One in three females will experience gender-based violence (GBV) in her lifetime. In the last year alone, brutal attacks against women included the horrific rape of a 23-year-old on a New Delhi bus, the shooting of an innocent schoolgirl in Pakistan, and the sexual assault of an unconscious high school student in Ohio. And these are only the examples that received public attention. Unfortunately, while GBV is one of the most common human rights abuses, these travesties often go unnoticed.
Fortunately, in the aftermath of the past year, the global movement to confront GBV has been invigorated. In March, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women made commitments to strengthen policies that protect women and implement services to prevent and respond to GBV. In addition, men and women across the world took to the streets to protest these acts of violence that received media attention. While these are steps in the right direction, more needs to be done to address GBV.
An accomplished panel of experts will create an actionable discussion on what it will take to end the cycle of violence. How can high-powered discussions evolve into on-the-ground solutions to GBV? How can we harness the energy and reaction to the violence in a more systematic way to support the growing global movement?
Senator Barbara Boxer
Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992, Senator Barbara Boxer is now preparing for a tough race against Republican challenger Carly Fiorina. Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the Senate Ethics Committee, Boxer is the only U.S. senator to chair two committees. She also serves on the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation as well as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Senator Boxer was a strong supporter of President Obama's 2009 economic stimulus plan and co-authored the bipartisan Invest in the U.S.A. Act, to encourage companies to bring overseas profits back to the United States to create jobs here. She wrote the first-ever law to authorize federal funding for afters-chool programs.
Jonathan Cohn is nationally-recognized journalist covering domestic policy and politics for The New Republic, with a particular emphasis on health care, social welfare, and labor. The author of Sick: The Untold Story of America’s Health Care Crisis—and the People Who Pay the Price, Cohn has been acknowledged as “one of the nation’s leading experts on health care policy” by the Washington Post and “one of the best health care writers out there” by the New York Times. He is a recipient of the Sidney Hillman and Harry Chapin media awards, and has been a finalist for Robert F. Kennedy and Helen Bernstein Book Awards, as well as the Livingston Award for Young Journalists. Presently a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, Cohn has also been a senior fellow with Demos, a media fellow with the Kaiser Family Foundation, and a Griffith Leadership fellow at the University of Michigan. Cohn grew up in South Florida, where he became a devoted fan of the Miami Dolphins, and graduated from Harvard University, where he became a devoted fan of the Boston Red Sox. But his biggest devotion is to his wife and two children, with whom he lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Cindy Dyer is Vice President of Human Rights for Vital Voices Global Partnership.
Dr. Helene Gayle
Helene D. Gayle is president and CEO of CARE USA. An expert on humanitarian issues, Gayle previously held senior positions with the Centers for Disease Control and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gayle serves on several boards, including those of the Rockefeller Foundation, Colgate-Palmolive, and the US Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, chaired the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, and currently serves on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.
Chris started his career in his Harvard dorm room where he co-founded Facebook along with roommates Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz. Obsessed with consumer technology from a young age, Hughes was responsible for user experience and product development for Facebook in the early years of the social web.
In 2007, he became Director of Online Organizing for Barack Obama's presidential campaign, creating a social network that empowered Obama supporters to create tens of thousands of grassroots groups and events, and to give over $500 million online. The average online donation was $80.
As Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The New Republic, Hughes is transitioning a nearly 100-year-old media company to the digital age, while holding onto its uncompromising focus on quality journalism about politics and culture. Integrated across mobile, tablet, web, and print, The New Republic is setting the standard for how mid-sized, traditional media brands can transition to the participatory web.
Hughes is also an independent investor in technology and media companies, a trustee of the Knight Foundation, and a board member of GiveDirectly. He has been named a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum and one of Forbes' 30 under 30 in the media category. Hughes graduated manga cum laude from Harvard in 2006 with a degree in History and Literature.
Neil Irvin is Men Can Stop Rape's new Executive Director. Irvin recently served as Senior Director of Programs, a position he held since 2008, following five years as Director of Community Education. He joined Men Can Stop Rape in 2001.
Neil Irvin is a highly committed and collaborative professional with over 25 years of youth development and leadership experience. Neil is the Executive Director of Men Can Stop Rape (MCSR), which seeks to mobilize men to use their strength for creating cultures free from violence, especially men’s violence against women. He is responsible for leading the organization’s national work, as well as cultivating strategic partnerships with state and federal agencies and private and corporate foundations; and overseeing all programs, which include the award-winning youth development program, training and technical assistance for youth-serving professionals, and Strength Media public awareness campaign.
