Building Strong Collaborations
Watch our First Conference Keynote Session: Building Strong Collaborations
Thursday, September 23rd | 10:00 – 11:15 AM EST
Agnes Scott College welcomes the keynote speakers for the opening session at the Building a Better World: Women and Climate Justice. Watch here as Wanjira Mathai and Pat Mitchell set the stage in a conversation about global women’s leadership for climate action.
Building Strong Collaborations Keynote Speakers
Wanjira Mathai is the Vice President and Regional Director for Africa at WRI.
She formerly served as Co-chair of WRI’s Global Restoration Council and a Senior Advisor to the Global Restoration Initiative. She is the current Chair of the Wangari Maathai Foundation and the former Chair of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya.
An inspiring leader, Wanjira has over 20 years of experience advocating for social and environmental change on both local and international platforms. Over the years, Wanjira has also served important strategic and advocacy roles raising the prominence and visibility of global issues such as climate change, youth leadership, sustainable energy, and landscape restoration, at Women Entrepreneurs in Renewables (wPOWER), the Wangari Maathai Foundation (WMF), and the Green Belt Movement (GBM) the organization her mother, Wangari Maathai (2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate) founded in 1977.
Wanjira currently serves on the Board of the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) and as a Leadership Council member of the Clean Cooking Alliance. Wanjira is one of a few Six Seconds EQ Practitioners in Kenya and was named one of the 100 Most Influential African Women in 2018 and 2020.
Pat Mitchell is a lifelong advocate for women and girls. At every step of her career, Mitchell has broken new ground for women, leveraging the power of media as a journalist, an Emmy award-winning and Oscar-nominated producer to tell women’s stories and increase the representation of women onscreen and off. Transitioning to an executive role, she became the president of CNN Productions, and the first woman president and CEO of PBS and the Paley Center for Media. Today, her commitment to connect and strengthen a global community of women
leaders continues as a conference curator, advisor, and mentor.
In partnership with TED, Mitchell launched TEDWomen in 2010 and is its editorial director, curator, and host. She is also a speaker and curator for the annual Women Working for the World Forum in Bogota, Colombia, the Her Village conference in Beijing, and the Women of the World (WOW) festival in London. In 2017, she launched the Connected Women Leaders Initiative with the Rockefeller Foundation focused on women leaders in government and civil society. In 2014, the Women’s Media Center honored Mitchell with its first-annual Lifetime Achievement Award, now named in her honor to commend other women whose media careers advance the representation of women. Recognized by Hollywood Reporter as one of the most powerful women in media, Fast Company’s “League of Extraordinary Women” and Huffington Post’s list of “Powerful Women Over 50,” Mitchell also received the Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Leadership. She is a contributor to Enlightened Power: How Women Are Transforming the Practice of Leadership, and wrote the introduction to the recently published book and museum exhibition, 130 Women of Impact in 30 Countries. In 2016, she served as a congressional appointment to The American Museum of Women’s History Advisory Council.
Mitchell is active with many nonprofit organizations, serving as the chair of the Sundance Institute Board and as chair emerita of the Women’s Media Center Board. She is a founding member of the VDAY movement and on the boards of the Skoll Foundation and the Woodruff Arts Center. She is also an advisor to Participant Media and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mitchell is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia and holds a master’s degree in English literature and several honorary doctorate degrees. She and her husband, Scott Seydel, live in Atlanta and have six children and 13 grandchildren. In October of 2019, she published her book Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing Risk to Change the World.