IWF Georgia International Women's Day Speakers:
Chief of Staff-Communications
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Saleemah is an accomplished leader with extensive experience in global policy, advocacy, and communications. Before joining the foundation, Saleemah served as the founding director of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance which comprises every sitting African head of state and government. ALMA developed a diplomatic apparatus based on accountability to generate African-owned and African-led ways to accelerate malaria elimination and improve health outcomes for women and children. In this role, Saleemah functioned as a combined chief of staff and chief communications officer. Additionally, Saleemah played a key role as director for the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Malaria. In these roles, Saleemah briefed leaders on key trends and new data and strategic opportunities to expand access to lifesaving commodities.
Previously, Saleemah was an associate director of Corporate Volunteerism at Hands on Atlanta and has served as a consultant to non-profits and governmental organizations on projects focused on alleviating poverty through interfaith dialogue and action programs.
Saleemah is also a community leader with a strong commitment to and passion for civic engagement through activism, volunteerism, and advocating for gender equality in Muslim communities in the U.S. and abroad. In her free time, Saleemah is a writer and speaker who chairs a non-profit, non-partisan organization working to boost civic engagement in the American Muslim Community. Saleemah is a graduate of Columbia University.
Chief Equity Officer & Executive Director, City of Atlanta
Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim is the City of Atlanta’s Chief Equity Officer, a senior-level cabinet position that serves as the Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of One Atlanta. Abdur-Rahim works with City leadership to develop progressive policies and programs to address issues of equity, diversity, inclusion and sustainability. Specific areas of focus include economic and workforce mobility, housing affordability, health, education, youth engagement, and LGBTQ affairs.
Prior to joining the City, Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim worked to break the cycle of generational poverty for nearly 17 years at Future Foundation—departing as the organization’s CEO. During her tenure, Abdur-Rahim increased the organization’s revenue by 432% and expanded its staff from two to fifty. Under this expansion, the organization grew to service 13 locations and 30,000 students. Abdur-Rahim also developed and deployed a toolkit on effective community and faith-based partnerships in collaboration with the Administration for Children and Families.
CEO, The Carter Center
Paige Alexander joined The Carter Center as chief executive officer in June 2020, succeeding Ambassador (ret.) Mary Ann Peters.
Alexander has had a distinguished global development career, with over two decades of experience spanning the government and nonprofit sectors. She has held senior leadership positions at two regional bureaus of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), covering missions and development programs in 25 countries.
Between 1993 and 2001, Alexander was USAID’s deputy for the Europe region with a focus on immediate post-conflict reconstruction in the Balkans. She held several roles in the Bureau for Europe and the Newly Independent States Task Force, including chief of staff, acting director for the Democracy and Governance Office, deputy director of the Bosnia Task Force, and country desk officer. After leaving for 10 years to work in a leadership role in the nonprofit sector, Alexander returned to USAID in 2011 in the Senate-confirmed position of assistant administrator for Europe and Eurasia; in 2015, she was again confirmed to lead the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Bureau, overseeing 1,000 employees, programs in 12 countries, and more than $1.4 billion in annual funding.
Between her assignments with USAID, Alexander was senior vice president and European founder/president of IREX (2001-2010), an international civil society, democracy, and education nonprofit organization. From 2017 until her appointment to The Carter Center, she served as executive director of the European Cooperative for Rural Development (EUCORD) in Brussels and Amsterdam, working to bring market-led solutions to marginalized farmers in Africa to sustainably improve the livelihoods of families and communities.
Earlier, Alexander was associate director of Project Liberty at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government (1992-1993) and a consultant to institutions including the C.S. Mott Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Open Society Institute in Prague. She has served on many global boards and committees, currently including the Romanian-American Foundation and advisory boards for World Learning and IREX, as well as human rights organizations.
