Lauren C. Anderson

Lauren is a former FBI executive who was the first woman to lead FBI offices in France and Africa, where she directed the FBI’s engagement with, and operations in, 24 countries. She led the US response to the May 2003 Casablanca terrorist attacks and also worked with Department of Justice attorneys, the Department of State, the Rwandan Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice, and Defense, and the Rwandan National Police to craft an unprecedented agreement between the United States and Rwanda to prosecute Rwandan nationals responsible for terrorist attacks, among many other missions.

Following her five-year overseas assignment, Lauren directed all International Terrorism investigations of the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, the largest in the nation, with representation from more than 50 local, state and federal agencies.  She oversaw the disruption of many terrorist plots, in the U.S., Africa, and Western Europe, and the successful prosecutions of these individuals, including neuroscientist and Al Qa’eda facilitator Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, who, in 2014, ISIS sought in exchange for US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.  Ms. Anderson also served as the interim Special Agent in Charge of the New York Counterterrorism Division and the Intelligence Division.

One of the first women on an FBI SWAT team, Lauren and her teams have received numerous awards and commendations, including from the Director of National Intelligence, the US Attorney General, Director of the National Security Agency, the Respect for Law Alliance, and the Federal Executive Board, as well as from foreign counterparts.  She was the only FBI recipient of Legal Momentum’s Public Sector Award and currently serves on the US Comptroller General’s Advisory Board at the Government Accountability Office and is a Global Ambassador with Vital Voices.

KOJO ANNAN

Kojo is the founder of Africa10, an organisation dedicated to developing and empowering the next generation of African champions on and off the field through sport and education. 

He was president of Vevey Sports FC, Switzerland, and the African partner to ISL (the world’s biggest sports marketing company with exclusive marketing rights for FIFA and the IOC up until 2007).

A seasoned entrepreneur, Kojo has founded a number of successful companies including Sutton Group, which partnered with Maersk Group and Bolloré to form a consortium (Meridian Port Holdings) to develop and operate the container terminal of Tema Port, Ghana (the largest such private development in West Africa) creating thousands of jobs. 

A Global citizen, Kojo has lived in Accra, Lagos, New York, London and Geneva. Now a dedicated husband and father, Kojo resides predominantly in the UK while traveling frequently back and forth from Africa. He remains passionate about all things sports, music, business, current affairs and the development of Africa and its burgeoning youth population. Kojo is a firm believer that Africa’s greatest resource is its human resource. While the rest of the world scrambles to extract the continent’s choice natural resources, Kojo believes that with the right mentorship, opportunity and a level playing field, the next generation can lift Africa to its rightful position as a leader on the world stage.

Kojo is executive producer of the documentary THE BEAUTIFUL GAME (2012) and currently sits on the board of Football for Peace, the African Film and Entertainment Collective), Ashmont Resources, and Dragon Advisory. 

Shanthi Annan

Shanthi specializes in managing start-ups from conception to launch. 

She is leading the development of an exciting new food and beverage company in support of African Agriculture and played an integral role in the launch of Africa10; a social enterprise dedicated to developing young talent through sports. 

A PPE graduate of Oxford University, Shanthi began her career as a construction project manager, and went on to consult for many organizations including ChapmanBlack (recruitment), Careers Australia (vocational training)and Essential Africa (online media).  

Passionate about the transformative power of social enterprise, Shanthi is drawn to initiatives that serve to empower young people, women and members of marginalised communities and/or that contribute to the UN Global Goals (especially in Africa). She is on the Advisory Board of Helping Hands (Ghana), on the Host Committee for NEST, and has been a volunteer for Refuge, the UK's National Domestic Violence Helpline. 

kim brizzolara

Kim Brizzolara is a film producer and private investor; and serves as advisor to several non-profit organizations. She is Executive Vice Chair of the Hampton's International Film Festival, where in 1999, she co-founded the juried signature program "Films of Conflict & Resolution", which she continues to oversee. She endows an award for a film in that section. 

