In October 2016, ten women leaders from seven countries in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region convened in Sydney, Australia for our thirteenth Global Ambassadors Program, a partnership between Bank of America and Vital Voices that empowers women through mentoring. The meeting in Sydney represented a continuation of an ongoing commitment to the Asia Pacific region by both partners, with previous Global Ambassadors Program initiatives held in India, Singapore, and most recently in Japan in 2015.
During the program, the cohort discussed strategies to help women small business owners and leaders of social enterprises and non-governmental organizations grow and develop their organizations while navigating challenges facing women in leadership roles in growing economies, including gender discrimination, cultural norms and expectations, and formal access to credit markets. In addition to one-on-one mentoring, the women mentees participated in workshops designed to build their skills in strategic planning, communications and business acumen and developed a network of support among their peers and the Global Ambassadors.
In context of the one year anniversary of the United Nations Global Goals, a series of ambitious targets to end extreme poverty and tackle climate change by 2030, Global Ambassadors Program Australia underlined the critical role of women in advancing the new sustainable development agenda. We recognize that women leaders in the APAC region can help transform their countries. Closing the gender gap in the Asia-Pacific labor market could increase the GDP by 30 percent per capita.
Australia Global Ambassadors
Co-Founder and CEO, aden + anais
Brooklyn, New York
Raegan Moya-Jones is the co-founder and CEO of aden + anais, the baby care brand globally recognized for its muslin swaddles and baby products.
Originally from Sydney, Raegan and her husband moved to the U.S. in 1997, where she spent 10 years in sales at The Economist. When her daughter Anais was born in 2003, Raegan turned to the Australian tradition of swaddling babies in muslin but could not find blankets with breathable cloth. In 2006, Raegan, along with a business partner, launched aden + anais’ inaugural product – an Aussie-inspired muslin swaddle blanket in style-driven colors and patterns. Under Raegan’s vision, aden + anais continues to introduce an evolving assortment of family-friendly lifestyle items inspired by Australian traditions and Raegan’s life experiences as a mom of four girls.
Raegan has been named as one of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurs of the Year, and aden + anais was named to SmartCEO’s 2015 Future 50 list, as well as by Crain’s New York Business in this year’s Fast 50. The company has garnered numerous awards under its belt, including “Most Innovative Product,” “Creative Child Seal of Excellence,” ”Best Gift Brand” and much more.
Co-founder and CEO, Codeswitch
Kia Dowell leads the award-winning strategic agency Codeswitch, which combines business, human behavior and Australian Aboriginal knowledge systems to discover innovative solutions for organizational, human and social challenges. Codeswitch focuses on intelligent outcomes for positive collective impact using business strategy, community engagement and leader capability. Their leader capability programs provide individuals in a transitional phase with the skills to unlock their full potential and drive organizational performance. For business professionals, a one-day intensive action-learning program delivers practical results for immediate application in any organization working with Aboriginal entities or communities. Codeswitch has recently expanded its services with its two-day Codeswitchers Entrepreneurs for Innovation & Change Summit series and will release its online learning and knowledge hub in 2017.
Since 2012, Codeswitch has worked with over 70 clients, graduated 500 program alumni and currently delivers their free digital magazine, Codeswitchers, to over 2,500 subscribers around the world. Key achievements of the company include the 2015 WA BusinessNews 40under40 Awards, 2015 Perth NAIDOC Awards, 2015 CEBA Awards and 2015 NAB Ethnic Business Awards State Finalist.
Kia is currently a non-executive director with IRAM, a for-profit entity that leverages commercial retail investments to deliver financial and non-financial returns to Indigenous shareholders.
California State President, Bank of America
San Francisco, United States
Janet Lamkin is responsible for growing and integrating Bank of America's businesses and implementing its social responsibility programs in California, its largest market. She serves on the bank’s charitable foundation Board and led the creation of its program for investing in nonprofit leadership development.
Previously, Janet was the first female CEO of the California Bankers Association and served as the only female Chair of the Bay Area Council, whose members include more than 275 of the area’s largest employers. She also holds a role on the advisory board of the German Marshall Fund Leadership Development Program and on the University of California President’s Advisory Board.
Janet is perennially named one of the 100 most influential businesswomen in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has received the Founders Award from the Women’s Initiative for Self Employment and was named Financial Woman of the year by the Financial Women’s Association.
