Joy Anderson, President and Founder
Joy Anderson is a prominent national leader at the intersection of business and social change. She began as a high school teacher in New York City Public Schools. She went to New York to understand how power works in big systems and stayed for eight years because she fell in love with the students. Joy played leadership roles in the teachers union and managed federally funded programs for the school and the district.
After leaving New York, Joy transitioned from a school teacher to an entrepreneur, founding Criterion Ventures in 2002, co-founding Good Capital with Tim Freundlich and Kevin Jones in 2006 and leading the development of Rockefeller-funded Healthcare_Uncovered from 2006 until 2009.
Literally hundreds of ventures have been shaped by Joy’s insights and experience. As faculty on the leading social innovation award programs, including Unreasonable Institute and Echoing Green, she advises the next generation of leaders. As chair of the board of directors of Village Capital and through involvement in Investor’s Circle, she is actively involved in shaping early stage social investments. And through her role in developing and leading Structure Lab© workshops she has helped over 300 organizations think through their legal and financial structures.
A serial entrepreneur and consummate networker, Joy’s leadership and expertise have been at the forefront of the development of the social capital markets over the last 10 years. Her interest in the role of finance in changing the world was sparked during her eight year consulting relationship with the General Board of Pensions of the United Methodist Church. She was instrumental in her board position at Lutheran Community Foundation in their recent $10 million allocation to social investment. As a recognition of her business leadership, in 2011, Joy was ranked 51st in Fast Company’s annual of the 100 Most Creative People in Business.
Currently, she leads Criterion Institute which serves as a think tank around shaping markets to create social and environmental good. Criterion houses three field building initiatives, Structure Lab, Gender Lens Investing and Church as an Economic Being. Her speaking and thought leadership is focused on the practices of shaping markets, whether that is focused on how the church is both an actor and implicated in the economy, on how legal structures shape the possibilities of enterprises, or a gender lens on investing.
Joy’s intellectual interests draw on her research for her Ph.D. in American History from New York University. Her dissertation examined prison reform in the 1830s and how individuals and organizations in democracies claim expertise in order to shape public institutions.
Dr. Anderson lives with her husband and daughter in a Connecticut apple orchard, and can be found in the fall pressing cider and boiling apple syrup.
Phyllis Anderson, Senior Advisor on Strategic Initiatives
Phyllis Anderson joined Criterion Institute in January 2014 to lead and support the 1K Churches movement, which seeks to engage 1000 churches of all denominations across the country in a process of reflecting on the relationship between their faith and the economy through Bible study and the experience of investing in a micro-business in their community.
She lives now in Sonoma, California, having recently retired as President of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley. She served for nine years as the first female president of a Lutheran seminary in the United States. She is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) who has served as pastor of a rural parish in Iowa, as assistant to the Lutheran Bishop in Iowa, as Director of Pastoral Studies and Assistant Professor of Theology at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and as Director for Theological Education in the Churchwide Organization of the ELCA. She worked with many denominations as the Associate Dean and Director of the Institute of Ecumenical Theological Studies at the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University, an ecumenical theological school within a Jesuit Catholic university.
She holds a B.A. from Sacramento State University; an M.Div. from Wartburg Theological Seminary; and a Ph.D. from Aquinas Institute of Theology. Her areas of specialty are ecclesiology and ecumenics. She is married to the Rev. Dr. Herbert Anderson, Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Theology at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and Research Professor of Practical Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. They have two children: Joy Anderson of Haddam, Connecticut, and Joel Anderson of Leiden, the Netherlands.
Milena Bacalja Perianes, Senior Program Manager
Milena Bacalja Perianes is a gender and inclusion expert (GEIS) and social impact innovator. Committed to advancing gender equality, her passion and expertise lie in mobilising the public and private sector to address social problems. Having started her career in the international development space with field experience in Cambodia, India, Mongolia, Malawi, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Tanzania her expertise includes: gender-lens investing, women-centred product design, women’s economic empowerment, and female health. Previously she worked for UNAIDS Cambodia and Mongolia, the International AIDS Society, and Simavi managing and implementing a variety of community-based health programmes, and advocacy initiatives.
