Her Excellency, Ms Lindiwe Mabuza, was born in Newcastle, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa.
She began her career in 1962 teaching English and Zulu Literature at Manzini Central School in Swaziland, followed by lecturing in the Department of Sociology at the University of Minnesota.
Between 1969 and 1979 she became Assistant Professor of Literature and History at Ohio University and then moved to Zambia to take up a position as a radio journalist with the African National Congress's Radio Freedom. She was also Editor of the Voice of Women, a journal by African National Congress women, and Chairperson of the African National Congress Cultural Committee in Zambia.
Her publications include: "Malibongwe", "One Never Knows" - poetry and short stories by African Congress Women; "From ANC to Sweden", "Letter to Letta", "Africa to me", "Voices that Lead" - poetry collections.During the period of 1979 to 1987 she represented the African National Congress in Scandinavian countries based in Sweden. She facilitated the opening of African National Congress offices in Denmark, Norway and Finland. From 1989 to 1994 she was the Chief Representative of the African National Congress to the United States and opened an office in Washington DC. Member of Parliament, Republic of South Africa, 1994-95; Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, 1995-.
Lisette Talate was born on 19th March 1941 in Diego Garcia, the Chagos Islands, located in the Indian Ocean. She describes her childhood in the Chagos as idyllic where she wanted for nothing.
In 1974, her life and that of all the islanders was thrown into turmoil when they were forcibly removed from the Chagos by the British colonial government, who wanted to clear the islands for the US government to create a strategic placed naval base in Diego Garcia. The islanders were promised housing, education and employment in Mauritius, however the reality was that they were left to fend for themselves at the margins of society.
For over thirty years, Lisette has been a leading figure in the plight of the Chagossian people to return to the islands, being voted as the Vice President of the group, Refugies Chagos. In 2000, the Chagossians had a symbolic victory in the British High Court; this victory was quashed by subsequent actions of the UK government to undermine the judgement and block the Chagossians right of return.
Lisette is also a prominent member of the women’s movement in her community. She believes that women are responsible for the family’s financial security, and ensure that all the family’s needs are provided for with savings to spare. Her role models are Nelson Mandela – a real source of her inspiration – and Anjalay Coupen, a woman worker in the 1940s who was killed by policemen while militating for better working terms and conditions.
In 2005, Lisette’s tremendous and ongoing work was recognized by the international community, and she was one of the 1000 women who were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Lisette passed away on Jan 4th 2012
Her Excellency Ambassador Lyutha Sultan Al-Mughairy
Oman's Permanent Representative to United Nations Mission in New York
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sultanate of Oman
Lyutha Al-Mughairy was brought up in Egypt. She was awarded a full scholarship to study at the American University in Cairo, where she worked as a broadcaster, programme producer and translator at Cairo Radio. Upon graduation with a BA Degree in Sociology and Anthropology, she was offered a Fullbright Scholarship. At the same time, she was invited to start English Radio and Television in Abu Dhabi, and she chose the latter. While in Abu Dhabi, she helped launch the first Women’s Society of that country. She later completed her postgraduate studies at the Institute for Development Studies at Sussex University in the United Kingdom and then at the Columbia University School of Journalism in New York.
In 1975, Ambassador Al-Mughairy left the UAE when she was invited back home to Oman to establish and run English Radio and TV Stations. While in Oman, she spent one summer working for BBC London and another participating in a programme in the United States with American Women in Radio and Television, where she visited many TV networks and gave interviews about the Oman Renaissance. Ambassador Al-Mughairy’s functions in Oman extended beyond her media responsibilities as they included planning and organising exhibitions on Oman in Europe and lecturing on Oman to universities and groups in Europe and the USA.
At the end of 1979, Ambassador Al-Mughairy accepted the invitation of the United Nations to serve as Information Officer for the International Year of Disabled Persons (IYDP) thus becoming the first Omani admitted under the Omani quota. This was the first time that the situation of people with disabilities was to receive focused international attention. At the UN, she initiated and conducted a wide range of activities concerning the disabled, including awareness campaigns, mobilising national and international NGOs, and organising and participating in seminars and conferences. Ambassador Al-Mughairy also raised funds for a wide range of projects to benefit people with disabilities all over the world and, specifically, she was able to collect 1.3 million US dollars in one year to support the activities of the International Year for the Disabled Persons.
