Fierce Leaders Expanding Opportunities For Women and Girls (Part 1)

#TuesdaysWithTuti grew out of a desire to highlight the incredible changemakers I have had the privilege of working with. Every Tuesday, I share a bit about the work these individuals are doing, and how I have been honored to support them. Read about the first six leaders I have featured below and spread the word about these extraordinary leaders and organizations. Follow me here for to see future posts.


Noreen Farrell, Equal Rights Advocates

Equal Rights Advocates, founded in 1974, is a legal organization that fights to protect and expand women’s educational and economic opportunities. With one of my key passions being Title IX, I am in deep admiration for their work. At the helm of ERA is Noreen Farrell, a fierce activist in the sisterhood of gender justice leaders. Noreen is a former trial lawyer turned Executive Director, and she has written on civil rights matters for labor rights, employment discrimination, and gender justice as an economic security issue.

Noreen’s entire career has focused on social justice. She chairs the Equal Pay Today! Campaign, a national campaign led by ERA and more than 15 other organizational partners closing the gender wage gap in key states across the country. She and her team formed the leadership of a Stronger California Advocates Network, a collaboration of 30 organizations advancing a comprehensive women’s economic security policy agenda. I had the honor of working with Noreen while serving as a coach for her board and staff on their 40th anniversary campaign and in mapping out their strategic agenda.  




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Catherine Gill, Root Capital

I am happy to feature Catherine Gill, the Executive Vice President of Investor Relations & Communications at Root Capital. Catherine is passionate about her work, a fantastic speaker, and ridiculously comfortable with numbers, impact stories, and money. She is incredibly impressive!

Root Capital is a leader in impact investing. Their work creates jobs, preserves ecosystems, and empowers women. Root Capital is the only client I have had the privilege of working with that allows someone to invest with their whole wallet. For example, you can offer loans to agriculture businesses (the engine of impact); you can make a philanthropic gift supporting advisory projects; and/or you can buy products that have been grown by their clients. When I’m in Boston, I love to connect with friends and clients at Equal Exchange Cafe where the coffee, tea, cocoa served is grown and harvested by farmers who are recipients of Root Capital loans.

I worked with Catherine and her team to build a culture of philanthropy at Root Capital. We increased internal capacity to meet a challenge grant to identify, steward, and nurture individual donor relationships, which mean they were able to expand their reach in Central America and Africa.

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Jane Sloane, Women’s Empowerment Program, The Asia Foundation

Jane Sloane is the Women's Empowerment Program Director at The Asia Foundation, which works in over 18 countries to elevate women’s voices in politics, support women entrepreneurs, and progress climate justice with a gender lens. Whenever I work with Jane, I feel her sense of clarity around what she sees as a more flourishing, just world. Jane brings intersectionality into every conversation and thinks across sectors and issue areas. To me, Jane is my honorary ambassador of Mother Earth, and her book, Citizen Jane illuminates why!

Our friendship has spanned over eight years during which time we have worked together at four different organizations. When Jane was at the International Women’s Development Agency I got to work with this team to strategically guide a model of leadership for success. When Jane was on the leadership team at Women’s World Banking and Global Fund for Women, I had the honor of leading board retreats for both of teams. Each time, we boldly encouraged board members to lead with their values and share stories in order to be stronger ambassadors for the work. Jane has truly been a leader across global development issues. Now at The Asia Foundation, she has an even larger platform to raise awareness on women’s rights and issues as they intersect with governance, political leadership, and the environment.

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Cynthia Nimmo, Women’s Funding Network

Every movement has people in front of and behind the scenes when it comes to its successes and strategies. Cynthia Schmae Nimmo now leads the movement on women’s philanthropy as CEO of the Women's Funding Network. Cynthia and her team have built a worldwide network of more than 100 women’s foundations and gender equity funders that strengthen women and girls. They have democratized philanthropy since the inception of the organization!

As a speaker, Cynthia leads with both data and passion, which inevitably inspires audiences to increase giving and funding for women and girls. We’ve worked together to craft relevant and exciting communications materials and to design facilitations for regional and national gatherings, bringing funders and philanthropists to the table to learn and take action together. Cynthia is a true champion and leader in the space.



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Mia Kim Sullivan, Civil Liberties and Public Policy

In my decades of focused work with movement builders, I’ve had the privilege of working with incredible, passionate leaders. Mia Kim Sullivan, co-director of Civil Liberties and Public Policy (CLLP), is one of them. In our current climate, I breathe easier knowing that Mia is fiercely leading CLPP, an organization that “inspires, educates, trains, and supports new activists and leadership to secure freedom and justice for everyone.”

Leading with grace, Mia has been at the helm of CLPP for a decade and is always mindful of intersectionality in her work and in larger women’s rights spaces. As co-director with Amy Crysel, Mia demonstrates that a co-leadership model is sustainable, contributes to flourishing teams, and leads to powerful impact. With Mia and CLPP, I’ve had the honor of designing strategic plans, expanding fundraising, and building staff capacity so that CLPP can continue its good work for decades to come.


Barbara Dobkin, Philanthropist

Behind so many excellent social justice initiatives, you’ll find the feminist philanthropist Barbara Dobkin. Barbara is a visionary. A pioneer in the Jewish community as a donor-activist for programs to empower Jewish women and girls, Barbara is one of the most visible and committed advocates for social change. She was the Founding Chair of Ma'yan, the Jewish Women’s Project of The JCC in Manhattan, the Jewish Women's Archive in Boston, and the Hadassah Foundation. She presently Chairs the Dafna Israeli Fund, a feminist foundation in Israel and is the immediate past Chair of American Jewish World Service, which works to realize human rights and end poverty in the developing world.

With Shifra Bronznick, Barbara was a founder of Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community. She is a former board member of The New Israel Fund, The Women’s Funding Network, The White House Project, UJA-Federation of NY, and Lilith Magazine. A frequent speaker on women’s philanthropy and leadership, she is a significant supporter of and adviser to a variety of nonprofits, both Jewish and secular in the U.S. and internationally, including Bend the Arc.

In my time working alongside Barbara at the Jewish Women’s Funding Network, I have had the privilege of supporting a coalition of Jewish funds and foundations who leverage their collective power for gender justice. Barbara’s philanthropy also expands into the film world, most recently with the 2015 documentary "The Hunting Ground" on what it will take to end sexual assault on college campuses.

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