As Co-Founder of the Menstrual Health Hub, former Co-Founder of Amble, entrepreneur-in-resident at Zinc.VC, and Female Health Advisor for Sura Health, Milena has a particular interest in women-centred solutions and businesses. She has a BA in International Politics and History from Monash University (Aus), Masters in International Development from RMIT (Aus), and an MPhil in Multidisciplinary Gender Studies from the University of Cambridge (UK). She is actively involved in a variety of gender and female health related networks, think tanks and publications.
Tania Black, Regional Director of Asia Pacific and Senior Counsel
Tania Black is a banking lawyer who has spent the last 16 years in- house, predominately with UBS Investment Bank in Sydney, advising their traded products businesses. She has a deep commitment to social justice having undertaken leadership roles in the international development sector throughout her career.
After graduating in Arts/Law from the University of Melbourne, where she majored in feminist history and commercial law respectively, she was posted by Australian Volunteers International to the State Prosecutor’s Office of Mongolia as a Legal Capacity Builder. She worked closely with the Deputy State Prosecutor on UNDP and DFAT funded training designed to combat domestic violence through positive supervision of forces policing perpetrators of domestic violence and children rendered homeless by domestic violence or neglect.
She then went on to act as a board member for 9 years of Voice Volunteers (now a program of Australian Volunteers International) who are a volunteer sending agency to developing communities. Given her long tenure she participated in all aspects of the organization and, along with her colleagues, resolved complex challenges such as successfully applying to the Australian Tax Office for deductible gift recipient status, transitioning the Vanuatu office to independence, managing financial crisis related foreign exchange exposure, protecting VOICE’s intellectual property, diversifying its funding base by gaining government and philanthropic funding and preparing the organization for acquisition by AVI.
In more recent times she has merged her business and international development skill sets by producing a thesis on sustainable banking as part of her Master of Laws at the University of Sydney and joining a global panel of experts at UBS to judge the suitability of social impact product proposals for market launch. The newly created role of Regional Director of Asia – Pacific, completes the circle, and gives her a platform to partner with organizations in the region on gender lens investing and finance as a tool to combat domestic violence.
She lives in Sydney with her husband and young son. She is a traditional land owner of Whanganui Bay, Lake Taupo, Aotearoa – New Zealand as a member of the Ngati te Maunga hapu which means ‘the Mountain People’ in English. Ngati te maunga is a sub tribe of the Tuwharetoa iwi which means the tribe of ‘Warriors who protect the Chief’s house’. She was born and bred in Melbourne and her Irish and Scottish ancestors settled in the country town of Warrnambool (Gunditjmara country meaning ‘the people who belong to that country’). She dreams of fast trains and planes connecting all these special places.
Lori Holmes, Director of Programs
Committed to social justice, Lori Holmes has spent over a decade working for nonprofits, including nine years at Advancement Project California. Throughout her career, she has been responsible for new program development, strategic planning, team building, technology design, marketing, organizational development, knowledge management, and fundraising, among other areas. Focusing on Health Equity and Political Voice programming, she has collaborated with community, government, foundations, and partner organizations on research, data, and technology campaigns to increase access to open space, fresh foods, and to strengthen community participation in redistricting and public budgeting processes. She had a brief introduction to finance for social change while completing coursework for an MBA in Nonprofit Management and is looking forward to bringing that knowledge along with her professional experience to her role as Program Manager with the Criterion team.
Shante Little, Program Assistant
Shante Little comes to Criterion as a former educator. Her background in college access and closing the opportunity gap has paved the way for her commitment to social justice. Prior to joining Criterion, Shante served as a college counselor at a public charter high school in New Orleans where she assisted the graduating class of 2018 in securing 180 college acceptances to 73 distinct institutions and $2.6m in scholarship awards. The sheer enormity of institutionalized racism and systemic oppression, not only in education but across the world, continues to light a fire within her. She brings with her a passion for knowledge acquisition, dissemination and organizational change.
Shante holds a BA from Wheaton College (MA) in African and African-American Diaspora Studies, with minors in English and Education, and an M.Ed in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. Following an illustrious intercollegiate athletic career, Shante pursued a career as a professional track & field athlete. She was an accomplished 400m hurdler who notched a 2015 Top-50 time in the world and still holds the Division III national record in the event.
