Home > 2015 Girls Symposium: Influential Women
Alia Jones-Harvey

Alia Jones-Harvey is a theatre producer and the only woman of color currently working as a leading producer on Broadway.

Alondra Nelson

Alondra Nelson is a professor of sociology and gender studies as well as the Dean of Social Science at Columbia University.

Amini Kajunju

Amini Kajunju, a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is President and CEO of The Africa-America Institute (AAI).

Andrea Shapiro Davis

Andrea Shapiro Davis is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Corporate, Foundation and Major Gift Development at the City University of New York (CUNY) and the founder of the Women’s City Network.

Anna Holmes

Anna Holmes is the Editor of Fusion.net’s Digital Voices, founder of Jezebel, author of two books and contributing writer for the New York Times, Washington Post, Salon, and Entertainment Weekly.

Ashley Emerole

Ashley Emerole served as the  2014  President of the Manhattan Young Democrats, the largest young Democrats’ club in the country. Ashley is also a member of Community Board 10 in Central Harlem.

Bonnie L. Oliva

Bonnie L. Oliva is the Global Operations Director at InVenture, where she oversees finance, operations and HR while working to grow the organization from idea stage to growth stage.

Britney D. Whaley

Britney D. Whaley is the New York City Political Director for the Working Families Party (WFP), New York’s liveliest and most progressive political party.

Carmen Rita Wong

Carmen Rita Wong, the co-creator and former host of “On the Money” on CNBC, is the President and Founder of Malecon Productions.

Carol Robles-Roman

Carol Robles-Román is President and CEO of Legal Momentum – The Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund, a national legal organization that advances the rights of women and girls through targeted litigation, policy advocacy, and educational programs.

Cherrell Brown

Cherrell Brown currently serves as a National Organizer for Equal Justice USA, a national non-profit organization working towards repealing the death penalty.

Dr. Christina M Greer

Dr. Christina M. Greer is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Fordham University – Lincoln Center campus.

Dr. Danielle Moss Lee

Dr. Danielle Moss Lee joined the YWCA of the City of New York in 2012 as President and Chief Executive Officer, bringing over twenty years of experience in education and human services to the role.

Debra Baker

Debra Baker is the business executive for the Global Risk Solutions Asset Servicing Group. Debra is also a board member of the YWCA of the City of New York.

Diane Sinti

Diane Sinti co-leads Deloitte’s Financial Services Human Capital and M&A and Restructuring practice and has over 25 years of international corporate and consulting experience helping align market drivers, business goals, and operational and people strategies. Diane recently joined the board of directors of the YWCA of the City of New York.

Elle Morris

Elle Morris is the President of Elmwood Design in NYC. Elmwood worked closely with the YWCA of the City of New York to develop a unique visual identity for the Potential to Power Girls Symposium.

Erica Chito-Childs

Erica Chito-Childs is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center. She is the author of two books and numerous journal articles on issues of race, gender and sexuality.

Gail Brewer

Gail Brewer is the 27th Manhattan Borough President. She previously served on the City Council for 12 years and has served in City Government in various prestigious roles.

Heesun Lee

Hip Hop emcee Heesun Lee’s diverse experiences have fused to create the illuminating backdrop for her sophomore CD “Stereotypes” (In My City Records) that was released on iTunes and other retail outlets on January 21, 2014.

Janet Mock

Janet Mock, the New York Times bestselling author of Redefining Realness, is a speaker and prominent advocate for trans women’s rights who currently hosts the weekly culture show “So POPular!” on MSNBC’s Shift network and serves as Contributing Editor for Marie Claire.

Jean Walshe

Jean Walshe  is a client advisor in the Endowments & Foundations Group. Jean is responsible for marshalling the firm’s resources across asset classes globally to help endowments, foundations, healthcare and other not-for-profits address investment challenges. Jean is also a member on the Board of Directors for the YWCA of the City of New York.

Jeanne Zaino

Jeanne Zaino is a professor of political science at Iona College, as well as a pollster, political analyst, commentator, columnist, and author.

Jessica Pimentel

Jessica Pimentel co-stars in the hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black as Maria Ruiz and has a recurring role as Floyd in CBS’ Person of Interest.

Kathryn G. Casparian

Kathryn G. Casparian recently retired as the Chief Administrative Officer U.S. of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). Kathryn is also on the board of directors for the YWCA of the City of New York.

Kelly Hoey

Kelly Hoey is a speaker, tech evangelist, strategist, co-founder of Women Innovate Mobile and the Chief Tech Ambassador for the YWCA of the City of New York.

Kim Keating

Kim Keating is Founder and CEO of Keating Advisors, a professional services firm that consults on issues regarding human resources and compensation. She is also on the National Board of the Lean In Foundation.

