Our Speakers


Maria Hinojosa

Maria Hinojosa

Maria Hinojosa

Raising our voices, Telling our stories, Claiming our power

Maria Hinojosa is an award-winning news anchor and reporter who covers America’s untold stories and highlights today’s critical issues. As the anchor and Executive Producer of the Peabody Award winning show Latino USA which is distributed by NPR, and anchor and Executive Producer of the PBS show America by the Numbers with Maria Hinojosa, she has informed millions about the changing cultural and political landscape in America and abroad.

In nearly 30 years as a journalist, she has worked for CNN, PBS, CBS, WNBC, and WGBH. Her previous projects include PBS’ Need to Know series and the WGBH/La Plaza talk show Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One. Hinojosa was the first Latina to anchor a FRONTLINE report. Aired in October 2011, “Lost in Detention” explored abuse at immigrant detention facilities, garnering attention from Capitol Hill to both the mainstream and Spanish-language media.

Hinojosa has received numerous awards for her work including: four Emmys; the 2012 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism; Robert F. Kennedy Award for Reporting on the Disadvantaged; the Studs Terkel Community Media Award; the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Overseas Press Club for best documentary for her groundbreaking “Child Brides: Stolen Lives.”

In addition to her broadcast work, Hinojosa has been a weekly syndicated columnist for King Features/Hearst and is the author of two books, Raising Raul: Adventures Raising Myself and My Son, a motherhood memoir; and Crews: Gang Members Talk with Maria Hinojosa, an in-depth collection of interviews with gang members in New York City.

Hinojosa was born in Mexico City and raised in Chicago, IL. She received her BA from Barnard College. She is currently the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Chair of Latin American and Latino Studies at DePaul University in Chicago and a Global Post ‘Voces’ columnist. She lives with her husband, artist German Perez, and their son and daughter in Harlem.


Patricia Russo

Patricia Russo

Patricia Russo

A Call to Action

Patricia Russo is a nationally respected leader focused on improving the quality of life for women in Connecticut and the United States. For over twenty five years, she has held numerous leadership positions in public, private and not-for-profit organizations centered on women’s rights. She has also held leadership positions on federal, state and local political campaigns.

Currently, Russo serves as Executive Director of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University. The Women’s Campaign School at Yale is a non partisan, issue-neutral political campaign training program for women interested in running for public office, and for women interested in campaign management. Based at Yale Law School, it is a leading program attracting women from the U.S. and internationally. She is also a member of the Council of Women’s Health Research at Yale University and chairs its Philanthropy and Communications Committee.

Russo served twenty three years as a member of Connecticut’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW), including eight years as its Chair. She is now Commissioner Emerita on behalf of the agency. She is a member of the PCSW’s Fourth Congressional District Advisory Council. She is an honorary member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.

Russo is the founder of the Connecticut Women’s Agenda, a state-wide advocacy coalition comprised of women leaders. She is also a co-founder of the Women’s Business Development Council of Connecticut, which assists women entrepreneurs. She is a co-founder of the Connecticut NARAL Foundation, which educates and protects women’s reproductive rights. She also served on the Board of Trustees of the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame.

She has received numerous awards and citations for her leadership in the area of women’s rights. She has been named “Woman of the Year” by the Connecticut Chapters of both the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Business and Professional Women (BPW). She was also the recipient of the prestigious Hannah G. Solomon award, given by the National Council of Jewish Women. She also received the National Abortion Rights Action League of Connecticut’s Catherine Roraback Leadership award. An accomplished public speaker, she has been frequently interviewed and quoted in national, state and local newspapers and magazines. She speaks extensively on issues of importance to women before many national women’s organizations. She is a popular guest speaker at the Clinton Foundation.


Carolyn Brehm

Carolyn Brehm

Carolyn Brehm

Tackling Gender Bias: Changing Perceptions through the Power of Advertising

Carolyn Brehm leads The Procter & Gamble Company’s team of sixty government relations practitioners who support key markets in the U.S., Asia, Europe, Middle East & Africa and Latin America.  She formed the global GR function for P&G in 2005 and is responsible for public policy and legislative advocacy to protect and grow P&G’s business. Her group also includes the P&G Fund. She joined P&G in August 2000 as a Director in the Washington office with responsibilities for electronic commerce and data privacy, chemicals management and food, drugs and cosmetic issues.

During a 13-year stint with General Motors Corporation, Brehm served as a director responsible for international trade and investment policy and project support for GM’s international operations in Washington, DC. During two overseas assignments with GM, she established an office in Shanghai for GM’s Motors Trading Company in 1984 and returned to the region in 1996 as Director of Asia-Pacific Trade Policies and Strategy. While living in China, she helped to finalize GM’s Shanghai joint venture to build Buick vehicles and negotiated a number of export sales and counter trade projects for several GM divisions, including the first sale of Cadillac limousines to the PRC.

Brehm is a 1977 graduate of Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, with a specialization in East Asian Studies. She completed a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of New Haven/Cyprus College campus in Nicosia in 1996. She resided in Bombay, India as an American Field Service exchange student in 1972 and lived in Nicosia, Cyprus from 1993 to 1996 and Hong Kong from 1996 to 1999.