When she inherited the 1935 Lockheed Electra 10E, Wolf was approached by several media and aviation organizations. All wanted to use the plane to re-create Amelia Earhart’s last flight for the purposes of scientific study and furthering the search for Earhart’s crash site. But Wolf had other ideas. She decided that instead of using the plane for a re-creation, she would mobilize it for the purposes of inspiration – to honor and uplift women and girls around the world – via an endowment established by the sale of the aircraft.
Wolf is a mother, author, and filmmaker. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Georgetown University and holds an M.A. in creative writing from Hollins College where she was awarded a full scholarship. Her first novel, THE WAY, was published by Random House (Crown) in 2011. In that same year, OPRAH MAGAZINE selected the book as “A Title to Pick Up Now!” saying “This imaginative novel will make you a believer!” In addition to her creative achievements, Wolf has served on the boards of several not-for-profit organizations.
Co-Founder & Managing Director
Eliza Woloson, Anthropologist, Entrepreneur. In 1998, after her anthropological research in Sumbawa, Eliza founded Global Education Fund, a nonprofit that invests in transformative local solutions to education in emerging markets. In 2018, Global Education Fund joined with Girl Rising to launch a venture philanthropy fund to invest in social entrepreneurs with culturally-relevant ideas to promote gender equality and improve education quality. In addition to managing the nomination process for Women Have Wings, Eliza consults international NGOs on program evaluation, monitoring and learning.
Eliza was a Cornell FLAS scholar, a Harvard World Teach in China recipient, a Fellow at the Aspen Institute, a graduate of INTRAC Monitoring and Evaluation for International Aid at Oxford and the Chair of Beyond our Borders. Eliza is an active member of the UN Committee of the International Women’s Forum, a Delegate for the UN Commission on the Status of Women, a Strategic Advisor at Collective Impact Partners and an Advisor at Our Secure Future which aims to strengthen the Women, Peace and Security movement to enable effective policy decision-making. She is a Global Ambassador for the University of Colorado, Boulder and a mentor for MergeLane, an accelerator for female-led high-potential start-ups. A determined advocate of women’s rights internationally and the author of of “My Friend Isabelle”, Eliza has received numerous awards for her work. She lives on a farm in Boulder, Colorado with her husband, two daughters and forty-one chickens.
Council of Advisors
Representative, New Delhi
Kavita N. Ramdas serves as the representative for the foundation’s office in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, where she oversees all of our grant making in the region. The regional work focuses on issues of equity, inclusion, economic fairness, freedom of expression, human rights, sexuality and reproductive health and rights, transparency and accountable governance, and sustainable development. Kavita also works to leverage relationships with government, civil society and the private sector to advance social justice.
Before joining the foundation in 2012, Kavita served as the founder and first executive director of the Program on Social Entrepreneurship (PSE)—housed at the Centre for Democracy, Development and Rule of Law at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. PSE brings global leaders in social innovation to share their expertise as practitioners with the academic community.
From 1996 to 2010, Kavita served as president and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, which grew under her leadership to become the world’s largest public foundation for women’s rights. During her tenure, the fund’s assets increased from $3 million to $21 million—giving women in more than 170 countries access to financial capital that fueled innovation and change.
In addition, Kavita has broadly promoted women’s human rights, social justice philanthropy and international development through her membership and professional affiliations on the boards and advisory councils of a diverse array of organizations. She currently chairs the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council for India and serves as a board member at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
Kavita has a master’s degree in public affairs with a focus on international development from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in politics and international relations from Mount Holyoke and academic training from Delhi University. She is fluent in Hindi/Urdu, English and German and is conversant in Tamil, Spanish and French.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Alyse Nelson is president and chief executive officer of Vital Voices Global Partnership. A cofounder of Vital Voices, Alyse has worked for the organization for 15 years, serving as vice president and senior director of programs before assuming her current role in 2009. Alyse has worked with women leaders to develop training programs and international forums in over 140 countries and has interviewed more than 200 international leaders, including Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former presidents Mary Robinson and Bill Clinton, as well as Nobel Peace Prize laureates Aung San Suu Kyi, Wangari Maathai, and Muhammad Yunus. Under her leadership, Vital Voices has tripled in size and expanded its global reach to serve a network of over 12,000 women leaders in 144 countries.
