Meet the Speakers

New speakers are added every week. Check back at to see our lineup!

j bob alotta

J. Bob Alotta
Executive Director, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice

J. Bob Alotta is the Executive Director at the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, a global foundation based in NYC that provides critical resources to LGBTQI organizations and individuals around the world. Bob is a lifelong activist and an accomplished filmmaker with a track record of leading exponential organizational growth and capacity building through visionary management and fundraising. She builds strong partnerships with diverse communities, grantee partners, donors, institutional funders, and corporate stakeholders. Bob served for four years as Board Chair of FIERCE, a longtime Astraea grantee partner, helping to build the leadership and power of LGBTQ youth of color. On behalf of the FIERCE Board of Directors, Bob was awarded the Stonewall Foundation’s 2009 Alan Morrow Prize for Excellence in Board Leadership. Bob also served for six years as grant reviewer for Open Square Foundations’ Community Fellowship Program, and has consulted for Swarthmore College, Williams College, WITNESS, and the Prison Moratorium Project. Prior to joining Astraea, Bob served as Director of Digital Media and Content for Zeitbyte Digital Media and as Director of Digital Technology for Film at the Columbia University School of the Arts. Bob’s documentary and narrative films have aired on Democracy Now, GRITtv, and PBS, and have screened at festivals in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and the Middle East.
Leah Bannon

Leah Bannon
Co-Captain, Code for DC

Leah Bannon is a co-captain of Code for DC (Washington DC’s chapter of Code for America) and organizer of the Tech Lady Hackathons, a day for women who are experienced coders to total newbies to gather for civic hacking and training in a supportive environment. She started organizing the Tech Lady Hackathon to bring more women into the DC tech scene after attending far too many male dominated hackathons. Leah is also a product manager and civil servant at 18F, which builds effective, user-centric digital services focused on the interaction between government and the people and businesses it serves. She is on Twitter at @leahbannon.
carrie bishop

Carrie Bishop
Co-Founder, FutureGov

Carrie Bishop is a co-founder of FutureGov, a UK company that radically transforms public services through elegantly designed digital products. These include Patchwork, the app that connects front line professionals; and Casserole, a community meal-sharing network. She loves her job. She has a background in UK Local Government, having worked in city government running the organisational development function, helping implement terrible technology and slowly losing the will to live. Tired of telling social workers to fit in with poorly designed systems she joined her business partner, Dominic Campbell, in building FutureGov to create public services designed around the people that use them. FutureGov has recently received its first round of investment from NESTA, a UK social investor, and Surrey County Council, a UK local authority – the first to invest in a tech startup. The company is growing its suite of apps for social care, and expanding internationally, with products implemented in Australia as well as the UK. The company has also received wide press coverage from the BBC, Times, Telegraph, CNN, Mashable, Tech City News, and many more.
laine campbell

Laine Campbell
Founder & CEO, Blackbird

Laine Campbell is the CEO and Co-Founder of Blackbird, an IT Service Delivery organization and open-source evangelizer. She is also out and a vocal queer identified butch, and transgendered woman. She has led her organization for 7 years, while partnering companies as diverse as Activision, Pinterest, Zendesk, Obama for America, Adobe and Disney and will be sharing her own experiences throughout her business trajectory and entertaining questions during this informal conversation at lunch.
nevin caples

Nevin Caple
Co-Founder, Br{ache the Silence Campaign

Nevin Caple is a diversity consultant who co-founded Br{ache the Silence Campaign with Colleen McCaffrey in 2011. BTS Campaign is a non-profit organization which leverages technology to address homophobia in women’s sports. Nevin consults college and professional athletes, coaches, administrators and staff to help create more inclusive communities. She sits on the Wade Trophy Committee for women’s college basketball as the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) representative. Nevin was honored at The White House for LGBT Emerging Leaders and is a founding member of the Nike LGBT Sports Coalition. She works closely with National Center for Lesbian Rights and the NCAA Office of Diversity & Inclusion. Nevin is a lecturer on LGBT Issues in Sport at the Wharton Sports Business Academy and resides in New York City.
rea carey

Rea Carey
Executive Director, The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force

Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, is one of the most prominent leaders in the U.S. lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights movement. Through her leadership, Carey has advanced a vision of fairness and justice for LGBT people and their families that is broad, inclusive and unabashedly progressive. Some of the Task Force’s successes during Carey’s tenure have include being a key player in passage of the LGBT-inclusive federal hate crimes prevention law; the defeat of multiple anti-LGBT ballot measures across the country; the creation and implementation of the New Beginning Initiative coalition, which secures federal administrative policy changes to improve the lives of LGBT people and their families; the release of the largest-ever study on transgender discrimination in the U.S.; leading the LGBT movement to prioritize immigration reform; and winning marriage equality at the ballot box in multiple states. Under her guidance, the Task Force has also launched an Online Academy bolstering grassroots power by providing electronic access to its signature training programs; expanded its faith work through the Institute for Welcoming Resources, increasing the number of welcoming and affirming congregations to well over 4,000; and playing a vital role in getting the U.S. Census Bureau to report married same-sex couples in the 2010 Census.
dorie clark

