Opening remarks will be provided by Ann McLane Kuster, J.D, a public policy advocate, a community activist and Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress. Ms. Kuster has been actively involved in government relations and community affairs since joining the Rath, Young and Pignatelli law firm in 1986. She founded the firm’s Health Care Practice Group and served as director of the firm’s Education and Non-Profit Law Practice Group. Her legal practice is focused primarily on education, non-profit, finance and health policy Ms. Kuster has spent much of her life in New Hampshire leading non-profits and helping to create public policy programs that assist families afford college and distribute free medicine to seniors and families in need. Ms. Kuster graduated from Dartmouth College and earned her juris doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center.
Moderator of the Women and the Economy panel Cotton M. Cleveland is the senior consultant and president at Mather Associates, a consulting firm specializing in leadership, organizational development and constructive change for corporate, nonprofit and municipal organizations. She was the founding executive director of Leadership New Hampshire and human resources manager of the New London Trust Company. Ms. Cleveland received her bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire Whittemore School of Business and Economics and has worked in a variety of management and volunteer positions. From 2000 to 2010 she was moderator for the town of New London and for the New London/ Springfield Water Precinct. She has served on a variety of business and nonprofit boards representing insurance, banking, utilities, education, government and charitable organizations.
Panelist Carol L. Folt, Ph.D. will address “The Importance of Child Care: Empowering Women in the Workforce.” Dr. Folt is the provost of Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., where she has been a member of the faculty since 1983 and has served as dean of graduate studies and dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. She earned a B.S. and a M.S. at the University of California at Santa Barbara and a Ph.D. in ecology from University of California at Davis.
Panelist Monica Zulauf will speak to women’s workplace concerns in “The 21st Century Workplace: Equal and Flexible”, especially the persistent pay gap between women and men and the need to adapt the workplace for mothers. She has been the executive director of YWCA New Hampshire since 2007, where she balanced the agency’s budget and began a major program initiative, The Family Education Collaborative. She is also president of Family Support New Hampshire and served as priority leader for the New Hampshire Child Advocacy Network, leading one of four 2010 priority issues for children: to reduce bullying in New Hampshire schools. Among other local and statewide coordinated efforts, Ms. Zulauf is co-chair of Manchester’s Weed and Seed Violence Prevention Committee and serves on the Crime Prevention Taskforce, and the N.H. Child Welfare Committee.
Panelist Sarah Chaisson Warner, M.P.P., will address the topic of “Women and Social Security.” She is the executive director of New Hampshire Citizens Alliance, a non-profit organization that mobilizes Granite Staters to participate in the civic arena through leadership development, voter outreach and issue advocacy. She has more than ten years experience working on women’s and girls’ issues in New York City, Washington, D.C., and New Hampshire. Ms. Warner holds a B.A. from Barnard College and a Master of Public Policy Degree from Harvard University. She was featured by The Union Leader in 2009 as one of “40 under 40” professionals who make a difference, and was selected as a regional finalist in the White House Fellowship Competition in 2010. Ms. Warner is the founder and editor-in-chief of Athena Magazine for Girls.
Moderator Susan Reeves, Ed.D., R.N., is associate academic dean for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Partnership Programs and chair of Nursing and Public Health at Colby-Sawyer College. Her areas of expertise include ethics, healthcare, human resource management, management, nursing and organizational behavior. Dr. Reeves is a graduate of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital of Nursing and of Colby-Sawyer College’s Nursing Program. She earned a M.S. from University of New Hampshire and completed the doctor of education program at University of Vermont, with a concentration in educational leadership and policy studies.
Panelist Heather Farr Gunnell, M.A., will speak about domestic and sexual violence on the Women, Health and Healthcare panel. Ms. Gunnell is the program director for the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program for the State of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (NHCADSV). In this role, she is responsible for the promotion and coordination of the SANE Program to establish high standards of care for sexual assault victims. In her prior position at the Verde Valley Sanctuary in Arizona, a domestic violence advocacy center, Ms. Gunnell served as the legal advocacy and outreach services director. There she worked to improve systems, increased collaboration among service providers and provided training and outreach to the community. Prior to her director position at Verde Valley Sanctuary, Ms. Gunnell provided direct services to victims as the center’s outreach case manager. Ms. Gunnell is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy from New England College.
Panelist Kristina Fjeld, M.P.H., will address the health care needs of uninsured women. She serves as deputy director of the New Hampshire Area Health Center at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. In these roles she manages grants, budgets, program development, grant writing, web site development, strategic planning and grant/program implementation. Issues she has focused on include childhood obesity, access to health in rural areas, health care workforce, quality improvement initiatives, medical home model and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. She is a graduate of the M.P.H. program at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and holds a B.S. from Northeastern University in sociology. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for West Central Behavioral Health in Lebanon, N.H.