Janet received a Master of Arts in International Relations from the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia.
Maria Ronna Luna Pastorizo-Sekiguchi
Managing and Creative Director, The Greenhouse Studio
Ronna founded The Greenhouse Studio, a boutique multidisciplinary creative design and communications studio based in Fiji, in 2014. The studio was established with the philosophy that nurturing meaningful relationships with clients is key to running a sustainable business, and that finding creative solutions can inspire real change in the world.
Ronna was formerly the Creative General Manager at Oceanic Communications, and has attended a number of conferences including the East West Center’s Changing Faces Leadership Seminar: Women as Innovators and Entrepreneurs in 2014. She was a speaker at the Pacific Women in Business conference and attended the Pacific Cooperation Foundation’s Pacific Wave conference. She is also the Vice-President of Graduate Women Fiji, which focuses on empowering women and girls through education.
Ronna was presented with the A.Y. Foundation award in 1997 and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Communications from De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines with honors in 2000.
Lauren C. Anderson
Founder & CEO, LC Anderson International
An internationally recognized geopolitical and international security consultant and a distinguished former FBI Executive, Lauren is committed to investing in women leaders around the world to reduce conflict, advocate for social justice, and address economic disparities. She has exercised her expertise in high-risk domestic and international situations; global conflict and terrorist incidents; diplomacy; and business throughout the world.
In May of 2016, Lauren co-produced the inaugural conference, Empower the Immigrant Woman, for, and with, the State of Maine’s Immigrant Community, which honored trailblazing women from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. On the Board of Advisors for the documentary film, The Uncondemned, which tells the story of the first-ever prosecution of rape as a war crime, she is working with the producers and filmmakers to craft an action plan with members of the international community to focus more resources on prevention of, and prosecution of, sexual violence in conflict.
Lauren is an expert with the Women’s Media Center and she provides commentary for numerous international television, radio and print outlets. She serves on the U.S. Comptroller General’s Advisory Board at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and is a member of the International Women’s Forum and the Belizean Grove. She is a graduate of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, and the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, and has professional certifications from the Harvard Business School, the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School.
Gladeys Jill A. Santos-Cua, CPA, MBA, REA, REB, CrFA, IRCA, CICA, LLB
Founder & CEO, JSC & Company, CPAs
Jill Cua founded Jill Santos-Cua & Company, CPAs in June 2009. The firm strives to inspire, convince and empower clients to become entrepreneurs — rather than just average businessmen and women — who make the world a better place. Its mission is to partner with clients through value creation and business sustainability. It aims to encourage women CPAs to be bold in establishing auditing firms in the male-dominated industry. The firm was nationally awarded as 2016 Best Accounting & Auditing Firm by the Global Awards for Marketing & Business Excellence.
Jill is a certified public accountant, real estate appraiser and real estate broker. She earned a master’s degree in Business Administration and a bachelor’s degree in law. Jill is also a globally certified forensic auditor, certified internal control auditor and certified international standards organization auditor. She was named a National Young Achiever Awardee in 2009 by PICPA National and has awarded scholarships to earn an MBA in 2010. She participated in Rotary International’s Young Professional International Exchange in the United States in 2011 and the Global Leaders’ Program at Harvard University in 2016.
Co-Founder and Former Chief Operating Officer, POLITICO
Washington, DC., USA
Kim Kingsley spent nearly a decade as Chief Operating Officer of POLITICO. Kingsley, one of the first senior managers hired by the company in 2006, oversaw all of POLITICO’s strategic and business operations.
Under Kingsley’s leadership, POLITICO has been recognized by Fast Company Magazine and many others as among the most innovative companies in the industry. ELLE Magazine named Kim one of Washington's “Ten Most Powerful Women," and Washington Life Magazine featured her on recent "Power 100" and "Rising Stars Under 40” lists.
In the months following her departure, Kim continued her work in the women's empowerment space and spent time in Swaziland serving as a strategic advisor to Gone Rural, a thriving handcraft business and social enterprise dedicated to uplifting the lives of women and their communities. Kim is a member of the 2016 Class of Henry Crown Fellows and the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute and is an Advisory Board Member of Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and Public Service.
