Women Leaders' Council

Margaret Alva - General Secretary of Indian National Congress and Former Member of Parliament, India

Helen Bamber - Founding Member of Amnesty International and The Helen Bamber Foundation

Eva Biaudet - OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings

Maud de Boer Buquicchio - Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Doris Buddenberg - Senior Manager of UN.GIFT, UNODC

Margarita Cedeño de Fernández - First Lady of the Dominican Republic

Renuka Chowdhury - Union Minister of State of Women and Child Development, India

Saisuree Chutikul - Former Minister of Thailand

Anja H. Ebnöther - Assistant Director and Head Special Programmes of the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)

Margarita Escobar - Vice Minister of Foreign Relations for Salvadorans Overseas, El Salvador

Ms. Katie Ford - Board of Directors and Former CEO of Ford Models

Mary Teresa Goudie - Member of House of Lords, UK

Aleya El Bindari Hammad - Member of Board of The Suzanne Mubarak Women's International Peace Movement

Sabrine El Hossamy - PR & Communication Director at Orascom Telecom

Moushira Khattab - Secretary General of the National Council of Childhood and Motherhood, Egypt

Jolanta Kwasniewski - Former First Lady of Poland

Evelyn Leopold - Independent International Journalist

Ruslana Lyzhychko - Eurovision Contest Winner and Former Member of Parliament, Ukraine

Louise Thérèse Blouin MacBain - CEO and President of LTB Group and Founder and Chair of the Louise T Blouin Foundation

Getrude Mongella - President of the Pan-African Parliament

Suzanne Mubarak - First Lady of Egypt

Ndioro Ndiaye - Deputy Director General of the International Organization for Migration

Julia Ormond - Actress and UNODC Goodwill Ambassador

María Palacio - Former First Lady of Ecuador

Barbara Prammer - President of the National Council, Austria

Elizabeth Rector - Senior Vice President of Lexis Nexis

Zohreh Tabatabai - Director of the Department of Communications of the International Labour Organization (ILO)

Emma Thompson - Academy Award Winning Actress and Chair of The Helen Bamber Foundation

Marianna V. Vardinoyannis - UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Member of the Board of The Suzanne Mubarak Women's International Peace Movement

Melanne Verveer - Co-Founder and Chair of the Board of the Vital Voices Global Partnership

Rachel Kyte - Vice President of the IFC, Business Advisory Services

Bhatia Lakshmi -Director, Global Partnerships, Social Responsibility, Gap International Inc., India

Graziella Zanoletti - Founder and President of the Elite Rent-a-Car Company

Cherie Blair - Founder Member of the Matrix Chambers and a leading barrister in the field of discrimination and human rights and a committed campaigner for women's equality

 

Members' Profiles

Margaret Alva Margaret Alva

General Secretary of Indian National Congress of India

Trailblazing politician, tireless public servant, and eloquent defender of social justice, Margaret Alva spearheaded a "silent revolution" that ensured the voices of her countrywomen would be heard. As a member of the Indian parliament from 1974 to 2004, she championed four major legislative amendments to strengthen women's rights in her homeland, including the devolution of more power to local government and the reservation of a third of local council seats for women. When the reform was adopted, Ms. Alva made it her mission to inspire Indian women to run for office.

As a result of her efforts, today thousands of Indian women are engaged in the political process - as informed constituents, competitive candidates, and elected representatives. Throughout her career, she has used her power to lift the lives of those at the grassroots - enabling women's political leadership to take root, and the world's largest democracy to flourish.

Currently Margaret Alva serves as secretary general of the Indian National Congress and is a close adviser to its president, Sonia Gandhi.

She was the Minister of Human Resource Development under the government of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, where she led the effort to harness and promote the potential of India's massive population.

Hon. Dr. Ms. Helen Bamber OBE Helen Bamber

Founding Member of Amnesty International and The Helen Bamber Foundation

Helen Bamber OBE was born on 1st May 1925. She is a psychotherapist who in 1985 founded the Medical Foundation for Care of Victims of Torture. Helen Bamber has worked tirelessly in the human rights field for 60 years helping thousands of survivors worldwide, starting in Belsen after WWII.

She was a founder member of Amnesty International and in 1985 established The Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, where she was a guiding light until early 2005. She has since founded the Helen Bamber Foundation to help survivors of gross human rights violations with medical consultation, therapeutic care, human rights advocacy and practical support.

Named European Woman of Achievement in 1993, she was awarded the OBE in 1997 and in the same year also received a lifetime Human Rights Achievement award for her work. She is on a number of advisory boards in related fields and holds honorary degrees from Oxford, Dundee, Ulster, Essex, Kingston & American Intl. University.

In 2006 Helen Bamber received the prestigious Beacon Fellowship Prize for her dedication to the care and counselling of holocaust survivors and victims of torture.

Eva Biaudet Eva Biaudet

OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings.

Finnish Member of Parliament Eva Biaudet was appointed OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings in October 2006.

Eva Biaudet represents the OSCE at the political level in questions related to combating trafficking in human beings. She also assists, together with her 8-person team, OSCE participating States in implementing their commitments and co-ordinates OSCE efforts in combating trafficking in human beings. She was born in Helsinki and studied law at the University of Helsinki before becoming a Member of Parliament in 1991.

Ms Biaudet was Minister of Health and Social Services and Gender from 1999-2000 and again from 2002-2003. While a minister, Biaudet launched a Nordic-Baltic campaign against trafficking with colleagues from neighboring countries. She was also strongly involved in raising awareness and fostering public debate on the problem, leading to legislation. She led the initial work on the Social Partnership in the EU Northern Dimension, addressing THB root causes and assistance. She also has a history of human rights work in non-governmental organizations, especially in the field of child protection, gender and refugees.