With the considerable success of her work at IYDP, Ambassador Al-Mughairy was promoted to Chief of the News Distribution Section of the newly created Office for the Research and Collection of Information of the UN. This was the UN’s first attempt to set up a research and analysis arm within the Secretariat to keep abreast of trends and development worldwide. Her delicate task, among others, was to create, innovate and implement an effective mechanism in the collection and dissemination of this information on a daily basis. Other tasks included the preparation of analysis reports of Security Council and General Assembly meetings which served as a daily press briefing for the UN Secretary-General and other senior officials, as well as to the Directors of various information centres.
She was next promoted to the position of Principal Officer of the Electoral Assistance Division. Among her responsibilities, she undertook needs assessment missions, which included discussions and negotiations to resolve disputes among the various national factions, visiting Ethiopia, Eritrea, Lesotho, Sierra Leone, Mexico and many other countries.
In 1995, Ambassador Al-Mughairy was invited to head the Public Liaison Service of the UN’s Department of Public Information. In that capacity she organised international conferences and other meetings and briefings to better explain the work of the UN, as well as preparing international exhibits and managing the UN’s Public Enquiries and Guided Tours Units.
However, she did not forget Oman and the Arab culture of which she is so proud. Keen to see a greater appreciation and understanding of that culture and language, she proposed to the Omani Government that His Majesty Sultan Qaboos provide a special endowment to guarantee the teaching of Arabic at the United Nations International School (UNIS) in New York. His Majesty graciously agreed to the proposal and, in 2001, set up the endowment.
In 2002, she accepted the post of Chief of the Information Centres Service comprising the far-flung network of UN Information Offices around the world. In this capacity, she oversaw the activities of 64 Centres, 6 Information Services and 8 information components across the globe with approximately 375 staff members.
In 2003 Ambassador Al-Mughairy was the first US-based recipient of the Distinguished Alumnae Award from the American University in Cairo. In 2005, she was awarded a long-service staff recognition award by Secretary-General Kofi Annan. A year later, upon her retirement, she received a plaque of appreciation from the UN staff for her efforts on their behalf.
In 2006 she took early retirement from the United Nations and returned to live in Oman. In 2008 she was appointed Ambassador and Head of the Department of the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, becoming the first woman to head a Department in the Ministry.
Ambassador Al-Mughairy was also appointed the Permanent Representative of the Sultanate of Oman to the United Nations in New York with the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.
Ambassador Al-Mughairy is married with one daughter.
Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal is a theatre actress in India, and owns a production company, Poor Box Productions.
Educated at the J.B. Petit High School in Mumbai, she continued her studies at St Xavier's College and obtained two BSc degrees in Microbiology-Chemistry and Geology-Chemistry.
Despite Mahabanoo starting her professional career in the theatre rather late, she has worked with renowned film and theatre personalities in India and the UK. She has produced/directed/acted in Shirley Valentine, Art, Once I Was Young...Now I'm Wonderful!, (W)hole in the Head, Two Hot to Handle, The Vagina Monologues, amongst others.
The Vagina Monologues, which she brought to India in 2003, has helped to raise lakhs of rupees for two shelters for battered and abused women situated in the slums of Mumbai.
Mahabanoo lives life on her own terms and believes that she has not been put on earth to win a popularity contest. She has two children, Dr. Kaizaad Kotwal (who is a professor of films and theatre at Ohio State University, USA) and Nairika Kotwal-Cornett who lives in Georgia, USA.
Maja Daruwala has been working to advocate for rights and social justice for the past 20 years. A barrister who restarted her studies and took her final bar exams after 10 years of marriage and two children, Maja knew that both her vocation and avocation had come together from the first time she opened a law book and found echoed in it all her own till then inchoate belief in justice and equity.