Kim graduated from Penn State, earning her B.A. in Broadcast Journalism, and spent her final semester abroad at the University of Ghana. Kim was also proud to serve as a speaker at one of Penn State's 2015 commencement ceremonies and is a recent recipient of the school’s prestigious Alumni Achievement Award.
Nguyen Thu Hue
Founder and CEO, Center for Marinelife Conservation and Community Development (MCD)
Nguyen Thu Hue co- founded and leads the strategic development of Center for Marinelife Conservation and Community Devleopment (MCD), a leading Vietnamese NGO in the field of coastal and marine ecosystem conservation. MCD strives for a coastal zone of Vietnam with healthy ecosystems and a good quality of life for coastal communities, especially those which are most vulnerable.
More than 15,000 local coastal community members have benefited from the strategic partnership and fundraising plan Ms. Hue has built for MCD to implement its programs.
She has been a panelist at several international events, including the Vital Voices of Asia Summit in 2010, the Marine Funders Meeting in 2014, and the Asia Summit of Microsoft Philanthropies in 2016.
Ms. Hue and MCD’s work has been recognized by various authorized agencies in Vietnam including the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA) in 2015, as one of the most outstanding science and technology organizations.
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Women in Business Development, Inc.
Adimaimalaga “Adi” Tafuna’i is the co-founder and executive director of Women in Business Development, Inc., an organization dedicated to economically empowering rural families agriculturally in Samoa in ways that honor indigenous tradition, using both traditional and modern technology and promoting fair trade.
Ms. Tafuna’i negotiated a contract with The Body Shop to buy coconut oil from Samoa, helped found the Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community and was the Chair of the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations from 2005 to 2008. She was instrumental in reviving Samoa’s fine mat weaving and transforming it into an income-generating activity. Regionally, Ms. Tafuna’i was one of the initiators of the Pacific Organic Ethical Trade community, and has assisted other Pacific organizations to become organically certified and negotiated their inclusion into world markets.
She is the recipient of The International Award from the Diller-von Furstenberg Foundation (2015) and a Global Leadership Award for Economic Empowerment from Vital Voices (2012). She was named Member of the Order of Samoa by the Samoan Government in 2014 and currently sits on the Global Agenda Council on New Growth Models for the World Economic Forum. She is also an Emerging Pacific Women Leaders Project mentor and a Vital Voices ANNpower mentor.
Moale ‘Mo’ Vagikapi
Founder and Co-Director, IM Associates (IMA) Limited
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Moale Vagikapi is the founder and co-director of IMA Ltd, a consultancy offering development management and medical services. Prior to this, Moale was a career professional with AusAID/DFAT as program director for Operations and Development Cooperation.
Moale has 25 years of professional experience, with a significant part of her career devoted to aid and development work through public and private sectors.
Moale is an executive on the board of Caritas PNG, an all-girls secondary technical school. She serves as a member on the Transparency International PNG, the Port Moresby Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry Association Inc., PNG Cut Flowers Association Inc. and as a technical advisor to some local NGOs and rural community women’s groups.
Moale has a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of New England, Australia and an undergraduate bachelor’s degree from the University of PNG. She is a recipient of numerous awards including the East-West Center Fellowship in 2014, the Australian Scholarship in 1994 and a World Bank Fellowship in 1992. Recognitions also include the Australia Day Award and a Certificate of Long Service Recognition from AusAID.
Special Advisor for International Programs and Partnerships, Office of the President, East-West Center
Amanda Ellis, an economist with a specialization in international trade and development, is currently on secondment to the East-West Center in Hawaii as Visiting Fellow and Special Advisor to the President.
Until March 2016 she was New Zealand's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva and the Prime Minister's Special Envoy to Francophone Africa, as well as Deputy Secretary in the Foreign Ministry and the first woman appointed to head New Zealand’s development agency. Previously she worked at the World Bank and at the International Finance Corporation in senior roles related to gender and development. She was also National Manager of Women in Business and Head of Women’s Markets for Westpac Banking Corporation in Australia where her team grew annual revenues from a standing start to over half a billion dollars in just three years.
