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.
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