Jennifer Blanke, Senior Adviser
Jennifer Blanke is an expert on economic development who serves as a non-executive board member in not-for-profit and development-focused entities. She is former Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development of the African Development Bank Group, based in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire where she was responsible for overseeing the Bank’s strategy, lending and programming for a significant share of the Bank’s activities. These included sectoral oversight for agriculture and agroindustry; water management and sanitation; and education and healthcare, as well as the cross-cutting themes of job creation and gender empowerment. Prior to that she was Chief Economist at the World Economic Forum, in Geneva, overseeing economic research activities and analysis and represented the World Economic Forum externally on key global economic issues (with a particular focus on economic development and inclusive growth). Before joining the World Economic Forum she worked as a management consultant in the banking and financial sector for Eurogroup (Mazars Group) in Paris.
Katja Iversen, Executive Adviser
Katja Iversen is an executive adviser, author, and leading global advocate on sustainability, gender equality, and women’s health and leadership.
She is the former President/CEO of Women Deliver, and today has various board and advisory roles, including with UNILEVER’s Sustainability Advisory Council, King’s College and Global Goals World Cup etc. She worked with the UN Secretary General’s office on including a gender lens in the UN’s COVID response and recovery plans.
Katja was a member of President Macron’s and Prime Minister Trudeau’s G7 Gender Equality Advisory Councils, an advisor to Bill Clinton and Dthe Clinton Global Initiative, on MIT Solve’s Women and Tech Leadership Group, and has been a trainer of Fortune 500 Executives in cross cultural management.
Katja, who is Danish, was one of the original members of 100Women@Davos, and was recently named Dane of the Year, as well as included in Apolitical’s Top 20 of the Most Influential People in Gender Policy. She has collaborated with Women Political Leaders since it was founded and has been speaking at the Reykjavík Global Forum several times.
Olena Malynska, Senior Adviser
Olena began her career as an auditor in the international auditing firm Arthur Andersen, working in Ukraine and the United States. She continued her career in financial institutions and has more than 20 years of experience in top executive positions in Ukrainian and international banks operating in Ukraine. Over the last 10 years, Olena has been the CEO of medium and large Ukrainian banks and is one of the very few women CEOs in the banking industry of Ukraine. In recent years, she has been frequently named as one of the top 100 most influential women in Ukraine.
Olena is very involved in social initiatives. She is the Chair, Kyiv Chapter, Young Presidents Organisation (YPO); Audit Committee Member, Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center in Kyiv; and Member, Board of Governors, Pechersk School International – International IB School in Ukraine. Olena is an alumna of the Aspen Institute Kyiv leadership programme, holds an MBA in business, a BA in law and she is currently attending INSEAD’s International Directors Programme.
Olena is based in Kyiv with her husband and two sons.
Rick Zedník, Secretary of the WPL Board
Rick was Managing Director of WPL from 2016-2020 and continues to serve as Secretary of the WPL Board. Prior to joining WPL, Rick’s management career spanned more than two decades in media, including as CEO of EURACTIV, the independent EU policy news network, and as marketing director for The Wall Street Journal Europe. A dual citizen of the USA and Slovakia, he co-founded The Slovak Spectator newspaper in Bratislava in 1995. Rick holds an MBA from Harvard, a master’s in journalism from Columbia, and a bachelor’s in political science from Trinity College (Connecticut). Rick and his wife have two teenage daughters
Scheaffer Okore, Senior Adviser
Scheaffer Okore is a Feminist, senior policy and strategic advisor. She advises philanthropists and INGOs working intersectionally on health, governance, leadership and gender policy with over 10 years of experience using a feminist lens. She is an Advisory Board Member at Gates Foundation’s Goalkeepers-Seattle, She’s The First-NYC, Center for Feminist Foreign Policy-Berlin and The She Tank-Abuja. An Obama Foundation Africa Leader’s Fellow who was recognized by the ONE Campaign’s as one of their global women of 2018. Scheaffer is an international relation and diplomacy graduate from the University of Nairobi and columnist with one of Kenya’s top newspapers. She has previously worked as an independent consultant for Project Everyone, Malaria No More and also served as former Vice Chairperson of Ukweli Party. She’s a revered voice advocating for women’s systemic equity in leadership who was voted amongst the top 100 most influential young Africans and Kenyan in the category of governance & law in 2018.