Dorie Clark
Author, “Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future”

Dorie Clark is the author of “Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future” (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013). A former presidential campaign spokeswoman, she is also a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Entrepreneur. Recognized as a “branding expert” by the Associated Press and Fortune, Clark is a marketing strategy consultant and speaker for clients including Google, Microsoft, Yale University, Fidelity, and the World Bank. She is an Adjunct Professor of Business Administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and has guest lectured at Harvard Business School, the Harvard Kennedy School, Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, the Wharton School, the MIT Sloan School of Management, and more. She is a frequent guest on MSNBC and appears in worldwide media including NPR, the Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. Learn more at or follow her on Twitter @dorieclark.
jordan crook

Jordan Crook
Writer, TechCrunch

Jordan Crook is a writer/reporter based out of Brooklyn, NY. She writes about things teens like. She snaps innocent selfies and vines nudes. She has written for publications such as Mobile Marketer and MobileBurn, and graduated with a degree in English Literature from New York University. She is now a writer at TechCrunch.


dominique deguzman

Dominique DeGuzman
Software Engineer, Twilio

Dominique DeGuzman recently made the switch from a background in enterprise level hardware support to developing software at Twilio in San Francisco. Within software she focuses on infrastructure and monitoring but outside of software, Dom’s passions include focusing on encouraging more women to pursue interest in STEM and improving diversity and inclusion within engineering departments.
Prior to her technical career, Dom created her own major at San Francisco State University focused on heteronormativity in mainstream media. She can be found on twitter: @itshella_dom.
Sarah Kate Ellis Glaad

Sarah Kate Ellis
CEO & President, GLAAD

Sarah Kate Ellis became the CEO and President of GLAAD on January 1, 2014. An award-winning media executive and outspoken advocate for LGBT equality, Sarah Kate has led national media brands to their biggest successes, most notably growing Real Simple into one of Time Inc.’s most respected and successful magazines. Her vision has transformed and energized leading media outlets including Vogue, InStyle, New York, and House & Garden.
As co-chair of OUT at Time Inc., she led programming to spotlight the diversity of the LGBT community and educated the organization’s straight allies on a wide range of LGBT issues. She is a member of Advertising Women of New York, Cosmetic Executive Women, and the Magazine Publishers of America. In 2011, Ellis co-authored a memoir with her wife, Kristen Ellis-Henderson, titled “Times Two, Two Women in Love and the Happy Family They Made,” released by Simon & Schuster. The autobiography chronicled their simultaneous pregnancies and road to motherhood. The two are outspoken advocates for LGBT equality and were featured on the groundbreaking “Gay Marriage Already Won” cover of Time Magazine. They were also profiled in a special New York Times Style section devoted to marriage equality on the day it became legal in New York State and were the subjects of The Huffington Post’s three part documentary web series titled “Here Come The Brides.” They were named one of GO Magazine’s Most Captivating Couples of 2012 and are the proud mothers of two children. The couple held the first same-sex marriage ceremony performed in the Episcopal Church of New York State. Most recently, she served as Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at Martini Media, a digital firm specializing in online branding, public relations and marketing. She has earned seven MIN Awards for marketing innovation, two President’s Awards, and MIN’s Sales Executive Team of the Year award in 2012.
maureen erokwu

Maureen Erokwu
CEO, Vosmap

Maureen Erokwu is an award-winning photographer and entrepreneur whose work has been featured in People Magazine, Time Warner, and Glaad. Selected by Google to join its Business mapping initiative, she was the first in New York to achieve Google’s Top Performance Recognition for her efforts in expanding StreetView for Business. A winner of the Bronx Women’s Business Resource Center’s Capital One Business Plan Competition, this she-preneur is empowering companies in New York to stand out online by offering customers an immersive, interactive and 360-degree virtual tour of their businesses using Google’s Street View technology. Currently Based in New York, Maureen is actively recruiting new team members who are passionate, driven, and self-motivated leaders to join the Vosmap Team. To learn about our current opportunities,
Robyn Exton

Robyn Exton

Robyn Exton is the 27 year old founder of Dattch, the UK based lesbian dating app. After a career in brand consultancy where she worked with the UK’s largest dating business, she decided to quit her job and set up the female only dating app. Dattch has been designed, from the wireframes up, exclusively for women after Exton realised that most dating products had been designed around a male user experience, the behaviours and triggers that men look for. Dattch is optimised for what women are looking for; profiles that are created like Pinterest, validated profiles to filter out the fake male accounts before they can join and matches made with female orientated games like Would You Rather. As well as the app, Dattch runs a blog with great lifestyle content for young, single women, from posts like HousePorn to date recommendations.
kathryn finney

