Symposiums on Gender in Media

Global Symposiums 2016 New York Bios

Geena Davis

Founder and Chair

Academy Award winner Geena Davis is one of Hollywood’s most respected actors, appearing in several roles that became cultural landmarks. Earning the 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama, Davis broke ground in her portrayal of the first female President of the United States in ABC’s hit show Commander in Chief.

In 1989, Davis received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as the offbeat dog trainer Muriel Pritchett in Lawrence Kasdan’s The Accidental Tourist.  She was again nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for her performance in Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise, in which she co-starred with Susan Sarandon.  Davis went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of baseball phenomenon Dottie Hinson in A League of Their Own.

Noopur Agarwal

Vice President
Public Affairs, MTV

Noopur Agarwal is Vice President of Public Affairs for MTV, where she oversees major “pro-social” campaigns to engage and activate America’s youth on the biggest issues impacting their generation. These initiatives include the Peabody Award-winning mtvU mental health campaign, Half of Us and MTV’s Emmy-winning anchor campaign, Look Different, which is aimed at tackling racial, gender and anti-LGBT bias. 

Noopur has been a featured speaker at The White House, the Consumer Electronics Show, South by Southwest Interactive, Advertising Week, Social Media Week, Columbia University and NYU, among other settings.  She has also been tapped to host MTV Pioneers, a speaker series where she has interviewed ground-breaking leaders including Daily Show correspondent and actor, Aasif Mandvi, celebrity chef and food activist, Jamie Oliver, renowned playwright and women’s rights advocate, Eve Ensler, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nick Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, and the founder of TOMS shoes, Blake Mycoskie. In her role at MTV, Noopur has been recognized with the MTV Innovation Award, a company-wide honor granted to individuals who have demonstrated fresh thinking and a pioneering approach in their work.  

Prior to joining MTV, Noopur spent time at Viacom working on Know HIV/AIDS, a public education campaign run in collaboration with CBS Corporation and the Kaiser Family Foundation.  Before entering the media industry, she was a consultant at Bain & Company, a global strategy consulting firm, where she helped advise senior management in a variety of industries including healthcare, financial services and consumer products. 

Noopur received her MBA from Harvard Business School and her BA in Economics from Harvard College. 

Kerry Bishé


Kerry Bishé is a theatre, film and television actor. Her work includes the one woman play My Name Is Rachel Corrie directed by Alan Rickman, Pygmalion on Broadway and most recently An American Daughter at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Films include Ben Affleck’s Academy Award winning Argo, Kevin Smith’s Red State, and numerous films with writer/director Ed Burns. Kerry can currently be seen on AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire in which she plays Donna Clark, a computer technology pioneer in the 1980s. Kerry is an amateur science enthusiast and passionate advocate for science in culture.

Julie Ann Crommett

Entertainment Industry Educator in Chief, Google

Julie Ann Crommett joined Google in December 2013 and is currently the Entertainment Industry Educator in Chief, working to shift perceptions of computer science in mainstream media so as to encourage more diversity in the field (a position she created).

Previously, she was at NBCUniversal where she was responsible for behind-the-camera diversity initiatives including the NBCU Directing Fellowship Program and Writers on the Verge. Throughout her time in Hollywood, Julie Ann initiated a cross-company Hispanic episode of NBC’s Grimm, was an Entertainment Associate at Universal Cable Productions, an associate producer on the Animal Planet series, I’m Alive and a production intern in DVD/Promotions at Pixar Animation Studios.

Julie Ann is originally from Atlanta, via San Juan, Puerto Rico (Cuban too!), and graduated with a B.A. degree in English and American literature from Harvard University. She currently serves on the board of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), Women in Animation (WIA), the Barbie Global Advisory Council and on several media advisory councils. In September 2015, Julie Ann was honored with ADCOLOR’s prestigious Innovator Award for her work in shifting on-screen perceptions, and Univision’s Flama named her one of the 7 Latinos to Look Out for in 2016.

Madeline Di Nonno

CEO, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

Madeline Di Nonno is the Chief Executive Officer of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, the only research based non-profit working with the entertainment and media community to improve unconscious gender bias in media and entertainment through evidence-based research, education and advocacy. Madeline leads the Institute’s strategic direction, financial and operational activities. Madeline brings over thirty years of executive leadership experience in the entertainment, non-profit, digital media and consumer packaged goods industries.