Christina Madden, Director of Engagement
Christina Madden joined Criterion Institute in 2017 with more than a decade of experience in nonprofit development. She took an interest in finance as a tool for social change while working at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, where she developed lesson plans on “creative capitalism,” assisted with a Workshops for Ethics in Business series, and contributed articles on related topics to the Carnegie Council’s publications. Since then Christina has worked as a consultant to social entrepreneurs and impact investors, as well as government projects in Southeast Asia, West Africa and Latin America dealing with the impact of trade and investment on economic and social development. Her research on these topics has been published in a number of outlets including Foreign Affairs, The Asia Times, World Politics Review and a book she co-authored, entitled Perspectives on Peacekeeping and Atrocity Prevention. Christina received her B.A. in political science and international affairs from the George Washington University and is certified by UN-Habitat and Soliya in Cross-Cultural Dialogue Facilitation and by the United States Institute of Peace in Conflict Analysis and Conflict Negotiation. She is an active member of Women In International Security, Carnegie New Leaders and Women Investing for Sustainable Economies.
Michelle Price, Finance Manager
Michelle Price brings over 20 years of corporate finance and investment management experience to the Criterion Institute. At Morgan Stanley, she became an expert in portfolio risk analysis and management by developing award-winning analytics software for the Equity Trading desk. As her reputation grew on Wall Street, Michelle became a Principal Financial Accounting Consultant for Goldman Sachs, PIMCO, and Bank of New York Mellon. IBM’s Global Technology Services also tapped Michelle to help CIO’s develop business cases for IT digital transformation initiatives. Michelle notably was a Senior Vice President at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the business entity created post-bankruptcy to unwind Lehman Brothers. She established financial reporting and controls as the lead of FP&A – including automation, analytics, and monthly forecasting and reporting of $82B in asset sales to the Board.
As a Registered Investment Advisor with a career in Financial Services, Michelle sees the importance and value of gender lens investing and increasing the voices that guide our global financial system. She connected with the Criterion Institute in 2018 to support their mission.
Michelle earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Rice University, and an MS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. She has over 15 financial analysis, modeling and accounting certifications. She also has black belts in Karate and Taekwondo, and has trained with the Korean Olympic team. Michelle spent most of her career living in Manhattan, and is now based in her hometown Houston, TX.
Erin Puglia, Program Assistant
Erin joined Criterion in 2019 after obtaining her Master’s in Public Policy from the University of New Hampshire. Prior to this, she held administrative, outreach, and research positions. She is particularly excited to work on issues related to gender and religion while at Criterion. As an undergraduate at the University of Connecticut, she wrote her honors thesis on the role of religion in social activism and led an alternative break trip focused on human rights and human trafficking in Atlanta, Georgia. She became interested in the role of finance in social change during her time studying abroad in London, where she took a course focused on Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility while interning in the Major Partnerships division at Stonewall UK.
Simi Shah, Strategy Lead
Simi Wilhelm Shah is an experienced institutional investor who has spent 15 years in the social investment space spanning the US and UK markets. Most notably, she was the Investment Director of The Social Investment Business, a £400m fund using a variety of impact-first strategies and blended vehicles to achieve positive social and economic outcomes for UK beneficiaries. Simi was also a senior member of the founding team of Women Effect, a pilot project to develop capacity amongst investors to include gender analysis within their diligence.
Simi was first lit up about finance as a tool for social change at the University of Pennsylvania where she pursued joint coursework at the Wharton School of Business and the Graduate School of Education.
Simi is Canadian and is based in London.
Felicity Spurrett, Communications Specialist
Felicity Spurrett is an independent consultant focusing on the use of communications to bring about social change. Starting her career in private sector Felicity was inspired to work on programs and activities that supported her values after moving to, and working in, Papua New Guinea in late 2005. Since then Felicity has supported communications activities for a range of development initiatives across Asia and the Pacific. Her passion for gender lens investing and alternatives for traditional development models such as impact investing, has grown since working on the Australian Government-funded Pacific RISE program. It was here that she was able to connect with Joy and the Criterion team. Feeling inspired and motivated by Criterion’s work Felicity joined the team in early 2018 as a communications specialist.
Felicity has a Masters of Marketing from Monash University and has attained other professional development qualifications in public relations, digital communications and google analytics.
