Below, the exciting lineup for TEDWomen 2020!
Regional Chief Kluane Adamek (whose traditional name is "Aagé") is a proud citizen of the Kluane First Nation and belongs to the Dakl'aweidi (Killerwhale) Clan. She comes from a diverse background with Tlingit, Southern Tutchone, German and Irish origins. After completing her bachelors in Canadian studies from Carleton University in 2009, she returned home to work with Yukon First Nations and local communities in the areas of education, economic development and governance. She has held various roles in the corporate and private sectors and in government, including serving as an advisor to former AFN National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo. While pursuing her Jane Glassco Northern Fellowship with the Walter and Duncan Gordon Charitable Foundation, she led and founded Our Voices, a collective of northern Indigenous emerging leaders.
Adamek is passionate about supporting youth and emerging leaders in the North and beyond. She advocates for changes in the ways young people and the next generation are included in decision-making forums, and she's committed to advancing solutions and approaching leadership from a place of values.
In 2019, Adamek completed her master's of business administration at Simon Fraser University. Throughout her career, she has served on a number of boards and committees, including the Yukon College Board of Governors, Kluane Dana Shaw Development Corporation, Actua, the Aboriginal Healing Foundation and the Aboriginal Sport Circle.
As an attorney, Kylar W. Broadus, Esq. focused on LGBTQ law, particularly transgender rights, at a time when other lawyers would not take sex discrimination cases. He received referrals from the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Transgender Law Center, Lambda Legal and the ACLU. He's worked as operations officer at the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, was director of the Transgender Civil Rights Project and senior counsel at the National LGBTQ Task Force.
Broadus is also the founder and director of the Trans People of Color Coalition, the only national organization dedicated to the civil rights of transgender people of color. He is on the board of the National Black Justice Coalition, where for three years he was board chair, and currently serves on the Freedom For All Americans board of directors.
In 2012, Broadus was one of thirteen transgender delegates and the first Black transgender delegate to the Democratic National Convention and was appointed to the Rules Committee. He has also served on the DC Mayor's LGBT Advisory Task Force Committee and was also a founding member of the Transgender Law and Policy Institute, the first think tank of its kind.
Broadus served as vice chair on the Human Rights Commission in Columbia, Missouri. He has had the opportunity to craft legislation and provide testimony at the local, state and federal levels, including making major contributions to the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. He is working on the military trans ban implemented by the current administration with partners from GLAAD and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
Kemi DaSilva-Ibru is a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist with a master's in public health from Johns Hopkins University. She is currently obtaining her PhD in gender-based violence from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the UK. Her unmitigated passion for women's rights and protection led her to found Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF) in Nigeria. The foundation addresses the prevalence of rape and gender-based violence through intervention and treatment for girls and women and by providing effective educational and community-based initiatives.
DaSilva-Ibru has been recognized with several awards, including Leading ladies Africa "100 Most Inspiring Women in Nigeria" in 2018, recognition by the British Council in Nigeria and Her Network's 2019 "Woman of the Year in Advocacy." In 2020, she was recognized as one of the CNN COVID Heroes and Newsmakers.
Bianca DeJesus is the learning specialist on the TEDx team at TED and is based in the Bronx, New York. Before joining TED, she earned her bachelor's degree in English in Baltimore, Maryland. She also studied English in Norwich, England, and completed minors in Africana studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies. She worked as an adjunct professor of English at several public colleges in New York and taught English as a second language. She graduated with her master's in language and literacy in New York in 2018.
Discovering a love of heights at an early age, Adie Delaney immersed herself in the circus arts. She directs a community circus program, teaches consent with a sexual harm prevention perspective and is a multidisciplinary artist. She's traveled the world as a circus artist since 2006 and has been based in Tasmania since 2015. There she founded the Circus Studio as a platform to engage and empower young people to initiate long-term, dramatic cultural changes and help others tap into their potential to achieve the seemingly impossible.
Delaney is a primary prevention educator at the Sexual Assault Support Service where she applies her creative process to the intersection of sociocultural issues. With this work, she inspires young people in schools and circus classes to reshape their understanding of consent and positive intimacy. She identifies as a "multipotentialite" and has not ruled out any possibilities of what she might do when she grows up.
Elizabeth Diller is a partner at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, an interdisciplinary design studio based in New York. The practice established its identity through self-generated conceptual art and architecture installations before reaching international prominence with large-scale cultural and civic projects, including the High Line (designed in collaboration with James Corner Field Operations and Piet Oudolf) and the transformation of the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts. The studio's work continues to address the changing role of institutions and the future of cities.