Ms. Ellis is founder and past chair of the Global Banking Alliance for Women, the author of two best-selling Random House books on women in business and five on gender and growth in the World Bank Directions in Development series. She is recipient of the International Alliance for Women Lifetime Achievement Award for promoting women's economic empowerment. Ms. Ellis currently serves on several advisory boards including the UN’s Women’s Empowerment Principles, FINCA International, the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Councils and Women Entrepreneurs Connect International.
Nguyen Van Anh
Director and Chairman of the Foundation Committee, Center for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender, Family, Women and Adolescents (CSAGA)
Van Anh founded the Center for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender, Family, Women and Adolescents (CSAGA), which uses innovative approaches to promote the implementation of the rights of women and children vulnerable to violence and discrimination in Vietnam.
As a social activist, Van Anh has worked to promote the human rights of women and children and prevent gender-based violence in Vietnam for the last 20 years. She established counseling hotlines for domestic violence, human trafficking, and issues facing lesbians in Vietnam to provide psychological advice for survivors across the country. She has also trained a large number of officers in various gender-based areas and has succeeded in implementing communications, intervention, and policy advocacy projects around these issues.
She was recognized as one of the 21 leaders for the 21st century by Women’s eNews Magazine in 2008 and August State Alumni of the Month by the United States Department of State in 2011.
SVP – Regional Head of HR Asia Pacific, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Margaret Lyng is the head of Asia Pacific Human Resources and is responsible for managing all facets of Human Resources across 12 geographies. Based in Hong Kong, she is member of the Asia Pacific Executive Committee.
As part of Bank of America's diversity and inclusion efforts, Margaret holds the role of the Asia Pacific executive sponsor for the Leadership, Education, Advocacy & Development (LEAD) for Women initiative, designed to support women's professional development through mentoring programs and volunteer offerings.
Margaret has worked for Bank of America Merrill Lynch for more than 16 years. Most recently, she was the Human Resources Executive for the bank’s Global Corporate & Investment Banking business in the region. Prior to that, she was the Human Resources Executive of Wealth Management across Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Margaret began her time with the bank in 1999 as Country Human Resources Manager for Ireland.
Prior to joining Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Margaret worked for Motorola and Bausch and Lomb. She holds a Bachelor of Business Studies specializing in Human Resources management from University of Limerick.
Deputy Country Director, Oxfam
Since 2004, Hoa Nguyen has been working with Oxfam, a confederation of 17 international affiliate NGOs working in more than 90 countries. Since 1995, Oxfam has provided support in Vietnam for the fight against poverty and injustice. The four key programs of Oxfam in Vietnam are: promoting good governance, advancing gender justice, building resilience and managing sustainable food and natural resources.
Hoa Nguyen holds a Master’s Degree in Management of Natural Resources from Norwegian Agriculture University and another Master’s Degree in Management of International Development Policy from the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.
Stacey Kelly Egide
Founder and CEO, Andalou Naturals
As Andalou Naturals’ founder and CEO, Stacey brings her expertise and intuitive vision to create authentic beauty products with meaningful cruelty-free, organic, and non-GMO standards for today’s caring consumer. She has been the force of nature behind many of the most successful personal care brands in the natural category including Avalon Organics, Alba Botanica, Alba Hawaiian, Beauty Without Cruelty, and The San Francisco Soap Company.
As an activist for healthy choices, Stacey’s interest in sustainability extends beyond the natural products world; devoting her time, passion and resources to promote sustainable peace through education, equality, and empowerment for women and girls worldwide. One hundred percent of the net profits from Andalou Naturals ‘A Path of Light’ Hand Creams goes to fund socially responsible people and programs.
Stacey is actively involved at the local level and beyond as president and chair of the Egide Family Foundation, charter member of the Bay Area Council of Vital Voices Global Partnership, executive board member for How Women Lead, and as a SHE CAN mentor.
Founder | Formulator Extraordinaire, Ethique
Christchurch, New Zealand
Brianne is the founder and formulator extraordinaire at Ethique, home to sensational solid beauty bars. Ethique manufactures beauty bars and provides waste free alternatives to traditional liquid products, such as shampoo, body lotions and much more.
Brianne started her first company at age 19 and has since successfully launched and sold two others. She is now entirely focused on Ethique and ridding the world of plastic waste associated with the cosmetics industry. Ethique was launched in 2012 while Brianne was completing her Bachelor of Science degree in biology at the University of Canterbury.
Brianne is passionate about creating a sustainable future. As such, Ethique is committed to ethical and sustainable practices and is a certified B-Corp. The company went from one strength to the next with a dedicated manufacturing and retail space that opened in late 2014 which prompted export to Australia to grow. Ethique was named a Rising Star in Deloitte’s Fast 50 in 2015, has won a silver Green Apple award and a David Award, and was a finalist in the Sustainable 60, NZ Innovators and the NZI Sustainable Business Network awards.
Recently, Brianne was a participant in the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women seminar and the East-West Center’s Changing Faces program in 2016.
Former Executive Officer and President of Asia of American Eagle Outfitters
With extensive brand building and retail experience in Asia, Kitty successfully brought in Levi’s, Reebok, Guess and American Eagle Outfitters into the region and has progressively directed omnichannel distribution and a network of 1,000+ stores.
Apart from AEO, Kitty previously served as president of Asia for Guess Inc., managing director of Levi Strauss Greater China and general manager of Reebok China. She had led these businesses through startup, growth and turnaround models. She started Levi China and propelled it to the number one denim brand. She also successfully launched Chinese tea under Lipton, which opened up many global opportunities.
Kitty takes pride in coaching cross-cultural diverse general management talents. She was executive sponsor of the global leadership program at Levi, mentoring general managers on global projects.
Kitty was awarded China Enterprises Innovation Outstanding Leader in 2008, she was a guest speaker at conferences, and frequently interviewed on leadership and brand building. Kitty holds a BSSC, MBA and a Sloan Fellow at London Business School.
Khin Chaw Su Win
Managing Director, Max Square Enterprises Co., Ltd.
Khin Chaw Su Win has had eight years of experience in seafarer recruitment and placement services as the managing director of Max Square Enterprises Co., Ltd. She is responsible for developing, designing and implementing strategic plans to promote the long-term growth of companies.
Chaw is a member of the Myanmar Women Entrepreneurs’ Association and the Myanmar Young Entrepreneurs Association. She is also treasurer of the IATSS Forum, which is an international training institute for future leaders in the ASEAN region. Chaw participates in many community development activities, such as conducting leadership training sessions for students from villages and orphanages and financially supporting impoverished girls living in rural Myanmar. She participates in the Project for Empowering Women at Yangon’s Women Entrepreneurs Development Center.
Chaw was a mentee in the 2016 Fortune/U.S. State Department’s Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership Program and is a U.S. State Department International Exchange alumna.
Auckland, New Zealand
Jo is a highly experienced leader and works with a number of significant organizations to drive business growth. Until June 2016 Jo was a senior partner with EY working with a broad portfolio of clients including large multinationals, start-up business, charities and high net worth individuals. Currently, Jo is an advisory board member and also the managing director of the EY Darden Executive Program, a training program covering strategy, economics, entrepreneurship and leadership. She is also an advisory member of CompanyofWomen and a managing partner at the Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program, which both train women entrepreneurs. Jo is a board member of NZ Global Women, which drives the diversity agenda in New Zealand and trains New Zealand women leaders.
Jo’s professional memberships and awards include a Fellow Chartered Accountant Membership at CAANZ a member of the Directors Institute and has been honored in the CompanyofWomen’s Entrepreneurs’ Hall of Fame.
Linh Phuong Nguyen
Executive Director, Research Center for Management and Sustainable Development
Linh Phuong Nguyen is the executive director of the Research Center for Management and Sustainable Development (MSD). MSD’s mission is to create an enabling environment for the development of Vietnam’s civil society sector and to promote the rights of marginalized groups in Vietnam, especially women, children, and people with disabilities.
Linh has worked as a leader in the development sector for more than ten years. She has provided capacity building programs to hundreds of civil society organizations (CSOs) in Vietnam, and has coached 90 local NGOs to achieve better performance and financial sustainability. Linh created the ODIC (Organization Development Methodology of Inspiring Culture) to build the capacity of more than 300 CSOs throughout Vietnam. She has also written and published numerous guidebooks and research papers related to CSO empowerment in Vietnam.
Linh’s recognitions and awards include the 2009 and 2012 Best Vietnamese NGO Leader Award. She was also awarded a Global Community Leaders certificate by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the United States Department of State in 2014. Linh holds a master’s degree in strategic management from London Metropolitan University.