Eva Biaudet has four children. She speaks Swedish, Finnish, English, French and some German.

Maud de Boer Buquicchio Maud de Boer Buquicchio

Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Maud de Boer-Buquicchio was born in December 1944 in Hoensbroek in the Netherlands. She was educated in Deventer and at Leiden University, where she first studied French language and literature, and later law, specialising in international relations and labour law. She joined the Council of Europe in 1969 and began her career at the European Commission of Human Rights.

Between 1972 and 1977 she was an adviser in the Private Office of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, with responsibilities for human rights, legal affairs, social cohesion and the environment. She subsequently took up higher responsibilities in the Secretariat of the European Commission and Registry of the European Court of Human rights, to which she was elected Deputy Registrar in 1998.

In June 2002, Maud de Boer-Buquicchio was the first woman to be elected Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe by the Organisation's Parliamentary Assembly. Throughout her mandate she has been focusing her attention on the cause of vulnerable groups in society. She has been actively involved, from the outset, in promoting the Council of Europe Convention on action against trafficking in human beings and the Council of Europe campaign to combat violence against women, including domestic violence. In June 2007, she was re-elected for a second mandate.

Maud de Boer-Buquicchio has been a steady and determined advocate of equal opportunities, and has worked to put this value into practice both inside and outside the Council of Europe.

Doris Buddenberg Doris Buddenberg

Senior Manager of UN.GIFT, UNODC

Doris Buddenberg read Slavonic studies, economics and ethnology at Heidelberg University, graduating with an MSc and a PhD 1980.

From 1980 to 1985 she was a visiting professor at Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad, Pakistan, working with post-graduate students in the Anthropology Department. Her research focussed on heterodox Islam in northern Pakistan. Work in drug control started with the first Pakistan National Survey on Drug Abuse in the early 1980s.

Following one year of teaching at Heidelberg University, she worked as a consultant from 1986 to 1995. Key assignments, for various regional and international organisations included institution and capacity building for governments, design and evaluation of drug control programmes, alternative livelihood strategies and the development of national drug control strategies. During this period, she worked in Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Laos and Indonesia.

She joined UNODC in 1996 as an economist at the Headquarters in Vienna dealing with economic research on drug economies as well as backstopping UNODC's global alternative development programme.

In 2000 she headed UNODC's country programme in Viet Nam, which focussed on law enforcement, alternative development, trafficking in human beings and demand reduction.

In 2004 she transferred to Afghanistan to head the UNODC office managing UNODC's largest country programme. The drug control programme consisted of demand reduction, support to law enforcement (including border control), government institution and capacity building at national and provincial level, national opium poppy cultivation surveys and economic research on Afghanistan's drug industry. The justice reform programme supported the three permanent national justice institutions (Ministry of Justice, Attorney General's Office and the Supreme Court).

In early 2007, she was officer-in-charge of the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute in Turin. In late 2007, she returned to UNODC Headquarters, Vienna, to manage the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT), that aims to mobilize state and non-state actors to eradicate human trafficking by reducing both the vulnerability of potential victims and the demand for exploitation in all its forms; ensuring adequate protection and support to those who do fall victim, and supporting the efficient prosecution of the criminals involved.

Dr. Margarita Cedeño de Fernández Margarita Cedeño de Fernández

First Lady of the Dominican Republic

Dr. Margarita Cedeño de Fernández born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Completed her Doctor in Law Degree with Cum Laude honors, in 1987. She earned a Masters in Business and Economic Law, Magna Cum Laude honors, in 1995. She has also completed law studies on negotiation and international law as well as conflict resolution.

Her work focuses on four areas: education, technology, social solidarity and the integral development of the family as a vital core of society, and is carried through four main programmes: "Progresando", "Technological Community Centres", "Public Library Networks" and "Social Solidarity".

The outstanding work and achievements of the First Lady on behalf of the most vulnerable segments of society has gained wide national and international recognition. During the 27th Pan American Sanitary Conference held in 2007 in Washington DC the Pan American Health Association (PAHO) designated her as "Continental Ambassador for the elimination of rubella in the Americas", in recognition of her work in the field of health, particularly in relation to the national vaccination campaigns. Also in 2007, Doctor Cedeño received in Geneva the "2007 International Telecommunications Union (ITI) Award on the World Information Society" for her contribution to make information technologies available to the poorer areas of the Dominican Republic.

Renuka Chowdhury Renuka Chowdhury

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Women and Child Development of India

Renuka Chowdhury was born in Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), 13th August 1954. She studied Master of Industrial Psychology at Karnataka University, Bangalore.

From 1986 to 1998, Renuka Chowdhury was a Member of Rajya Sabha (two terms) and Chief Whip of Telugu Desam Parliamentary Party, Rajya Sabha (two terms). She was the Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare from 1997 to 1998. In 1999, Renuka Chowdhury was elected to 13th Lok Sabha and was a Member of the Committee on Finance from 1999 until 2000 and a Member of the Committee on the Empowerment of Women from 2000 until 2001. In 2004, Renuka Chowdhury was re-elected to 14th Lok Sabha (2nd term). From 23 May 2004 to 28 January 2006, she was Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Tourism.

Since 29 January 2006, Renuka Chowdhury is Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Women and Child Development.

Renuka Chowdhury has written many articles and short stories for children and is associated with various social and cultural organisations working in the field of women and child development and welfare.

Renuka Chowdhury has two daughters.