Ms. Brizzolara also serves on the boards of Creative Visions, Blade of Grass, La Scuola D'Italia, The We are Family Foundation,  The Sunny Center, and the Women's Leadership Board at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She is an Advisor to the News Literacy Project and to the documentary film,  The Uncondemned, the 2015 winner of the Hampton's International Film Festival's Conflict & Resolution Award in 2015. 

She started her career as a journalist with the Philadelphia Inquirer, and later worked with Kerry Kennedy at the Robert Kennedy Center for Human Rights, where she began to focus on the area of international conflict resolution. She then served as a grants maker for the Threshold Foundation, where she designated funds to nonprofit organizations that focus on peace and national security issues; as acting director of the Coexistence Center at Baruch College School of Public Affairs, which focused on conflict resolution, race relations, ethnic diversity, and equity in the academic environment and in the community; and worked in fund-raising and wrote position papers for various political campaigns. Kim has an MA in Journalism from Boston University and a BA from American University.

anne chaisson

Anne Chaisson, Executive Director of The Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) since December 2012, has had a long history with HIFF as an Advisory Board founder and co-chair for a decade.   Chaisson has specialized in fundraising and development for entertainment non-profits as well as garnered awards as an independent film producer with her company Dirty Rice. Chaisson produced Jesse Eisenberg’s first feature film, ROGER DODGER that earned a Best First Feature award at the Venice and Tribeca Film Festivals and honors from NYFCC, National Board of Review, The Gotham and Independent Spirit Awards and traveled to over seventy film festivals worldwide. Chaisson also produced Newmarket Films’ P.S. starring Laura Linney and Gabriel Byrne (Toronto and Telluride), and Magnolia Pictures’ DIGGERS starring Paul Rudd and Maura Tierney (Toronto and SXSW).


She has raised corporate funds for The Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York Women in Film and Television and the Hamptons and Nantucket Film Festivals.  She also produced the annual IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards in 2010 and 2011.  Chaisson has a strong affinity for film education and co-founded an independent film school called The Reel School (1996-2000) and continues to produce student film workshops each summer in East and Southampton.  Chaisson is a member of the IFP Producers Group, a founding member and Treasurer of the Board for the The Festival Alliance (a national alliance of film festivals), New York Women in Film and Television and has served on film festival juries and panels all over the world.

LUCY FREEMAN 

Lucy Freeman is CEO of Media Legal Defense Initiative (MLDI), a UK based organization providing legal defense to journalists, bloggers and independent media across the world. She joined MLDI from Amnesty International, where she worked for 8 years as Director of Gender, Sexuality and Identity, Director of Growth, Deputy Director in the Africa Program and Researcher on Nigeria. During this time she led and managed work on issues including freedom of expression and association, safety and security of human rights defenders, discrimination, war crimes and crimes against humanity, extrajudicial executions, prisons and torture, forced evictions and the right to adequate housing. She carried out field research in Nigeria for Amnesty International between 2008-16. Lucy has an MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BSc from the same institution.

francine lefrak

Francine LeFrak is a social entrepreneur and women’s empowerment activist who is also an award-winning producer of social issues films such as MISS ROSE WHITE (1992), MI VIDA LOCA (1993), SHOT THROUGH THE HEART (1998), PRISON STORIES: WOMEN ON THE INSIDE (1991), among many others.


In 2008, Francine founded the jewelry initiative Same Sky, which provides training and employment to the women genocide survivors in Rwanda who are now living with HIV/AIDS. Same Sky also now employs and empowers women at The Most Excellent Way Life Center, who have recently been released from Hudson County Jail.


Francine's social justice work has been honored with the UN Women For Peace Award, the Woman Who Cares Award, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the UN Women Together Award and the “Chevalier” of the Legion of Honor as presented by the French government. She is a member of Women Moving Millions, the Chair Emerita of the Women’s Leadership Board at the Harvard Kennedy School, and also serves as CEO of the Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Foundation, which supports institutions of higher learning, hospitals, and cultural institutions. She is the founder of The Francine A. LeFrak Foundation and the Same Sky Foundation that aim to create employment opportunities for women living in extreme poverty.