Kathryn Finney
Managing Director
Digital Undivided

Kathryn Finney is the founder and Managing Director of digitalundivided (DID), a social enterprise that develops programs that increase the participation of urban communities, especially women, in the digital space. DID’s programs have reached over 4 million people. In 2013, Kathryn received the Champions of Change Award from The White House for her working in increasing inclusiveness in tech. An honors graduate of Yale and Rutgers Universities, Kathryn is an expert in building women-centered online properties and is a frequent speaker at venues as diverse as The White House and South by Southwest (SXSW) and was named one of AOL’s Top Women in Money and Black Enterprise’s “40 Stars Under 40″.
white square

Andrea Hackl
Research Fellow, LGBT Tech Partnership & Institute

Andrea Hackl is a Research Fellow with the LGBT Technology Partnership and a first year doctoral student with the School of Communication at American University. Her research focuses on digitally enabled LGBT activism and how questions of Internet governance impact minority populations like the LGBT community. Currently, Andrea is conducting research on the global censorship of LGBT-related content. In the past, Andrea has also gained experience in the non-profit world, working for the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin and Equality California in San Francisco.
sarah hodkinson

Sarah Hodkinson
Director of Marketing & Sales Strategy, Paypal

In her role as Director of Marketing for PayPal Media Network, Sarah oversees marketing programs and the go-to-market strategy for PayPal’s demand generation solutions for large enterprise merchants. She also plays a key role in evangelizing multi-channel media services across the broader PayPal organization and is a sought after speaker on topics such as location based mobile ad tech and mobile commerce. Prior to the acquisition of mobile start-up, WHERE, by PayPal, Sarah managed strategic partnerships, working with Constant Contact, AT&T and RIM. Sarah has 17 years of senior marketing and sales management experience, primarily within the media and tech industries. Originally from the UK, Sarah graduated from Lancaster University with a BA Honors in 1996, and later that year, qualified for MENSA membership. Sarah serves on the board of directors for (fostering growth for the LGBT entrepreneurship community), is a mentor for start-ups at the PayPal Boston office incubator, the Start Tank, and is an active angel investor. Follow Sarah on Twitter @sarahjhodkinson
kate kendall

Kate Kendall

Kate Kendall is the co-founder and CEO of CloudPeeps – a newly-launched marketplace that connects businesses with remote community managers. Kate also founded The Fetch – a guide where professionals share and discover what’s happening in their city. Created in Melbourne in mid-2011, The Fetch is now in 10 cities around the globe and growing with applications to curate new regions received weekly. Kate was born in England, moved to Australia aged 10 and now lives in New York. Before following her entrepreneurial drive, she started out as a business journalist and editor. She was also digital director of a niche magazine publishing company looking after development, product and growth. She’s held other roles in media, travel and startup companies, and regularly helps businesses understand the role of community (management, building, outreach and strategy) through her Skillshare and General Assembly classes. She also recently helped Stripe launch in Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Science from The University of Melbourne in biotechnology and microbiology, and Masters of Business (Marketing) at RMIT University with a thesis on social media strategy. She is a blue-tick verified Twitter user.
Sally Kohn

Sally Kohn
Contributor, Activist, Pundit, CNN

Sally Kohn is one of the leading progressive voices in America. She is currently a CNN contributor and columnist for the Daily Beast. Sally was previously a Fox News contributor, the motivation for her widely-seen TED talk, as well as a regular guest on MSNBC. Sally’s writing has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Magazine, More Magazine, Reuters, USA Today, Salon, Politico, Time and many other outlets. Her work has been highlighted by outlets from the New York Times to the Colbert Report to the National Review, and Sally is ranked by Mediaite as one of the top 100 most influential television pundits in America. Previously, Sally was Senior Campaign Strategist with the Center for Community Change. Before that, Sally held a program fellowship at the Ford Foundation, helping to manage more than $15 million in annual grants to social justice organizations nationwide. She was also strategic advisor to the Social Justice Infrastructure Funders, a private network of 25 top program staff from some of the nation’s most prominent foundations. Before that, Sally served as Executive Director of the Third Wave Foundation, the leading young women’s organization in the country. She was also a distinguished Vaid Fellow at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute, where she published a groundbreaking guidebook for organizing campaigns to win domestic partnership benefits. Sally received a joint degree in law and public administration from New York University and was a Root Tilden public service scholar at the New York University School of Law. She received her undergraduate degree from George Washington University in D.C. Originally from Allentown, Pennsylvania, Sally now resides in Brooklyn, New York, with her partner Sarah Hansen and their daughter Willa.
caren maio