Tia Subramanian, Gender-based Violence Program Director
Tia Subramanian has over a decade’s experience in philanthropic strategy and outreach, communications, content development, research, writing, editing, and marketing, as well as professional and personal experience with a range of women’s equity initiatives. She developed an interest in using finance as a tool for social change in her six years at Arabella Advisors, a philanthropic advisory firm, where she helped to found the firm’s impact investing practice. At Arabella, she worked with investing and philanthropic strategy experts to design innovative investment vehicles that address systemic barriers to women’s access to health care and capital. Tia excels at partnering with teams to parse expertise, guide research, and translate it into content that speaks to diverse audiences. Her work on social sector issues has appeared in publications such as the Stanford Social Innovation Review. She is also an experienced facilitator who has run trainings on communications and equity issues. Earlier in her career, Tia worked for a variety of media outlets on both the business and editorial sides. She spent two years in ad sales at The New Yorker and Condé Nast Portfolio magazines and worked as an editor at two London-based startup websites.
Tia is a longtime advocate for women’s reproductive justice, currently serving on the development committee of the DC Abortion Fund. She has a BA in English and Psychology from Amherst College and an MA in English from the University of Virginia.
Kristen Yee, Senior Program Manager
Kristen Yee is focused on the pursuit of health equity in global health initiatives. Kristen supports organizations to optimize their strategies and processes in order to address structural inequities. Prior to joining Criterion Institute, Kristen managed Grand Challenges Canada’s participation in the Saving Lives at Birth partnership and led the development and implementation of Grand Challenges Canada’s gender equality strategy. While Kristen’s research efforts have spanned many geographies and issues areas, Kristen has worked most prominently in urban Zambia to investigate the efficacy of option B+ on child survival, across northern Namibia to document supports for entrepreneurs, and in the metropolitan US to assess the health needs of people experiencing homelessness. She received her Master of Public Health in Community Health and Development from the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Joy is a prominent national leader at the intersection of business and social change. After leaving her career as a high school teacher in New York, Joy transitioned to an entrepreneur, founding Criterion Ventures in 2002, co-founding Good Capital in 2006. A serial entrepreneur and consummate networker, Joy’s leadership and expertise have been at the forefront of the development of the social capital markets over the last 10 years. As a recognition of her business leadership, in 2011, Joy was ranked 51st in Fast Company’s annual of the 100 Most Creative People in Business.
Michaele Birdsall has worked in both corporate and ministry settings, but ministry holds a special place in her heart: “I have a deep love for ministry and seeing others transformed by the love of God,” she says. With that sort of passion, it’s no wonder Birdsall sees her role as more than financial. “The CFO’s role is holistic,” she says. “The CFO has to look at the overall health of the organization. If the health of the organization is good, the finances will follow.”
Michaele sees one of her primary roles in supporting ministry as building and sustaining donor confidence. “Donors who are confident that their gifts will be managed responsibly and ethically are much more inclined to give regularly and liberally,” she says. Michaele’s mission is to sustain a foundation of integrity for American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) and to communicate the story of home mission in America and Puerto Rico, in order to inspire people to get involved in a number of ways, including financially. To deepen her capacity to support the broader health of ABHMS, Michaele completed a master’s degree in organizational development from American University in 2013. She consistently provides internal and external consultation to senior leaders in the areas of strategic planning, organizational change, transition management, and diversity management.
Central to Michaele’s consulting approach is the design and implementation of stakeholder interactions that deepen accountability and commitment through meaningful engagement and dialogue. Keeping a finger on the financial and organizational pulse of ABHMS is a full-time job. However, Michaele finds time to unwind by walking, bike-riding, listening to her favorite music, playing the piano and spending time with her three adult children and four grandchildren.
Cheryl Dahle is a journalist, entrepreneur and thought leader who has spent more than ten years working at the intersection of business and social innovation. She is founder of Future of Fish, a non-profit innovation hub that supports the collective impact of entrepreneurs whose ideas help end overfishing. Previously, she was a director at Ashoka, where she distilled knowledge from 2,500 fellows to provide strategic insight to foundations. Prior to that, she was part of the incubation and start-up team to launch the VC-funded online environmental magazine, Blue Egg. She also founded and led Fast Company magazine’s Social Capitalist awards, a competition to surface top social entrepreneurs.
