Challenge It. Change It.


To build a community that ensures women are represented in the public dialog.


Women as equals will become the norm when it is the norm. Everywhere.


The GenderAvenger Team

Volunteer co-founders, Gina Glantz and Susan Askew, work with two great professionals: Elan Morgan, our amazing webmaster, and Soraya Membreno, GenderAvenger’s new Director of Communication. Our Vice President, Nicco Mele, provides insights from his new perch as Director of Harvard’s Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. Since our inception, Yonatan, Victoria and Katie have been finding time to help out in and around their full-time jobs. We range in age from 26 to 73. We grew up all over the world and in a variety of states in the US and in Canada, and we met in all sorts of ways. We now live in California, Virginia, Illinois, New York, and Saskatchewan. Nice to know ya!


hoto Credit: Richard Glantz


Serial organizer/shit stirrer/campaign tech innovator/grandmother. First political campaign managed: a surprise win of a Democrat for Congress in a NJ district that was represented at the time by the longest serving Republican in the House. Last campaign managed: a not-so-surprising defeat of Bill Bradley by Al Gore for the Democratic presidential nomination. Founded Martin&Glantz, specializing in grassroots organizing and communications strategies. Senior Advisor to President of the Service Employees International Union. Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics Fellow and Shorenstein Center Adjunct Lecturer. Planned Parenthood Action Fund, DEMOS and Oxfam-America Board Member.  

Photo Credit: Mitya Ku


Serial entrepreneur. Optimist.  Explorer and questioner: “What if?” and “Why not?”  Started out in old media, crossed over to the “other side” of the microphone into politics as a staffer to Republican Governor Mike Castle and with organizations focused on empowering women before discovering a wonderfully chaotic path of technological innovation in the early 1990’s. Founder, womenCONNECT, one of the first websites focused on women in business, and co-founder Backfence, an early innovator in hyperlocal news on the internet. And, in the “you’re never too old category”: recent graduate, George Mason University, Latin American Finance.

Soraya Membreno


Writer. Poet. Nica. A pre-Lebron Miami native and graduate of Williams College, Soraya is a former physics geek turned cultural/literary theory junkie. She obsesses (and occasionally writes) about issues of accessibility, representation, and culture-straddling/identity building in literature and the world at large. Her writing has appeared in Post No Ills and The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. She has worked in development for various literary nonprofits in New York City, including Poets & Writers, Cave Canem, and LouderARTS. She is an editor at Union Station Magazine

Elan Morgan


Elan lives and works in Regina, Saskatchewan. She blogs at Schmutzie.com, spreads gratitude through the Grace in Small Things community, celebrates Canadian blogging with the Canadian Weblog Awards, and speaks all over. She believes in and works to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

Photo Credit: dimnikolov


Programmer, feminist, real world and tech world adventurer. San Francisco native. Harvard Computer Science grad. Former co-chair of Harvard Institute of Politics Fellows program (where he met Nicco and Gina). Software Engineer at Optimizely.

Nicco Mele


Nicco is the Director of the Shorenstein Center for the Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard’s John F Kennedy School. Prior to joining the Center, Nicco was the Deputy Publisher and SVP at the Los Angeles Times. Above all else, has his finger on the pulse of what is happening in our rapidly-evolving digital age.  As webmaster for Governor Howard Dean's 2004 presidential bid, Nicco helped popularize the use of technology and social media that revolutionized political fundraising and reshaped American politics.  Drawing from his experience, Nicco teaches graduate-level courses on the internet and politics as a faculty member at the Harvard Kennedy School.  He is also the co-founder of EchoDitto, a leading internet strategy and consulting firm, and is the author of The End of Big: How The Internet Makes David The New Goliath, in which he explores the consequences of living in a socially-connected society.

Victoria Chao


GenderAvenger. storyteller, adventurer, lifelong learner, dog mom. Harvard Graduate School of Education and Brown University alumna. Former Fulbright fellow and NPR intern. Proud Ohioan.

Katie Dowd


Katie is a Senior Advisor for Digital at Hillary for President. Previously, she served as the digital director for the Office of Hillary Clinton at the Clinton Foundation and as the Innovation Advisor to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Katie spent many years in grassroots marketing and digital strategy, serving as the head of new media operations for Secretary Clinton’s presidential primary campaign and her political action committee, as well as working for a host of Democratic organizations and candidates across the country. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, she now resides in New York City.

Inez Milholland


"Inez Milholland Boissevain (August 6, 1886 – November 25, 1916) was a suffragist, labor lawyer, World War I correspondent, and public speaker who greatly influenced the women's movement in America. She was active in the National Woman's Party and a key participant in the Woman Suffrage Parade of 1913." (Inez Milholland, Wikipedia)

You can read more about her here.

Mellody Hobson


Headquartered in Chicago, the firm offers six no-load mutual funds for individual investors and defined contribution plans as well as separately managed accounts for institutions and high net worth individuals. As president, Mellody is responsible for firm-wide management and strategic planning, overseeing all operations outside of research and portfolio management. Additionally, she serves as chairman of the board of trustees for Ariel Investment Trust.

Beyond her work at Ariel, Mellody has become a nationally recognized voice on financial literacy and investor education. She is a regular contributor and analyst on finance, the markets and economic trends for CBS News. She also contributes weekly money tips on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and pens a regular column for Black Enterprise magazine. As a passionate advocate for investor education, she is a spokesperson for the Ariel/Hewitt Study: 401(k) Plans in Living Color and the Ariel Black Investor Survey, both of which examine investing patterns among minorities.

Mellody is chairman of the board for DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. as well as a director of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. and Starbucks Corporation. Her community outreach includes serving as chairman of After School Matters, a non-profit that provides Chicago teens with high quality, out-of-school time programs. She is a board member of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, The Chicago Public Education Fund, and Sundance Institute, where she has been appointed emeritus trustee. She is also on the executive committee of the Investment Company Institute’s board of governors. Mellody earned her AB degree from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations and Public Policy. She also received honorary doctorate degrees in humanities from both Howard University and St. Mary’s College.


When founding Avenger Gina started talking about getting GenderAvenger up and running, six wonderful friends joined her in providing the resources to create the website and to start testing the appeal of its mission and the promise of its theory of social change.  The return on their investment has been the ever-growing community of men and women committed to taking action to ensure that women are always part of the public dialog. With this success came the need for more resources. GenderAvenger is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Check out who’s giving on our donor scroll at the bottom of the page and add your name. Every dollar counts.