DR. DENIS Mukwege

Dr. Denis Mukwege is the founder and medical director of Panzi Hospital and Foundations. In 1999, Panzi opened amid instability, violence, and an unprecedented epidemic of rape as a weapon of war. A testament to resilience and strength, the Panzi model he developed grew into a globally renowned, groundbreaking holistic healing center.

Dr. Mukwege’s vision and methods provide medical care in concert with psychosocial services, literacy and vocational training, legal assistance, family and community reintegration services. With other surgeons, physicians, clinicians, and nearly 500 staff at Panzi Hospital and Foundations more than 48,482 survivors of sexual violence have been patients in the innovative holistic healing programs.

He has received numerous awards for his human rights work, including the European Parliament’s 2014 Sakharov Prize. Dr. Mukwege sits on the advisory committee for the International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict, and is an Icon on the 2016 TIME100 list by TIME Magazine. 

LaVelle Olexa 

After a 35-year career in retail, LaVelle Olexa created an empowerment group for young women in 2009. Over 60 powerful women, including Mindy Grossman, Evelyn Lauder, Nicole Miller, Emily Rafferty, Deputy Mayor Patti Harris, Tory Burch and Janet Robinson have spoken to this group of amazing young leaders of tomorrow.

A native of Dallas and a graduate of UT Arlington, LaVelle began her long retail career at Neiman Marcus. Her twenty years at Lord & Taylor included Senior Vice President of Public Relations, Fashion Merchandising, Advertising and Windows.

 

Denise Restauri

Denise Restauri is a storyteller, doer and connector. As the founder and CEO of GirlQuake, a Forbes Media contributor and host of the Forbes Mentoring Moments podcast, Denise Restauri amplifies the voices of females from multiple generations and is redefining the notion of power. Denise is the author of Their Roaring Thirties: Brutally Honest Career Talk From Women Who Beat The Youth Trap. She was the executive producer of the inaugural Forbes Women’s Summit. She has been at start-up, speed-up and stay #1 companies in both digital and traditional media. Denise serves on the boards of female-led organizations She’s the First and The Empowerment Plan, is a Tribeca Disruptor Foundation Fellow, a guest lecturer at Stanford and an honorary professor at Glasgow Caledonian University. 

 

joana schliemann

"A mesmerising and inspiring documentary, THE UNCONDEMNED illuminates a game-changing moment in Arusha at the Rwandan Genocide Trial, when rape was for the first time ever prosecuted as a war crime and the veil of impunity for rape finally lifted. This is a  fact which needs to be spread and heard around the globe."

Joana Schliemann’s work in the arts included publishing, film, co-producing and marketing of cultural television including the Southbank Show, in London, Munich, New York, and Los Angeles.

Joana is the author of 'Verrückt nach Troja' (Crazy for Troy) a children’s biography of Heinrich Schliemann and founded her production company, Mind the Gap Productions, focusing on cultural 'gaps'. She was the Editor-at-Large at Brightwide, an internet platform featuring social and political films. Joana served as a Programme Contributor for cultural diplomacy for the inaugural Edinburgh International Culture Summit 2012 and was a Senior Advisor for the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.

Currently Joana is developing a period feature film about a trailblazing long-distance rider and pioneeress provoking social change.

Joana is a member of the International Development Council of the British Film Institute and sits on the Strategic Advisory Board of the Delfina Foundation, London. She is also a Trustee of the Kartika Soekarno Foundation UK and a Trustee of The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, as well as a Game Changerfor WOW (Women of the World).

Joana has a BFA degree from Parsons, The New School for Design, NY and Paris, and read Ancient Indian Philosophy, Buddhism and Islam at the School for Oriental and African Studies, London. Joana has three daughters and lives with her husband in London.