Caren Maio
CEO & Co-Founder, Nestio

Caren Maio is the CEO and Co-Founder of Nestio, NYC’s most accurate listings database for management companies and brokers. Prior to Nestio, Caren lent her business expertise to corporate sales positions at powerhouse brands Nike and The Wall Street Journal. Caren graduated from New York University with a degree in Brand Building. Caren is coming up on her 12th year living in NYC and currently renting her 750th apartment. Okay, not really, but she’s moved a lot.


vivienne ming

Dr. Vivienne Ming
Chief Scientist, Gild

Dr. Vivienne Ming, named one of 10 Women to Watch in Tech in 2013 by Inc. Magazine, is a theoretical neuroscientist, technologist and entrepreneur. She is chief scientist at Gild, an innovative startup that applies machine learning to predict optimal candidates for technology jobs, and to bring meritocracy to job markets. She joined Gild in 2012 to oversee R&D and IP development, solving problems in data mining, text analysis, cognitive modeling and algorithm development. Dr. Ming also co-founded her own cutting-edge startup, Socos, which applies cognitive modeling to create adaptive, personalized educational technology. She is also a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience pursuing her research in neuroprosthetics. In her free time, Dr. Ming also explores augmented cognition using technology like Google Glass and has been developing a predictive model of diabetes to better manage blood glucose levels. She sits on the board of Our Family Coalition supporting LBGT families and speaks on issues of LGBT inclusion and gender in technology. She lives in Berkeley with her wife and their two children. Previously, she was a junior fellow at Standford’s Mind, Brain & Computation Center and earned her Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon. Her work and research has received extensive media attention including the New York Times, NPR, Nature, O Magazine, Forbes, and The Atlantic.
Aisha Moodie-Mills

Aisha Moodie-Mills
Senior Fellow and Director, FIRE Initiative; Center for American Progress

Aisha C. Moodie-Mills is a Senior Fellow and Director of the FIRE Initiative at the Center for American Progress, where her work explores the intersections of race, class, and sexuality. She is also the host of “Politini,” a weekly politics and pop culture show on BLIS.FM. She has been recognized as one of the top “Forty Under 40” national LGBT leaders by The Advocate and one of The Root’s 100 emerging and established leaders in the African American community. Aisha’s work and publications have been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Atlantic, Black Enterprise, The Washington Post, Essence, Politico, Ebony, The Huffington Post, and Uptown Magazine, and she also appears regularly as a political commentator on MSNBC. She made numerous headlines as a key strategist and spokesperson for the campaign that brought marriage equality to the District of Columbia, where she and her wife, Danielle, were among the first same-sex couples to receive a marriage license. Their wedding was also the first lesbian wedding featured by Essence magazine online. Throughout her career, Aisha has served as a political advisor, private-sector liaison, and fundraiser to more than 50 members of Congress, including six senators and the Congressional Black Caucus. Prior to her work at American Progress, she was the president of Synergy Strategy Group, a boutique fundraising and political consulting firm where she raised millions of dollars for progressive candidates and advocacy organizations while helping amplify their voice in the public policy arena and expand their political reach. Aisha began her career in education policy and nonprofit management at the Center for Education Reform. She holds two degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park: a master of business administration from the Robert H. Smith School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
danielle moodie-mills

Danielle Moodie-Mills
Creator, Politini

Danielle Moodie-Mills is the Creator of Politini, a weekly politics and pop culture talk show that she writes, executive produces, and co-hosts with her wife Aisha. Also an educator, advocate and government affairs specialist, Danielle serves as a Advisor to the FIRE Initiative at the Center for American Progress. From the classroom to Capitol Hill she’s spent her career promoting social justice. She was previously the lead education lobbyist for the National Wildlife Federation, and served as an aide to Mayor Michael Bloomberg (NYC) and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (NY-11). She is the Editor-in-Chief of the blog, Living Loving & Laboring OUT Loud, or threeLOL, and her writings are frequently published in The Atlantic, Essence, andHuffington Post. She serves on the Board of SMYAL.
Samhita Mukhopadhyay

Samhita Mukhopadhyay
Former Executive Editor,

Samhita Mukhopadhyay is a writer, speaker and technologist from NY. She is a Senior Strategist at Purpose where she builds and executes digital strategies for organizations including the ACLU and the SEIU. She is the former Executive Editor of the popular website and author of Outdated: Why Dating is Ruining Your Love Life. She has written for multiple outlets including GOOD Magazine, The Nation, The American Prospect, Alternet and the Guardian UK. She has been profiled in The Globe and Mail, The Rumpus, Salon, India Currents Magazine, Nirali Magazine, Brown Girl Magazine, and on Alternet. Mukhopadhyay regularly lectures at colleges and universities and at conferences about race, politics, technology, sexuality and feminism.