Alexander earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication and social psychology from Tulane University Newcomb College in 1988
Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network (GAIN)
Alpa Amin is the Executive Director of Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network (GAIN), having previously served as GAIN’s Director of Legal Services. Ms. Amin began her work with GAIN in 2008 as a Law and Policy Assistant, and in 2009 with the support from Greenberg Traurig and King & Spalding, she was awarded an Equal Justice Works Fellowship to establish GAIN’s Victims of Violence Program. Ms. Amin oversees all aspects of GAIN’s work, including the provision of pro bono legal services through GAIN’s Asylum and Victims of Violence Programs. She works closely with federal, state, and local law enforcement and is a frequent guest speaker on issues affecting vulnerable immigrants. Ms. Amin is Chair of the Georgia Immigrant Working Group, a past chair of the Georgia Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force, and a graduate of the FBI Citizens Academy, Leadership Buckhead, and the Anti-Defamation League’s Glass Leadership Institute. She has been recognized by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of Georgia’s Top 40 Under 40 and is the recipient of the Atlanta Bar Association’s 2018 Rita A. Sheffey Public Interest Award. Ms. Amin is a graduate of Virginia Tech University and Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School.
President and CEO, MBA
Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, Inc. (ACE)
Fricks founded award-winning Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, Inc. (ACE), a Georgia nonprofit and certified CDFI that helps underserved business owners grow their businesses through capital, coaching and connections. In 2018, Bank of America and SunTrust Foundation honored ACE for outstanding impact – ACE has now provided more than $100 million in loans, assisted more than 1,400 small businesses, and helped create or retain over 12,000 jobs for Georgians. Fricks is one of Bizwomen’s 100 Women to Watch, a Women Who Mean Business Honoree by Atlanta Business Chronicle and one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians by Georgia Trend Magazine. In 2019 she was recognized as a Corporate Diversity Champion at the Atlanta Business Chronicle’sDiversity and Inclusion Awards. She was also honored with a Vision of Excellence Award by the Atlanta Business League and named Financial Services Champion of the Year by the SBA Georgia District Office. She was presented with the Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award by Startup Atlanta. While she is identified as one the 100 Most Influential Georgians by Georgia Trend Magazine, when asked what her greatest strength is, she will tell you that it is her ability to empower others to fulfill their dreams. That’s what she’s good at, and that is what excites her. Fricks currently serves on the Board of Directors of Appalachian Community Capital and Invest Atlanta’s New Market Tax Credit Board. She is a past member of the National Board of Directors of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), Atlanta’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI), the Fifth Third Advisory Board, and Board of Trustees of North Georgia Technical College. Fricks, a small business owner for more than 15 years, is also a former Board Member of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Atlanta chapter. Her undergraduate is in social work from University of Tennessee at Martin and her MBA is from the University of Memphis.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Amy Glennon is the former publisher of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and of Cox Media Group’s Vertical Businesses, a portfolio of digital content sites.
Glennon is on the Advisory Board of the James M. Cox Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership at The University of Georgia; and is an Advisory Board member of the Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta.
President & CEO
IBEX IT Business Experts
Originally from New Jersey, Tracey attended the University of Pittsburgh where she obtained her BA in Economics and Spanish and was then awarded a Graduate Tuition Fellowship to fully fund her MBA in Marketing, which she completed in 11 months. Before breaking into the technology industry by founding IBEX IT Business Experts in 2012, Tracey led successful sales teams at international corporations including Learning Tree and FedEx.
At IBEX, Tracey helps organizations like NASA, CDC, and Cox Communications implement IT solutions and train workers on innovative technologies. As a minority woman founder, Tracey knows that IBEX brings value beyond technology solutions; IBEX also serves a major need in connecting organizations with underrepresented groups. Although her professional expertise lies in IT solutions, government contracting and best practices, she is a uniquely powerful authority on topics like diversity, networking, and leadership.
