Panmela Castro is founder and president of Nami Network, an organization that uses street art to promote the rights of women. A recipient of the Hutuz Award in 2009, she was recognized as Outstanding Brazilian Graffiti Artist of the Decade. She has created works in cities including Paris, New York, Toronto, Prague, Vienna, Berlin, Johannesburg, Istanbul and Washington, DC.
Petra Costa is a Brazilian filmmaker and actress. In 2006, she completed her undergraduate studies summa cum laude in Anthropology at Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, and did her Masters in Health, Community and Development at the London School of Economics. She directed the awarded short-film Undertow Eyes (2009), a poetic depiction of aging and love, and recently finished ELENA, her first feature.
Nilcéa Freire is Ford Foundation’s representative in Rio de Janeiro. She oversees all of the foundation’s work in Brazil, which focuses on strengthening the rights of vulnerable communities, including Afro-Brazilians and indigenous peoples. Prior to joining the foundation, she served, from 2004 to 2010, as Minister of the Secretariat of Policies for Women of the Presidency of the Republic. Prior to her appointment, she served, from 2000 to 2003, as rector of the State University of Rio de Janeiro.
Maria Cristina Frias is a member of the board and columnist for Folha de São Paulo. She is editor of the “Open Market” column on macroeconomics, business and enterprise. She studied philosophy at the University of Sao Paulo, and psychology and journalism at the Catholic University of São Paulo. She has an MBA in Finance from Insper in Sao Paulo.
Michelle Gadsden-Williams is Managing Director and Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Credit Suisse AG based in Zurich, Switzerland. In this role, she champions the development of an inclusive environment by integrating diversity practice into all aspects of the business on a global scale. She is a member of the Talent, Branding and Communications Management Committee at Credit Suisse, an Executive Committee Member of the Women’s Leadership Board of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and has recently been appointed as a member of the Global Advisory Council on Values for the World Economic Forum.
Kátia Lund is an American-Brazilian film director and screenwriter. Her most notable work was as co-director of the film City of God. Lund oversees an organization called Nós do Cinema (We of Cinema), which began with the young people from the cast of City of God who are real dwellers of Rio’s favelas. Nós do Cinema offers courses and job opportunities in films to poor children and helps to raise social consciousness through film. She also directed a segment of the film All the Invisible Children. Lund graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 1989.
Adriana Machado is the first woman to serve as president and CEO of GE Brazil. Prior to joining GE in 2009 as the director of government affairs, Adriana worked as the strategic affairs director at the American Chamber of Commerce for Brazil. She also served as UNDP consultant at the Secretariat of Strategic Affairs of the Presidency of the Republic, and as a political advisor at the U.S. Embassy in Brasília.
Duilia de Mello is Associate Professor of Physics and coordinator of the Science Without Borders program at The Catholic University of America. She conducts research with a team of scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center on the formation of galaxies similar to the Milky Way. Their recent discoveries include the largest spiral galaxy in the universe.
Eleonora Menicucci de Oliveira is Minister of the Secretariat of Policies for Women of the Presidency of the Republic. Prior to her appointment in February 2012, she was a professor of collective health at the Department of Preventative Medicine of the Federal University of São Paulo. She was also Provost of University Extension. Her professional and academic work has focused on critical issues confronting women, including reproductive and sexual health, gender-related violence and labor.
Mayra Avellar Neves is a student from an underserved community in Rio de Janeiro plagued by drug-related violence. When she was 15 years old, she mobilized a peaceful protest to demand a cease-fire during the hours in which children walk to and from school. She was awarded the 2008 International Children’s Peace Prize and spoke at UNICEF’s 20th Anniversary Commemoration of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. She continues to promote peace and community engagement through participation in “Favela Força,” a theater group supported by the Brazilian Institute for Innovations in Social Health (IBISS).
Mônica Waldvogel is a journalist and news anchor. She produces and moderates “Entre Aspas,” a television program that features debates on today’s most pressing issues. Prior to joining Globonews in 2006, she created, and from 2001 to 2012, developed content, managed the journalistic production of, and hosted GNT’s “Saia Justa.”
Mayana Zatz is a professor of Human and Medical Genetics and the director of the Human Genome Research Center and Institute of stem-cells in genetic disorders, at the University of São Paulo. Her research in human and medical genetics focuses on the identification, genotype-phenotype correlations, mechanisms of clinical variability, and stem-cell therapeutic applications of neuromuscular disorders. She was awarded the L´Oreal/UNESCO for women in Science in 2001, and is a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. In 2010, she was named an associate editor for Science magazine and has been actively involved in ethical aspects related to genome research, genetic testing and political decisions regarding the approval of the Brazilian embryonic stem-cell bill in 2005 and 2008.
Debora L. Spar is the president of Barnard College. A political scientist by training, Spar’s scholarly research focuses on issues of international political economy, examining how rules are established in new or emerging markets and how firms and governments together shape the evolving global economy. She is the author of numerous books, including Ruling the Waves: Cycles of Invention, Chaos, and Wealth from the Compass to the Internet (2001) and The Baby Business: How Money, Science, and Politics Drive the Commerce of Conception (2006). Her next book, tentatively titled Wonder Women: Sex, Power and the Quest for Perfection, is due to be published this September. Spar is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and received her doctorate in government from Harvard. Prior to coming to Barnard, Spar was the Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration and had served as senior associate dean for faculty research and development at Harvard Business School.
Kathryn Kolbert is Constance Hess Williams ‘66 Director of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies and Professor of Leadership Studies at Barnard College. A public-interest attorney, journalist, and non-profit executive, Professor Kolbert has been recognized by The National Law Journal as one of the "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America”. She argued the landmark case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1992 and has been credited with saving Roe v. Wade with what Jeffrey Toobin has called "one of the most audacious litigation strategies in Supreme Court history.” Prior to coming to Barnard, Professor Kolbert was the President and CEO of People for the American Way; the executive producer of National Public Radio’s Justice Talking, and a public interest attorney specializing in women’s rights. She co-founded the Center for Reproductive Rights and has worked as an attorney at the National ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project and both the Women's Law Project and Community Legal Services in Philadelphia.