Alongside partner Ricardo Scofidio, Diller has been recognized with the first MacArthur Foundation fellowship awarded in the field of architecture. She's the only architect to have been twice featured on TIME Magazine's "100 Most Influential People" list, having been included in both 2009 and 2018. She is designing multiple projects in Europe including the Hungary Museum of Transport in Budapest and a Collection and Research Centre for the Victoria & Albert Museum, currently under construction. She is a professor of architectural design at Princeton University.
Hon Julia Gillard is the inaugural chair of the Global Insitute for Women's Leadership at Kings College London, which addresses women's underrepresentation in leadership through research, practice and advocacy. She is coauthor of Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons with Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. She is the patron of CAMFED, the Campaign for Female Education, and serves as the chair of the global funding body for education in developing countries, the Global Partnership for Education. Gillard is also the chair of Beyond Blue, Australia's leading mental health awareness body.
Jamila Gordon was born in a tiny village in the hinterland of Somalia, where drought and hunger were ever-present threats. Civil war brought her to Australia, where she learned English and fell in love with technology. She went on to become a global executive with IBM and group chief information officer of Qantas Airways and CIMIC, before deciding to launch Lumachain, a technology platform that uses artificial intelligence to connect the broken links in global food supply chains, while also helping keep workers safe.
Gordon was Microsoft's global Awardee in the 2018 International Women's Entrepreneurship Challenge (IWEC), the first Australian to receive this honour, and Microsoft's global CEO Satya Nadella featured Lumachain in his 2019 keynote address in Sydney Australia. She sits on the board of Questacon, Australia's national science and technology center.
The Grammy-nominated superstar attracts a diverse, passionate and socially-engaged global audience who believe in the messages behind her music while critics also have unanimously sung her praises. Her latest album, High Road, was described as a body of work "wise and wild in equal measure" (Billboard), that "electrifies from the inside out" (American Songwriter) and "strikes a believable balance between vulnerability and the bluster she made her name on" (Stereogum).
Her 2017 album Rainbow, called "an artistic feat" by Entertainment Weekly and "the best music of her career" by Rolling Stone, earned Kesha the first Grammy nominations of her career.
Kesha's ventures outside of music include a top-rated TV program, an award-winning film, a book, a cruise and a cosmetics line, all of which spotlight an artist whose passion, talent and charm has earned her legions of fans.
Activist and social entrepreneur María Teresa Kumar is dedicated to helping educate and empower a new generation of Latinx voters and passionate about creating a more robust and inclusive democracy within the United States. She is the founding president of Voto Latino, the country's leading Latinx voter registration and advocacy organization, which reaches an audience of 20 million people on social media, has registered one million voters since its inception and mobilized 3.7 million voters in 2020.
Named by Fast Company as among the 100 Creative Minds, Kumar was featured as one of the 10 most influential women in DC in Elle Magazine, while Hispanic Executive named her among the 10 most influential Latinos. She is a graduate of Harvard's Kennedy School and UC Davis.
Kumar serves on the boards of EMILY's List and the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers. She is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and a Council on Foreign Relations Life Member. She also served as a legislative staffer for the Democratic Caucus Chairman.
Having spent decades in the corporate and business world, JayaShri Maathaa came to a profound realization that caused her to leave that life behind. Now she devotes her life to helping people to apply Buddhist teachings to their own lives, to quieten their minds and create positive personal transformations.
In the spring of 2021, Megan McArthur will pilot the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft on its second mission to the International Space Station. Previously, she served as flight engineer and robotic arm operator during the final upgrade and repair mission to the Hubble Space Telescope, which continues to unlock mysteries of the universe.
McArthur is inspired by the opportunities she has to represent humanity at the frontier of discovery and exploration in space. She earned her bachelor of science in aerospace engineering at UCLA and a PhD from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Prior to her recent flight assignment, she served as deputy chief of the Astronaut Office.
As a scuba diver, backpacker and pilot, McArthur's passion for exploration has no limits. Married to fellow astronaut Bob Behnken, they balance the complexities of human space exploration with the joys of raising their son, Theo.
Madison McFerrin is a singer-songwriter and producer based in Brooklyn, New York. Her critically acclaimed a cappella EP series, Finding Foundations: Vol. I, led Questlove to dub her sound "soul-appella." After garnering praise as a Pitchfork Rising Artist and making her debut at South by Southwest (SXSW), she mesmerized crowds on her debut US and European tours with a powerful one-woman show. Her SXSW performance led legendary KCRW DJ Anne Litt to remark, "there's some sort of joy and beauty in the way that she performs that really drew me in all that much more."