Panelist Jennifer Frizzell, J.D., will address “Challenges and Opportunities in Protecting Women’s Health in the Current Political Environment.” Ms. Frizzell is a senior policy advisor for Northern New England Planned Parenthood and former director of policy for the New Hampshire State Senate. She has been an adjunct faculty member at the Franklin Pierce Law Center and was a public policy director for New Hampshire Legal Assistance. Ms. Frizzell serves on the Advisory Council for the Endowment for Health; her past board memberships and affiliations include the NH Coalition on Domestic and Sexual Violence, Northern New Hampshire Mental Health and Developmental Services, and the N.H. Reproductive Health Association. Ms. Frizzell earned her juris doctorate from Franklin Pierce Law Center and graduated cum laude from the University of New Hampshire.
Moderator Pamela Serota Cote, Ed.D., moderator of the “Global Women’s Issues” panel, is associate dean of International and Diversity Programs at Colby-Sawyer College. In this role, she facilitates the strategic initiatives of the college as relates to increased diversity and internationalization of the educational experience for the campus community. Dr. Serota Cote earned her B.A. in French from Oberlin College, her M.Ed. in Counseling from University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and her Ed.D. in Organization and Leadership from the University of San Francisco. She has been the recipient of two Fulbright Foundation awards: a Teaching Assistantship in France and an International Education Administrator’s grant in Germany. Her doctoral research considered the influence of language immersion education and the language revitalization efforts of a cultural and linguistic minority population in France to explore the role of diverse ethnic, linguistic and communal identity within national identity.
Panelist Wilma Longdon, M.S., executive director of WomensTrust in Pokuase Village, Ghana, will address “Transforming the Lives of Women and Girls through Microfinance and Educational and Healthcare Support.” She notes that poverty is at the heart of many global issues, and that gender inequality in the third world manifests itself as a lack of capital for women in business, poor maternal and infant health care, and lack of education for women and girls. Longdon brings experience in information technology and project and risk management to WomensTrust, an international non-governmental organizations with offices in Ghana and New Hampshire. She studied computer science and statistics at the University of Ghana and holds a master’s degree from the London School of Economics.
Panelist Lisa Baldez, Ph.D., will address “Should the U.S. Ratify the United Nations’ Treaty on Women’s Rights?” on the “Global Women’s Issues” panel. Her current research is focused on the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The United States is one of seven countries in the world that has yet to ratify the treaty, and Dr. Baldez maintains that doing so would enable this country to participate in an important global forum in which women’s rights are addressed as human rights. Ms. Baldez is Associate Professor of Government and Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies, Dartmouth College. Previously she taught at Washington University in St. Louis, Harvard University, University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology. Dr. Baldez holds a B.A. in politics from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in political science from University of California, San Diego. She is the author of Why Women Protest: Women’s Movements in Chile and editor of Political Women and American Democracy: Critical Perspectives on Women and Politics Research. Her work on gender and politics in Latin America and the United States and has appeared in journals including Comparative Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly and The Journal of Legal Studies. She is one of the founding editors, with Karen Beckwith, of Politics & Gender.
Panelist Jennifer Durant, M.A., will address “The Proliferation of Human Trafficking at Home and Abroad” on the “Global Women’s Issues” panel. Ms. Durant is a public policy specialist for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (NHCADSV), where she focuses on legislation that pertains to children and families, economic justice issues, and strengthening the state’s current criminal, civil and family laws to protect victims of domestic and sexual violence and stalking in New Hampshire. As the result of her work on the N.H. Statewide Interagency Commission to Study Human Trafficking in 2008, Ms. Durant became the primary author of an eight-page bill and lobbied for the passage of the first-ever attempt to criminalize human trafficking in New Hampshire. Signed by Governor Lynch in 2009, it is now a Class A felony to traffic a human being for labor and sexual exploitation. The law also allows the state to convict a trafficker with enhanced penalties if they exploit someone under the age of 18. Ms. Durant is an adjunct Sociology professor at Saint Anselm College.
Caucus Moderator Ricia McMahon, M.S., chair of the Selectboard in Sutton, N.H., and a former three-term member of N.H. House of Representatives and White House policy advisor, will moderate the caucus session. From 2004 to 2010, Ms. McMahon served as the state representative for Newbury and Sutton. From 1993 to 2001, Ms. McMahon was chief of staff and senior policy advisor in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and director of Community Outreach for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration in the Department of Health and Human Services. She graduated from East Stroudsburg State College and Colby-Sawyer College, and holds a M.S. in Management from Lesley University.
Moderator Melissa Meade, Ph.D., is associate professor of Humanities at Colby-Sawyer College. Dr. Meade teaches in communication and media studies as well as gender and women’s studies. Her undergraduate courses include media theory, history and law, feminist media studies, and feminist theory and history. Dr. Meade’s research interests include media and cultural history, women’s media and media activism. She is currently working on a book-length manuscript investigating “all-girl” media of the mid-20th century and relationships to the so-called second wave feminist movement. She is a founding member of the Steering Committee for the 2011 N.H. Women’s Caucus. Dr. Meade earned her bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and her master’s and doctoral degrees from University of Washington.