Saisuree Chutikul Saisuree Chutikul

Former Minister of Thailand

Saisuree Chutikul is one of the world's leading voices in the fight against human trafficking. She has worked at the highest levels as a legislator and government official to create innovative models to bring government and NGO's together to stop the modern day slavery that afflicts her country. As Cabinet minister in Thailand (1991-1992), Dr. Chutikul revised Thai law to assist minors and to create stricter penalties against proprietors, pimps, and parents who send children into prostitution. As a Senator (1996-2000) Dr. Chutikul worked with the Thai police to set up units for protection of women and children.

A longtime member of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (1989-2000), Dr. Chutikul was an untiring advocate for girls at risk for prostitution and forced labor. She was instrumental in developing the Thai National Committee on Combating Trafficking in Women and Children established in 1994 and has been a leader in launching a national plan to combat human trafficking, including the recovery and reintegration of women into society; the repatriation of foreigners lured into traffickers' web; and the prosecution of criminal networks. In her own country, Dr. Chutikul has organized trafficking training courses for medical personnel, social workers, police officers, and immigration officers. She has crossed the border to work with the Cambodian government to develop a memorandum of understanding between the two countries to combat trafficking. She was elected Vice Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. Dr. Chutikul serves on the Board of Directors of a number of organizations supporting women and children including World Vision.

Anja H. Ebnöter Anja H. Ebnöther

Assistant Director and Head of the Special Programmes Department of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)

Anja H. Ebnöther is Assistant Director and Head of the Special Programmes Department of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF).
She leads the programmes on gender, children and security, and human trafficking. DCAF has developed a Toolkit on Gender and Security Sector Reform, and has started a programme on security sector responses to trafficking in human beings. These encompass not only research, but also networking, advocacy, and the production of educational materials for implementation.

Ms Ebnöther is also engaged with the Partnership for Peace (PfP) Consortium of Defence Academies and Security Studies Institutes, and leads a Working Group on Security Sector Reform. She is responsible for the organisation of the 8th International Security Forum (ISF).

In 2000, Anja was a member of the team responsible for the creation of the Centre. Prior to this, she was a civil servant with the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports.

Having studies at the universities of St. Gallen and Fribourg, she holds a degree in Law from the University of Fribourg, with a specialisation in European and International Law. Her postgraduate studies were on International Security Policy (at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP).

Margarita Escobar Margarita Escobar

Vice Minister of Foreign Relations for Salvadorans Overseas

Ambassador Margarita Escobar studied architecture in Louisiana State University. She also has studies in International Relations, Human Rights and related areas. She is a career diplomat.

Margarita Escobar was the Alternate Representative of El Salvador to the OAS from 1991 to 1993. She served as alternate representative to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva, Switzerland, from 1993 to 1997. From 1997 to 1999 she served as Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of El Salvador to Venezuela, concurrent with Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana. In 2002, she was the president of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American Status. From 2002 to 2004 she served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of El Salvador to the OAS. She was also president of the commission in charge of preparing the working plan of the Inter American Committee Against Terrorism, CICTE, and president of the groups that adopted the "Miami Consensus" on measure to promote citizens trust and security.

Since June 2004, she assumed her duties as Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs for Salvadorans Overseas.

In 2005 the Office of the Ombudsman for Human Rights recognized her work on behalf of the Salvadoran communities abroad. At the beginning of 2006 she also received recognition by the Central American National Round Table in Los Angeles, Ca. for her work as vice minister.

Katie Ford Katie Ford

Board of Directors and Former CEO of Ford Models

Katie Ford serves on the Board of Directors of Ford Models. Ms. Ford previously served as President, CEO, and, most lately, Chairman of Ford Models for 22 years, a role she relinquished at the beginning of 2008 in order to focus on her philanthropic interests. During her tenure she built Ford Models into the world's largest model and talent management company, doing business in 50 countries. Synonymous with stars such as Jane Fonda, Candace Bergen, Jerry Hall, Jennifer Connelly and Patricia Velasquez, Ford is among the most iconic names in fashion.

As Chairman and CEO, Katie Ford expanded the business globally, diversified its operations and launched the digital media division, which uses Ford talent for a broad array of content distributed across numerous digital platforms. Concurrently with running Ford, Ms. Ford has been actively involved with several organizations dedicated to the preservation of cultural heritage and environmental resources.

Ms. Ford is on the advisory board of the Wayuu Taya Foundation, which provides education, healthcare and clean water for indigenous groups in South America. She is active in Robert Kennedy Jr.'s Riverkeeper, the pioneering environmental organization that has rallied citizens and political groups to protect the Hudson River. Ms Ford also contributes to the Council for Conciliation, The Institute for International Education's Scholar Rescue Fund, The Tribeca Film Institute and the Robin Hood Foundation.

Ms. Ford has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MBA from Columbia University School of Business Administration. She currently lives in New York City with her two daughters.

Rt. Hon. Baroness Mary Teresa Goudie Mary Teresa Goudie

Member of House of Lords of the United Kingdom

As a member of parliament the Baroness supports the British government in showing commitment to fighting against human trafficking by signing up to the European Convention of Human Trafficking in March 2007. The agreement gives victims, such as women forced into prostitution, the right to stay in Britain for at least 30 days after escaping the grasps of traffickers. The comprehensive UK Action Plan on Trafficking was launched on the same day as the Convention which coincided with the 200 year anniversary of the transatlantic slave trade and the bicentennial abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire. The Human Trafficking Centre has been provided with 4.5m British Pounds over the last 5 years for victim protection under the Poppy scheme, which supports adult women trafficked into the UK for sexual exploitation.

