GLORIA FELDT is the Co-Founder and President of Take The Lead, has been an advocate for women for forty years. A former teen mom, her hard work and natural leadership abilities led her to a 30-year career at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, including a 10-year stint as its national president and CEO. People Magazine has called her “the voice of experience,” and Vanity Fair named her one of America’s “Top 200 Women Legends, Leaders, and Trailblazers.”
When she discovered that women have been stuck at 18 percent of top leadership positions for two decades, she knew she had to find a way to change that. The result: she wrote the bestselling book No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power to give women practical Power Tools that break down their unconscious barriers to greater personal and professional success. In 2014, she founded Take The Lead, an initiative to bring women to leadership parity by 2025.
RHEA BEDDOE is the Director of Special Events & Operations at Take The Lead. She coordinates the planning and production of “Take The Lead Presents” events, including in-person learning events and online Virtual Happy Hours with women leaders and visionaries. Prior to joining Take The Lead, Rhea worked in the political and nonprofit sectors for over six years, most recently as the coordinator for a New York City Council campaign. She has always had a passion for supporting women’s rights and is an active volunteer with local NYC women’s health organizations.
University, where she taught on the graduate and undergraduate levels for 18 years. She is director of the Northwestern Public Voices Fellowship through The OpEd Project, where she is a senior leader. Weldon is the author of four nonfiction books, I Closed My Eyes (1999); Writing To Save Your Life (2001); Everyman News (2008); and
er latest, Escape Points: A Memoir (2015) was named one of the best books of 2015 by Booklist of the American Library Association and was a finalist in the Society of Midland Authors Literary Awards for 2015. She has contributed chapters in seven other books and anthologies. Her commentary appears regularly in outlets such as New York Times, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, CNN, Cosmopolitan, Washington Post, Huffington Post, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, Medium, Pacific Standard, Quartz, Slate and hundreds more. Weldon co-directed TEDX NorthwesternU 2014 and competed in the 2012 Moth Story Chicago GrandSlam in 2012. She is a frequent guest on radio, TV and digital sites.
UCHE UMOLU is Take The Lead’s social media lead. She was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, and completed her secondary education in London. Uche is passionate about women’s rights, especially in education. Her main interests include politics, social action, feminism, business, and marketing. Uche currently resides in Toronto and studies marketing. Her ultimate goal is to start an NGO that advocates for women’s rights in Nigeria and against female genital mutilation.