Born in India, Maja has lived and worked in England, Singapore and Sri Lanka. Back in India, she has practiced for a short while in the Supreme Court but then left to work full-time at the Ford Foundation as a programme officer for South Asia. Since 1996 she has headed up the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, an international NGO based in New Delhi that works for the practical realisation of human rights. Maja’s interests lie particularly in the area of systemic reforms. She has concentrated her energies on issues of accountability, particularly promoting police reform and the right to information. Both these issues are, she believes, essential underpinnings for attaining good governance and realising human rights.
Maja is the founder-chair of the People’s Watch in Tamil Nadu, and sits on several charitable boards, including the Open Society Institute-Justice Initiative, New York, and the International Women’s Health Coalition, New York. Maja believes: the only way to be optimistic about the future is to invent it!
Margaret Sheehy has made her home in the UK. She is a cultural animateur with a background in theatre as a director, writer and producer. The particular focus of her work is in the nature of community engagement and participatory practice, and in the development of arts and cultural policy.
Working in Sydney in the 1970s she established an innovative young peoples’ theatre group before becoming Sydney’s first community drama director. Moving to the UK in 1976 she set up her own theatre company and worked on the London fringe as a director and producer. Progressively her work extended across the UK into small and large-scale community and participatory projects and festivals.
She has championed participatory arts practice, lobbying the arts funding establishment for recognition of the work and training other practitioners. In the mid 90s she led on a major bid to the Arts Lottery, which resulted in a five-year project to collate and establish the Community Plays Archive and Database, now lodged with the Theatre Museum.
She has a strong commitment to training and individual development. In the 1980s she headed the Directors Guild Symposium on Director Training that led to a Gulbenkian Foundation review and a radical change in the provision for director training. She was also instrumental in that decade’s campaigns for more equality of opportunity for women in theatre. She continues to mentor and to support younger practitioners, and to teach and train others.
More recently her work has focused on cultural policy and on the intersection of participatory arts and social change. She gained a doctorate in Community and Celebration and currently works as a consultant and project manager across the arts, local government, the education sector, the heritage sector and social change programmes. In recent years she has headed a year-long millennium festival programme in the East End, launched the first two London Creative Partnership zones and convened the Lower Lea Valley cultural consultation for the London 2012 Olympics.
As a Public Relations Consultant, Marian Rivman has enhanced the reputation and visibility of clients ranging from United Nations agencies, programmes and world conferences to celebrities from the scuba diving industry to retail giants and world-renowned scientists. She is known for her unbounded energy and her skill at translating complex issues into comprehensible messages for a variety of audiences.
Rivman’s eclectic background –anthropology student, Peace Corps volunteer, consumer researcher, ad agency executive, school teacher – gave her a breadth of experience and a sensitivity to clients’ varying needs that few consultants can offer. She has a unique ability to view a situation through a kaleidoscope of perspectives, tailoring communications strategies and media plans to serve a multitude of needs. Reporters and clients alike value her interpretive skills and collegial style.
As a media advisor to the conference secretariats for the United Nations Earth Summit, The Beijing Womens Conference and the General Assembly Special Sessions on Children and Women, Rivman worked collaboratively with UN communications officers to position stories, develop press materials, supply support services for journalists and organize special events. In addition, she was instrumental in creating the prestigious Global 500 Award for the United Nations Environment Programme.
In 1998 Rivman wrote a 20-part series chronicling her journey around the world for MSNBC Online’s Travel section.
Born on 5th September 1957, Martina Milburn’s full life has now led her to be the Chief Executive of The Prince’s Trust. Formerly Chief Executive of the BBC Children in Need Appeal since 2000, she oversaw nine regional offices, and sat on the trading subsidiary Children in Need Ltd. She was also a member of the BBC's Corporate Social Responsibility Board.
Martina trained and began her career as a journalist, established the Press and Communications function for the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development (CAFOD) and worked on a freelance basis for a range of charities.
She then held the post of Chief Executive of the Association of Spinal Injury Research, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (ASPIRE) - a service delivery charity - for seven years, growing the staff from five to 100. In this role Martina was responsible for the development of Europe's first integrated arts, sports and rehabilitation centre.
