2018 Forum to Advance Women’s Leadership in the International Development Sector

The first-ever 2018 Forum to Advance Women’s Leadership in the International Sector motivated, challenged and connected 230 leaders from across our industry. A memorable day that is inspiring important conversation and action at the individual, organization and sector levels. Read on to learn more about the 50 speakers, 250 attendees, and 12 sponsors.


2018 Agenda

8:30 - 9:00

Coffee and Networking

9:00 - 9:15am

Kick-off: Women, Courage and Power  
Fiona Macaulay, Founder & CEO, WILD Network

9:15  - 10:00am  

Key-Note: How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion or Job
Speaker: Sally Helgesen, Award-winning researcher and author

10:00 - 10:30am: 

Stretch Break  

10:30 - 11:15am

At the Forefront: Women and Leadership in the International Development Sector

  • Louise Fox, Chief Economist, USAID

  • Tessie San Martin, President and CEO, Plan International USA

  • Maha Yassine, Senior Program Coordinator, Human Rights, Vital Voices Global Partnership

  • Sanola A. Daley, Private Sector Gender Specialist

  • Moderator: Megan Gilgin, Deputy Chief of Staff, UNICEF

11:15 - 11:45am

Developing a Company-Wide Culture of Coaching Across a Global NGO

  • Asheesh Advani, CEO, Junior Achievement Worldwide

  • Erin Sawyer, Vice President, Junior Achievement Worldwide

  • Ben Olds, Executive Leadership Coach, Haven Human Asset Venture

11:45 - 12:05pm

Break - Transition to Roundtables

12:05 - 12:45pm

Peer-Peer Learning Roundtables - Join a topic of your choosing  

  • Challenges and Triumphs of the Women Chief of Party (COP) - Nora Brown & Catherine Johnston, DAI

  • Male Allies and Their Role to Close the "Leaky Pipeline" - Ellen Yount, MSI; Apta Garg, Promundo-US

  • Out of the Shadows: Creating Space for Black Women Leaders to Thrive - Nana Apenem Dagadu, Save the Children; Hassanatu Blake, Focal Point Global; Tambra Raye Stevenson, WANDA; Abigail Bokoye, World Vision

  • Make Being a Working Mom Work For You - Mimi Darmstadter, Metropolitan Area Working Mother’s Alliance & Francesca Molinaro, Chemonics

  • Field Office or Home Office? Navigating Pathways to Leadership - Anna Slother & Terri Kristalsky, Chemonics

  • Banking on Women's Leadership: Fostering Leadership Among Global Partners in the Financial Inclusion Space - Xochitl Sanchez, ACTION, Women Advancing Microfinance (WAM), DC Chapter

  • Networks and Networking - Liz Whitehead, 12pointFive

  • Navigating the Rapids: Women Leaders in Multi-Cultural Environments - Lisa Tarantino, Abt Associates

  • Woman in a Man’s World: the Impact of Social Norms on Career Choice and Potential - Rose Mary Garcia, Creative Associates

  • “She Always Runs a Great Meeting” - Manasi Kapoor, Gartner and Anjali Shahani Moreno, Accion Global Advisory Solutions

  • How to Move the Needle on Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Across Your Organization - Andrea Bertone, FHI360, and Elise Young, FHI 360

  • Developing Your Personal Brand - Lisa Leander, Vital Voices

  • How to Build Feminist Leadership - Keshet Bachan, Diversity@Work and Judithe Registr, Inclusivus

  • Women Leading in Finance: Practical Lessons to Succeed in a Male-Dominated Field - Dipa Sharif, Quantified Ventures and Ranjani Sridharan, Women Impact Investing Network (WIIN)

  • How to Drive Change as an INTRArapreneur: Rosario Londono, Sr. Advisor of Innovation and Impact Investment at CNS Global Advisors

12:45 - 1:30pm


1:30 - 3:15pm 

Choose to attend one of the following sessions

Journeys of Inclusive Leadership: Sector-Wide and Company Level    

  Part I:  View from the Top   

Executive leaders from leading the US Government and leading U.S.-based international development companies share the journeys that their organizations are on to promote inclusive leadership 

  • Susan Fine, Acting Assistant to the Administrator, Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning, USAID

  • Jean Gilson, Senior Vice President, Global Strategy, DAI

  • Debbie Kennedy, COO, FHI 360

  • Lisa May, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, RTI

  • Sylvia Megret, COO, ACDI VOCA

  • Susi Mudge, President and CEO, Chemonics

Moderator: Fiona Macaulay, Founder & CEO WILD Network

Part II:   What Does it Take to Transform a Sector?   

