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NWLC Leadership

Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO

Picture of Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO Ms. Goss Graves, who has served in numerous roles at NWLC for more than a decade, has spent her career fighting to advance opportunities for women and girls. She has a distinguished track record working across a broad set of issues central to women’s lives, including income security, health and reproductive rights, education access, and workplace fairness. Prior to becoming President, Ms. Goss Graves served as the Center’s Senior Vice President for Program, where she led the organization’s broad program agenda to advance progress and eliminate barriers in employment, education, health and reproductive rights and lift women and families out of poverty. Prior to that, as the Center’s Vice President for Education and Employment, she led the Center’s anti-discrimination initiatives, including work to promote equal pay, combat harassment and sexual assault at work and at school, and advance equal access to education programs, with a particular focus on outcomes for women and girls of color. Ms. Goss Graves has authored many articles, including A Victory for Women’s Health Advocates, National Law Journal (2016) and We Must Deal with K-12 Sexual Assault, National Law Journal (2015), and reports, including Unlocking Opportunity for African American Girls: A Call to Action for Educational Equity (2014), Reality Check: Seventeen Million Reasons Low-Wage Workers Need Strong Protections from Harassment (2014), and 50 Years and Counting: The Unfinished Business of Achieving Fair Pay (2013). Ms. Goss Graves received her B.A. from UCLA in 1998 and her J.D. from Yale Law School in 2001. She began her career as a litigator at the law firm of Mayer Brown LLP after clerking for the Honorable Diane P. Wood of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  She currently serves as an advisor on the American Law Institute Project on Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct on Campus and was on the EEOC Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace and a Ford Foundation Public Voices Fellow. She is widely recognized for her effectiveness in the complex public policy arena at both the state and federal levels, regularly testifies before Congress and federal agencies, and is a frequent speaker at conferences and other public education forums. Ms. Goss Graves appears often in print and on air as a legal expert on issues core to women’s lives, including in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, AP, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, CNN, MSNBC, and NPR. To invite Fatima to speak at your event, please contact Halim Rizk, Executive Assistant to the President and CEO.

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Nancy Withbroe, COO and Chief of Staff

Picture of Nancy Withbroe, COO and Chief of Staff Nancy Withbroe, CFRE, is Chief Operating Officer & Chief of Staff, serving as a key thought partner to the President & CEO, the rest of the senior executive team, and the Board of Directors. Ms. Withbroe provides strong day-to-day leadership for the Center’s staff, steering performance management to ensure alignment with the strategic plan and organizational effectiveness goals – with a deep emphasis on equity and inclusion. From 2013 to 2016 Ms. Withbroe served as the Center’s Vice President for Development & Strategy, leading efforts to substantially increase and diversify revenue and facilitating a comprehensive strategic planning process. In between these roles she spent a year as Vice President for Philanthropic Engagement & Chief of Staff at the Greater Washington Community Foundation, the largest grantmaker in the D.C. metropolitan area. Prior to joining the Center Ms. Withbroe served as Senior Director of Development at Share Our Strength, where she led a large team that raised millions of dollars by forming innovative partnerships with individuals, foundations, and companies to support the organization’s No Kid Hungry campaign. She previously worked as a fundraising and organizational development consultant to national nonprofits such as the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the Ford’s Theatre Society, as well as leading regional organizations in D.C. and Baltimore such as Joseph’s House and Paul’s Place. She began her career as a fundraiser and program manager at the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital. Widely known as an inspiring and inclusive leader in philanthropy, social justice, and nonprofit management, Ms. Withbroe is a past president of the D.C. Metro Area Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She was honored by the chapter in 2012 as the inaugural recipient of its President's Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service—in part for her role as co-founder of the Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising Conference, the largest such conference in North America. Ms. Withbroe currently serves on the board of ProInspire, a nonprofit that develops talented leaders for the social sector and that centers racial equity as a core goal of social impact. Ms. Withbroe holds a B.A. from Carleton College in English and Women’s Studies and a master’s in educational leadership from American University, and is a certified fundraising executive (CFRE).

Mary-Frances Wain, Senior Vice President for External Affairs

Picture of Mary-Frances Wain, Senior Vice President for External Affairs Mary-Frances Wain joined the National Women’s Law Center in June 2018 as its first-ever Senior Vice President of External Affairs.  As such, Mary-Frances builds visibility and support for The Center by engaging influencers, celebrities, media, activists and investors as champions of gender justice through legal, policy and culture change.  Mary-Frances leverages more than 20 years’ experience in strategic collaborative outreach and engagement initiatives to broaden the base of support for a mission with high stakes impact on millions of women and their families. Prior to joining the Law Center, Mary-Frances Wain was Executive Director of Philanthropy for the United Nations Foundation, where she served as the organization’s chief resource development officer and led global investment and partnership strategy and implementation. Mary-Frances previously held the positions of Vice President of Philanthropy at the Make-A-Wish Foundation® and Managing Director of her own consulting company, where she worked with nonprofit and private sector clients to increase their organizational capacity to achieve philanthropic goals, with a specific focus on organizational sustainability and resource development for women’s empowerment and underserved audience initiatives.  Select clients include the Choice Hotels International Foundation, the Pentagon Memorial Fund, and The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. Mary-Frances has additionally served as executive director of Suited for Change, director of corporate relations for the National Museum of Women in the Arts, public relations manager for Neiman Marcus, and education manager for the American Advertising Federation. Mary-Frances is an alumnus of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She volunteers for numerous nonprofit organizations, is an avid runner, and resides in Washington, DC with her husband, their 12-year old son and his five-year-old labradoodle.

