Board of Directors/Advisory Board
Margot Magowan – Board President, Co-founder
Margot is a writer and commentator. Her articles on politics and culture have been in Salon, Glamour, the San Francisco Chronicle and numerous other newspapers. She has appeared on Good Morning America, Crossfire, Fox News and other TV and radio programs. She has worked as a radio producer for KGO Radio, the ABC affiliate in the Bay Area. She is currently working on a novel about marriage. She lives with her husband and their two daughters in San Francisco.
Gina Amaro-Ruden is a 14-year global marketing veteran with a passion to inspire women to greatness. Gina is the Director of Multicultural and International marketing for PR Newswire. She previously served as marketing manager for Avon Products and president of Avon’s Hispanic Corporate Network. Gina is a founding board member of the Woodhull Institute, a leadership academy for the ethical leadership of women. She is also a founding member of 100 Hispanic Women, a professional women’s organization based in NY. In 1997, Gina was awarded a scholarship to travel to Beijing China for the United Nation’s N.G.O. Forum on the status of women. She holds a Bachelor Degree in English Literature from Binghamton University and is a National Urban Fellow holding a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Baruch College. Her writing credits include PR Week, Tactics,and the Strategist.
Ken Becker is the co-founder and former of Imagine Foods, Inc., one of the most successful natural foods manufacturing and sales companies in the industry. In running Imagine Foods, Ken was involved in all aspects of creating, developing, financing, marketing and operating a rapidly growing company. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Ken practiced law in various capacities, specializing in criminal, civil rights, labor and administrative law litigation. After leaving Imagine Foods in 1998, Ken has been engaged in business, legal and pro bono consulting, as well as being involved in the creation and activities of various nonprofit organizations.
Beth Bogart Fenton is co-owner of Fenton Communications, the nation’s preeminent public interest communications firm. She formerly directed its Washington office and for many years was the firm’s creative director. She helped wage media campaigns on the anti-Apartheid struggle, injustices within the death penalty system, the dangers of nuclear war, the Reagan Administration’s covert wars in Central America, and environmental issues from toxics exposure to climate crisis. Beth has been a Capitol Hill reporter, editor of an international publication covering the environment, founding editor of a newsletter for Indian tribes, and on the staff of The Washington Post editorial page. A graduate of Princeton, she left Harvard Law School to serve as press secretary on Democrat Peter Kostmayer’s successful House race. She studied philosophy in the Ph.D. program at Georgetown University and earned an MFA in creative writing from Johns Hopkins. She has published articles in The Washington Post, Advertising Age, The Washingtonian and In These Times.
Susan H. Cain is the author of the forthcoming book, “QUIET: The Importance of Introversion in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” which will be published by Random House/Crown in January 2009. She is also the owner and President of The Negotiation Company, and has been teaching negotiation for many years. Susan’s work is based on the belief that graceful negotiation depends on self-awareness, and she is known for the humanistic approach she brings to her practice. Her clients include everyone from CEOs and Wall Street lawyers to married couples, college students and housing shelter residents. Susan also practiced corporate law on Wall Street for many years, representing clients such as Goldman Sachs and GE. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Woodhull, and is a cum laude graduate of both Harvard Law School and Princeton University.
Beth Greenberg is a stage director who specializes in opera and musical theatre. She has directed numerous productions for the New York City Opera and has also staged shows in Japan, Germany and Austria, and Peru. She has also directed works in many regional American theatres including the Gehry Center at Bard College in Hudson Valley. Beth also works as an advisor and dramaturg to composers to develop new stage works. She frequently writes about music and the arts and her articles have appeared in Stagebill and Interview magazines, and as notes to music recordings. Beth Greenberg was also an exhibition assistant to Diana Vreeland during Mrs. Vreeland’s leadership years of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is a former Fulbright Scholar and has a Master’s from the University of Michigan School of Music in Ann Arbor. She lives in Manhattan.