Named one of the most promising “50 Strategies to Prevent Violent Domestic Crime” by the National Crime Prevention Council, the Men of Strength (MOST) Club, provides middle school and high school age males with a structured space to build individualized definitions of masculinity that promote healthy relationships. Since joining the organization in 2001, Neil has grown this program from one site in Washington, DC, to over 100 locations in ten states across the country. In 2007, he brought the MOST Club to every public high school in the District of Columbia, the largest city-wide effort of its kind in the country.
Well known throughout the country in the field of gender-based violence prevention, Neil currently serves on the Dept of Justice’s National Advisory Committee and is a member of the NoVo Foundation’s prestigious Move to End Violence initiative. He has also served as a consultant to The White House Commission on Violence Against Women and Girls, Boys and Girls Club, Ford Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Liz Claiborne Foundation. In addition, he is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health and has been a regular lecturer at American University, George Washington University, and Howard University.
Neil has a long history of working to enrich the lives of youth, especially young men. Having worked as a basketball coach, camp counselor, and director of after-school programs at the YMCA, he decided to dedicate his professional career to working with youth as it always felt “inspiring, energizing, and effortless.”
Carla Koppell is the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Chief Strategy Officer (CSO). In that role, she is creating, communicating and executing strategic initiatives across the Agency, focused particularly on improving Bureau strategic planning and management for results. As CSO, she is fostering Agency-wide coordination and enhancing internal communications, transparency and accountability. Koppell brings to the position twenty-five years of experience working in international affairs.
Prior to serving as CSO, Koppell served as USAID’s first Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment and a Senior Advisor to the USAID Administrator. In that role, she spearheaded a transformation in the approach of US development assistance to empowering and benefitting women and girls globally. Under her leadership, USAID developed a new Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy as well as specific Agency-wide strategies and plans for advancing the US National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security and the US Strategy for Preventing and Combatting Gender-based Violence Globally. Koppell served as USAID’s representative to the White House Council on Women and Girls and contributed to Government-wide efforts ensuring gender equality and women’s empowerment are core goals of US foreign policy.
Previously, Koppell directed The Institute for Inclusive Security and the Washington, DC office of Hunt Alternatives Fund where she strived to ensure that peace processes around the world involve women and civil society. During her tenure, Koppell worked extensively with leaders from volatile conflict zones around the world including Afghans, Colombians, Iraqis, Israelis, Liberian, Palestinians, South Sudanese, and Sudanese.
Earlier in her career, Koppell was senior adviser and, prior to that, interim director of the Conflict Prevention Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, where she authored “Preventing the Next Wave of Conflict: Understanding Non-Traditional Threats to Global Stability.” Koppell served as deputy assistant secretary for international affairs of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), helping steward bilateral relationships with South Africa, China, and Israel in addition to overseeing HUD contributions to Central America and the Caribbean reconstruction following Hurricanes Mitch and Georges. She also directed the USAID climate change program and, earlier in her career, worked for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Koppell received her M.A. in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and her B.S. from Cornell University.
Sujata Warrier, Ph.D., is the director of the New York City Program of the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence. She trains and provides technical assistance on domestic violence to professionals in health care, law enforcement, criminal and civil justice, and human and social services. Dr. Warrier also provides assistance on legislative and policy issues involving battered immigrant women. Additionally, she provides training and delivers keynote addresses, both nationally and internationally, on the issues of cultural competency, relativism, domestic violence, and violence against women. Recently, Dr. Warrier worked with Chemonics International and the Egyptian government to help develop a national strategy to address violence against women in Egypt. She also was part of the American Bar Association's Rule of Law Initiative to train lawyers to advocate for women's rights and to end violence against women in Bangladesh. Dr. Warrier continues to work in Manavi, a pioneering South Asian women's organization in New Jersey, and she serves on other boards and groups such as the Asian Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence and the National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women. Dr. Warrier is a faculty member for the National Judicial Institute of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. She has written and published numerous articles on violence against women in the international context, and has received many awards for her work including the Indian Chamber of Commerce Award for Women Achievers. She received her Ph.D. from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.