holley murchison

Holley Murchison
Founder, Oratory Glory

Holley Murchison is a social entrepreneur and rhetoric coach from New York City. Operating between the Big Apple and the San Francisco Bay Area, her work is centered around creating innovative, sustainable solutions to advance education, help the world communicate better and take (big and small) leaps toward championing and executing their ideas. She’s coached at companies including Spotify, Klout, and the Startup Institute and has spoken at events for the Harvard Graduate School of Education, CreativeMornings, and the New York Daily News. Outside of coaching, she manages operations as founding partner of The Hall Pass Tour; a concert and events company helping underserved youth leverage higher learning to pursue their dreams.
leah headshot for lwt

Leah Neaderthal
Chief Operating Officer, Lesbians Who Tech

Leah is a marketing guru who’s obsessed with helping social good organizations do better, through great design and smart technology. In addition to the Chief Operating Officer of Lesbians Who Tech, Leah is also a co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Start Somewhere, a digital agency working with social good organizations. Prior to founding Start Somewhere, Leah spent ten years in marketing for some of the worlds’ biggest advertising agencies, a startup PR firm, and a tech startup. From Business Development at DDB and Leo Burnett, to PR firm LaunchSquad, to tech startup SAVO, Leah has done just about everything in the online and offline marketing world. In addition to her work with Start Somewhere, Leah is the Co-Founder of Lean Impact, an organization applying Lean principles to nonprofits and social enterprises. An avid cyclist, Leah founded The Chainlink, the online community for Chicago cycling, which she sold to her business partner in 2011. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.


natalia oberti noguera lesbians who tech

Natalia Oberti Noguera
Founder & CEO
Pipeline Fellowship

Dubbed “The Coach” by Marie Claire, Natalia (aka Ms. Oberti Noguera) is Founder and CEO of Pipeline Fellowship, an angel investing bootcamp for women that’s changing the face of angel investing and creating capital for women social entrepreneurs. Natalia has been featured in Bloomberg Businessweek, Mashable, Reuters Money, TechCrunch, The New York Times, and Fast Company’s Co.Exist Change Generation series. She was named to the Forbes list “Top 20 Women for Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter,” as well as’s “25 Latinas Who Shine in Tech.” Women’s eNews recognized her as one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century for 2012 and Business Insider included her on its 2013 list “The 30 Most Important Women in Tech under 30.” Natalia holds a BA in Comparative Literature & Economics from Yale. You can find her on Twitter (@nakisnakis).
katherine ortiz

Katherine Ortiz
Fellow, Code for Progress

Katherine is a fellow in the 2014 class of Code for Progress, a national non-profit based in Washington DC that trains social-justice activists, from communities underrepresented in tech, how to code. Before moving to Washington DC, Katherine lived and worked in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, where she worked with the Red Hook Initiative as a Digital Steward, a project of the Open Technology Institute creating a wireless mesh network in her community. After Code for Progress, she plans to bring her new coding skills back to Red Hook to work on low-income housing advocacy.
sarah pappalardo

Sarah Pappalardo
Digital Strategist, Co-Founder of Reductress

Sarah is a digital strategist and co-founder of Reductress, the one and only satirical women’s magazine. With over 10 years experience in comedy writing, UX design and digital strategy, Sarah worked as an interactive producer and consultant before launching Reductress with partner Beth Newell. Reductress has been featured in Newsweek, Bust, Slate, Refinery29, and Forbes’ Top 100 Websites for Women. Sarah is also a playwright and performer who is active in the queer and comedy communities in New York.

Leanne Pittsford
Lesbians Who Tech

Leanne Pittsford is an entrepreneur, technology strategist, UX designer, and tech investor. As the Founder and CEO of digital agency Start Somewhere, she helps nonprofits and social enterprises use technology to look great online and build better relationships with donors. Before beginning Start Somewhere, Leanne spearheaded database design and management, and led operations for Equality California, the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender nonprofit organization in the U.S. Leanne was the co-founder of the Lesbian Entrepreneur Mentoring Program, and she’s leading one of Start Somewhere’s new ventures, a community called Lean Impact: a community helping nonprofits and social enterprises using Lean Startup principles for social good. Leanne is an investor in two tech startups, and she’s a self-proclaimed foodie who is equally passionate about coffee, bikram yoga and photography, and considers San Francisco, California home regardless of her current IP address.
aliya rahman

