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OUR Champions

Our Champions are a diverse mix of prominent CEOs and chairs, groundbreaking startup founders, and leading venture capitalists. Their unifying passion? They were the first, refuse to be the last, and share JOURNEY’s commitment to broadening the top of the leadership pyramid.

Jenny Abramson

Founder and Managing Partner, Rethink Impact

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Moving from a Fulbright to BCG to The Washington Post early on, Jenny became CEO of a tech startup and then jumped into venture capital. In 2015, she founded Rethink Impact, now the largest U.S.-based impact fund investing in female leaders using technology to solve the world’s greatest problems. Jenny is on the board of several women-led startups.

Linda Addison

Past Managing Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright U.S.

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The Texas-bred daughter of concentration camp survivors, Linda got her grit early. After earning a BA and law degree from the University of Texas, she moved on to a career as a top litigator, CEO advisor, and legal-world pioneer. Linda was the first woman on the Executive Committee at Fulbright & Jaworski, and then U.S. Managing Partner of Norton Rose Fulbright. She is lead independent director at Globe Life and on the board of KPMG U.S.

Peggy Alford

Board Member, Meta and Macerich

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Peggy’s career path took her from eBay to PayPal to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, where she was Chief Financial Officer and Head of Operations. She rejoined PayPal in 2019 and headed global sales and merchant services for four years. Peggy serves on the boards of Meta Platforms, Inc. (formerly Facebook, Inc.) and Macerich.

Mary Barra

Chair and CEO, General Motors

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Mary began her career at GM in 1980 and rose to CEO in 2014. Adding the Chair position in 2016, she set a goal for GM to be “the most inclusive company in the world.” Mary serves on the board of Walt Disney.

Corie Barry

CEO, Best Buy

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Corie became the youngest female CEO in the Fortune 500 when she moved up from CFO in 2019. She started her career as an auditor at Deloitte & Touche and joined Best Buy in 1999. She is a director of Domino’s Pizza.

Elisa Villanueva Beard

CEO, Teach For America

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Straight out of college, Elisa joined Teach For America as a corps member and taught first and second grade bilingual education in South Phoenix. Hooked on TFA's mission to advance educational equity, she led the non-profit's work in her hometown in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, rose quickly to COO, and became CEO in 2015. Based in Houston, Elisa now oversees a network of more than 65,000 TFA corps members and alumni working in over 300 communities across the U.S.

Rosalind Brewer

Former CEO, Walgreens Boots Alliance

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After 22 years at Kimberly Clark, Roz moved to Walmart, where she was CEO of Sam’s Club. She was COO and Group President of Starbucks before leading Walgreens from 2021 to 2023. On the board of VillageMD, Roz also chairs the Board of Trustees of Spelman College, her alma mater.

Tory Burch

Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Tory Burch

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Tory founded her eponymous lifestyle brand in 2004 with a mission to empower women. In 2009, she launched the Tory Burch Foundation to advance women entrepreneurship by providing access to capital, education and digital resources, and tackling stereotypes that hold women back.

Lisa Caputo

EVP of Marketing, Communications and Customer Experience, Travelers

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Lisa honed her skills in media (Walt Disney and CBS) and government (as First Lady Hillary Clinton’s press secretary) before she moved to financial services, first at Citigroup (where she headed global marketing and public affairs) and then at Travelers, where she has been an EVP since 2011. Lisa is on the boards of Best Buy and the Travelers Foundation.

Leanne Caret

Former Executive Vice President and Senior Advisor, The Boeing Company

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Born in Cocoa Beach, Florida, near Kennedy Space Center and growing up with parents who worked for Boeing, Leanne took a career path fitting her family passion. She joined Boeing in 1988 and rose through the ranks of finance and general management all the way to president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security. Now in a global advisory role at Boeing, she has more time to work on advancing women in STEM. She serves on the boards of Deere & Company and Raytheon Technologies.

WEI Christianson

Former CEO of China and Co-CEO of Asia Pacific, Morgan Stanley

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Starting her career as a New York lawyer, Wei traveled through roles at the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, Credit Suisse, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley, where she led China and co-headed Asia until December 2021. She is on the board of Estee Lauder.

Alicia boler davis

CEO, Alto Pharmacy

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Alicia joined Alto Pharmacy from Amazon, where she was SVP of Global Customer Fulfillment. Before joining Amazon in 2019, Alicia spent 24 years at General Motors, where she rose from engineer to plant manager to senior jobs in customer experience to EVP of Global Manufacturing and Labor Relations. She serves on the board of General Mills.