Carla Jackson-Brewer is an African American feminist therapist whose private practice serves women of color, sexual assault survivors, and addresses issues of cultural/ethnic identity, spirituality and empowerment. Karla is an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers University in the Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies Departments. She has taught at the college level for the past 23 years. She teaches the course “Dynamics or Race, Sex and Class,” Intro to Africana Studies,” “The Black Woman,” and “African Religions.” She currently advises a women’s activist organization at Rutgers.
Erica Jong is a poet, novelist and essayist best known for her seven best-selling novels: Fear of Flying (15 million copies in print), How to Save Your Own Life, Fanny: Being the True History of the Adventures of Fanny Hackabout-Jones, Parachutes & Kisses, Shylock’s Daughter (formerly published as Serenissima), Any Woman’s Blues and Inventing Memory. Her mid-life memoir Fear of Fifty also became a major international bestseller. Ms. Jong is also the author of six award-winning collections of poetry. Her work has been translated into twenty-seven languages. Known for her commitment to women’s rights, authors’ rights and free expression, Ms. Jong is a frequent lecturer in the U.S. and abroad. Her latest book, Sappho’s Leap, was published in 2003.
Robin Stern, Ph.D. is an educator, psychotherapist and psychological consultant who has developed and implemented programs to promote personal and professional growth through self- awareness, emotional competence and ethical leadership, for the last 25 years. Robin holds a masters degree in Personality and Social Development, a doctorate in Applied Psychology and Research Design, as well as a post-doctoral certificate in Psychoanalytic Group Psychotherapy. She is an associate professor of Communications at Teachers College, Columbia University and a Social-Emotional Learning Specialist at The School at Columbia University, where she also coaches faculty members in professional leadership development. She is a researcher and supervisor in social and emotional competency development at Hunter College Leadership Center. Robin is a group facilitator at Project Renewal, an initiative to enhance the lives of educators in New York City, as well as a founding board member at The Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership. Additionally, Robin serves on the board of Educators for Social Responsibility, and is a Diplomate of the American Psychotherapy Association. She is the co-author of two books, on emotional intelligence, for educators: Understanding Emotions in the Classroom and Emotionally Intelligent School Counseling. Robin’s book, on psychological manipulation, entitled THE GASLIGHT EFFECT: how to spot and survive the hidden manipulation others use to control your life, will be published on May 1. Robin lives in New York with her husband and two children.
Naomi Wolf is co-founder of the Woodhull Institute. Ms. Wolf graduated from Yale University and did graduate work at New College, Oxford, as a Rhodes Scholar. Her three books on aspects of women’s experience in America were international bestsellers and New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Time Magazine named her one of its “Fifty notable leaders under forty”. Naomi’s latest book, The Treehouse, was released the May to rave reviews. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, editor David Shipley, and their two children.
WOODHULL ALUMNAE COMMITTEE
Ellie Ciolfi is a multi-certified fitness trainer residing in Baltimore, Maryland. She is a national presenter at larger fitness industry events, including Club Industry East, Club Industry Chicago and NEHRSA, the New England Health and Racquet Sports Clubs of America. She has also presented at the national summit for IHRSA (International Health and Racquet Sports Clubs of America) the premier conference for club owners and management in the fitness industry.
Her hands on workshops focus on high intensity resistance training methods with associated program design, and medicine ball training. In 1998, she founded Strength In Numbers, Inc. a nonprofit corporation whose mission is whole health and healing for survivors of abuse and trauma, specifically through physical fitness programs.
Rakhi Dhanoa is an attorney in New York City practicing exclusively in the area of Immigration Law. Her practice spans from business related immigration to asylum, deportation and federal court litigation. She began her career with the Chicago based law firm of Winston & Strawn. Ms. Dhanoa has recently opened her own office in New York City. Rakhi’s immigration practice caters to a variety of clientele, including culinary and IT professionals, as well as executives and managers in a variety of fields.
Monique Fortuné is currently the President of Fortuné & Associates – a consulting firm serving a range of individuals, groups, organizations and businesses. Ms. Fortuné teaches media, communication and leadership skills for personal and collective empowerment.
Ms. Fortuné has worked in the broadcast industry for over twenty years, and she has been a college instructor for fourteen years. Ms. Fortuné has been the radio curator for The Museum of Television & Radio; development and marketing director at Fordham University’s public radio station WFUV-FM; and promotions director at New York City radio station, WWRL-AM.