For many years, Maureen Mannion has been known to make people happy through entertaining with light-hearted dialogue, encouraging the aged and people suffering from diabetes, strokes, cancer, blindness and arthritis to laugh, to release their endorphins and forget their problems for a while.
Maureen is an interpretative actress for the Jersey Heritage Trust, bringing history to life in a 17th century museum. She teaches Jersey children to appreciate their culture in an enjoyable manner and introduces locals and tourists to significant accounts of Jersey’s history.
Maureen is a raconteur of the German occupation of World War II and the takes of people being evacuated during that time. She is eager for those harsh memories to be forgiven but not forgotten.
Excerpt from Honours nomination:
“Maureen Milgram Forrest was born in London 73 years ago. She has lived for the past 30 years with her husband and journalist, Alan Forrest, in North West Leicestershire of which she spent 4 years in London as Project Director for the BRIT School."
She is retired and together with Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt is Founding Chair of the LeicestHERday Trust, a registered charity empowering and enabling women and girls in Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland. The Trust is the women’s sector lead for the Leicester Partnership and represents gender on the Equality & Diversity Partnership. The LeicestHERday Trust is devoted to assisting women in their own development.
She is also a Founder of the Ken Chamberlain Trust, an environmental charity, a director of the Toys on the Table Trust assisting young people in need across diverse backgrounds at the holidays season, a regional director of the Prince’s Trust East Midlands, and many more.
In the UK, she held many directorships and trusteeships of a series of charities and good causes nationally, regionally and locally.
She and her husband Alan formed a charity to assist young people in their careers in memory of their families’ contributions in countries where they have lived and worked.
She was the Project Director creating the British Record Industry Trust School for the Performing Arts and Technology in Croydon. This groundbreaking school for 13 to 19 year-olds is still going from strength to strength. Maureen is still involved but now as a patron of the Maureen Milgram Scholarships given annually to students for creation and innovation.
She was the Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the Brewhouse Arts Centre in Burton upon Trent and took the Centre out of deep financial debit in the late 1990s.
She created multi cultural and cultural events to celebrate professional and amateur performances. The One World festival she started in the 1998 is still going today.
She was the Project Director for the British Columbia Festival of the Arts with 100,000 participants competing in seven arts disciplines at the world’s largest young people’s arts festival. It was officially opened in 1986 by the Prince and Princess of Wales.
Once met, always remembered. She has friends around the world who acknowledge the difference she has made to their lives. In 2005, a twenty-year anniversary of a twin city project between Morioka (Japan) and Victoria (Canada) was celebrated. Maureen was on the initial team that made this twinning happen and she contributed to the book that mark the anniversary ceremonies.
She rolls up her sleeves and pitches in for all kinds of good causes, including personal commitment to the welfare of those around her.
She has lived and worked on three continents, Europe, North America and Asia and has formed friendships that have lasted her lifetime.
She has received many awards and recognition, including Victoria Woman of the Year, Rotary and University honours and the acknowledgement of her peers as noted at the 2004 Woman of the Year Awards. She has been a judge of the Awards for the last five years and is also a Judge for the Leicestershire First Awards.
In 2010, she was nominated for and received the Queen’s Award for Excellence and travelled to the UK to receive the award from Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace.In recognition of her work in the East Midlands, at the Jubilee Awards in Leicester in 2010 she was the awards judge and present at the award given in her name for a woman who has contributed significantly to the women of the region. The first award was given to Velma Simms Stewart of the Leicestershire Fire & Rescue Service.