Aliya Rahman
Program Director, Code for Progress

Aliya Rahman is Program Director at Code for Progress, a nonprofit that teaches full stack app development to social justice activists and organizers from communities underrepresented in tech. Her work is informed by a background in legislative, electoral, and community organizing for racial and economic justice campaigns, and by a former life teaching and conducting curriculum research in higher education. Aliya is the former Field Director of Equality Ohio, where she built a statewide field program focused on bridging gaps between LGBT rights, racial justice, and labor organizers. Prior to that, she worked for the Center for Community Change, first as their Ohio organizer in the passage of employment legislation supporting formerly incarcerated people, and later as a national circuit rider working with immigrant rights groups on voter engagement. Aliya has developed Django applications, conducted tech trainings, or performed data analysis and targeting for every campaign, nonprofit, and university she has ever worked for – despite none of those tasks explicitly appearing on her job descriptions. Now based in Washington, DC, she is thoroughly enjoying life as a non-accidental techie, and is grateful to be part of an active of people who believe tech has a pivotal role to play in creating social change.
cathy renna

Cathy Renna
Senior Vice President, Target Cue

Cathy is a Senior Vice President at Target Cue, working with diversity marketing pioneer Howard Buford and managing the public relations and communications facets of the business. Prior to that, she was a founder of Renna Communications. Cathy is nationally recognized as both a media relations and communications expert and a leader within the LGBT community. In the 1990′s through 2003, she was a major force behind the success and growth of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). She lives in Middle Village, NY.
geena rocero genderproud

Geena Rocero

Born in a little alley in Manila, Philippines, Geena always had big dreams. Growing up, she knew that she was different from her childhood friends. At a young age, she told her mom that her gender assignment at birth was different. Via a random encounter during a town fiesta at the age of fifteen, a pageant manager approached her to join a beauty contest. This opportunity led her to the world of TransWomen Beauty Pageant in the Philippines. As a young teenager, she then became one of the most prominent figures in the Trans Beauty Pageant world.
Geena emigrated to San Francisco in 2001. In 2005, she moved to New York City to pursue a career in modeling and worked with Rimmel Cosmetics, Hanes, and many other fashion/beauty companies. Through her own experience into womanhood and working as a professional model, she realized her bigger purpose in life was to share her journey and work towards justice and beauty in the transgender community. In March 2014, Geena shared her journey into womanhood and came out as transgender at TED Conference. She also launched Gender Proud, an advocacy and awareness campaign advocating for a Global Gender Recognition Policy that would allow Transgender and gender variant people to change name and gender marker on legal documents without being force to go through surgeries, force sterilization and other de-humanizing barriers. Right now, only a handful of countries allow you to do that.
hilary rosen

Hilary Rosen
Managing Director, SKDKnickerbocker & CNN Analyst

Hilary B. Rosen is a well-known Washington, DC strategist who effectively navigates the intersection of communications, media, and politics. Rosen joined SKDKnickerbocker in 2010 and specializes in the firm’s strategic communications and public relations practice. Prior to joining SKDKnickerbocker, Rosen was the Managing Director of Brunswick Group’s Washington, DC office. Rosen is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the trade group representing the U.S. sound recording industry, where she served for 17 years before retiring in June 2003. Her experience in political communications and leading high profile issue campaigns has made Rosen a proven expert in shaping the public debate. From Fortune 500 companies to national non-profit organizations, from elected officials to the newsroom, Rosen is one of the most sought after advisors in Washington, DC. In today’s ever-changing media environment, Rosen understands the impact of online communications. She has consulted for social networks, media outlets, technology companies, and entertainment sites. Rosen was formerly a Political Director for the Huffington Post and an on-air commentator for CNBC and MSNBC. She is currently an on-air political contributor at CNN. Rosen was profiled in Pennsylvania Avenue, Profiles in Backroom Power by John Harwood and Gerald Seib. In addition, her articles on business, politics, and media appear on, The, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Wired Magazine, Billboard, and Variety. Her name has appeared regularly on influential year-end power lists including Entertainment Weekly’s “Annual Power List,” The Hollywood Reporter’s “Power 50 Women,” and National Journal’s “Washington’s Powerful Insiders.” She was named as one of “10 Ladies who Launch Entertainment Trends” by the New York Post. Earlier in her career, Rosen worked for New Jersey Governor Brendan Byrne and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
cloe sasha

Cloe Shasha
Associate Programs Producer, TED

Cloe Shasha is the Associate Programs Producer at TED Conferences, LLC, where she does speaker research, community management, and experience production. She grew up in New York City and Paris, and graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont with a degree in cognitive psychology. She continues to work with the admissions department to interview applicants. Cloe has been a logo and web designer, a metacognition researcher, a solar engineering document translator from English to French at the Barefoot College in India, a plant biology lab fellow in Chile, an industrial design researcher for Ross Lovegrove in England, a commissioned child portrait painter, an illustrator for a Scientific American puzzle column, and a news journalist for ABC News and small print newspapers. She founded and organized the first TEDxMiddlebury and cofounded a startup incubator called Global Leadership Lab. In 2012, she helped launch an accelerator program called The Bold Academy. Cloe is a drummer for Batala, an all women’s Afro-Brazilian samba reggae band in New York City. She speaks English, French, Spanish, and is conversational in German. She is a Sandbox Network fellow and is on an adventure to learn user experience design. On Twitter: @cloe_shasha.
Reshma Saujani