She has taught Communication and Media Studies courses at Fordham University, Hostos Community College, Bronx Community College, and Westchester Community College.
Jennifer Gandin is a twenty-seven-year-old freelance writer and women’s rights activist. Director Francis Ford Coppola recently commissioned her film adaptation of the best-selling novel “The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing” by Melissa Bank; her writing has also been published in Time Out New York, BUST Magazine, and the Village Voice. She graduated with honors from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her fiancé and their orange dog.
Jennifer Gatto is currently working at the Feinstein International Famine Center based out of the School of Nutrition at Tufts University in the Boston area. She has been a research assistant and an assistant budget coordinator for the Center. She graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in international relations. She enjoys being outdoors, traveling, cooking, dancing and all types of music.
Lori Gerstein Ramsey, Ed.D. (Woodhull 7) holds a doctorate in Instructional Technology and Media from Teachers College, Columbia University, a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Cincinnati, and a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Miami University in Ohio. She is a Senior Research Associate with Metis Associates in New York City where she conducts research and evaluation for states, cities, school districts, local agencies, and non-profit organizations in education and technology. Prior to joining Metis Associates, she conducted evaluations of technology programs developed for professors and affiliates at Columbia University with the Columbia Center for New Media, Teaching and Learning and also served as an evaluation consultant for the Institute for Learning Technologies at Teachers College, Columbia University. Additionally, Lori spent three years in the Cincinnati Public School District, where she taught special education and was the school technology coordinator. She and her husband currently live in Columbus, Ohio.
Dianne Hutchinson has always been involved in the fashion industry. She started her career as a Personal Shopper at Bergdorf Goodman, and has since served in the capacity of Shop Manager for Manolo Blahnik at Bergdorf Goodman, and Calvin Klein Collection at Bloomingdales, as well as serving in various roles at different design houses. She is presently in Sales and Merchandising at the Linda Dresner Boutique in Manhattan.
She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Corporate Communications from Bernard M. Baruch College, and has always been involved in numerous volunteer projects. She has worked with New York Cares, East Harlem Literacy Program, Literacy Volunteers of America, and presently at the homeless shelter program at FAPC Church on Fifth Avenue.
Jennifer van der Meer is a consultant focusing on innovation, design, and sustainability. Sustainable enterprises believe that business is one of the most powerful means to create positive social and environmental change. Jennifer’s specialty is harnessing design and innovation as a force for transformation. Prior to starting her own consulting practice, Jennifer was previously the General Manager of Frog Design in NY, and lead Business Development for Organic, Inc. at the dawn of the internet era. Jennifer holds a BA in Religion and Mythology at Trinity College in Connecticut, and received her MBA from HEC in Paris. In addition to Co-Chairing the Woodhull Alumnae Committee, she serves on the Barnard Advisory Board for Entrepreneurs, and lectures on the subject of product innovation and marketing at Columbia Business School, Barnard, and several design organizations.
Cheryl Quintana Leader is Founder and president of INDIVISION Productions, writes, directs and produces educational videos in English and Spanish for the Latino community. Having won Universal’s Hispanic Film Project with “Tanto Tiempo,” Leader was the first to produce a nationally syndicated hour-long television special hosted by Edward James Olmos – The Hispanic Heritage Film Project: An American Experience sponsored by AT&T/Kodak showcasing Latino filmmakers and their bicultural stories. Currently, Leader is in development on “young HEART diaries,” a television edutainment series/book collection sharing unexplored myths and legends from Hispanic cultural origins as a means of inspiring Latina youth.
Her work has garnered AV/Video Multimedia’s Top 100 Producers Award, Women’s History Month Award from Comision Feminil/Los Angeles, a Gold Apple at the National Educational Film & Video Festival, two CINE Golden Eagles from Washington D.C., two National Best Short Film titles, as well as having been inducted into the Xicano Retrospective archives at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Born in Arizona, and now living in Los Angeles, CA, Leader graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA in English/Women’s Studies Specialization.