Tami Erwin

Former EVP of Verizon & CEO of Verizon Business

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Tami grew up in Sedro-Woolley, Washington, a doctor's daughter who quit pre-med to work as a customer service representative at US West. After US West became part of Verizon, Tami navigated through sales and service, marketing, and global operations all the way up to EVP of Verizon and CEO of Verizon Business—-creating various programs to drive equity and empowerment. Having left Verizon at the end of 2022 after 35 years, she serves on the boards of F5 and John Deere and advises automotive technology company Aptiv.

Michèle Flournoy

Co-Founder and Managing Partner, WestExec Advisors

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From LA to Harvard to Oxford to the Pentagon, Michèle became the highest-ranking woman in DOD history when she served as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in the Obama Administration. Now, in addition to heading WestExec Advisors, she chairs the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a bipartisan think tank she co-founded to develop pragmatic and principled national security policies. Michèle's board roles include Astra, Booz Allen Hamilton, CARE, and The Mission Continues.

Maëlle Gavet

CEO, Techstars

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Maëlle founded three companies before consulting for BCG and then serving as CEO of Ozone.ru, EVP of Operations at The Priceline Group, and COO of Compass. CEO of Techstars since 2021, Maëlle is also on the boards of Meero and Edenred, based in her native France. Her book Trampled by Unicorns: Big Tech's Empathy Problem and How to Fix It came out in 2020.

Helene Gayle

President, Spelman College

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Helene made her way from Buffalo to Barnard to the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and on to Johns Hopkins School of Public Health before she spent 20 years at the CDC, working primarily on HIV/AIDS. A pediatrician and public health physician, she led the Gates Foundation’s  HIV, TB, and Reproductive Health program and then spent a decade as President and CEO of CARE. Helene was President and CEO of the Chicago Community Trust before being named the 11th President of Spelman College in 2002. She is on the boards of Coca-Cola, Organon, and Palo Alto Networks.

Margo Georgiadis

Co-founder and CEO, Montai Health

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Margo's wide-ranging career has taken her from McKinsey to Discover Financial Services to Groupon to Google (as President of the Americas) to Mattel and Ancestry.com. After serving as CEO of the latter two companies, she is now CEO-Partner of Flagship Pioneering and CEO of Montai Health, a startup focused on applying AI and machine learning to fuel innovation in biotech. Margo is on the boards of McDonald's, Applovin, and several startups.

Kirsten Green

Founder & Managing Partner, Forerunner

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After growing up outside of San Francisco and graduating from UCLA, Kirsten began her career as an equity analyst covering the retail industry for Montgomery Securities. She spent several years as a consultant and angel investor before opening her own VC firm, Forerunner, in 2012. Kirsten has invested in more than 100 companies, mostly in the consumer space and many of them founded and led by women. A longtime champion of women in tech, Kirsten is a founding member of All Raise. She is also on the board of Nordstrom.

DESIREE GRUBER

Founder and CEO, Full Picture

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After an auspicious start in entertainment PR, Desiree founded Full Picture, a brand communications and consulting company, in 1999. She went on to co-create the hit show Project Runway and co-found DGNL Ventures, which architects deals in media and tech, focusing on women founders. Desiree serves on the board of BeautyHealth. 

Marillyn HEWSON

Former Chairman and CEO, Lockheed Martin

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Marillyn’s journey includes 30 years at Lockheed Martin, where she rose to CEO and headed the company for eight years. She retired as Executive Chairman in 2021. She serves on the boards of Chevron and Johnson & Johnson.

Mellody Hobson

Co-CEO & President, Ariel Investments

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Mellody joined Ariel Investments straight out of Princeton. She became Co-CEO in 2019, and added President and Director roles in 2020. She is Non-Executive Chair of Starbucks, where she has served on the board since 2005. She is also on the board of JPMorgan Chase.

ANGELA HWANG

Chief Commercial Officer, President, Global Biopharmaceuticals Business, Pfizer

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Angela grew up in South Africa during apartheid, earned a BA in Microbiology and Biochemistry at the University of Cape Town, and an MBA from Cornell. She joined Pfizer in 1997 and worked across all geographic regions and therapeutic areas as she rose through marketing, sales, and general management. In 2019, Angela was promoted to Group President of Pfizer's Biopharmaceuticals Group, the company’s commercial arm. Angela is focused on advancing diverse leadership. She is on the board of UPS.

Jenny Johnson

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Jenny was a teenager when she started working at the company her grandfather founded in 1947. Her father built Franklin into a global asset management giant. Rising through a wide variety of roles, including chief data officer, Jenny stepped up to CEO in 2020. After acquiring Legg Mason, Jenny now leads one of the world’s largest financial companies, with $1.5 trillion in assets under management.