Previously, Alyse served as deputy director of the Vital Voices Global Democracy Initiative at the U.S. Department of State. Her position aided former First Lady Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s commitment to promote the advancement of women as a U.S. foreign policy objective. Alyse helped design and implement Vital Voices initiatives throughout the world. From July 1996 to July 2000, Alyse worked with the President’s Interagency Council on Women at the White House and U.S. Department of State. She attended the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, in 1995. She serves on Secretary Clinton’s Advisory Committee on Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society and is a Board member of Running Start.
Alyse is the author of “Vital Voices: The Power of Women Leading Change Around the World,” which shares the stories of remarkable, world-changing women, as well as the story of how Vital Voices was founded, crossing lines that typically divide.
Nobel Women’s Initiative
Liz Bernstein is the founding Director of the Nobel Women’s Initiative. Previously, Liz served as Coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) from 1998 through 2004. Liz participated in the campaign since it began in the early 1990s. She lived in Thailand and Cambodia for 10 years (1986-1996), where she worked with local advocacy organizations on various peace, justice and policy issues. She co-founded the Coalition for Peace and Reconciliation and helped found the Cambodia Campaign to Ban Landmines. She also coordinated Make Poverty History Canada in 2005. Liz currently lives in Ottawa, Canada.
Chief Executive Officer
African Women’s Development Fund
Over the past several years, Theo Sowa has worked as an independent advisor on a wide range of international issues with a focus on social development. Her work has covered advocacy, service delivery, evaluation, facilitation, policy and organisational development with a range of international and intergovernmental organizations and grant making foundations, including UNICEF, the Stephen Lewis Foundation, the African Union, DFID, and UNDP, amongst others.
Theo Sowa says, “It’s a privilege for me to bring my experience and skills to the service of African women’s rights organisations. African women’s leadership is critical to development, and I am delighted to be able to offer my service to the African Women’s Development Fund and the hundreds of grantee partners we work with in 42 African countries. I am grateful to the Executive Board, and staff of AWDF for warmly welcoming me to AWDF, and to all our grantee and donor partners who have shown tremendous support throughout the leadership transition process.”
Theo has extensive experience of working with grant-making organisations and foundations. She serves currently as a Trustee of Comic Relief and the Chair of its International Grant Making Committee, is a member of the Africa Advisory Board for the Stephen Lewis Foundation and serves on the board of the Museum of AIDS in Africa. Theo is also an Advisory group member of the ‘Every Child a Reader’ literacy initiative, a member of the British Refugee Council Leadership Group and a board member of the Graça Machel Trust. She holds a public appointment as a board member of the Charity Commission for England and Wales and was awarded a CBE in 2010.
Nicky McIntyre became the Executive Director of Mama Cash in June 2008, having served from June 2007 as its Director of Development and Communications. Prior to this, she served for one decade as the Vice President of Development and Communications at the Global Fund for Women. She is a native of Scotland with a Master’s degree in Urban Affairs and Planning from the City University of New York, Hunter College, and a Bachelor’s degree in History and French from Oxford University, United Kingdom.
Nicky served on the Board of the Global Greengrants Foundation from 1998 to 2002. She was a Board member of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission from 2001-2004, serving as its Chair from 2002-2004, of Gender Action from 2007-2009, and the Women’s Funding Network from 2010-2012. Nicky currently serves on the Governing Council of the European Foundation Centre and on the Board of the International Network of Women’s Funds.
President and CEO
Global Fund for Women
Musimbi Kanyoro is a passionate advocate for women and girls’ health and human rights, and social change philanthropy and is the current President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women. Dr. Kanyoro is an accomplished leader with three decades of experience managing international non-governmental organizations, global programs, and ecumenical agencies in cross-cultural contexts. She is a strategic leader who inspires people, and mobilizes action and resources. She is the author of dozens of articles, hundreds of speeches and opinion pieces and has written and co-edited 7 books. Musimbi is a frequently sought after public speaker.
Dr. Kanyoro also serves on several International Boards and working groups including the Aspen Leaders Council, the UN High level Taskforce for Reproductive Health and the boards of CARE, IntraHealth and CHANGE.
Dr. Kanyoro has PhD in Linguistics from the University of Texas, Austin and a Doctorate in Feminist Theology from San Francisco Theological Seminary. She was a visiting scholar of Hebrew and the Old Testament at Harvard University. She has received three honorary doctorates and several recognition awards, including a leadership award from the Kenya Government and most recently she was named as one of the 21 women leaders for the 21st century by Women’s E-News.
