Our Team

Our Staff

  • Dr. Susan M. Blaustein, Founder and Executive Director of WomenStrong International

    Dr. Susan M. Blaustein

    Founder and Executive Director

    Susan sets the vision and strategic direction for WomenStrong, including its grantmaking, the Learning Lab model, knowledge and learning, and communications.

  • Hannah Barrueta Sacksteder, Program and Equity Manager of WomenStrong International

    Hannah Barrueta Sacksteder

    Program and Equity Manager

    Hannah supports the management and organization of the Learning Lab community, and works to ensure diversity, inclusion, and equity are reflected in WomenStrong and Learning Lab activities.

  • Laura Cansicio, Chief External Affairs Officer of WomenStrong International

    Laura Cansicio

    Chief External Affairs Officer

    Laura drives fundraising and donor relations strategies to broaden WomenStrong’s visibility and relevancy while strengthening the organization’s financial sustainability.

  • Patricia Essel, Senior Advisor for Programs of WomenStrong International

    Patricia Essel

    Senior Advisor for Programs

    Patricia supports WomenStrong’s Partner Capacity Strengthening and Learning Lab programs with focus on the integration of gender-transformative approaches.

  • Amy Gregowski, Director of Measurement, Learning, and Evaluation of WomenStrong International

    Amy Gregowski

    Director of Measurement, Learning, and Evaluation

    Amy leads WomenStrong’s Knowledge and Learning efforts, including assessing WomenStrong’s model and providing technical guidance to partners on measurement, learning, and evaluation.

  • Dr. Chisina Kapungu, Director of Learning and Partnerships of WomenStrong International

    Dr. Chisina Kapungu

    Director of Learning and Partnerships

    Chisina oversees the Learning Lab, including technical areas focused on girls’ education, women’s health, violence prevention, and economic opportunity.

  • Michelle Lambert, Director of Strategic Communications of WomenStrong International

    Michelle Lambert

    Director of Strategic Communications

    Michelle leads WomenStrong’s communications, including amplifying the work of grantee partners.

  • Denise Mishiwiec, Senior Manager, Grants and Programs of WomenStrong International

    Denise Mishiwiec

    Senior Manager, Grants and Programs

    Denise leads the development and implementation of WomenStrong’s grant systems and policies, and coordinates capacity strengthening activities.

  • Mara Steinhaus, Senior Advisor for Measurement, Learning, and Evaluation of WomenStrong International

    Mara Steinhaus

    Senior Advisor for Measurement, Learning, and Evaluation

    Mara evaluates WomenStrong’s support for its grantee partners and works with them to strengthen their measurement, learning, and evaluation efforts.

  • Naomi Walston, Director of Strategy and Organizational Strengthening of WomenStrong International

    Naomi Walston

    Director of Strategy and Organizational Strengthening

    Naomi supports WomenStrong in charting it’s overall strategic direction and accompanies the grantee partners as they strive to reach their organizational strengthening goals.

  • Bianca Zhang, Chief Operating Officer of WomenStrong International

    Bianca Zhang

    Chief Operating Officer

    Bianca oversees WomenStrong’s operations, finances, administration, IT systems, and team resources and strategy.

Our Board of Directors

  • Tiffany Green, WomenStrong International Board Member of WomenStrong International

    Tiffany Green

    Tiffany Green is the Founder and Managing Director of Emergent Inquiry Consulting. Tiffany has over 18 years of global experience guiding leaders and organizations through transformational change and growth experiences.

  • Steve Kass, WomenStrong International Board Member of WomenStrong International

    Steve Kass

    Steve Kass serves as Senior Environmental Counsel at Carter Ledyard and Milburn LLP, and Adjunct Professor at Brooklyn Law School and at NYU’s Center on Global Affairs.

  • Cathy Lee, WomenStrong International Board Member of WomenStrong International

    Cathy Lee

    Catherine Lee is Founder and Manager of Lee International Business Development. Her practice focuses on climate change policy, projects and programs domestically and internationally.

  • Nicky Le Roux, WomenStrong International Board Member of WomenStrong International

    Nicky Le Roux

    Nicky is an intersectional African feminist, who focusses on advancing women’s rights and eradicating violence against women and gender diverse folk. Nicky currently serves as the Senior Program Officer of the Gender, Race, and Ethnic Justice portfolio at the Ford Foundation’s Office of Southern Africa.

  • Dr. Joyce Malombe, Founder of WomenStrong International

    Dr. Joyce Malombe

    Dr. Joyce Malombe is the Founder of the Collective Rising Leadership Institute and has more than 25 years of experience from academic settings, global development, and philanthropy.

  • Dr. Howard C. Mandel, MD, WomenStrong International Board Member of WomenStrong International

    Dr. Howard C. Mandel, MD

    Dr. Howard C. Mandel, FACOG, is a practicing obstetrician gynecologist in Los Angeles with extensive leadership in political advocacy.

  • Prof. Geeta Mehta, WomenStrong International Board Member of WomenStrong International

    Prof. Geeta Mehta

    Prof. Geeta Mehta is an adjunct professor of architecture and urban design at Columbia University in New York, where she teaches seminars and design studios that have worked in India, China, Austria, France, Ukraine, Colombia, Brazil, Jamaica, Ghana and Kenya.

  • Heather Goldberg Mendelow, WomenStrong International Board Member of WomenStrong International

    Heather Goldberg Mendelow

    Heather Goldberg Mendelow is an attorney and teacher. Most recently, Heather practiced law at Pfizer as a Senior Corporate Counsel for a variety of drug portfolios. Prior to practicing law, Heather taught elementary school in Compton, California for three years as a Teach For America corps member.

  • Cynthia Nimmo, WomenStrong International Board Member of WomenStrong International

    Cynthia Nimmo

    Cynthia Nimmo is a leader in advancing gender equality, establishing partnerships with the corporate, philanthropic, government, and nonprofit sectors to secure lasting change. She has led national and global networks and is President Emeritus of Women’s Funding Network (WFN)

  • Pam Schutz, WomenStrong International Board Member of WomenStrong International

    Pam Schutz

    Pam Schutz, a seasoned financial services executive, is the retired CEO of Retirement and Protection for Genworth, a spin-off of GE.

  • Peggy Shepard, WomenStrong International Board Member of WomenStrong International

    Peggy Shepard

    Peggy Shepard is a community activist, environmental health researcher and advocate, and Co-Founder and Executive Director of WE ACT For Environmental Justice (WE ACT).

  • Robin Smalley, WomenStrong International Board Member of WomenStrong International

    Robin Smalley

    Robin Smalley, an Emmy Award-winning television director/producer/writer, is co-founder of mothers2mothers, a Cape Town based NGO providing education, empowerment and support to pregnant women and new mothers living with HIV/AIDS in Africa.

  • Andine Sutarjadi, WomenStrong International Board Member of WomenStrong International

    Andine Sutarjadi

    Andine Sutarjadi is a speaker, facilitator, and writer on next generation philanthropy who has dedicated her career toward advancing inclusive practices in philanthropic decision-making, governance, and advising. Andine is the Director at 21/64, a nonprofit practice serving next-gen and multigenerational families.

  • Dr. Helen Yang, WomenStrong International Board Member of WomenStrong International

    Dr. Helen Yang

    Dr. Helen Yang is an international executive with 30 years of corporate experience, including 20 years in the Asia Pacific region, in a Fortune 500 company. Currently, she is Founder and Managing Director of New Horizons Management Consulting Co., where she specializes in providing strategic business and leadership solutions to clients.