President and CEO, Franklin Templeton

Andrea Jung

President and CEO, Grameen America

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Born in Toronto and raised in Wellesley, Massachusetts, Andrea went on to Princeton and New York City, where she made an early splash in fashion retail. In 1999, when she became Chairman and CEO of Avon, she was, at 40, the youngest woman ever to lead a Fortune 500 company.After 13 years at Avon’s helm, Andrea moved to the microfinance nonprofit Grameen America. She is on the boards of Apple, Rockefeller Capital Management, Unilever, and Wayfair.

Jenny JUST

Co-Founder and Managing Partner of PEAK6 Investments and Chairwoman of Apex Fintech Solutions

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Jenny grew up in Wisconsin, went to the University of Michigan, co-founded PEAK6 with $1.5 million in seed capital in 1997, and has since built a multibillion-dollar fintech company. Passionate about helping women succeed at every table—from the conference room to the boardroom and beyond—Jenny founded Poker Power to teach women a game that sharpens all sorts of skills related to leadership.

Coach "Kathy" Kemper

CEO, Institute for Education (IFE)

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Kathy rose to prominence – and earned the nickname “Coach” – as head of Georgetown University’s women’s tennis team. Over 30 years, she has coached celebrities, pro athletes, monarchs and ambassadors, Supreme Court justices, top presidential appointees, and members of Congress. Coach founded IFE in 1992 to engage the global community to harness the power of soft diplomacy, innovation, data and technology. IFE partners with the University of Southern California on CS camps teaching machine learning and AI science to underserved youth around the world. Coach Kemper is a General Partner at her family office, Family Futures, LP. Other than MOM, Kemper embraces being called “Coach!”

Ellen Kullman

Chair, Carbon

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After studying mechanical engineering at Tufts and earning her MBA at Kellogg, Ellen began her career at General Electric and then DuPont—never fathoming that she would rise to the top of that Fortune 500 giant. She led Dupont as Chair and CEO for seven years until 2015. Then she did something no one expected: She moved to Silicon Valley to lead Carbon, a 3D printing startup, where she remains Chair. Ellen is also on the boards of Amgen, Dell Technologies, and Goldman Sachs.

AILEEN LEE

Founder & Managing Partner, Cowboy Ventures

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Following early gigs at Morgan Stanley and Gap and a software startup, Aileen earned her VC chops as a partner at Kleiner Perkins. In 2012, after 13 years there, she left to start Cowboy Ventures. In 2018, Aileen co-founded the non-profit All Raise to connect female founders and funders and advance women in tech.

Susan Lyne

Managing Partner and Co-Founder, BBG Ventures

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Susan led ABC Primetime (where she greenlit Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy) and then Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Gilt, and AOL’s Brand Group before starting a venture capital firm, BBG Ventures, in 2014. She and her partner, Nisha Dua, invest in women-led startups. Susan is on the board of GoPro.

Anja Manuel

Co-Founder and Partner
Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel

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Anja's journey took her from Stanford to Harvard Law School to Salomon Brothers (in London) to WilmerHale to the U.S. State Department before she co-founded Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel with Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Harley, and Robert Gates. The strategic consulting firm helps companies navigate international markets. Anja is also the Executive Director of the Aspen Strategy Group and Aspen Security Forum. And she's on two corporate boards: Ripple Labs and Overseas Shipping Group.

Marissa Mayer

Co-Founder and CEO, Sunshine

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Marissa grew up in Wisconsin and earned two degrees at Stanford—a BS  in Symbolic Systems and a Masters  in Computer Science—before she arrived at Google as a software engineer and employee No. 20. As a product manager and VP overseeing large divisions, Marissa made a major impact on Google’s look, user experience, and scope. She spent five years at Yahoo, as CEO before she started Sunshine in 2018. Marissa is on the board of Walmart.

Dina powell mccormick

Vice Chairman & President of Global Client Services
BDT & MSD

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Making her way from Egypt to Texas to Washington, D.C., Dina held senior roles in the Bush Administration before landing at Goldman Sachs in 2007. Over two decades at Goldman—with a break to serve as U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor in 2017—Dina led the firm's Impact Investing and rose to Global Head of the Sovereign Business as well as Sustainability and Inclusive Growth. She left Goldman in 2023 to join merchant bank BDT & MSD as Partner and Vice Chairman. Dina is on the board of ExxonMobil and serves as Chair of the Robin Hood Foundation.