2021 marked a big year for IBEX, with the launch of Certifiably Diverse, a new supplier diversity software. Certifiably Diverse helps clients like the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) to increase their supplier diversity spend providing the smartest way to communicate, collaborate, and network with diverse suppliers. Additionally, IBEX has maintained its place on the Inc. 5000 list of Fastest-Growing Private Companies for 4 years straight and won Greater North Fulton Small Business of the Year and the Georgia Fast 40 Award, given to the top 40 fastest growing Georgia based mid-market companies. Tracey was also named as a 2021 EY Winning Woman and now participates in their EY EAN program.
Tracey enjoys serving others and giving back. She serves on several non-profit boards including North Fulton Community Charities, Jane Addams Peace Association, and is Chair of the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council’s Minority Business Input Committee, where she assists minority businesses throughout the state.
Author, Performing Artist, and Poet
Maya Lawrence is a proud Spelman College alumna on a mission to liberate the world through Love. This NYC raised/ ATL based author, performing artist, and poet has followed an artistic breadcrumb trail from Lincoln Center, The Public Theater, to her current artistic home at the Tony Award winning Alliance Theater as a Resident Artist and Allyship Program Director. Maya's first children's book "Do You Love the Dark" published in conjunction with the Mayor's Summer Reading Club has been adapted into a play currently running at Alliance Theater until March 13th, 2022.
Deputy Assistant Administrator
USAID Asia Bureau
Maria Longi is USAID’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Asia Bureau. Prior to this assignment, she was the Acting Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for the Middle East, including the efforts of USAID missions and development programs in ten countries in the Middle East and North Africa. She oversees a large and varied portfolio that provides nearly $1.5 billion annually in assistance across the region. She has particular oversight for programs in Syria, Iraq and Egypt, as well as operations of the USAID Middle East bureau.
New American Pathways
Paedia has worked at New American Pathways (and its predecessor Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta) for fifteen years and has over twenty years’ experience in refugee service. Paedia is a leader in Georgia’s refugee and immigrant serving community and has helped to create a culture of collaboration among service providers that sets Georgia apart. She was a founding member and the first chair of the Coalition of Refugee Service Agencies (CRSA), a 21 member advocacy coalition that works to ensure Georgia is a welcoming place for immigrants and refugees. She led the successful merger of Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta and Refugee Family Services from initial concept through the creation of New American Pathways on October 1, 2014. In 2019, she helped create the Welcome Co-op, a shared services organization that provides logistics support to local resettlement agencies at a time of change in federal policy.
Under Paedia’s leadership, New American Pathways’ has created a comprehensive service model that guides a refugee’ s journey from arrival through citizenship, diversified funding to reduce dependence on the federal government and launched new programs supporting career advancement and civic engagement. Prior to New AP, Paedia served in programming and fundraising roles at Junior Achievement Worldwide, the Carter Center and Catholic Social Services. She is an alum of Leadership Atlanta (2016), Leadership DeKalb (2012), Harvard Business School’s Executive Nonprofit Leadership Program for “Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management” (2013), and Fanning Institute’s Executive Leadership Program in Non-profit Organizations (2010).
Dr. Hogai Nassery
Afghan American Alliance of Georgia
Dr. Nassery is a Family Physician with more than 20 years of primary care experience. Her clinical interests include disease prevention, refugee and women’s health, tobacco cessation and adolescent medicine. She has expertise in the treatment of ADHD, hypertension and kidney disease and her career has focused on increasing access to care, primary care redesign and public health.
President and CEO
As the President and CEO of CARE USA, Michelle Nunn leads a global team of 7,000 people working in more than 100 countries to save lives, defeat poverty, and achieve social justice. During her tenure CARE has taken its fundraising and impact to new levels, including FY21 revenue that was the highest in the organization’s history and programs that reached more than 90 million people. CARE is one of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations with a holistic approach to work in crisis response, food and water, health, education and work, climate change and all centered in gender equality. CARE’s work over the decades has demonstrated that poverty cannot be overcome until all people have equal rights.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, CARE marked its 75th Anniversary and Nunn led a $100M Crisis Response Campaign that met its target early and was expanded to $150M given the urgency of needs around the world. Included in CARE’s response is a re-launch of the CARE Package, an iconic symbol of American generosity, and the organization’s first-ever programming in the United States. Nunn’s championing of the CARE Package is a rooted in her belief in human solidarity and that the most powerful tools are also often the simplest.