She has written extensively on capital markets for non-profits, sustainability, and social entrepreneurs in the U.S. and abroad. As a consultant, she has served leading organizations in the space of hybrid business/social solutions, including Humanity United, Nike, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University. Her first book, No Horizon is So Far, the story of the first two women in history to cross Antarctica on foot, was published in 2003 by Da Capo Press.
Catherine is Managing Director for the ALIGN Program at Northeastern University. ALIGN’s mission is to make computer science degrees accessible to those traditionally underrepresented in computing, thereby opening up the talent pipeline for careers in technology.
Prior to assuming this role, Catherine was Executive Vice President at Root Capital, a social enterprise that provides loans and advisory services to rural businesses in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. In that position, she was responsible for fundraising, impact investing and communications to capitalize the organization’s $100 million balance sheet and support its $15 million operating budget. Among other achievements during her eight years at Root Capital, Catherine played a leadership role in the Women in Agriculture Initiative, which has helped to grow more than one hundred gender-inclusive businesses across the globe.
Before that, Catherine spent ten years in the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) industry, at the Nonprofit Finance Fund and the Structured Employment Economic Development Corporation, financing and consulting to leading social change organizations up and down the eastern seaboard. Catherine holds a bilingual M.B.A from the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Empresa (IESE) in Barcelona, Spain, and a B.A. in ancient Greek from Wellesley College. A native of Massachusetts, Catherine lives in Lexington with her husband, two children and a lop-eared rabbit.
Michele Kahane (MBA and MIA, Columbia University) is Associate Dean of Educational Innovation and Social Engagement and Professor of Professional Practice in Management at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy. She has more than 25 years of experience in the global business, nonprofit, and philanthropy sectors. Her teaching and professional practice are focused on social entrepreneurship, social innovation and social investment. Michele was a banker in emerging markets corporate finance and later practiced social investment at the Ford Foundation for a decade. Subsequently, as a senior executive at the Clinton Global Initiative and at the Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College, she worked with companies, social entrepreneurs, and the public sector to forge innovative, market-based approaches to global development. She is co-author of the award-winning book Untapped: Creating Value in Underserved Markets (Berrett-Koehler, June 2006), which provides advice to managers on how companies can both implement profitable business strategies and improve conditions in poor communities. In addition to sitting on the Criterion Institute Board, Michele serves on the board of the Women’s Network for a Sustainable Future, the steering committee of the Institute for Responsible Investment, the NY Regional Association of Grantmakers Task Force on Hurricane Katrina, and the Fast Forward Fund.
Nina Weissberg is CEO of Weissberg Corp., a 60-year-old commercial real estate firm, and also a founding board member of the Weissberg Foundation. Ms. Weissberg joined the company in 1994, became CEO in 2006. At the Foundation, her concerns focus on the empowerment of women through regulation and Impact Investment to promote social rights, economic access and physical security. She is presently a Trustee of Beloit College (2010 – present), a member of the Beloit Weissberg Chair Council on Human Rights, a Trustee of New York University (2012-present).
Recently collaboration also includes the Root Capital Gender initiative.
GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Patty Alleman is the UNICEF Senior Gender and Development Advisor in the New York headquarters. In this position since February 2016, her work includes partnerships and external communication, and innovative solutions for gender equality results in development and humanitarian settings. Before UNICEF, she worked for seven years with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), including in the Asia Regional Office in Bangkok, where she served as Senior Gender Advisor for Asia. In this capacity, she provided support to over a dozen USAID country offices to reduce gender disparities in all development outcomes via innovative strategies, creative partnerships and rigorous programming. She also designed and led research to advance gender lens investing in Asia, which includes multi-partner investments to achieve financial results as well as gender-equitable social change. Prior to Bangkok she served as Senior Health Policy and Gender Advisor in the Global Health Bureau in Washington DC. In this role, she advised numerous country offices globally, including in Central America, South Asia and across Africa. Before USAID she worked for Family Health International as a Health Researcher, supporting social science studies in the areas of HIV and reproductive health, primarily in southern Africa, India and Vietnam. She has master’s degrees in anthropology and public health, with a strong background in governance and policy, strategic partnerships, and research. She started her international development career over 20 years ago as a Peace Corps volunteer in Poland.