McFerrin's latest project, the You + I EP, expands upon her a cappella sound by pairing her timeless voice with modern production by her brother, Taylor McFerrin. The combination has proven effective: the COLORS debut of the lead single "TRY" has racked up more than one million views. Since it's release in December 2019, You + I has continued to impress listeners with The FADER noting how McFerrin's "warm harmonies feel effortless" and AFROPUNK highlighting how "lush production and instrumentation accompany her angelic voice."
Despite cancellation of her return to SXSW due to the COVID-19 pandemic, McFerrin has continued to create during quarantine. Via Bandcamp, she has released timely new music such as "Stay TF Inside," which was featured on VICE News, and she debuted her first foray into beatmaking with "We'll Be Okay Beat Pack."
At every step of her career, Pat Mitchell has broken new ground for women, leveraging the power of media as a journalist, an Emmy award-winning and Oscar-nominated producer to tell women's stories and increase the representation of women onscreen and off. Transitioning to an executive role, she became the president of CNN Productions and the first woman president and CEO of PBS and the Paley Center for Media. Today, her commitment to connect and strengthen a global community of women leaders continues as a conference curator, advisor and mentor.
In partnership with TED, Mitchell launched TEDWomen in 2010 and is its editorial director, curator and host. She is also a speaker and curator for the annual Women Working for the World forum in Bogota, Colombia, the Her Village conference in Beijing, and co-chairs the US board of Women of the World (WOW). Along with Ronda Carnegie, she partners with the Rockefeller Foundation to curate, convene and host Connected Women Leaders (CWL) forums, focused on collective problem solving among women leaders in government and civil society.
In 2014, the Women's Media Center honored Mitchell with its first-annual Lifetime Achievement Award, now named in her honor to commend other women whose media careers advance the representation of women. Recognized by Hollywood Reporter as one of the most powerful women in media, Fast Company's "League of Extraordinary Women" and Huffington Post's list of "Powerful Women Over 50," Mitchell also received the Sandra Day O'Connor Award for Leadership. She was a contributor to Enlightened Power: How Women Are Transforming the Practice of Leadership, and wrote the Preface to the book and museum exhibition, 130 Women of Impact in 30 Countries. In 2016, she received a Congressional appointment to The American Museum of Women’s History Advisory Council, and in 2019 was named to the Gender Equality Top 100 list of women leaders by Apolitical.
Mitchell is active with many nonprofit organizations, serving as the chair of the boards of the Sundance Institute and the Women's Media Center. She is a founding member of the VDAY movement, serves on the boards of the Skoll Foundation, Participant Media, the Acumen Fund and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Mitchell is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia and holds a master's degree in English literature and several honorary doctorate degrees. She is the author of Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing Risk to Change the World. She and her husband, Scott Seydel, live in Atlanta and have six children and 13 grandchildren.
Renee Montgomery, a native West Virginian, completed her 11th season in the WNBA in 2019. She was drafted fourth overall by the Minnesota Lynx in 2009. She won national championships with the UCONN Huskies in 2009 and professionally with the Minnesota Lynx in 2015 and 2017. She also won three state basketball championships during her high school career. She was named a WNBA All-Star in 2012 as well as WNBA 6th Woman of the Year in 2013. In the 2018 WNBA season, she broke a WNBA League record for most three-pointers (seven) made in a half. During the 2019 WNBA season, she reached the 500 mark for three-pointers made, making her 12th on the all-time list.
Montgomery founded the nonprofit organization Renee Montgomery Foundation (RMF), with the mission to serve the youth and families of Atlanta through principles learned in sports such as leadership, self-discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship and confidence. Recently, she filled a full-time hosting position on TMZ Sports and makes multiple weekly appearances on TMZ Live as a contributor offering her take on sports and social justice causes.
In 2021, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala became the first African and first woman appointed director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO). From 2003 to 2006, she was the Finance Minister of Nigeria, Africa's largest economy, and then became the country's Foreign Affairs Minister, the first woman to hold either position. From 2011 to 2015, she was again named Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy of Nigeria. She worked to free her country from 30 billion dollars of debt owed to the Paris Club, modernized the financial management systems by introducing transparency and publishing government accounts and used technology to help block leakage of revenues and fight corruption.
