GLORIA FELDT | President & Co-Founder
Gloria 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 | Director of Special Events & Operations
Rhea coordinates the planning, production and execution 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.
Nailah is a business and marketing strategist who helps clients clarify their brands online and build thriving, inclusive communities, fans, prospects and influencers. Passionate about communication and community, Nailah holds a Master’s in Communication and Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University and a Bachelor’s in Communication from the University of Southern California. Nailah uses her years of Consumer Packaged Goods industry knowledge to help brands craft unique experiences for their prospects and customers by helping them connect with their current target market, as well as finding new and alternative markets online.
Lauren joined the Take The Lead team as an intern in November 2015. After hearing Gloria Feldt speak to students about the role of women’s leadership, Lauren knew Take the Lead was the perfect home for her passion for women’s advancement. As a junior at Yale University studying American Studies and Theater, Lauren hopes to use her experiences to help make gender parity a reality and bring young women the practical tools they need to unleash their potential.
Laura leverages her experience leading consulting teams, designing and facilitating training, and building alliances, along with her passion for achieving gender parity in organizations, to her management of the Leadership Ambassador program. During her 20-year career in retail and wholesale financial services, she was a consistent advocate for increasing industry diversity. Since 2003, she has consulted extensively to finance, healthcare, media and non-profit organizations to design and deliver leadership, management and diversity programs. She is an active volunteer with organizations that cultivate and prepare diverse talent for leadership roles.
Michele is emerita faculty in journalism at Northwestern 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 her 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.