Chris Andersen has served as InFaith Community Foundation’s Executive Director since its inception in 1995. Since 1995, outright and deferred gifts to InFaith have grown to more than $1 billion, with nearly $18 million annually being distributed to charities and causes worldwide. Prior to InFaith, Chris managed community and nonprofit lending programs, and supervised corporate and private foundations, at First Banks and Marquette Banks. He has helped create six nonprofit organizations and served on the board of 10 more, including Lutheran Services in America and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services.
Previously, Chris worked as an architect and in real estate development. He did his undergraduate work at Gustavus Adolphus College and the University of Minnesota and received his MBA from the University of Washington.
Rini Banerjee has been working in the philanthropic sector for the last 17 years. Currently, Rini is a strategic advisor at Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health. From 2012-2016, Rini served as the first Executive Director of the Foundation for a Just Society (FJS). Rini led the start-up phase of this recently formed private global foundation funding women, girls and LGBT rights work in the U.S., Francophone West Africa, South + Southeast Asia, and Central America.
Before joining FJS, she was a Senior Program Officer at the Overbrook Foundation, where she implemented and oversaw domestic and international grants portfolios in human rights, youth organizing, reproductive rights and justice, human trafficking, and progressive movement building. Previously, she was the Program Director at the New York Women’s Foundation, and held positions at UNICEF, UNDP, and at several community-based organizations working in the women’s rights and social justice fields. Earlier in her career, she worked as a financial analyst for the Investment Division of Citibank/Citicorp in NYC and marketing department at the Samuel Goldwyn Company. She is currently a Trustee of the Mertz Gilmore Foundation and Board member of the Funders for Reproductive Equity. Rini has been involved with co-creating and serving on many steering committees including establishing the newly formed Philanthropy Advancing Women’s Human Rights, Groundswell Fund, and the Funders Collaborative on Youth Organizing. She was the Board Chair of the Asian American/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) and past board member of South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!). She also co-founded the Asian Women’s Giving Circle in NYC. Rini has a master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University with a concentration in human rights and economic development and a BS in Finance from New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Cheryl Dahle is an entrepreneur and journalist who works at the intersection of design and systems change. She is co-founder and CEO of Flip Labs, a social innovation design firm. The company’s first foray into systems work was tackling the global problem of overfishing through its Future of Fish initiative, which Cheryl led for seven years. The project became a non-profit innovation hub that supports the collective impact of entrepreneurs whose ideas help end overfishing. Future of Fish was one of two national finalists in the 2012 Buckminster Fuller Challenge, which recognizes insightful system approaches to complex problems.
Cheryl previously was a director at Ashoka, where she distilled knowledge from the organization’s network of 2,500 fellows to provide strategic insights to foundations and corporations.
She is a Distinguished Adjunct of Professional Practice at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Design. Dahle has also lectured at Stanford University and the Said Business School at Oxford University.
Indrani is the founder of Indrani’s Light Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering women around the world with the tools to live healthy and meaningful lives. As a survivor of domestic violence as a child and young adult, she is a tireless and fearless advocate for ending gender-based violence worldwide. She leads trainings globally with PSI to give local leaders the tools to work with survivors of violence. An author, speaker and certified life coach, Indrani has delivered keynote addresses at both national and international women’s conferences and leads workshops around the world. In 2015, she addressed the United Nations and gave a TEDx talk in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, to engage the global community in ending gender-based violence. Indrani completed her formal education in New York City, attending Queens College and Kent State University. She is a triathlete, marathoner, and proud mother and wife.