Reshma Saujani
Founder & CEO, Girls Who Code

Reshma Saujani is the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and prepare young women for jobs of the future. In her groundbreaking new book, “Women Who Don’t Wait in Line,” Reshma advocates for a new model of female leadership focused on embracing risk and failure, promoting mentorship and sponsorship, and boldly charting your own course — personally and professionally. After years of working as an attorney and supporting the Democratic party as an activist and fundraiser, Reshma left her private sector career behind and surged onto the political scene as the first Indian American woman in the country to run for US Congress. Following the highly publicized race, Reshma stayed true to her passion for public service, becoming Deputy Public Advocate of New York City and most recently running a spirited campaign for Public Advocate on a platform of creating educational and economic opportunities for women and girls, immigrants, and those who have been sidelined in the political process. A true political entrepreneur, Reshma has been fearless in her efforts to disrupt both politics and technology to create positive change. Reshma is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Yale Law School. She has recently been named one of Forbes’ Most Powerful Women Changing the World, Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People, Ad Age’s Creativity 50, Business Insider’s 50 Women Who Are Changing the World, City & State’s Rising Stars, and an AOL/PBS Next MAKER.
kat skiles

Kat Skiles
VP of Communications & Marketing, NGP VAN

Kat Skiles is NGP VAN’s Vice President of Communications and Marketing. Kat began her career on Capitol Hill in 2006, where she most recently served as Press Secretary & Director of Online Strategy for the Democratic Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives. At each point in her career, Kat has utilized her creativity and expertise to strengthen the brand and message of the elected officials and Democratic organizations for whom she was employed. Her work for the House Democratic Caucus includes the development of both online and offline strategy guidance for Members of Congress and their staffs. Though her career on Capitol Hill is extensive, she is no stranger to progressive politics, having served the campaigns of Congressman Henry Waxman and Congresswoman Jackie Speier, as well as the podium script staff at the Democratic National Convention. Kat has also been recognized as Washington City Paper’s Best Gay Activist and the Washington Blade’s Best LGBT Hill Staffer. A fifth-generation Utahn, Kat’s heart remains Salt Lake City which she still calls home. Her self-described strengths include relocating lost bugs, taking it to the hoop and triple letter word scores.
rachel sklar

Rachel Sklar
Co-Founder, Change The Ratio

Rachel Sklar is a writer and entrepreneur based in New York. She is the co-founder of Change The Ratio, which increases visibility and opportunity for women in tech & new media, and, a network & media platform for awesome women. A former lawyer who writes about media, politics, culture & technology, she was a founding editor at Mediaite and the Huffington Post. She has written widely for publications including New York Times, Newsweek/Daily Beast, Politico, Mashable, Medium, Mother Jones, Glamour, Elle, Marie Claire and co-created and hosted the first Daily Beast video interview show. She is the author of A Stroke of Luck: Life, Crisis and Rebirth of a Stroke Survivor (1998) and has contributed to several anthologies, including’s The 10 Habits of Highly Successful Women (2014), My Parents Were Awesome (2011), This Is Why You’re Fat (2009) and Camp Camp: Where Fantasy Island Meets Lord of the Flies (2007). Rachel speaks widely at conferences, events and on TV, and is the co-host of “The Salon” on The Jewish Channel (check local listings!). She is an advisor to several startups, including Vox Media, The Daily Muse,, DonorsChoose, and She’s The First. She is also a proud member of the Reboot, TED & Summit communities and of the Lean In launch team. Rachel’s other initiatives include founding Charitini, a social enterprise to facilitate group giving around events, and CTRComedy – an all-women comedy initiative which quadrupled the number of women performing comedy at SXSW in 2011 and 2012. Rachel was named to the Silicon Alley 100 in 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2013, FastCompany’s “League of Extraordinary Women,” Forbes’ “Women Changing The World,” JWA’s “Making Trouble, Making History” award, Marie Claire’s “New Guard” and has earned numerous awards for her writing, including multiple Mirror Award nominations and two People’s Choice Mirror awards. In 2014, the #changetheratio hashtag was named one of Forbes’ Viral Hits for Empowering Women & Girls. Follow her on Twitter at @rachelsklar, and sing showtunes with her anytime.
sonali sridhar