Baroness Mary Goudie is Member of the House of Lords since 1998 when she was appointed a life peer. She has held senior positions in the Parliamentary Labour Party in the House of Lords and is a senior member of the British Irish Inter-Parliamentary Committee in the House of Lords and a former member of the Communications Committee, the Procedures Committee and the European Committee on Law and the Constitution.

Baroness Goudie received a Honorary Doctorate degree in 1999 from Napier University in Scotland. In 1971, Baroness Goudie became the youngest woman elected to the London Borough of Brent Council.

Dr. Aleya El Bindari Hammad Aleya El Bindari Hammad

Founding Member and Board Member of The Suzanne Mubarak Women's International Peace Movement

Dr. Aleya El Bindari Hammad is Founding Member and Board Member of The Suzanne Mubarak Women's International Peace Movement. She has been a driving force of the campaign "End Human Trafficking Now!" and provides leadership and guidance to this initiative.

Dr. Hammad is Chair of the International Advisory Board, Wagner School of Public Service and Visiting Professor, New York University and George Washington University, Centre for international Health. She has been instrumental in the establishment of the international academic program and a Founder of the Hammad International Fund at NYU. Prior to joining NYU, she was the Executive Director/Assistant Director General, World Health Organization in Geneva, responsible for Health in Development policy. She spent more than three decades in the WHO, initiating its human rights programme, its Commission on Women, and in furthering its work on health improvement as an integral part of socio-economic and political development.

Dr. Hammad is also a member of the Board of FXB Centre for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University and several other boards, especially those whose main area of focus is improving the quality of life of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. She is also Founding Member of the African Women Foresight Group presided by Graca Machel.

Sabrine el Hossamy Sabrine El Hossamy

PR & Communication Director at Orascom Telecom

 

Moushira Khattab Moushira Khattab

Secretary General of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM), Egypt

Since December 1999, Ambassador Moushira Khattab, has served as the Secretary General of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) in Egypt. She is a member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child since 2002. She represents the MENA Region on the Board of Child Helpline International and chairs the MENA Region Steering Committee on Violence against Children established within the framework of the UN Secretary General Study on Violence against children; A vice president of the International Bureau of Children's Rights (Canada- Montreal); Vice president of Aflatoun Child Savings International Social and financial education)( Amsterdam), and she is a regular lecturer on children's rights to police officers, judges and media personnel.

To protect vulnerable children and in response to H.E. Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak campaign "End of Human Trafficking Now", she established an Anti Trafficking Unit at NCCM, in 2007. Under the guidance of H.E. Mrs. Mubarak she lead the process of formulating several national policy documents to fulfil the rights of vulnerable children; including the National strategy for the protection of street children- combating child labour, protection of youth from drugs, and last but not least a Right's Based Tracking of Public Budgeting for Children.

As a career diplomat she served as Ambassador of Egypt to the Republic of South Africa, and to the Czech and Slovak Republics.

She was awarded the Order of Good Hope by South Africa's President, in 1999, and the Decoration of Commendatore of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 2007.

She is married with two children.

Jolanta Kwasniewski Jolanta Kwasniewski

Former First Lady of Poland and Founder of the Jolanta Kwasniewski's Foundation

A Polish lawyer and charity activist, Jolanta Kwasniewski is the wife of the former President of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski, and presenter of TVN Style. The former First Lady of Poland is an Honorary Board Member for the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children which works to identify and coordinate a global network of organizations fighting child-sexual exploitation and abduction.

As a committee member she was also involved with a project being integrated into one of INTERPOL's planned global anti-crime centres, focusing on the fight against trafficking in human beings and child abuse. Using INTERPOL's Child Abuse Image Database (ICAID) and its specialist recognition software, investigators are able to connect images from the same series of abuse, or those taken in the same location with different victims. To date, ICAID has assisted in the identification and rescue of more than 500 victims around the world.

In September 2006 the First Lady of Ukraine and Queen Silvia of Sweden opened a playground for human trafficking victims. In November 2005, Kwasniewska met with other prominent leaders and Kateryna Levchenko, President of La Strada Ukraine - an NGO program to prevent trafficking in Ukrainian women. They exchanged their opinions and ideas on charitable women's organizations that help orphans and homeless children.

Evelyn Leopold Ms. Evelyn Leopold

Independent International Journalist

Evelyn Leopold is a freelance journalist, specializing in international news. A foreign correspondent, editor and news executive for Reuters for more than 25 years, Evelyn Leopold has reported political, economic and social news from Europe, Africa and the Middle East, as well as the United Nations. Her book was among the first published in the West on women in the former East Germany.

She resigned from Reuters at the end of 2007 and is now freelancing, appearing on radio and television and is employed as a consultant for Security Council Report, a Columbia University-sponsored publication distributed to U.N. diplomats, officials and journalists. She continues to head a journalist fellowship program at the United Nations. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Overseas Press Club and the Newswomen's Club of New York.

From 1990-2007 she was the bureau chief for Reuters at the United Nations. She has held various postings around the world including in Germany and Britain and as head of all of Reuters African bureaux, based in Nairobi. She has also been chief general news editor for Reuters in North America. Among many activities in New York, she heads the Dag Hammarskjöld Scholarship Fund for Journalists, run by the UN press corps, which gives fellowships to mid-level reporters from developing nations.

Ruslana Lyzhychko Ruslana Lyzhychko

Eurovision Contest Winner and Former Member of Parliament of Ukraine

Ruslana was born in Lviv, a regional center in Western Ukraine in 1973. She is a former Member of Parliament, singer, dancer, producer, composer, conductor, pianist and social activist. She has an established history of political engagement and involvement with numerous charitable organizations.