Previously, Madeline served as President and CEO of On The Scene Productions, and drove the company’s new business development and content distribution platforms for the entertainment, healthcare, and consumer products clients such as Nike, Gatorade, Iconix, and PepsiCo.

Prior to On The Scene, Di Nonno served in executive marketing positions for Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz Media and Echo Bridge Home Entertainment where she led global brand marketing, for home entertainment and limited theatrical releases in North America, United Kingdom and Australia. As Executive Vice President and GM for Nielsen EDI, Madeline drove innovations in product development, new business development and client management.

Previously, Di Nonno served as Senior Vice President, Marketing Alliances and Digital media at the Hallmark Channel, and nearly eight years at Universal Studios Home Video as Vice President, Strategic Marketing. Madeline began her career at ABC Television Network in corporate publicity. Madeline holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University.

Madeline serves on the Board of Directors for the Television Academy Foundation; Board of Advisors for the LA Press Club; Co-Chair, Digital Hollywood’s “Hollywood for Social Change”: Board Advisor GameChanger Films and Rutgers University Institute for Women’s Leadership.

Matt Freeman

Senior Director for Investment, Girl Effect

Matt Freeman is Senior Director for Investment at the Girl Effect, where he oversees strategic partnerships, product innovation and market entry. Prior to this, Matt was Head of Programmes, where he was responsible for strategy development and programme delivery for Girl Effect countries. Before joining Girl Effect, Matt was Director of Business Engagement at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), where he was responsible for building multi-stakeholder partnerships including the Business Platform for Nutrition Research, a partnership of 10 multinational companies and public sector to co-invest in basic and applied research. Prior to joining GAIN, Matt spent four years with the US Government, first as a Presidential Management Fellow, where amongst other positions he held roles with the US Department of State and with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and then continuing his career with USAID as senior bilateral donor coordinator. During his time at USAID, Matt worked with bilateral donors from around the world on policy and program coordination, supporting Ministerial level engagement and leading on key global initiatives. Matt also served on the US Government’s Haiti Task Force, providing headquarter level coordination with multi-stakeholder partners to support reconstruction and development following the January 2010 earthquake. Prior to becoming a Presidential Management Fellow, Matt studied law at the University of San Francisco and received his undergraduate degree in Philosophy from UCLA.

Amanda Gorman

Writer and Ambassador, School of Doodle

Amanda Gorman, 18, is a writer, activist, and motivational speaker. She is a Teen Editor, Ambassador, and Diversity Committee Member for School of Doodle, a feminist online platform that empowers teen girls through creativity and mentorship. She has served as the inaugural Los Angeles Youth Poet Laureate, and currently is Western Region Youth Poet Laureate and one of five candidates to become the first ever United States Youth Poet Laureate. Amanda previously worked as a United Nations Youth Delegate in New York City, an ANNpower Vital Voices Fellow in Washington, D.C, and an ANNpowerVital Voices Global Delegate in London. She has written for The Wall Street Journal, Elle, WriteGirl, The Huffington Post, andHelloGiggles. Her first collection of poetry, ‘The One For Whom Food Is Not Enough’, was published by Penmanship Books in 2015. Amanda founded One Pen One Page, a a nonprofit organization that promotes literacy and leadership through creative writing programs, international storytelling initiatives, and an online literary magazine. She has appeared in Teen Vogue, The Today Show, ABC Family, and Nickelodeon. Amanda attends Harvard University and plans to study literature and politics.

Lucie Greene

Worldwide Director, Innovation Group, J.Walter Thompson

Lucie Greene is the Worldwide Director of the Innovation Group at J. Walter Thompson, the in-house futures and innovation think tank. She is responsible for global thought leadership for J. Walter Thompson as well as working directly with our numerous Fortune 500 brands on future strategy and innovation.

Lucie joined J. Walter Thompson in 2015 from leading London-based trends consultancy The Future Laboratory, where she was head of its trend forecasting and thought leadership unit. Since joining she relaunched the Intelligence unit, rebranded it, redesigned it, consolidated global thought leadership and also introduced innovation, and creative innovation consultancy services.

