Office of Global Leadership and Diversity, where under her leadership, Goldman was named a Catalyst award-winning company for its outstanding progress on women’s issues.

In 2007, Melinda joined American Express as Senior Vice President, Executive Talent and Chief Diversity Officer. In this role, she was responsible for a broad range of initiatives including executive hiring, the development of a high potential program to build a general manager pipeline and succession planning.

In addition, Ms. Wolfe chairs the National Council for Research on Women’s Corporate Circle; co-chairs the Hidden Brain Drain Task Force; and serves as a Commissioner for the NYC Mayor’s Commission on Women’s Issues. She holds positions as Adjunct Faculty member and Advisory Board member at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She is also a member of the Board of Planned Parenthood of New York City.

Ms. Wolfe received her undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis and her graduate degree at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She is married and lives in Manhattan with her husband, Ken Inadomi and her daughter Molly.

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