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.
Nancy Withbroe, COO and Chief of Staff
Nancy Withbroe, CFRE, is Chief Operating Officer & Chief of Staff of the National Women’s Law Center. A key thought partner to the President & CEO and the rest of the senior executive team, she provides a strong day-to-day leadership presence for the staff, steering performance management to ensure alignment with the Center’s strategic plan and organizational effectiveness goals. From 2013 to 2016 Ms. Withbroe served as the Center’s Vice President for Development & Strategy, leading efforts to substantially increase and diversify funding, facilitating a comprehensive strategic planning process with the Board and Co-Presidents, and serving as the primary staff liaison to the Board. In between these roles she spent a year as the vice president for philanthropic engagement & chief of staff at the Greater Washington Community Foundation, the largest grantmaker in the D.C. metropolitan area. While there she oversaw a complete rebrand and a significant boost in strategic marketing and communications engagement and led the team that provides customer service to the 700+ individuals and institutions that have funds with the Foundation. As chief of staff she partnered with the President & CEO to rebuild the Board and governance structure and facilitated organization-wide implementation of the Foundation's strategic plan. Prior to these roles Ms. Withbroe served as senior director of development at Share Our Strength, where she led a 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 Wounded Warrior Project as well as leading regional organizations in D.C. and Baltimore. She has also served in fundraising and program management roles for other D.C.-area nonprofits. Ms. Withbroe holds a BA 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). A sought-after speaker and published author on philanthropy, social justice and nonprofit management, Ms. Withbroe served as 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 the 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 is on the Board of ProInspire, a nonprofit that develops talented leaders for the social sector and leads Equity in the Center, a new effort that centers racial equity as a core goal of social impact.
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.
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.
Anna Chu, Vice President for Policy and Strategy
Anna Chu serves as the Vice President for Income Security and Education, where she oversees the Center’s work in lifting women and families out of poverty and eliminating barriers in education. 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, General Counsel and Vice President for Education and Workplace Justice
Emily Martin is General Counsel and 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.
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.
Karen Schneider, Vice President for Communications
Ms. Schneider is Vice President of Communications at the National Women's Law Center, where she works to create public awareness and supporter engagement to achieve policy change for women and their families. She previously served as Director of Communications at Greenpeace USA, as Deputy Executive Director/Communications at Amnesty International USA, and as Director of Communications at the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (now NARAL Pro-Choice America). Ms. Schneider previously worked as a communications consultant, advising such clients as the Alliance for Justice and the Center for Women Policy Studies. Earlier in her career, Ms. Schneider was a journalist, serving as an education writer, bureau chief, Washington correspondent and Deputy National/Foreign Editor at such newspapers as the Hartford Courant and Detroit Free Press. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University. Ms. Schneider is a member of the Board of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.