Hadley Mullin

Partner and Senior Managing Director, TSG Consumer Partners

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From Dartmouth to Stanford (MBA) to Bain to TSG Consumer Partners in 2004, San Francisco-based Hadley has had a front row seat through the tech and private equity revolutions. She is one of three senior partners at TSG, an exceptionally gender-diverse private equity fund that has over $20 billion of assets under management and has funded more than 100 leading consumer and retail brands. Hadley oversees deal origination, diligence, and portfolio management, including oversight of the firm’s operating group, TSG Vantage. She has served on many corporate boards, and in 2023 was included in Fortune's “21 private equity power players shaping the $8 trillion industry as a new guard emerges.”

Indra Nooyi

Former Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo

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Beginning her career at Johnson & Johnson, Indra made stops at BCG, Motorola, and ABB before moving to PepsiCo in 1994 as SVP of Strategic Planning. She became Chair and CEO in 2006 and led Pepsi for 13 years until 2019. Indra serves on the boards of Amazon and Philips.

Jackie Reses

CEO, Lead Bank

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Born in Atlantic City, Jackie ran her first business at age 16, selling games of chance on the Wildwood boardwalk. After graduating from Wharton, she worked in M&A at Goldman Sachs, in private equity at Apex Partners, and then as Chief Development Officer at Yahoo. In 2015, she joined Square, built Square Capital, the company's lending arm, and also served as the company's CHRO. Jackie has chaired the San Francisco Fed's Economic Development Council since 2015. In 2021, she bought Lead Bank, a community in Kansas City. She is on the boards of Affirm, Endeavor, and Nubank.

Jana Rich

Founder and CEO, Rich Talent Group

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Jana’s journey began in Maine, took her to Vassar, and on to Stanford, where she earned her MBA. She spent 18 years at recruiting giants Korn Ferry and Russell Reynolds (where she led the Global Consumer Digital and Media practice) before starting Rich Talent Group in 2014. With strong ties to the tech and venture worlds, Jana and her team recruit C-suite executives—with a focus on female and diverse talent—for a broad range of companies and boards.

Rachel ROMER

Co-Founder and CEO, Guild

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Unlocking opportunity has been Rachel’s passion ever since she was a teenager growing up in Colorado. At Stanford, while pursuing her MBA, she launched her first startup, Student Blueprint. In 2015, she co-founded Guild to mobilize companies to offer education, reskilling and career pathways to American frontline employees. Now, as CEO, Rachel is scaling a fast-growing unicorn.

Ginni Rometty

Former Chairman, President and CEO, IBM

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Ginni’s career journey began as a systems engineer at IBM, took her through global consulting and operating roles, and led to eight years at the helm as Chairman, President and CEO. She retired in 2020 after 39 years at IBM. Ginni co-chairs One Ten and is on the board of JPMorgan Chase.

Megan J. Smith

Founder and CEO, shift7

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Moving from Buffalo to MIT to Apple (Tokyo) to General Magic (a brilliant failed Silicon Valley startup) to Planet Out (as CEO) to Google (as head of new business development and Google[x]) to the Obama Administration (as Chief Technology Officer and Assistant to the President), Megan has had an incredibly rich journey. Now she is building shift7, a collaborative tech platform with a mission to fix systemic social, environmental and economic problems. Megan is co-founder of the Malala Fund and on the boards of MIT and Vital Voices.

SONIA SYNGAL

Former CEO, Gap Inc.

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An engineer who began her career at Ford Motor, Sonia moved to Sun Microsystems and then Gap in 2004. She headed Old Navy for four years before stepping up to CEO of Gap Inc. (Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta) in 2020.

Jennifer Tejada

CEO, PagerDuty

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Jenn started her career at Procter & Gamble, moved on to senior roles at several tech companies, and led Keynote Systems before she joined PagerDuty as CEO in 2016. She took PagerDuty public on the NYSE in 2019. Jenn is a director of Estee Lauder.

Baroness Shriti Vadera

Chair, Prudential PLC

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Shriti’s journey began in Uganda and took her to India and then the UK, where she started as an investment banker and served as a Minister in the British government. Her global finance expertise led her to board roles at Astra Zeneca, BHP, and SantanderUK, where she served as Chair. She has chaired the Prudential PLC board since 2021.

Kathi Vidal

Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

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Kathi began her career as an electrical engineer designing aircraft and helicopter systems at General Electric and Lockheed Martin. She quit, went to law school, focused on patent law, and became a top IP litigator and Managing Partner of the Silicon Valley office of Winston & Strawn. Kathi joined the Biden White House in April and now, as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, she reports to Secretary Gina Raimondo.

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