Awarded: Queen’s Award for Excellence, Entrepreneurship (for work with women) Lifetime Achievement Award 2010 July 19, London England
Jubilee Awards, Maureen Milgram Forrest Award 2010 to date
Lifetime Achievement Award, East Midlands Development Agency 2010
Chairman, Learning & Skills Council, Leicestershire 2005 to Feb 2008
Board Member, Interim Learning & Skills Board East Midlands 2005 to August 2009
Board Member, Prince's Trust East Midlands 2009, 2010
Board Member, Novas Scarman Trust National Board, 2008 to 2010
Chair, Scarman Trust National Board 2006-7
Founding Chair, LeicestHERday Trust, 2001 to date Co-Chair 2005 to 2008 Chair 2009/2010, Patron 2010 to date
Founding Director, Ken Chamberlain Trust 2001 to 2010
Founding Director, Toys on the Table Trust 2005 to 2010
Women’s Business Ambassador, emda 2007 to 2010
Director Action Deafness 2009-10
Interim Chair, Highfields Community Centre, Steering Committee, 2007 /8
Champion, Enterprise Week, emda, 2006 to date
Director, LEAP, Leicester Economic Action Partnership 2006 to 2007
Observer, LSEP, 2005 to 2007
Mentor, Hinckley Burbage Age Concern Strategy 2005- 2006
Advisor, Leicester Strategic Economic Partnership, 2005 to 2007
Advisor, CREME- Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship
Member, County Council Gender Equality Committee 2006 to date
Director, Milgram Forrest Trust 1987 to date
Mentor, Scarman Trust 2005 to 2007 working with Sri Lankan woman to bring human rights to women in her country.
Shadow Director, YouthVOICE 1999 to 2002
Presenter, Just For Funds, BBC Radio Leicester
Millennium Champion, Leicester Mercury Special Executive
Project Director, British Record Industry Trust Performing Arts & Technology School
Partner, Bradgate Press
CEO and Director, The Organisers (now Milgram Forrest Trust)
General Manager, B.C. Festival of the Arts
Co-ordinator, Santas Anonymous C-FAX 1070
I have had a varied career in media, arts and community. Have worked in radio, television, theatre and education on three continents. Have been a construction expediter in California with a contractor’s licence, and run a main stage theatre company in British Columbia.
Other background highlights:
Judge, Women of Achievement Awards, 2007 2008
Moderator, Leicester GELLM Project 2006
Moderator, LeicestHERday, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 2007 2008
Chair, Positive People Steering Group 1998 to 2001
Chair, Burton Festival Group, 1996, 1997
Member, Burton Business Link (Chamber representative) 1994-1996
Member, Burton Community Partnership SRB Sub Committee, 1994, 1997
Member, Advisory Board, Burton Technical College Performing Arts
Moderator and Director, BARD of the YEAR, 1993, 1994, 1995
Secretary, Friends of Malcolm Lowry, UK 1992-1994
Member of the Board, Poetry Digest, 1987 to 1997
Woman of the Year, 1986/87, Victoria, Canada
Executive posts, Victoria Chamber of Commerce, 1984 to 1987 including
Vice President, Economic Development Chair, Tourism Chair, Programme Chair
Founder, Tourism Victoria 1986
Co-ordinator, Chamber of Commerce Trade Mission to Japan, 1986
Chairman, Terry Fox Run, Victoria, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986
Chairman, Vancouver Island Odyssey, 1986
Broadcaster, World Figure Skating Championships, Tokyo, 1985
Sole Member, Sister City Trade Mission to Japan, 1985
Broadcaster, World Figure Skating Championships, Ottawa 1985
Broadcaster, Canada China Community Leaders Mission, China, 1984
Member of Development Committee, University of Victoria Leisure Studies Course, 1978-1979
Author: BRIT SCHOOL Founding
Author: MEDIA BOOK for the Community
Meera T. Gandhi is a well-known humanitarian and social activist who divides her time between New York City, London and Hong Kong. She is the founder of The Giving Back Foundation. Mrs. Gandhi is noted for her Life Motto, "We are to the universe only as much as we give back to it."
Meera Gandhi is the daughter of an Irish mother, Ellen Mary McCarthy of Dublin and an Indian father, Admiral Perbodh Nath Agarwal from Uttar Pradesh, India. She grew up in India, England and Ireland and was educated in India, Canada and the United States, where she received her MBA.