Panelist Jeff Feingold will discuss the use of traditional print and online media as tools for change. Mr. Feingold, a journalist for 35 years, has worked as an editor at weekly and daily newspapers in New Jersey and New Hampshire. He is currently editor of New Hampshire Business Review, where he has worked for more than 20 years. He’s also a contributor to the new political web site, The Lobby (TheLobbyNH.com), and has been a longtime guest on public affairs shows on both public and commercial TV and radio.
Panelist Karlyn Morissette, M.B.A., director of Social Media at Southern New Hampshire University, will focus on effective strategies for building community and initiating collaborative action through social media. A web developer, Morissette pioneered the use of web technologies in student recruitment, exploring email marketing, social media strategy, analytics, content strategy and return on investment analysis and helped develop many of the online recruitment strategies considered best practice today. Ms. Morissette is a staff writer on the 2009 and 2010 higher education blog of the year, eduGuru. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication from Boston University, a master’s of business administration from Norwich University. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in psychology from Capella University.
Panelist Jamila Raqib, executive director of The Albert Einstein Institution in Boston, Mass., will discuss strategies for using non-violent action to bringing about positive change for women. The Albert Einstein Institution is dedicated to advancing the study and use of strategic nonviolent action in conflicts throughout the world. Since 2002, Raqib has worked closely with Dr. Gene Sharp, the foremost authority on strategic nonviolent struggle, providing editorial, writing and research support. She has also served as a commentator on nonviolent action for various media, including the BBC, National Public Radio, Voice of America and The New York Times. Recently, Raqib authored the case study on the Tunisian Revolution in the Sharp’s Dictionary of Power and Struggle, by Gene Sharp (Oxford University Press, October 2011). In 2010, she collaborated with Dr. Sharp to produce “Self-Liberation,” a revised curriculum for groups that wish to independently develop a comprehensive strategy of non- violent action. A native of Afghanistan, Raqib studied business and international relations at Simmons College.
Panelist Dana Dakin, founder and president of WomensTrust, will speak about making a difference through focused volunteer work, philanthropy or your own grass roots organization. Ms. Dakin founded WomensTrust after a 40-year career in financial services. With experience at the NYSE and in pension consulting, she pioneered the first marketing agency to focus on institutional investment firms. From its start in 1976, Dakin Partners was associated with some of the great launches in the money management business and co-produced the PBS series, “Beyond Wall Street: The Art of Investing.” In 2003, to celebrate turning 60, Dakin shifted her focus to help women and girls in Africa break the cycle of poverty through education and entrepreneurship. Ms. Dakin graduated in 1964 from Scripps College with an honors thesis on Pan-Africanism. She has served on the boards of Scripps College and the Women’s Fund of New Hampshire. She was named a 2008 Purpose Prize Fellow, and in 2010 received the prestigious Isabel Benham Award from the Women’s Bond Club of New York. She resides in Wilmot Flat, N.H.
Elizabeth Hager, M.P.A., who has held positions as executive director of Merrimack County United Way, New Hampshire State Representative and mayor of Concord, N.H., will discuss ways to facilitate change through participation in state and local governments. Ms. Hager began her public service in 1972 when she was elected to the New Hampshire Legislature, where she served 13 terms. She was a Concord city councilor for eight years and served as the city’s first woman mayor from 1988 to 1990. She was a delegate to the 1974 and 1984 Constitutional Conventions and was a sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment, which became a part of the State Constitution in 1975. Ms. Hager recently retired as executive director of the United Way of Merrimack County, a position to which she was nominated in 1996 after years of volunteerism, including roles as president of the board and campaign chair of the United Way. Ms. Hager did graduate work in Early Childhood Education at Tufts University and earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from University of New Hampshire. She completed her undergraduate work at Wellesley College.
Terie Norelli is serving her eighth two-year term in the New Hampshire House of Representatives and was recently elected as the House Minority Leader. She will address strategies for effective legislative advocacy and political action. Ms. Norelli served two terms as the speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, the only Democrat to serve in this role in nearly 100 years and the second woman to serve as speaker. A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Representative Norelli taught mathematics at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton, N.H. She has long been committed to women’s advocacy, attending the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, in l995, and helping to organize follow-up conferences in New Hampshire in 1996 and 2000. Representative Norelli serves as president-elect of the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Board of Directors of the State Legislative Leaders Foundation. She is featured in Pearls, Politics and Power: How Women Can Win and Lead, by Vermont Gov. Madeleine Kunin, and Women at the Table: 40 Intimate Profiles of Political Women in the Northeast, by Michaeline della Fera.