Her album "Wild Dances", issued in 2003 went 5 times platinum in Ukraine, selling over 500,000 copies. She was named the World's Best Selling Ukrainian Artist at the World Music Awards in Las Vegas in 2004. She also went on to win the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest in Istanbul, Turkey, with the song "Wild Dances".

In 2004's disputed Ukrainian presidential elections, she declared her support for Viktor Yushchenko.

In March 2006, she ran for and was elected to the Ukrainian Parliament as a member of the People's Union "Our Ukraine" (NSNU).

Ruslana joined the campaign against human trafficking in 2005 through a meeting in Kyiv on July 5 of the same year.

Ruslana participated alongside Vital Voices leaders in a four-day meeting held in Kyiv, Ukraine, from October 14-18, 2007. She announced in the Vital Voices press conference that she would participate in a joint project which aims to raise awareness among young women to fight human trafficking in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. She also showed part of her song "Not for Sale".

Ruslana has also initiated a new project called Wild Energy.

Louise Thérèse Blouin MacBain Louise Thérèse Blouin MacBain

CEO and President of LTB Group and Founder and Chair of the Louise T Blouin Foundation

Louise Blouin MacBain is the Chairman and Founder of the Louise T Blouin Foundation. The Foundation's core beliefs are in the importance of encouraging greater levels of cultural understanding, and in the enhancement of the creative capacity, particularly in regards to advances in neuroscience. Foundation projects around the world include the annual Global Creative Leadership Summit in New York, a research initiative measuring global cultural investment with the OECD and various cultural exchange projects. The Foundation also runs the Louise T Blouin Institute, a new arts centre in Notting Hill, London, which has shown artists including James Turrell, Gary Hill and Richard Meier.

Ms Blouin MacBain is also Chairman of the LTB Group of Companies - a global media business with a commitment to the arts and culture. Group publications include Art + Auction, Modern Painters, and the newly launched Culture + Travel. The Group produces around 50 magazines and 130 titles in total each year.

Prior to setting up the LTB Group, Ms Blouin MacBain co-founded Trader Classified Media. One of the pioneers of internet commerce, over 15 years as Chairman and Operational CEO she turned around 80 companies and, with her management team, led over 5,000 employees. At Trader she launched 60 magazines and built an international business with more than 400 publications (9 million readers per week) and 60 internet sites in 20 countries.

Ms Blouin MacBain relinquished her interest in Trader to develop the LTB Group.

Gertrude Mongella Getrude Mongella

President of the Pan-African Parliament

Gertrude Ibengwe Mongellais considered one of the most influential people in the world and her extensiveand highly successful career spans over a number of decades.

Dr. Mongella’s earlycareer focus was on Education – in the 70’s she was a teacher, a curriculumdeveloper for the Dar- es-Salaam Institute of Education and a school inspector. By the 80’s, Dr.Mongella had already established herself in Tanzania, as a member of the rulingCCM Party, a member of Parliament, and as Minister of Lands, Tourism andNatural Resources. In the 90’s, Dr.Mongella was Tanzania’s HighCommissioner to India.She was appointed as Secretary General to the Fourth World Conference on Womenin Beijing, China and also held positions inthe UN as Special Envoy to the Secretary General of the UN on women’s issuesand Development and as UN Under-Secretary.

Dr. Mongella iscurrently a Member of the Tanzanian Parliament representing the UkereweConstituency and holds the esteemed position of President of the Pan – AfricanParliament. She holds a degree fromthe University of Dar-es-Salaam (1970) andnumerous years of priceless work and life experience.

Dr. Mongella is married.She is a mother of three sons and has eight grandchildren.

 

Suzanne Mubarak Suzanne Mubarak

First Lady of Egypt, President and Founder of the Women's International Peace Movement

H.E. Ms. Suzanne Mubarak is a social scientist. She spent her early career closely studying disadvantaged communities to understand better ways and means of improving their living conditions. These early experiences have greatly shaped her outlook and determination to place human beings at the center of all development activities.

She is the architect of many social, cultural and civic programs that aim to improve the quality of life of individuals from birth to adulthood. She was instrumental in the creation of institutions entrusted with the formulation of policies, strategies and initiatives directed at the empowerment of women and the promotion and protection of the well being of children and youth. Her contributions range from enhancing cultural environments, addressing the special needs of individuals and improving the access and quality of education and health care for all.

Recently her concern for peace as a pre-requisite for sustainable development has led her to establish a women's international peace movement committed to harnessing the energy and creativity of all segments of society in enhancing the conditions for sustainable peace and human security.

Ms. Mubarak has received many awards and decorations nationally and internationally for her outstanding contribution to public service.

Co-Founder and Chair of the Board of the Vital Voices Global Partnership

Melanne Verveer is Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of the Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international nonprofit that supports emerging women leaders in building vibrant democracies and strong economies. Vital Voices focuses on expanding women's participation in politics and civil society. Vital Voices provides international leadership training through a collaborative with Georgetown University that enables women leaders from around the globe to more effectively contribute to advancing progress in their societies.

The Vital Voices Global Leadership Network connects thousands of women leaders who have participated in Vital Voices conferences or the Global Leadership Institute training programs. Vital Voices has concentrated on the problem of human trafficking and has hosted numerous events to raise awareness of the issue in hopes to stop trafficking, help victims, and prevent people from engaging in the illegal market. Verveer will pledge to uphold the organizations commitment to ending trafficking internationally through spreading awareness and raising money to conquer the problem as well as continuing creating support for victims who have suffered.

Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady in the Clinton Administration. Notably she was responsible for overseeing Hillary Clinton's global initiatives on women's rights as human rights, democracy building, micro-enterprise development, and the education of women and girls.

Ndioro Ndiaye Ndioro Ndiaye

Deputy Director General of IOM

Ms. Ndioro Ndiaye was born in Bignona, Senegal, on 6 November 1946. She studied Medicine first at Dakar University, then at Bordeaux and Paris VII (Garancière).

Ndioro Ndiaye was one of the first African women to pass the concours de l'agrégation (highest competitive examination for teachers) in France (specialising in odonology and stomatology).

In 1988, Mrs. Ndioro Ndiaye was appointed by the President of the Republic to the post of Minister for Social Development. On behalf of the Senegalese Government, she coordinated humanitarian activities during the crisis between Senegal and Mauritania in 1989. From 1990 to 1995, Mrs. Ndiaye was Minister for Women's, Children's and Family Affairs. Thereafter, and until her appointment as Deputy Director-General of IOM, she resumed her numerous activities at the Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar, where she was highly instrumental in reforming tertiary education in Senegal.

In 1990 Mrs Ndioro Ndiaye contributed to the preparations for the World Summit for Children following an invitation by UNICEF. She also made a major contribution to preparations for the World Summit on the Economic Advancement of Rural Women held in Geneva in 1992 and which was followed by a meeting on the same topic in Brussels in 1994. She led the Senegalese delegation to the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo in 1994. She is the chairperson of the Regional Conference of African Women and also helped to prepare for the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen in 1995 as member of the Advisory Counsel.

Ms. Ndioro Ndiaye is a founding member of the Comité scientifique pour les femmes et le développement, (Scientific Commission for Women and Development) and founded the NGO "Reseau de femmes africaines leaders pour la paix et le développement" (Network of African Women Leaders for Peace and Development).

Julia Ormond Julia Ormond

Actress and UNODC Goodwill Ambassador and Founder of the Alliance to Stop Slavery and End Trafficking (ASSET)

British actress and activist Julia Ormond was appointed UNODC Goodwill Ambassador on 2 December 2005, the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. During her service, Ms. Ormond will focus on anti-human trafficking initiatives, raising awareness about this modern form of slavery and promoting efforts to combat it.

A long-time advocate for human rights issues, Ms. Ormond has advanced social causes both in her individual capacity and as the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of FilmAid International Inc., which seeks to promote health, strengthen communities and enrich the lives of vulnerable people. In September 2005, she worked on anti-human trafficking initiatives with UNODC in Moscow and presented the MTV Russian Music Award to a young activist fighting AIDS. On 1 December, she co-hosted a UNAIDS event to commemorate World AIDS Day in New York City.

In January 2003, she received the prestigious Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland. The award is reserved for media figures that use their talents and influence to make substantial contributions to humanitarian causes. In September 2003, she testified before the U.S. Congressional Human Rights Caucus about the plight of refugees.

Ms. Ormond is well known for her roles in such films as
Legends of the Fall, Sabrina and The Barber of Siberia, as well as for her work in television and the theatre.

María Palacio María Palacio

Former First Lady of Ecuador

The former first lady of Ecuador, from April 2005 to January 2007, in her position as President of INNFA (National Institute of Children and Family) started and led a nationwide campaign against human trafficking. As a positive result they where able to rescue dozens of Ecuadorians trying to leave the country illegally, under the false pretense that once they reached their destination, they would have good jobs and freedom.

Ms. Palacio is a believer that unless the income, health and education of poor people in third world countries improves, those who are prone to be victims of 'trafficking', will remain at risk, the numbers may drop, but this horrendous crime will continue. She has already taken great steps in bringing attention to and preventing Ecuadorian youth from falling victim of human trafficking. Her pledge is to further her campaign by increasing the percent of the population reached by radio, TV, and print adds to over 70%. The rescue campaign entitled 'Llama y Vive' or "Call and Live" includes a 24-7 hotline for human trafficking victims to call for help and support.

The face of the campaign is pop star Ricky Martin who uses his celebrity status to spread the message against human trafficking. Maria Palacio's pledge is to expand the campaign until they further decrease and conquer the human trafficking problem in Ecuador.

Barbara Prammer Barbara Prammer

Austria President of the Austrian National Council

Barbara Prammer was born in Upper Austria, 11th January 1954. She graduated in 1986 at Linz University and holds a Master's degree in Sociology.
Her political career started in 1991 when she became a Member and Second President of the Upper Austrian Diet. From 1995 to 1997 she was Member of the Upper Austrian State Government.

She is also the Deputy State Party Chairperson for Upper Austria for the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Deputy Federal Party Chairperson for the SDP and Chairperson of the Upper Austrian Women's Organization of the SDP as well as for the Federal Women's Organization of the SDP.

Since October 1999, she has been as Member of the Austrian National Council and its President since October 2006.

Elizabeth Rector Elizabeth Rector

Senior Vice President of Lexis Nexis

Elizabeth Rector is the Senior Vice President, Corporate Responsibility for LexisNexis Group. After 19 years in a wide variety of roles (including Senior Vice President, Enterprise & Library Markets; Senior Vice President, Sales; and Senior Vice President, Finance & Business Management), Elizabeth has a rich background in the information solutions industry, and has played an important role in the growth and development of LexisNexis as a company.