In 2007 Meera Gandhi completed the Executive Education Program from the Harvard Business School. She is married to Vikram Gandhi of Credit Suisse and they have three children, two daughters and a son who currently attend schools in Wales, the United States and England.
Through her Giving Back Foundation Meera Gandhi is devoting her life to charity and to helping those in need: abused and hungry children, widows, the sick, the deaf and blind. She is particularly interested in education as the stepping stone to success.
Mrs. Gandhi recently produced and directed an inspiring documentary, musical CD and coffee table book, all entitled Giving Back.
The “Giving Back” film and book include touching vignettes of Meera's prominent and not-so-prominent friends and illustrate how their philanthropic endeavors are indeed changing the world. Included are Cherie Blair, Kerry Kennedy, Patricia Velasquez, Kristi Yamaguchi, Steven Rockefeller, Francine Le Frak, Raj Loomba, Clodagh, Ronan Tynan, Deborah Norville, Narcisso Rodriguez and red carpet interviews with Bono and others. The film, book and CD were introduced in eight cities in 2010 and 2011: New York, London, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Delhi, Dublin, Paris and Istanbul. 100 percent of the proceeds from Meera Gandhi's brilliant Giving Back project will go to charity.
Donna Karan International recently honored Meera Gandhi by naming her as one of its small group of prestigious leaders in the Donna Karan International “Women Who Inspire” initiative.
In the words of Kerry Kennedy, "Meera Gandhi is one of those remarkable women whom the angels must have sent to teach us a lesson on how to conduct a fruitful life."
Recent publications include The Giving Back coffee table book with a forward by Cherie Blair.
Born on 9th November, 1943, Meher Banaji is the Principal of the Happy Home and School for the Blind. Most people would think that the Home and School is simply another special institution in Mumbai. The school however is much more – the children design and create exquisite artefacts and household items. The school has attracted many distinguished visitors, amongst them President Bill Clinton.
Meher’s decades of association with the Home as its principal and administrative head has transformed the school from a single room to a vibrant three-storied residential school for nearly 200 visually and multiple impaired children ranging from ages of three to twenty years.
In 1996, Meher was conferred with the President’s Award, and received the Padma Shree award in 2003. She has pioneered and initiated various training programmes in the country, such as Montessori training, early intervention programmes for pre-school visually impaired children and special classes for the maladjusted and visually impaired children.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY
"The question of whether or not there is a God, or truth, or reality, or whatever you like to call it, can never be answered by books, priests, philosophers or saviours. Nobody and nothing can answer the question but you yourself and that is why you must know yourself. Immaturity lies only in total ignorance of self. To understand yourself is the beginning of wisdom'" - Krishnamurti
Minni’ Jain’s driving force has always been that of keeping the focus on the search for the deeper spiritual meaning of life – to aspire for that which is higher than ourselves. If we let that guide us, then it’s a life well lived and with a purpose higher than just the accumulation of the material. We become more than just who we think we are.
Her work is initiating ripple- like grass -root level movements in the UK and internationally – more notably in India, which is where she originally comes from. She especially concentrates on starting movements which gather momentum without huge fanfare and public acclaim and yet in their rising tide, overturn an established injustice that may have been going on for centuries.
Amongst these movements was the campaign for the rights of the domestic workers in India - a campaign for basic wages and humane treatment at the hands of their employers. This was especially focussed on women domestic workers who are enslaved with their employers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Her campaign started by encouraging employers to start by giving 1 day off in the week to their domestic workers – similar to the terms of employment of other workers. In addition to this she also campaigned for domestic workers to receive basic financial medical assistance from their employers just as their counterparts in factory jobs do.
She is not a conservative – but a bold radical who has always forged her own path breaking off the chains that keep Indian women in traditional modes of slavery to the system. She has always been pioneering actions in women’s rights to lead their own life and having full responsibility of it without negative societal interference. At the same time she has been living in harmony with which ever society she has been a part of, normally a difficult balance to strike with firmness yet grace.
While in India, Minni has also set up and headed various businesses where she encouraged innovative practices based on equality for her employees and clients. At the same time she was also responsible for setting up a charity for youth working on environmental issues.