Sara Kriksciun is a lifelong advocate for ending gender-based violence. She currently serves as Senior Advisor/Chief Partnerships Officer and member of the executive team for Futures Without Violence, an organization dedicated to preventing gender-based violence in all its forms. Her work in international women’s rights has led her to partnerships in over 40 countries, with recent leadership positions at CARE International, EngenderHealth and the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, where she designed a 5-year, $400 million strategic plan, endorsed by the UN Secretary General and UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign. Sara has served as a strategist and consultant for community-based organizations in Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Niger, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Mexico, helping them to gain long-term sustainability and to bolster their advocacy efforts and strategic planning. She is a Fulbright Scholar and Ford-Knight Fellow and received a Master’s in International Human Rights from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
Kyle Wright is CEO of Stardust, a family office that oversees a dynamic portfolio of projects, investments, and social benefit ventures. For nearly a decade, he has lead Stardust’s strategic initiatives, including the organization’s commitment to align its investment portfolio with social justice principles. Kyle is a key advisor to the Stardust Fund, a philanthropic endeavor dedicated to social participation and power of excluded and exploited people. He currently serves on the boards of directors of Texas Civil Rights Project and Transparentem, and is a member of the Houston Area Council on Human Trafficking and Houston College of Law Clinics Advisory Council. A Texas native, Kyle holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and a J.D., cum laude, from South Texas College of Law.
Teresa C. Younger has served as President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women, the oldest women’s foundation in the United States, since 2014. Under Teresa’s leadership, the Foundation launched #MyFeminismIs, a multimedia campaign sparking a national conversation on feminism; funded a groundbreaking report on the sexual abuse to prison pipeline; joined leading women’s foundations at the White House to announce a $100 million funding commitment to create pathways to economic opportunity for low-income women and girls; and led a campaign to hold the NFL accountable for violence against women.
A noted speaker, advocate, and activist, Teresa has been on the frontlines of some of the most important battles for women’s health, safety and economic justice. She was honored by Planned Parenthood Federation of America as a Dream Keeper, given Liberty Bank’s Willard M. McRae Community Diversity Award, and named one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Philanthropy” by Inside Philanthropy. A graduate of the University of North Dakota, Teresa currently serves on the board of several philanthropic and advocacy organizations and initiatives, including: Grantmakers for Girls of Color (G4GC), Black Funders for Social Justice, the ERA Coalition, ACLU Awards Committee (2017), Essie Justice Project (Board Member), Funders for Reproductive Equity (FRE) (Board member) and Philanthropy New York (Board Member).
In addition, Teresa serves on the following boards and committees: the Ethel Walker School (Trustee), The Women’s Building (Advisory Committee), Women’s Campaign School at Yale (Board Member), the NYS Council on Women & Girls (Steering Committee), and Girl Scouts USA (Board Member).
Younger previously served as the executive director of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Women and as executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut – making her the first African American and the first woman to hold that position.
ADVISORS AND PARTNERS
Suzanne Biegel, Advisor
Suzanne Biegel is founder of Catalyst At Large Ltd, with more than 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, social impact angel and venture investor, philanthropist, board member, and hands-on operational manager. She founded the Clearly Social Angels network in the UK for ClearlySo and serves as a senior adviser there. Her consultancy is focused on impact investing with a women and girls lens. She is the Investment Director for SPRING, a venture accelerator focused on companies that improve the lives of adolescent girls in East Africa. She is a Senior Adviser at the Criterion Institute, on our gender work. She serves on the global advisory council for the Wharton Social Impact Initiative, and is a Wharton and Penn alumnae. Suzanne serves on the board of Confluence Philanthropy in the US, a network of foundations moving their capital into mission related investing, and founded and runs Women in Social Finance, in London. She is a fellow at the Aspen Institute. She speaks and writes frequently on the topic of impact investing. Suzanne has been based primarily in London for the past five years.
Sarah Kaplan, Advisor
Sarah Kaplan is Director of the Institute for Gender + the Economy at the Rotman School and University of Toronto Distinguished Professor of Gender and the Economy.
She is co-author of the New York Times business bestseller, Creative Destruction, challenging the notion of sustainable competitive advantage and the myth of excellence. She has recently co-edited Survive and Thrive: Winning Against Strategic Threats to Your Business.
Her research explores how framing processes of managers and entrepreneurial actors affect the evolution of technologies and fields, organizational response to change, and strategy making inside organizations. Her studies examine the biotechnology, fiber optics, personal digital assistant, financial services and nanotechnology fields. Her interest in gender lens investing is in understanding how whole new ecosystems can be built.
Formerly a professor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a consultant and innovation specialist for nearly a decade at McKinsey & Company in New York, she completed her doctoral research in Management of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. She is currently a Senior Editor at Organization Science, and formerly Guest Editor of a special issue on new research methods at the Strategic Management Journal, and an Associate Editor at the Academy of Management Annals.