Uma Iyer, Vice President for Marketing and Communications

Gretchen Borchelt, Vice President for Reproductive Rights and Health

Picture of Gretchen Borchelt, Vice President for Reproductive Rights and Health Gretchen Borchelt is the Vice President for Reproductive Rights and Health at the National Women's Law Center. She oversees the Center's advocacy, policy, and education strategies to promote the quality and availability of health care, including reproductive health care. Prior to becoming Vice President, Gretchen served as Senior Counsel and Director of State Reproductive Health Policy, directing the Center's state-based legal and policy efforts to protect and expand access to reproductive health care, and linking that work to the Center's federal reproductive health advocacy. Prior to joining the Center in 2005, she worked at Physicians for Human Rights and was a Women's Law and Public Policy Fellow at the National Partnership for Women and Families. Gretchen is a graduate of Columbia Law School and the University of Virginia.

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Niesa Brateman Halpern, Vice President for Administration and Finance

Picture of Niesa Brateman Halpern, Vice President for Administration and Finance Niesa Brateman Halpern, CPA, is Vice President for Administration and Finance at the NWLC, where she is responsible for the accounting, treasury, administration, and information technology functions. Ms. Halpern embodies the NWLC's mission and is a leader in her field. As a member of the first class of women admitted to the College of the University of Virginia, she graduated from the McIntire School of Commerce, with a concentration in accounting. She gained her Master of Business Administration in Finance and Investments at George Washington University. She was a pioneer in the women's workforce of accountants by working in a "Big 8" public accounting firm upon graduation from college in 1974. Immediately prior to joining the NWLC, Ms. Halpern served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Inc. Previously, she was Senior Vice President at the College Construction Loan Insurance Association ("Connie Lee") and Assistant Vice President, Long Range Planning and Research at the Student Loan Marketing Association ("Sallie Mae"). She also served as Director of Accounting for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation ("Freddie Mac"). In addition to Ms. Halpern's commitment to her career, she has been active in community work, performing significant pro bono work and serving on boards of organizations focused on education, homelessness, and women's issues.

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Anna Chu, Vice President for Strategy and Policy

Picture of Anna Chu, Vice President for Strategy and Policy Anna Chu serves as the Vice President for Strategy and Policy. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Chu served as the Vice President of Policy and Research at the Center for American Progress (CAP) Action Fund, leading its economic justice advocacy work, and was previously the Director of CAP’s Middle Out Economic Program. Ms. Chu has also served as the Policy Director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and has spent time on Capitol Hill as Policy Advisor for the House Democratic Caucus. After attending the University of Southern California Law School, Chu began her career as a law clerk to former Chief Judge Jane A. Restani in her sittings before the U.S. Court of International Trade and in six different federal appellate courts. Following this, Chu spent time as an attorney at Paul Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP.

Emily Martin, Vice President for Education and Workplace Justice

Picture of Emily Martin, Vice President for Education and Workplace Justice Emily Martin is Vice President for Education & Workplace Justice at the National Women’s Law Center. She oversees the Center’s advocacy, policy, and education efforts to ensure fair treatment and equal opportunity for women and girls at work and at school and to forward policy frameworks that allow then to achieve and succeed, with a particular focus on the obstacles that confront women and girls of color and women in low-wage jobs. She also provides in-house legal advice and representation to the Center. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Martin served as Deputy Director of the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, where she spearheaded litigation, policy, and public education initiatives to advance the rights of women and girls to fair treatment at work, at school, and in housing. She was a law clerk for Senior Judge Wilfred Feinberg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for Judge T.S. Ellis, III, of the Eastern District of Virginia and previously worked for the Center as a recipient of the Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship. She has served as Vice President and President of the Fair Housing Justice Center, a non-profit organization in New York City. Ms. Martin is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Yale Law School.

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Jodi Michael, Vice President for Development

Picture of Jodi Michael, Vice President for Development Jodi Michael is Vice President for Development, where she oversees the full range of the Center’s fundraising activities, including major individual gifts, the annual fund, corporate philanthropy, foundation program and capacity-building support, and special events.  Prior to becoming Vice President, Jodi served as the Center’s Director of Foundation Relations for over a decade, supervising the Development Team’s foundation fundraising across all of its program areas.  Before joining the Center, she worked as an attorney at NARAL Pro-Choice America for eight years, first as a Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow and most recently as the Director of NARAL’s Proactive Policy Institute, where she led the organization’s development of pro-choice policies and strategies, with an emphasis on state policy advocacy.  She earned her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and a bachelor’s degree from Dickinson College.