In the UK, Minni has helped create a registered charity Earthlinks UK and is now very actively putting her energies in furthering its projects which are based on the 5 basics of life – Food, Water, Air, Science and Spirit.
She is also an editor of the holistic science journal.
Her grassroots Food project Think Global Taste Local www.earthlinksall.com/food has brought together farmers, chefs, traders, gardeners families, foodies, communities through the simple experience of taste. The project seeds, strengthens and connects us to our basic human right to healthy, nutritious, organic, seasonal, local and affordable food.
Taking that further, she is now creating an organisation that will work solely with this issue of food at the grassroots of change with a view to ensure that all and especially the most marginalised of all people, get their basic human right of access to healthy, nutritious and ample food.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY
"Go at life with abandon; give it all you've got. And life will give a;; it has to you." Norman Vincent Peale
Baroness Doreen Miller was born in 1933 an educated at Brondesbury and Kilburn High School and the London School of Economics. She is married with three sons.
Doreen founded an international mail order and marketing company which operated in the UK, Germany and Australia and subsequently sold all three segments on her retirement. From 1985 to 1988, she was the National Chairperson and Executive Director of The 300 Group (an all-party group working to get more women into Parliament) and was also Chairperson of 'The Women into Public Life' Campaign and Human Rights Advisor to Soroptimist International from 1987 to 1990. In 1989 she was awarded the MBE for her service in promoting the advancement of woman in public and political life.
Doreen's public service has included being a JP from 1971 to 1990, Chairperson of Barnet Family Health Service Authority from 1990 to 1994, non-Executive Director of the Crown Agents from 1990 to 1994, member of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission from 1992 to 1993 and Chairperson of The National Association of Hospital & Community Friends from 1997 to 2003. She is a fellow of the Institute of Marketing and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Doreen is a member of, or patron of, a number of Local Conservative Associations, and a former Treasurer, then Chairperson of the Greater London Conservatives. She was made a life peer in 1993 and early the following year became a Government whip. After the 1997 election she remained on the Opposition Front Bench as Spokesman on Trade and Industry and lists her special interests as women's issues, health, law and order and small businesses.
Since 2002 she has been the vice-chair of the Israel group.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY
"You may be on the right track, but if you just sit there you will get run over" Paul H Dunn
Farzana Contractor is the CEO of The Afternoon Despatch and Courier, the popular newspaper of Mumbai, India. Just out of college and newly married to the legendary Behram Contractor, she assisted him in founding the newspaper in 1985. Behram is lovingly known by Indians the world over, by his psydoenum ‘Busybee’. Farzana also publishes the upscale food and wine magazine UpperCrust, a delightful Quarterly which is responsible for putting India on the world culinary map.
For more than 20 years now she has steered Afternoon on a path which is paved with sincerity, integrity and immense credibility. Graduating in Psychology from St Xaviers College and holding a degree in Law, Farzana doffs many hats. She is publisher, editor, photographer and columnist. Seamlessly she moves between each of these roles, attributing this ability to the discipline and focus that her two decade sports career gave her, which graphs from representing her school, college, university, state and the Indian railways at hockey and basketball at the Nationals.
Ask her what she values most in life, and promptly comes the answer, “Humanity… human values.”
Han Feng is one of the most sought-after designers in the world. She is a creative force known for her fashion accessories, ready-to-wear lines, design exhibitions, and stage costumes for the landmark theatrical production of Madama Butterfly and The Bonesetter's Daughter.
Born in Nanjing, China, she graduated from the China Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou then moved to New York City in 1985. She began a career in fashion in 1989 and, with a growing commercial demand for scarves and other accessories, launched her first ready-to-wear line and opened her own store in New York in 1993. Now with her showroom based in Shanghai, she travels regularly between China and the U.S.
Han Feng is one of the few figures capable of bridging contemporary Chinese style and culture with a global view. Freedom, movement, texture and colour animate her work. Designing clothes that accommodate one's natural movement she expanded her design portfolio to include projects in the realm of fine arts, culinary arts and industrial design. Her works have been featured in several exhibitions and installations around the States and throughout the world. Her most recent light installations, featuring brightly-coloured birds covered in silk strips and illuminated from within, have been at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Beijing Park Hyatt Hotel.