Nunn built a career of service as a social entrepreneur and nonprofit CEO. In 1989 she co-founded the volunteer-mobilization organization Hands On Atlanta, which under her leadership, grew from a group of friends working on six projects a month to one of the nation’s largest civic action and volunteer hubs. In 2007, she led the merger between Hands On and President George H.W. Bush’s Points of Light – the world’s largest volunteer-service organization. Nunn’s experience with Hands On and Points of Light further reinforced her belief that lasting impact comes from people advocating for change at the community level. Nunn served as Points of Light CEO from 2007 to 2013.
Nunn entered into the political arena in 2014 and was nominated as the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate from Georgia. After her campaign, she took the reins of CARE USA in 2015, where her work continues to be informed by the imperative of government, civil society, and the private sector collaborating with citizens to create stronger, more resilient communities.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Virginia, Nunn majored in history with a minor in religion and earned her master’s degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She also received a Kellogg Fellowship to study faith and social justice in more than a dozen countries, from Peru to Namibia to Jordan.
Nunn lives in Atlanta with her husband, Ron Martin, and their two children, Vinson and Elizabeth.
Natosha Reid Rice
Associate General Counsel for Real Estate and Finance at Habitat for Humanity International
Natosha Reid Rice has recently transitioned into the role as Habitat for Humanity International’s first Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer. Natosha, who has served as the Associate General Counsel, Real Estate and Finance with Habitat since 2011, will now join the nonprofit’s senior leadership team and will lead the development and the execution of Habitat’s global strategy for diversity, equity and inclusion.
In her previous role as Associate General Counsel, Natosha initiated and managed financing programs and strategies to generate sources of capital that enable Habitat affiliates to build affordable housing with families throughout the U.S. In addition to her work at Habitat, Natosha served as an Associate Pastor at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA for 11 years before accepting her new role as Minister for Public Life at All Saints’ Episcopal Church.
Prior to joining Habitat, she practiced law in the commercial real estate practices of Alston & Bird LLP, in Atlanta, Georgia and at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison in New York City. While at these firms, her practice focused on commercial real estate development transactions, acquisitions, dispositions and leasing.
Natosha received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her B.A. in Government with honors from Harvard/Radcliffe College where she was a Harvard/Radcliffe Class Marshall and awarded the Captain Jonathan Fay Prize (Radcliffe’s Highest Honor) and the E.P. Saltonstall Prize. Natosha lives in Atlanta with her husband Corey Rice and their children, Kayla, Malachi and Caleb.
Malika Sylvain is the Owner of Shared Demands LLC. An organizing and personal assistance company. Her company manages diverse assignments for busy individuals and their families such as; professional home/office organizing, personal assistants, project management and an online consignment boutique.
She has had the honor to work for prestigious nonprofits as Associate Director of ALSAC/ St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Operations Director and Strategic Planning for Year Up Atlanta.
Malika serves her community as a proud Associate Member of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. and third generation member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Malika’s greatest accomplishment is being the proud mother of two adult daughters Brie and Cierra.
Some fun facts... She has visited 42 of the 50 states and has lived in seven states, most while a Marine Corp. family. She collects her sorority paraphernalia, heart shaped knickknacks in remembrance of her late father and every card she has ever been given. She loves traveling, tent camping and riding motorcycles. Her greatest joy is helping others live their best lives.
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Jennifer Langley, IWF Georgia Forum Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, 404-314-3941