Founder and CEO
Women for Women International
Zainab Salbi is the founder of Women for Women International and served as the organization’s CEO from 1993 to 2011. She is the author of two books: the national bestseller Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam (with Laurie Becklund) which documents her life growing up in Iraq under Saddam Hussein’s rule and The Other Side of War: Women’s Stories of Survival and Hope. Her work has been featured in major media outlets, including eight appearances on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.
Zainab has been honored by President Bill Clinton for her 1993 work in Bosnia and Herzegovina and was also nominated by President Clinton as one of the Harpers Bazaar’s 21st Century Heroines to honor her actions, faith and determination in making a difference. She is the recipient of the 2010 David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award and was named one of 22 members of the Clinton Global Initiative Lead program, which brings together a select group of accomplished young leaders to develop innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. In 2011 Zainab was named one of the Top 100 Women: Activists and Campaigners by The Guardian and was highlighted as a Female Faith Heroine by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. She was also named by Newsweek andThe Daily Beast as one of the 100 Extraordinary Women who Shake the World (2011) and was identified by the Economist Intelligence Unit as one of the most inspirational women in the world. Zainab is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and is a member of the UN Secretary General’s Civil Society Advisory Group focusing on the UN Security Council Resolution 1325. Zainab has a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree from George Mason University.
Founder and CEO
Jensine Larsen As a young freelance journalist covering indigenous movements and ethnic cleansing in South America and Southeast Asia, Jensine (Yen-See Nah) Larsen had a vision—to use the power of media to unleash the creative human potential of women across the globe. “Through new media we have the power to connect and build a bold global community, to support each other’s dreams, restore our earth, heal society, and care for our children,” Larsen explains. A few years later, at age 28, Larsen began publishing her flagship project—World Pulse Magazine. Today, with her eye on the future of communications technology in the developing world, Larsen is now building an interactive global media company designed to connect women worldwide. As a passionate social entrepreneur and leader, Larsen has organized a dedicated staff and team of professional advisors and volunteers, supporting networks of international women’s organizations, leading journalists from around the world as well as endorsements from international luminaries and visionaries.
She has her finger on the global pulse of women’s and youth voices and is increasingly sought after for inspirational keynotes, current affairs lectures, and radio programs. She is featured on GreatWomenSpeakers.com and has appeared on NPR and Air America and presented keynotes at Hewlett Packard, Bioneers, Bennett College, and the Boulder Conference on World Affairs. She is considered one of Portland, Oregon’s up and coming “Young Creatives” according to The Oregonian (2/2/06). Both a visionary and pioneer, Jensine is the first voice of World Pulse—the first of many.
Mary Jane N. Real,
Founding Member and former Coordinator
Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRD IC)
Mary Jane N. Real is a founding member and former Coordinator of the International Coalition on Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRD IC), an international network for the protection and support of women human rights defenders worldwide. A lawyer by profession, she was part of establishing the Alternative Law Groups (ALG), a network of legal organizations that advocates for human rights in the Philippines. She is a long-time advocate of women’s human rights having worked in various capacities with women’s rights and human rights organizations in different countries. She served previously as Coordinator of Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), a regional network of over 150 legal activists and national organisations that engage in grassroots and policy-making advocacy on women human rights. Recently, she was a Global Associate at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA. She holds a Juris Doctor degree and a Masters Degree in Development Studies at the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands.
Because I am a Girl at Plan International USAEducation
Judithe is a seasoned international development expert with a solid track record in international economic development, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment. Registre is a people-centered, can-do visionary who takes on new challenges with enthusiasm and energy. She has more than 10 years of substantive field experience living and working in conflict, post-conflict, and developing countries, including Rwanda, Sudan, South Africa, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where she established the Women for Women International (WfWI) DRC office. This dynamic program of rights awareness and economic development has helped thousands of women overcome the atrocities of rape and trauma. She has successfully developed the broader organizational profile of WfWI and raised the organization’s revenue through facilitating the groundbreaking coverage of the DRC situation in the Oprah Magazine and the Oprah Show.
In 2008, she served as the drector of policy and outreach for Women for Women International-UK (WfWI-UK) in London, where she expanded WfWI’s reach in the UK and in the regions of greater Europe. Before joining WfWI in 2004 as director of development and outreach, Registre worked in various capacities for the International Foundation for Election Systems and Africare.
Registre has an MA degree in philosophy and social policy from American University, and a Master’s Certificate in advanced social research from Afrikaans University in South Africa. She is a Fellow Alumnus of the prestigious Salzburg Seminar, a forum for the discussion of international problems and their potential solutions.