L. Joy Williams

L. Joy Williams is a national political strategist, media thought-leader, social justice advocate and public speaker.

Laura Gomez

Laura Gomez plays inmate Bianca Flores on the Netflix hit show Orange is the New Black and will be recurring in the upcoming HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero.  In addition, she has been on Law and Order, Sesame Street, voiceover for numerous commercials and a member of the Spanish Repertory Theater.

Lauren Chief Elk

Lauren Chief Elk is an educator, researcher and victim-advocate. She is also the co-founder of the Save Wiyabi Project.

Lisa Coar

Lisa Coar  is the Managing Director and Associate General Counsel in the Investment Banking Division (IBD) of Goldman Sachs.

Lizz Winstead

Lizz Winstead is the co-creator and former head writer of The Daily Show and the Air America Radio co-founder.

Lore De La Baptiste

Lore De La Baptiste is the Vice President  and General Auditor of Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. Lore is also on the board of directors for the YWCA of the City of New York.

Marcia Lynn Sells

Marcia Sells is the Associate Vice President, Program Development and Initiatives, for Columbia University, for the office of Government and Community Affairs, and the Associate Dean in the School of the Arts for Outreach & Education. Marcia is the chair of the board of directors for the YWCA of the City of New York.

Mary Murcko

Mary Murcko is Publisher and Chief Revenue Officer of Self magazine. Mary is also on the board of directors for the YWCA of the City of New York.

Maya Wiley

Maya Wiley is the Counsel to the Mayor of the City of New York. She is the founder and former President of the Center for Social Inclusion, a national policy strategy organization on racial inclusion.

Patricia David

Patricia David is a Managing Director and the Global Head of Diversity for JP Morgan Chase.

Rachel Sterne Haot

Rachel Sterne Haot is the Chief Digital Officer and Deputy Secretary for Technology of New York State.

Remi Franklin

Remi Franklin is the Director of CohnReznick’s IT Audit Practice.

Renee M. Brown

Reneé Brown, the WNBA Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations, oversees all player scouting and acquisition for the league, as well as the administration of player-related policies and programs.

Rosie Mendez

Rosie Mendez has served as a member of the New York City Council since 2006, and currently is the co-chair of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus. Rosie is also one of six members of the LGBT Caucus of the New York City Council.

Rossmery Barzey Dais

Rossmery Barzey Dais serves as the Chief of Staff for the 1199SEIU Child Care Funds (CCF) and its 501(C)(3) subsidiary, the 1199SEIU Child Care Corporation (CCC), one of the nation’s premier labor-management partnerships that supports working families.

Samantha Black

Samantha Black is the designer of SammyB Designs, has worked with numerous famous designers and appeared as a contestant on Lifetime TV’s Project Runway Season 11 and Project Runway All-Stars.

Samantha Jung

Samantha Jung, an Account Director at Elmwood Design in NYC, worked closely with the YWCA of the City of New York and with her team at Elmwood to develop a unique visual identity for the Potential to Power Girls Symposium.

Sheetal Sheth

Sheetal Sheth is an American actress and producer. Her credits include Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World, The World Unseen, I Can’t Even Think Straight, Nip/Tuck, NCIS: Los Angeles, Blue Bloods and Royal Pains.

Synead Nichols

Synead Nichols is a performance artist with a passion for combining art and activism. Synead founded and organized the successful Millions March NYC in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Tai Beauchamp

Tai Beauchamp is a veteran journalist and editor with a rare ability to connect with all demographics. She is currently Style Ambassador of InStyle and CEO of Tai Life Media, LLC.

Tamara Buckley

Tamara Buckley is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology and Counseling at The Graduate Center and Hunter College, City University of New York, as well as a New York State licensed psychologist. She is the co-author of The Color Bind – Talking (and Not Talking) About Race at Work.

Tracie Strahan

Tracie Strahan is an award–winning reporter for NBC 4 New York’s weekday newscasts “Today in New York,” and the host of “Positively Black” – NBC 4’s long-running Public Affairs program.

Vanessa K. De Luca

Vanessa K. De Luca, Editor-in-Chief of ESSENCE magazine. In this role, she serves as the brand’s editorial leader and oversees the magazine’s content and vision.

Yvette Clarke

Yvette Clark is the US House of  Representative  from the Ninth Congressional District of New York. She is a ranking member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee of Emerging Threats, Cyber Security, Science and Technology.

Zakiyah Ansari

Zakiyah Ansari is the Advocacy Director of the New York State Alliance for Quality Education (AQE), the leading statewide organization that has been fighting for educational equity.

Zenaida Mendez

Zenaida Mendez is currently the Director of Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) Public Access Television’s El Barrio Firehouse Community Media Center and is  the Past Immediate President of the National Organization for Women (NOW-NYS), New York state (2012-2014).

Zerlina Maxwell

Zerlina Maxwell is a political analyst, speaker, and contributing writer for Essence Magazine where she writes about national politics, candidates, and specific policy and culture issues including domestic violence, sexual assault, victim blaming and gender inequality. She is a frequent political commentator on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC.