Eve Thompson is the Founder and Director of Fempo. Eve has a long history of promoting the advancement of women in political life in Africa and in promoting value-centered leadership in the world, in general. She has held several Country Director posts in promoting democracy and good governance in Africa and also directed the United Nations University’s International Leadership Academy in Amman, Jordan.
When Eve first came to Africa over 20 years ago, she was struck by the persistent marginalization of women, particularly in the realm of politics. In all the projects she led thereafter, she worked to ensure that the empowerment of women and the expansion of their numbers in leadership ranks, were key objectives. Fempo represents the culmination of these efforts.
She studied English Literature and Law before working as an associate at a law firm in Washington, DC and making the transition to working in Human Rights Law and contributing to the fall of Apartheid in South Africa and fighting for the rights and advancement of women and youth throughout Africa and beyond. She has lived and worked in or traveled to more than half of all of the countries in Africa and is thus committed to helping the continent to realize its true potential.
In her own words:
I have had the distinct pleasure and honor of meeting and connecting with the most amazing and accomplished women on the African continent. However, they need an amplified voice and a platform through which they can demonstrate the promise of more compassionate and people-centered leadership that they can offer this continent and her people. To honor them and help them spearhead a leadership revolution in Africa, I give them and their followers Fempo.net!
Marie-Chantal Kaninda was named Executive Director of the World Diamond Council (WDC) on March 1, 2017. Immediately prior to joining the WDC, she was the Chief Advisor for External Affairs, Africa at Rio Tinto Corporation, a position she held since 2012. Before joining Rio Tinto, she held Administrative, Communication and External Affairs roles with other international mining companies such as Ashanti Goldfields, AngloGold Ashanti, and De Beers. She has provided her expertise to several community development projects in Africa, including successfully relocating a community in Angola, as well as implementing several Stakeholder Engagement strategy plans for a variety of African operations.
A native of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ms. Kaninda is founder and creator of a non-profit organization, the MCKM Foundation, which focuses on education for girls in the DRC. The 2nd Vice President of the National Committee for Women’s Soccer in the DRC, chairperson of the British Congo Business Group (BCBG), and chairperson of an Anti-Corruption Working Group for the private sector in the DRC, and until end April 2017 she has been a Board member of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI).
Fluent in French and English, she holds an Economics degree from the University of Liege in Belgium.
Niankoro Yeah Samaké is a native of Mali, West Africa, a 2013 Malian Presidential candidate and currently serves in many different roles. A graduate from Brigham Young University with a Masters in Public Policy, he runs his own foundation Empower Mali which connects resources with needs in the areas of education, health, clean water, clean energy and leadership training in rural Mali. He has helped bring 23 schools to Mali, provided scholarships to Malian students to study abroad and organized multiple free medical and dental services.
Samaké volunteered as a teacher in his village for years after receiving his bachelor’s degree from the École Normale Supérieure in Bamako. In 2000, he went to Brigham Young University, in Utah, to earn a Master’s degree in Public Policy. After graduation, Samaké co-created the Mali Rising Foundation, an education-focused organization. In 2009, he ran for mayor of his city of Ouélessébougou and won with 86% of the vote. As a candidate, he emphasized that tax money would only be spent on services that the population knew about. 2013, he became country director of the Empower Mali Foundation, which works to help rural communities in the field of healthcare, education, clean water, and clean energy. In July, 2015 he was called by the President of Mali, H.E. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to serve as Mali's Ambassador to India.
In his own words:
Michelle Obama said: No country can flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half its citizens. I am honored to be a part of FemPo.net as we partner with women politicians to raise their voices to help bring change in the communities they serve.
Steffen Krüger’s 20 year career in democracy, good governance and civic education has spanned three continents, Africa, North America and Europe, and a range of institutions including the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation, World Learning and Fintrac. Mr. Krüger is currently the Deputy Team Leader for Africa at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAF), a leading political think tank and training organization. As the Deputy Team Leader, Mr. Krüger focuses on elections, capacity building and political analyses. Previously, Mr. Krüger served as the KAF Country Director in Kinshasa, DR Congo from 2012 to 2015 and the KAF Deputy Regional West Africa Program Manager based in Cotonou, Benin from 2003-2006. Between these two field assignments, Mr. Krüger advanced a civic education agenda through his work as Senior Program Officer at World Learning, a US based international NGO and university. Mr. Krüger has worked at the European Union and German parliaments and has a Master Degree in Political Science and International Education.
In his own words:
Though women’s rights have advanced, women face many challenges. In health care, education, access to land and capital, freedom from violence, employment, pay equity, political representation and other areas women are still struggling for more rights. I believe there is a great power in changing the narrative and empower women through policy efforts, capacity building and more representation. Gender equality furthers the cause of child survival and development for all of society; according to the UN, countries with more gender equality are economically more prosperous. In order to improve the world for women, we must rethink the narrative on each level to inspire girls and women
Mary Throne is a current candidate for Governor of the U.S. state of Wyoming. She represented House District 11 in the Wyoming Legislature for ten years, serving as Minority Floor Leader from 2012-2016 and Minority Whip from 2010 to 2012. During her tenure she successfully sponsored 19 pieces of legislation, despite always being in the Minority party. As a result, she earned a reputation as a problem solver who could bring together people from different political perspectives. Known both for her expertise on energy and education issues, she also encouraged women to run for office as the co-chair of the Wyoming Women’s Legislative Caucus. As an experienced female politician, she will offer advice on strategy and politics to female politicians in Fempo’s African network. Mary Throne studied history at Princeton University and then earned her law degree at Columbia Law School.
In her own words:
Wyoming is called the “Equality State” because we were the first jurisdiction in the world to give women the right to vote in 1869. Wyoming had the first woman governor in the United States in 1925. We are rightly proud of this history, but even here there is much work to be done. We have never had another woman governor and Wyoming now has the lowest number of women in the Legislature in the country. The presence of female voices in any deliberative body leads better policies for the whole community.
Majda El Bied is Senior Program Manager for Africa for the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD). Majda has worked in the field of parliamentary and political party strengthening for over 5 years and is responsible for the management of WFD programmes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Sierra Leone, Kenya, Mozambique, Ghana, Botswana, Uganda and Nigeria. Majda has a keen interest in supporting women parliamentarians and organised the first women’s parliament in Uganda. She has worked with female MPs and leading civil society activists in the DRC as part of a programme that sought to develop their leadership skills. Through this work Majda was able to demonstrate how MPs and civil society activists can work effectively together to overcome traditional social barriers, and advance issues of social justice.
A native French speaker, Majda has a degree in journalism and a Master's in communication studies from the Institute des Hautes Etudes des Communications Sociales, Brussels (IHECS). Majda has also attended a program that focused on Understanding Women’s Human Rights at the London School of Economics.
In her own words:
I have met many talented female MPs and members of civil society over the course of my work in Africa. I’ve always been impressed and deeply moved by their unrelenting willingness to overcome the challenges they face in order to represent their community as well as improve it. More women must be elected into senior positions in Africa, and this need is shared by other continents – Africa is not alone. It is a privilege to be part of Fempo as it offers a platform for women to be more visible, exchange ideas, and more importantly raise funds through social media.
It is my dream to see more women in charge of portfolios where we don’t expect them. That will constitute real change, and once this happens then we can talk about parity!
Amy Pritchard is a political consultant and social entrepreneur specializing in campaign strategy for electoral candidates, parties, advocacy campaigns and nonprofit organizations in the United States and globally for political parties, civil society, and socially responsible businesses. She has been a leader in the Democratic and Progressive movement in the US for over 30 years - and worked internationally on democracy and governance for more than 20.
She is the founder and President of the Board of Democratic GAIN – an association she created in 2003 which supports Democratic and Progressive Political Professionals - individuals and organizations - through training, professional development, and employment networking. One of the United States leading experts on initiatives and referenda, Pritchard is a founder of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, an organization that provides strategic guidance to progressive ballot measures. From 1997-1998 Pritchard served as the Midwest and Northeast Political Director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. In 2003-4 she took a leave from consulting to serve full time as National Political Director of the Democratic National Committee.
Pritchard works independently and through AP Campaigns a boutique-consulting firm. She is also a senior strategist with Mission Control, a political direct mail firm working with Democratic candidates, party committees, ballot measure campaigns, labor unions and non-profit groups for ten years. Her services focus on print communications, direct mail, marketing, digital organizing, skills training, strategic planning, capacity building, and program management - focused on elections, advocacy, and governance. She recently she serves as the Voter Contact Director for For Our Future, an Independent Expenditure campaign for the Presidential Campaign and Senate races in seven states. For Our Future spent over 55 million dollars on field and voter contact working directly with 180 national and local issue based non-profit organizations (NGOs) in Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Nevada, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Missouri.
Internationally she has worked as staff, consultant, and trainer for the National Democratic Institute, Women’s Campaign International, Democracy International, and the McCain Institute in Kosovo, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Rwanda, Congo, Jordan, Burma, Indonesia, Venezuela, the Netherlands, and Kenya. Pritchard’s trainings focus on voter contact, electoral organizing, message development, communications, social media, polling, research, and more.
Currently, she is working to launch a new non-profit initiative platform called Global GAIN to connect US and international political and advocacy activists and leaders to each other and with projects promoting women and children around the world
In her own words:
Since November, I have been devastated by the loss of Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump and still processing how best channel my positive energies to fight his policies at home and around the world. I know it will remain a combination of work domestically and internationally promoting women candidates and leaders and am excited to focus on Fempo. I have a passion for training and promoting women and young candidates and civil society leaders. I especially like to teach electoral campaigning and legislative advocacy in developing countries. I am particular interested in East Africa and very excited to work and help launch Fempo.
Cece Modupé Fadopé is currently an International Communication and Health Policy Outreach consultant based in Washington, DC. She has managed USAID and private foundation funded health and development projects. Most recently she was the Health Journalism Fellow and Outreach Consultant for the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) with media training projects focused on the Niger Delta region in Nigeria. Previously she was Country Representative for Internews Network on its USAID funded Local Voices Project that helped to increase public access to health information in Nigeria through advocacy and media outreach. Ms. Fadope was also a Communications Consultant within the Water Resources Management and Transport Section at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC. She helped to coordinate many strategic dialogues between the Bank and nongovernmental organizations.
As Kenya based regional representative for the London, UK based ARTICLE19: Global Campaign for Freedom of Expression, Ms. Fadopé implemented and managed policy advocacy, media training and mentoring programs that supported activist groups and journalists in providing development information to rural communities via mobile platforms. Ms. Fadopé was formerly a news and public affairs producer with National Public Radio (Washington, DC). She has been a consultant for AllAfrica Global Media, Bread for the World, and PACT Nigeria. She has appeared on radio and television in the US, Europe and Africa. She holds a Masters’ degree in Public Policy and Administration and Bachelors in Literature/Journalism from the University of Maryland. She also has a Diploma in Legal Studies from Birkbeck University of London.
Mike is Founder and President of Responsible Trade LLC and has over 30 years of industry experience as a global business leader with demonstrable expertise in sustainability and responsible sourcing, he has developed and launched comprehensive strategies and world-class programs with a strong record of accomplishments across numerous international organizations and cultures. He possesses extensive experience in stakeholder engagement, positively impacted brand recognition and created shareholder value by managing and leading engagements with NGOs, government officials, international organizations, local community representatives and the socially responsible investment community.
Mike has worked in DRC and understands the importance of creating a democracy that allows both genders to have a voice regardless of their political affiliation. He continues to work in DRC to create and implement development opportunities that foster an economic environment to support greater sustainable business investments and improve security.
© Fempo 2018