She’s a thought leadership columnist for Campaign Live, writes for the Financial Times on futures, and often speak at conferences such as CES, SXSW, Web Summit, Cosmoprof, WWD Summits, and Advertising Week, on future trends across multiple lifestyle sectors. She is featured regularly as an expert on futurism and trends, appearing on CNBC and Bloomberg TV, and in publications including CNN, The New York Times, Newsweek, The Sunday Times, and The Guardian. Lucie is also currently writing a book on Silicon Valley, due to be published with Regan Arts in 2017.

She has worked on a consultancy basis with brands from Estee Lauder to Sony to Nestle, Unilever, Puma and others.

Susie Nam

Chief Operating Officer, Droga5

Susie has lived in 10 cities in three countries and has had three completely different professions, but she considers Minneapolis her home and advertising her career.

She started at George magazine following the presidential campaign trail, then went to The New York Times as Features Editor for their first-ever online edition. She then moved into advertising at Deutsch NY to work on IKEA and LensCrafters, before stepping out of the rat race to attend London School of Economics for a master’s in urban planning. After completing her studies, she consulted on economic and transport planning in England – including visits to Roman archeological digs and the bullring in Birmingham. Upon returning stateside, she headed back to advertising and found a home at Fallon working with the islands of the Bahamas’ Ministry of Tourism, TIME magazine and Nestlé Purina – so, beaches, puppies and excellent reading material.

Susie started at Droga5 in 2009 as Group Account Director leading Activision and PUMA. Soon after she became Head of Account Management and, in 2013, General Manager of the New York office. In 2015, she became Chief Operating Officer. As COO, Susie oversees all business operations of the agency, including driving influence for clients on their businesses, marshaling departments to scale and adapt to growth and designing culture and systems to deliver breakthrough ideas.

Susie lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, Miles and Stella.

Shrikanth (Shri) Narayanan

Andrew J. Viterbi Professor of Engineering, University of Southern California (USC)

Shrikanth (Shri) Narayanan is the Niki & C. L. Max Nikias Chair in Engineering at the University of Southern California, where he is Professor of Electrical Engineering, and jointly in Computer Science, Linguistics, Psychology, Neuroscience and Pediatrics, Director of the Ming Hsieh Institute and Research Director of the Information Sciences Institute. Prior to USC he was with AT&T Bell Labs and AT&T Research. His research focuses on human-centered information processing and communication technologies. He is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, IEEE, ISCA, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the National Academy of Inventors. Shri Narayanan is Editor in Chief for IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing and an Editor for the Computer, Speech and Language Journal and an Associate Editor for the APISPA Transactions on Signal and Information Processing having previously served on numerous Journal editorial boards. He is a recipient of several honors including the 2015 Engineers Council’s Distinguished Educator Award, a Mellon award for mentoring excellence, the 2005 and 2009 Best Journal Paper awards from the IEEE Signal Processing Society and serving as its Distinguished Lecturer for 2010-11, as an ISCA Distinguished Lecturer for 2015-16 and the 2017 Willard R. Zemlin Memorial Lecturer for ASHA. With his students, he has received several best paper awards including a 2014 Ten-year Technical Impact Award from ACM ICMI and a six-time winner of the Interspeech Challenges. He has published over 750 papers and has been granted 17 U.S. patents. His work has been featured widely in national and international print and broadcast media.

Alysia Reiner


You can see Alysia in all 4 seasons of Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, which she won a SAG award for her role as "FIG," the tough as nails assistant warden as part of the amazing ensemble cast. She is currently filming Season 1 of Better Things of F/X, brought to you by the inimitable Louie CK & Pamela Adlon, and Season 4 of Showtime’s Master of Sex, both to air in September of 2016. Additionally you can catch her as D.A. PARKS in Shonda Rhimes’ breakout hit How to Get Away with Murder, Lilian Izikoff on Rosewood, and Fiona in Michael Showalter’s new TNT series Search Party.

On the film front, Alysia stars with Anna Gunn in Equity, the first ever female driven Wall Street film, which she also produced. The film premiered at Sundance in January 2016, was acquired by Sony Pictures Classicand will be in theaters nationwide September 2nd. Equity is Alysia’s 7th independent feature as an actress in 2015, but the first in her life as actress and producer. So far in 2016, she has had roles in Shool Spirits, Shine, and, she is currently filming Whitney Cummings’ The Female Brain. She feels so blessed to have worked with film masters from Alexander Payne in the Oscar winning Sideways, to Jodie Foster, to the now amazing Meera Menon – the director of Equity.