Lightening talks from three leaders using a combination of data, advocacy and other approaches to change their sectors.

  • “Why Aren’t There More Women Represented in the Highest Levels of Global Health and What Can We Do About It?” Roopa Dhatt, Director, Women Leaders in Global Health Initiative

  • "Working to 50% of all Public Service Leadership Positions Across the Globe by 2050." Gwen Young, Director, Women in Public Service Project, The Wilson Center

  • "5-Point Action Plan Designed to Help Companies Accelerate the Pace of Achieving Gender Parity" Kathleen Luparello, Executive Director, Paradigm for Parity

MC: Sarah Hillware, Senior Consultant, The World Bank

Successful Salary Negotiation for Women       

The wage gap has long-term consequences.  In this workshop you will learn how to confidently and successfully negotiate your salary and benefits packages. You’ll gain confidence in your negotiation style through facilitated discussion and role-playing and learn how to:

  • Identify and articulate your personal value

  • Develop an arsenal of persuasive responses and other strategies

  • Conduct objective market research to benchmark a target salary and benefits

  • And, practice your negotiation!

 Workshop facilitators: Kimberly Churches, CEO; Abigail Lewis, Vice-President;  Claudia Richards, Senior Manager, Branch Relations American Association of University Women (AAUW)  

3:15 - 3:30pm

Transition Break

3:30 - 4:30pm

Interactive Workshops - Join the session of your choosing

  • Sponsorship (vs. mentorship) as a Game-Changer for Women Leaders - Julie Kantor, Founder & CEO, Twomentor

  • Executive Presence and Public Narrative Training: Telling Your Story to Compel Action – Using your voice to mobilize others - Andy Rabens, Special Advisor for Global Youth Issues, U.S. Department of State

  • Building Your Personal Brand: Strategies to Amplify Your Voice and Drive Change - Jen Dalton, Founder, BrandMirror

  • Female Founders of Social Enterprises Set to Scale: What Support is Critical for Greater Impact and to Personally Thrive?

    • Moderator: Alexis Bonnell, Chief, Applied Innovation & Acceleration, USAID Global Development Lab at USAID

    • Ronit Avni, Founder and CEO Localized

    • Katherine Jin, Co-Founder and COO at Kinnos

    • Katherine Lucey, Founder and CEO, Solar Sister

    • Ana Pantelic, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Fundación Capital

    • Jenny Abramson, Founder and Managing Partner of Rethink Impact (invited)

4:30 - 4:45pm  


4:45 - 5:30pm

Interactive Plenary:  Restore Yourself! The Antidote for Professional Exhaustion In this interactive and fun plenary, Dr. Edy Greenblatt uses tools, knowledge and research from her award winning book Restore Yourself: The Antidote for Professional Exhaustion for leaders to keep themselves, and their colleagues, resilient during periods of uncertainty and rapid change. Better energy management helps everyone accomplish more of what matters to us!  

5:30 - 5:45pm

Taking Our Momentum Forward: Individually, Organizationally and as a  Sector

5:45 - 6:45pm

Celebratory Reception + Book Signing with Sally Helgesen



Keynote Speaker: Sally Hegelsen

Sally speaks about how unwritten rules and expectations routinely undermine successful women as they move to the next level in their careers, whether it's a new job, a big promotion, or taking their company to the next level.  She offers concrete advice about what women themselves have the power to change, which is always going to be our own habits and behaviors. Be ready to interact, reflect on your goals and leave this plenary inspired and with new knowledge and tools to take your career to the next level. This event also serves as the Washington DC book launch of: How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion or Job.