Christian Dior has chosen Han Feng as an image model for China for their Christian Dior L'or de Vie range. This features in Vogue China's current edition of October 2008. Han Feng is also the 2008 recipient of the prestigious Rockerfeller Foundation's scholarship awarded by their Asian Cultural Society for textiles. She is a popular personality commenting on culture and style for TV and magazines the world over. Her work has graced the covers of numerous magazines.
Recent Activities include a solo exhibition at the Chinese art center in Manchester.
Born on 18th February 1922 in Arkansas, Helen Gurley Brown is an author, publisher, and businesswoman. Helen was editor-in-chief at Cosmopolitan magazine for 32 years and is known as one of the world’s most influential women.
In 1941, she graduated from Texas State College for Women and Woodbury Business College. During the 1950s Helen went to work for a prominent advertising agency as a secretary. Her employer recognized her writing skills and moved her to the copywriting department where she advanced rapidly to become one of the nation's highest paid ad copywriters in the early 1960s. In 1959 she married David Brown who produced Jaws, The Sting, Cocoon, Driving Miss Daisy, and other motion pictures.
In 1962 Brown authored the bestselling book Sex and the Single Girl. In 1966 she became editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan and reversed the fortunes of the failing magazine. During the decade of the 1960s she was an outspoken advocate of women's sexual freedom and sought to provide them with role-models and a guide in her magazine. Brown claimed that women could have it all, "love, sex, and money". Due to her advocacy the liberated single woman was often referred to generically as the "Cosmo Girl". Her work played a part in what is often called the sexual revolution.
Helen passed away on August 13, 2012
Hilary Blume is Founder and Director, the Charities Advisory Trust (CAT). She has worked in the voluntary sector for 35 years and has established Card Aid (a supplier and retailer of charity Christmas cards); the prize-winning Green Hotel in Mysore, India; the Good Gifts Catalogue, and the much-missed Museum Store in Covent Garden.She has pioneered new ways of generating funds for charity. Her unique style of grant-making has earned her the description of “The funder from heaven”, both because of the flexibility and emphasis on sustainability, which has included buying a tea estate in India, and an office building in Grenada, as endowments. Through CAT’s graduate intern programme, Hilary Blume has trained over 1000 people in their first jobs in the voluntary sector, and through the annual Development from the Inside course in India, shapes the attitudes of those wanting to work in development. She has also published books on fundraising, charity trading, and is currently working on a book on the Ethics of Charity.
Holly Taylor Sargent is the founding director of the Harvard Kennedy School Women's Leadership Board. She is also the founder and CEO of HT Sargent, a consulting firm specialising in creative and entrepreneurial advice to nonprofit organisations and individual philanthropists.
Drawing from Holly’s extensive background and broad reach across industries, functions, and geographies, HTSargent helps people and companies explore extraordinary opportunities, manage, and sustain their philanthropic vision, and maximize revenue income. Her primary client is The Rhodes Trust, the British charity providing the Rhode Scholarships.
After serving for 15 years as the senior associate dean for External Relations and Strategy at the Harvard Kennedy School, Holly was promoted to Senior Associate Dean for Advancement and Senior Director for Women's Initiatives for the entire University. In this capacity, she created several University-wide fellowships and was responsible for expanding support for programmes related to women.
Concomitant with her successful fundraising career, Holly has been instrumental in launching and supporting other institutions supporting women. In addition to developing the Women's Leadership Board, she was the founding director of The Council of Women World Leaders, served on the Women Leaders Initiative of the World Economic Forum, and is on the international advisory board for the Cherie Blair Women's Foundation. With her daughters, she also founded the global not-for profit, Girls for Good, aimed at building self-esteem in girls affected by western culture while connecting them with girls facing other significant challenges around the world.
Holly’s other board commitments include Cloud Industries, Inc , People's United Bank, Right To Play, and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.