Alysia loves working as a change maker for women, and has been invited to The White House, the UN, and Cannes Lion to speak about un-stereotyping women, and women in entrepreneurship. Additionally, she was awarded the Sarah Powell Huntington Leadership Award by the Women’s Prison Association, was recognized as an Intelligent Optimist in Ode Magazine and profiled by New York Women in Film and Television as a woman to watch.

Please follow her on all social media because she loves to share inspiring & funny stuff (Also she is deeply insecure and it makes her feel like people virtually care about her Snapchat, Twitter & Instagram: @alysiareiner

Sherrie Rollins

Executive Vice President, Global Impact and Philanthropy, Sesame Workshop

Sherrie Westin runs the philanthropic arm of Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, overseeing Sesame’s social impact work targeting vulnerable children in countries around the world, from Sub-Saharan Africa to India to the United States. Sesame has consistently delivered measureable results providing critical educational resources to those who need it most. Ms. Westin is also responsible for all philanthropic development to support these programs. Westin previously served as the Workshop’s Chief Marketing Officer.

Westin joined the Workshop from ABC, where she served as Executive Vice President of Network Communications. Ms. Westin’s career spans media, private sector, non-profit and public service. She served as Assistant to the President for Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs for President George H. W. Bush, as well as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Westin currently serves as a director of the US Fund for UNICEF, the US Global Leadership Coalition, Communities in Schools and a trustee of Mt. Holyoke College. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.S. Afghan Women’s Council. She received the Matrix Award from New York Women in Communications and holds an honorary degree from Concordia College in New York. She holds a B.A. in communications from the University of Virginia. Westin lives in Bronxville, New York with her husband, David, and children, Lily and David.

Melissa Silverstein

Founder & Publisher, Women in Hollywood; Co-Founder and Artistic Director, Athena Film Festival

Melissa Silverstein is a writer and speaker with an extensive expertise in the area of women and Hollywood. She is the founder and publisher of Women and Hollywood, one of the most respected sites for issues related to women and film as well as other areas of pop culture. Women and Hollywood educates, advocates, and agitates for gender diversity in Hollywood and the global film industry.  She is the Artistic Director and co-founder of the Athena Film Festival – A Celebration of Women and Leadership – at Barnard College in NYC. The 7th annual festival will take place from February 9-12, 2017.

Melissa recently received the Marie C. Wilson Emerging Leader Award from the Ms. Foundation for Women. In 2015 she was selected to be a film envoy for the American Film Showcase, the major film diplomacy program of the U.S. Department of State. And she published the first book from Women and Hollywood, In Her Voice: Women Directors Talk Directing, which is a compilation of over 40 interviews that have appeared on the site. 

She has written for The Washington Post, NY Times, Forbes, More Magazine and has been featured on CNN, the BBC as well as in Newsweek, Salon, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, NY Times, and many other publications. She was a contributor to The Tattooed Girl: The Enigma of Stieg Larsson and the Secrets Behind the Most Compelling Thriller of Our Time.

Women and Hollywood recently moved to Medium. It was named one of the top 100 websites for women by ForbesWoman in 2013, 2012 and 2011.  In 2011, Melissa was named one of the Top 100 Arts tweeters by the Times of London, and in 2010, she was named one of 10 film critics to follow on twitter by Flavorwire. In 2008, Women and Hollywood was named by More Magazine as one of the “blogs to watch,” and in 2009, it was named “Best Hollywood blog” by

Melissa has experience working on social media marketing campaigns and events for a variety of films including: My Week With Marilyn, The Iron Lady, Gloria Steinem: In Her Own Words, Bright Star, Revolutionary Road, Bend it Like Beckham, and The Hours. Previous experience includes work on high profile public education campaigns such as Take Our Daughters to Work Day, and she was the founding project director for The White House Project. Prior to that was the Chief of Staff at the Ms. Foundation for Women. In 2013, she was one of the recipients of the Susan B. Anthony Award from the NYC Chapter of the National Organization for Women. She is an Advisory Board member to Project Greenlight Digital Studios and a member of NY Women in Film and TV.