Between 2007 to 2011, Okonjo-Iweala was one of the managing directors at the World Bank and a candidate for the organization's presidency, where she worked for change in Africa and assistance for low-income countries. She was also senior advisor at financial advisory and asset management firm Lazard, and she chaired the Board of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. She is now World Health Organization COVID-19 envoy to the ACT Accelerator and African Union envoy on COVID-19. She is proud and thankful for her biggest accomplishments: her four beautiful children, who, she says, are now adults and good human beings giving service to others.
Angélique Parisot-Potter creates business integrity programs to protect companies and their brands. She serves as general counsel of Massy Group, overseeing all global legal affairs, including regulatory and compliance matters, and leads Massy's Business Integrity program, where she works with the board, executives and senior management to create a safe, inclusive culture.
Parisot-Potter's father taught her that love goes hand-in-hand with integrity. She was born in Hamburg, Germany and grew up in Trinidad and Tobago, where she learned to view things through the lens of its melting pot of cultures. She has worked in Trinidad and Tobago as well as the UK, Brazil, Dominican Republic and Egypt. She believes deeply in diversity of thought, real equality for women, fairness, justice and speaking truth to power.
Sophie Rose is an infectious disease epidemiology fellow at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Alongside cofounder Josh Morrison, she established 1Day Sooner, an organization that advocates for human challenge trial volunteers. Her work focuses on systematically evaluating and advocating for the implementation of strategies that will accelerate COVID-19 vaccine development and distribution.
For much of 2020, this involved working alongside stakeholders such as the University of Oxford's Jenner Institute, government working groups and leading experts to ensure COVID-19 human challenge trials could be preserved as an option should a time come when they were approved for use. 1Day Sooner continues to educate the public about challenge trials and their potential impact on the vaccine landscape. They were the recipient of Emergent Ventures anti-COVID-19 prize and have been awarded funding from a number of philanthropic organizations, including The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
Rose is focusing her career on analyzing global biological risks in the context of public health priority setting and pandemic preparedness in the hope of building a world where pandemics are a thing of the past.
Living in Ghana, where oral literary traditions are intertwined with culture and history, Apiorkor Seyiram Ashong-Abbey performs within West Africa's most sophisticated spaces. The author of The Matriarch's Verse, her work is noted for its rare prosaic nature and sharp, vivid imagery.
Ashong-Abbey's performances are varied and animated as she reads her pieces in performance, rather than deliver them from memory. She injects life into poetry with classical, Afro-pop, reggae and rock music, contemporary dance and alternative art. Her poetry concert, "The Matriarch's Verse," remains Ghana's largest poetry event hosted by an individual artist, featuring more than 12 supporting acts and attracting an audience of more than 1,000 people.
Ashong-Abbey is a production executive at Accra-based Citi FM/Citi TV and the host of Diplomatic License on Citi TV, which features diplomats who work in Ghana and focuses on the nonofficial aspects of their lives and the culture of their home nations. She is also an editorial advisor for The InfluencHER Project, an editorial program and global community seeking to empower and amplify female voices. At Africa6 News, she leads a team of young Africans towards reclaiming the African narrative from Western media.
Gloria Steinem was a founder of New York and Ms. magazines. In 1993, her concern with child abuse led her to coproduce an Emmy Award-winning TV documentary for HBO, Multiple Personalities: The Search for Deadly Memories. In 2016, she and Amy Richards coproduced a series of eight documentaries on violence against women around the world for VICELAND.
Steinem has cofounded several organizations, including the National Women's Political Caucus, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the Free to Be Foundation, the Women's Media Center and Equality Now. In 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama, and received the Freedom Award from the National Civil Rights Museum in 2019. She is the subject of Julie Taymor's upcoming biopic, The Glorias.
Steinem is the author of many books, including The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off, My Life on the Road, Revolution from Within, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions and As If Women Matter. For her writing, she received the Front Page and Clarion awards, the National Magazine Award, the Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Society of Writers Award from the United Nations.
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is a former presidential candidate and leader of a national democratic movement in Belarus. By popular consensus, she received the most votes in the presidential election of Belarus on August 9, 2020. However, the official results were falsified in favor of the incumbent, and she was forced out of her country. She leads the democratic movement out of the neighbouring Lithuania. She fights for human rights, democracy and freedom everywhere.
After witnessing the inefficient ways technology was used (or not) in construction, Tracy Young cofounded PlanGrid, a company focused on developing productivity software for the construction industry. Created in 2011 with Ralph Gootee, Antoine Hersen, Kenny Stone and Ryan Sutton-Gee, PlanGrid quickly grew to 450 employees. The software helped build more than one million construction projects around the globe before it was acquired by Autodesk in 2018 for 875 million dollars. Before developing PlanGrid, Young helped build hospitals in the Bay Area.