Sonali Sridhar
Co-Founder, Hacker School

Sonali is the cofounder of a New York-based startup, Hacker School, a three-month retreat for programmers. Hacker School has gained worldwide attention for providing a hospitable, immersive, and diverse environment for learning, and its participants are currently 40% female, 15% LGBTQ, and 30% international. Over the past ten years, Sonali has worked on several hardware and software projects. Her past work includes interaction and user experience design for sites like Charlie Rose, Panasonic, and Nike. She also spent two years with OpenPlans, an open source organization, building mapping tools for the Department of Transportation of New York City and the bike advocacy network, Transportation Alternatives. Sonali was the recipient of the Art Matters grant for a wearable technology piece called “Odhni,” a garment worn by South Asian women when they go on long walks to gather water, which gathers energy through solar panels and a battery pack. She has also served on the board of directors for the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (SAWCC), an NYC-based arts nonprofit. Sonali received her Bachelors in Fine Art from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), followed by a Masters in Professional Studies from the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU. She is interested in designing interactions and environments that are immersive, playful, and ubiquitous and that explore the connectivity and psychology of learning.
sara sperling

Sara Sperling
Diversity & Inclusion

Sara Sperling built the diversity & inclusion program for Facebook. She currently focuses on creating a work environment where people can be their authentic selves. Prior to Facebook, she was a Senior Learning & Development Program Manager at Yahoo. She has held teaching positions at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, SCU Leavey School of Business, and Foothill College. Sara holds a MA from Stanford University, an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a Bachelor’s in Applied Mathematics and Economics from UC Irvine. She was recently recognized in BusinessInsider “13 Secret Rock Stars of Silicon Valley” and was on the cover of Diversity Executive Magazine. She was also published in Secret Sisters: Stories of Being Lesbian and Bisexual in a College Sorority and It Gets Better:Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living. Sara is on the National Advisory Board for the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
glennda testone

Glennda Testone
Executive Director, New York City Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

Glennda Testone joined NYC’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center as its first female Executive Director in 2009. Since then, she has strengthened The Center’s programs to ensure that LGBT New Yorkers have the opportunity to live happy, healthy lives. In 2013, Testone helped launch a new Center brand, celebrated 30 years of service by the organization and embarked on a $9M capital building renovation.
Testone came to The Center from The Women’s Media Center (WMC), where she served as the Vice President. Prior to the WMC, Testone was the Senior Director of Media Programs at GLAAD.
Testone has appeared on CNN, FOX News and MSNBC, and has been quoted in outlets including The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Time Out and W Magazine. In 2005, Testone won Syracuse University’s LGBT Foundation Award for Outstanding Alumni. She served on the NYC Commission on LGBTQ Runaway and Homeless Youth and was a Tenenbaum Leadership Institute Fellow at Milano, the New School for Management & Urban Policy.
Originally from Syracuse, New York, Testone has a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and Philosophy from Syracuse University and a Master’s degree in Women’s Studies from The Ohio State University.
shannon turner

Shannon Turner
Founder, HearMeCode

Shannon Turner is a software developer and founder of Hear Me Code, offering free beginner-friendly coding classes for women, by women, in the DC area. In addition to teaching Python, SQL, and how to get started with APIs, she also serves as a mentor with Code for Progress. In her spare time she creates games to help people discover, learn about, and share art from museums around the world; a site to figure out whether your movie passes the Bechdel test — and to suggest another movie if it doesn’t; and — exposing who gives money to misogynist, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, and transphobic politicians; among other projects. She can be found on Twitter at @svt827.
chris wood

Chris Wood
Executive Director, LGBT Technology Partnership & Institute

Chris serves as the Executive Director and co-founder of the LGBT Technology Partnership & Institute. The organization brings together cutting edge tech companies, nonprofit organizations, policy makers, scholars and innovators to improve access, increase inclusion, ensure safety and empower entrepreneurship for LGBT communities around technology. In addition, the organization conducts groundbreaking research at the intersection of LGBT communities and technology and creates resources, tools, and programs to support LGBT communities. Chris’s passion for technology and the solutions it provides has been woven throughout his career in broadcast television marketing, print marketing, non-profit strategic partnerships and non-profit management. Chris has launched several businesses, opening his first at 21. Although Chris’s drive has followed him since running a JROTC battalion in high school, he faced a life altering event in 2010 that would kick it into overdrive. Chris entered the lobby of his employer to find himself staring down the barrel of a gun in the hands of a derange suicide bomber. In what the FBI would later determine is the first time a suicide bomber has taken hostages in the United States. Chris contemplated his life while crafting an escape plan. After 4 hours standing feet from a man strapped with pipe bombs, Chris initiated his plan freeing the other two hostages and himself. That experience lead Chris to realize that life is short and we all have it in ourselves to change the world and make a difference.

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