Most recently, Elizabeth ran the Enterprise & Library business where she led a significant turnaround in performance by delivering new products and enhancements to existing products; expanding the distribution channel; and improving employee morale and productivity. During this time Elizabeth was active in the markets she served. She spoke at several professional association conferences, led customer advisory boards and was passionate about engaging customers to understand their needs. While Elizabeth led this business, she was a strong advocate for the LexisNexis community volunteer program (LexisNexis Cares) and encouraged her organization to lead LexisNexis in their participation in this program.

In addition to her responsibilities at LexisNexis, for the last seven years Elizabeth has worked to reduce homelessness in her community. She is a member of the Board of Directors of The Other Place, an organization whose mission is work to end homelessness by providing housing, services, advocacy and education.

In her current role as SVP, Corporate Responsibility, Elizabeth will be focused on continuing to increase the positive impact that LexisNexis has on the community and reducing the impact that LexisNexis has on the environment. One of her objectives is to partner with more organizations in our marketplace to make an even bigger impact on key issues, such as Rule of Law. LexisNexis' is using advocacy and pro bono work to advance the Rule of Law around the world.

Elizabeth graduated from Miami University in 1988 with a B.S. degree in Business and in 1995 she received her M.B.A. from Wright State University. Elizabeth is married and has two sons. In her spare time she loves to travel, read, spend time with her family and volunteer in her community.

Zohreh Tabatabai Zohreh Tabatabai

Director of the Department of Communications of the International Labour Organization (ILO)

Zoreh Tabatabai is the Director of Communication and Public Information at the International Labour Organization, the Geneva-based U.N. agency that promotes rights at work, encourages decent employment opportunities, enhances social protection and strengthens dialogue in handling work-related issues. As a member of the ILOs senior staff, Ms. Tabatabai has expanded the departments mandate and has developed new strategies and tools for raising global awareness of the organizations work. She supervises 85 staffers who are engaged in media relations, issue campaigns, publications, web activities and library services.

Prior to her appointment at the ILO, Ms. Tabatabai spent 20 years at the United Nations in New York, most recently as Focal Point for Women, and previously as the Coordinator of the UNs Fiftieth Anniversary and Chief of the UNs Public Services Section.

Before arriving at the UN in 1980, Ms. Tabatabai served nearly 10 years as a diplomat in the Foreign Ministry of Iran.

Emma Thompson Emma Thompson

Academy Award Winning Actress and Chair of The Helen Bamber Foundation

Emma Thompson was born in London, 15th April 1959. Her father was Theatre Director Eric Thompson, also the creator of the successful children's series, The Magic Roundabout. Her mother is actress, Phyllida Law.

Thompson is one of today's most honored talents for her work as both an actress and a screenwriter.

In 1993, she swept the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, BAFTA Award and Evening Standard Film Award, in addition to Best Actress Awards from the New York and Los Angeles Film Critics, the National Society of Film Critics and National Board of Review for her role in the Merchant Ivory drama "Howards End." In 1996, Thompson again received dual Academy Award nominations, receiving a nod for her role in Ang Lee's "Sense and Sensibility" and winning the Oscar for her screenplay, adapted from the book by Jane Austen.

The honor made her the only person ever to win Academy Awards in both acting and screenwriting categories.

Thompson most recently starred in the widely praised comedy/drama "Stranger Than Fiction." She is currently working on a sequel to "Nanny McPhee." Additionally, Thompson is presently filming "Brideshead Revisited," in which she stars with Michael Gambon, and she then stars in the romantic drama "Last Chance Harvey," opposite Dustin Hoffman.

Marianna V. Vardinoyannis Marianna V. Vardinoyannis

Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO, Representative of the Director-General of UNESCO for the international promotion of the Cultural Olympiads

Founding member of the "Global Humanitarian Forum", Member of the Board of Trustees of the Library of Alexandria, Member of the Board of Trustees of the "Suzanne Mubarak Women`s International Peace Movement, Member of the Board of Trustees of MENTOR Foundation, Member of the Board of Directors of the "International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children" (ICMEC), Member of the President's Council of the Special Olympics "Europe-Eurasia", Member of the Organizing Committee of the Special Olympics World Games-Athens 2011, Member of the International Committee of the Foundation for a Culture for Peace, Member of the Global Public Service Advisory Board of the New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, Member of the Advisory Board of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights in the Harvard School of Public Health, Official Greek delegate of the "European Office for Missing and Exploited Children"

Through her multiple activities in Greece and abroad, Marianna V. Vardinoyannis has built up an extensive record of social and humanitarian work, focused on social issues such as: human rights, protection of children, health, social solidarity, education, poverty, human trafficking, abuse and exploitation of children, dialogue among civilizations, drugs' prevention in youth, etc. She also promotes issues aimed at the establishment of a culture of peace and the protection of the world cultural and natural heritage.

Melanne Verveer Melanne Verveer

Co-Founder and Chair of the Board of the Vital Voices Global Partnership

Melanne Verveer is Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of the Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international nonprofit that supports emerging women leaders in building vibrant democracies and strong economies. Vital Voices focuses on expanding women's participation in politics and civil society. Vital Voices provides international leadership training through a collaborative with Georgetown University that enables women leaders from around the globe to more effectively contribute to advancing progress in their societies.

The Vital Voices Global Leadership Network connects thousands of women leaders who have participated in Vital Voices conferences or the Global Leadership Institute training programs. Vital Voices has concentrated on the problem of human trafficking and has hosted numerous events to raise awareness of the issue in hopes to stop trafficking, help victims, and prevent people from engaging in the illegal market. Verveer will pledge to uphold the organizations commitment to ending trafficking internationally through spreading awareness and raising money to conquer the problem as well as continuing creating support for victims who have suffered.

Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady in the Clinton Administration. Notably she was responsible for overseeing Hillary Clinton's global initiatives on women's rights as human rights, democracy building, micro-enterprise development, and the education of women and girls.

Rachel Kyte

Vice President of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Business Advisory Services

Rachel Kyte is IFC's Vice President, Business Advisory Services, and a member of the Management Group. She oversees IFC's advisory business and provides leadership on this integral part of IFC's strategy.

Ms. Kyte joined IFC in 2000 as a Senior Specialist, Ombudsman, in the Office of the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman. In 2004 she became Director for Environment and Social Development, where she led the introduction of new performance standards and IFC's expanded sustainability and disclosure policies, and showed how IFC can transform standards for business and help develop markets. She helped extend IFC's reach through better risk management and new business opportunities related to sustainability. She also championed knowledge management and innovation. Most recently, she played a key role in shaping IFC's approach to climate change.

Ms. Kyte has held elected positions in Europe and has founded and led NGOs focusing on women, the environment, health, and rights.

Prior to joining IFC, Ms. Kyte was a member of the management team of the World Conservation Union - IUCN. She holds a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a Bachelor of Arts degree in politics and history from University of London.

Bhatia Lakshmi

Director, Global Partnerships, Social Responsibility, Gap International Inc., India

Lakshmi joined Gap Inc.’s Global Compliance department eight years ago. Prior to joining Gap Inc. Lakshmi was working with various non-profit organisations based in India. Formerly, Lakshmi was responsible for monitoring factory compliance against Gap Inc.’s Code of Vendor Conduct in North India and Nepal. She has had the unique opportunity to observe the development and evolution of Gap Inc.’s Global Compliance program and its successes and challenges.

She is currently Gap Inc.’s Global Partnership Manager responsible for Europe and Africa and is responsible for stakeholder engagement and various collaborative projects with civil society organisations related to supply chain issues. Lakshmi serves on the Ethical Trading Initiative’s Board of Directors.

Graziella Zanoletti

Founder and President of Elite Rent-a-Car

Graziella Zanoletti is an entrepreneur and the founder of Elite Rent-a-Car in Geneva, a luxury car-rental company. But not just any cars: the latest models available on the market, before anybody else, delivered anywhere, any time of day or night, as per the client's wishes. In 20 years (Elite was founded in 1987) she has made total flexibility and service quality the trademarks of her company.

Italy-born, Graziella has made of Elite a global network with operational stations in several countries. In 2003-2004, her accomplishments gained her the Veuve Cliquot Business Woman of the Year award. In 2006 she was invited to the first Business Community Roundtable against Human Trafficking, and to the World Economic Forum's Davos meeting. She communicates with her emotions and leads by example. This sense of responsibility has led her to long term engagements in supporting various projects around the world, and to the creation of Friends of Humanity.

She says: "I am convinced that a positive attitude can change the world. I believe in women of the past and women of the future. Our mothers were there to protect our homes. We are here today to prepare our daughters who will change the world".

Cherie Blair

Cherie Booth is a leading barrister in the field of discrimination and human rights and a committed campaigner for women’s equality. She regularly argues cases up to the House of Lords and is a founder member of Matrix Chambers.

Born in Bury in 1954, Cherie grew up and went to school on Merseyside. The first member of her family to go to university, she won a place at the London School of Economics to study law – encouraged by the story of Rose Heilbron, who also came from Liverpool,and was the first women to be made a Kings Counsel. Having come first in the country in her Bar Finals in 1975, Cheriethe following year joined Lincoln’s Inn where she is still based. She has forged a successful career inemployment, public and human rights law.

In 1995, she matched the achievements of her role model when she was appointed a QC. Cherie continues to work as a barrister both in Britain and internationally. She has appeared in the European Court of Justice, in Commonwealth countries and is an international arbitrator. She is also a Recorder, or part-time judge, in the County Court. In her employment and discrimination work, Cherie acts for applicants and respondents in both individual and collective disputes. Inpublic law, she has a strong practice advising local authorities and other public bodies on human rights law as well as acting for individuals and organisations who want to challenge these bodies in the courts.

Among the well-known and important cases in which she has been involved are the Begum case on whether a decision by a school to exclude a pupil for wearing a jilbab infringed their religious rights and the campaignfor equal treatment by Gurkha soldiers who had served in the British Army. As well as fighting for human rights in her professional career, Cherie is an active campaigner on equality and human rights issues.

She has spoken across the world on both issues and also on the need to improve the work/life balance for both women and men – an issue, as a working woman and mother, on which she feels passionately. Her fellow trainee at her first chambers was Tony Blair. The couple married in 1980 and now have four children – the youngest Leo being the first child born to a serving Prime Minister for over a century. Through her professional work and her time at Downing Street, Cherie has become involved in the work of many charities with a strong bias towards those working with children and womenor based on Merseyside. Among the charities with which she is linked are Barnados, the Loomba Trust, Scope, Refuge, Breast Cancer Care and the Howard League for Penal Reform. She is also Chancellor Emeritus of Liverpool John Moores University,is an ambassador for London 2012 and a member of the UNICEF Global Task Forceon Water. In 2006, Cherie was given the Freedom of the City of London for her charity work. Cherie’s autobiography ‘Speaking for Myself’ was published in May 2008 and the US version in October of the same year. She also writes a column in the Times,which is published in Times 2 on occasional Fridays.

For more information see Cherie’s website www.cheriblair.org

Contact Information

For further informtion please contact
womenleaders@ungift.org or Yatta Dakowah: yatta.dakowah@unodc.org