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March 26-28, 2014 – Washington, DC


Jane Horan is the founder of the Horan Group, a strategic consulting firm which builds inclusive and engaged work environments, emphasizing leadership acceleration, unconscious bias, and workplace politics. An expert in Organizational Development, she worked for Kraft Foods, The Walt Disney Company and CNBC in Asia-based talent and leadership development roles. Her book, IWish I’d Known That Earlier In My Career: the Power of Positive Workplace Politics was published January 2012 by John Wiley & Sons. Her next book, How Asian Women Lead: Lessons for Global Organizations will be published 2014 by Palgrave MacMillan. She is a Senior Fellow with the Conference Board Human Capital Committee, serves on the board of the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO) and past board member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore. She completed her Educational Doctorate with Bristol University, focusing on Transformational Asian Women Leaders, holds a Master’s Degree in Organization Design and Effectiveness from The Fielding Institute, California, studied International Relations and Chinese Language with the Monterey Institute California/Hunan Technical University in Changsha, China, and received a BA from the University of California at Irvine. Jane moved to China to study and teach, and has lived in Asia for over two decades.

Morten Huse, Phd, is a renowned leading scholar in organizational management who has published numerous books and scientific articles on an impressive range of business research in boardroom dynamics, board leadership, women on boards and behavioral perspectives on corporate governance. Holding the title of President of European Academy of Management from 2010-2012, he is also a member of the Catalyst Europe Advisory Board, and has been a board member for countless not-for-profits as well as business organizations. Having affiliations at many European universities and speaking at hundreds of academic and business conferences around the world, his 2007 book "Boards, Governance and Value Creation: The Human side of Corporate Governance” has garnered widespread international attention.

Christina Ioannidis is a dynamic champion of women’s economic empowerment, an international connector of powerful women and a sought-after keynote speaker, panelist and MC. She is the CEO of Aquitude, an integrated leadership and communications consultancy, which works with brands to engage women as consumers, employees and leaders. Clients include: Accenture, Barclays Bank, Eversheds, GE, to name but a few. Aquitude also runs the Purl Influencer Panel, specializing in women- focused research. Christina is the co-author of Your Loss: How to Win Back your Female Talent (and Customers). She is a thought leader in the subjects of Gender-savvy marketing, customer and employee engagement, leadership and talent management. Christina has been invited to comment on Bloomberg TV, sky news, Emirates news – Dubai One TV, DubaiOne Radio, The Sunday Times, The Observer, The Evening Standard, The Guardian, Marie Claire, among others.

Candace Johnson is an international telecommunications expert and entrepreneur. She is co-initiator of the Astra satellite system and SES Global, the world’s largest satellite systems. She is also founding President of Europe Online, the world’s first and largest independent Satellite Broadband Network, and founder of Loral Cyberstar-Teleport Europe, Europe’s first independent private trans-border satellite communications network. She is also founding President of the VATM, the Association of Private Telecom Operators in Germany and founding President of the Global Telecom Women’s Network (GTWN). Ms. Johnson is currently President of Johnson Paradigm Ventures, Chairman of the Board of Directors, President, Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Investment Committee at Succès Europe SA, ISF. She is also an Advisor at Capital St-Laurent Inc. She has been featured in articles in Time Magazine, the Financial Times, the Economist, Le Monde, and Manager Magazine, to name a few. In 2002, she received the World Communications Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her contribution to the telecommunications industry over the past 25 years.

Marilyn Johnson is a Global Ambassador and her company is She was the IBM Vice President, Market Development based in Armonk, New York. In this capacity, she led an organization responsible for developing IBM’s strategy for (and marketing to) businesses owned or operated by Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans and Women in the Americas. In 2005, she expanded her mission to include women-owned and women-led businesses in selected markets around the globe; expanding IBM market share significantly. She has extensive management experience in sales and marketing in the information technology industry, holding executive positions in key IBM business units. Marilyn has had management and operational responsibility in North America, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia. She led the merger of IBM and Sequent Corporation Web-server sales. A graduate of John Marshall University, she holds two advanced education degrees. She attended the Harvard Business School Strategic Leadership Forum representing Finance Sector Marketing for IBM. She has held positions on the Executive Board of the Council for Better Business Bureaus and the Executive Boards of the Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Foundation, the National Council of Negro Women and American Airlines Marketing Advisory Council. She has been applauded for her active commitment to mentoring and coaching activities. Marilyn has been a featured speaker for numerous professional organizations worldwide, including the World Diversity Conference in the City of Prague in the Czech Republic, the Black Women Executive Roundtable hosted by the Mayor of Paris, France, and Blacks in Government, Washington, DC.

Virginia Coyne is the founder and managing editor of NewsPop (, a daily news and information website for school-aged children. She is a former television news producer with two decades experience covering Washington politics and presidential elections. Virginia began her career in the Washington bureau of NBC News in 1992, the year President Clinton was elected. She has played a role in covering every presidential election since. Most recently, Virginia worked as a producer in the Capitol Hill bureau of NBC News Channel, NBC’s internal feed service. There, she wrote and produced daily news reports for NBC affiliates nationwide, and for various national and international broadcasts. In that role, Virginia conducted or produced innumerable interviews with members of Congress and the Cabinet, business executives, civil rights leaders and the President of the United States.

Jasmine Langevine is a consultant in the People and Change practice of KPMG’s Advisory sector. Her primary responsibilities include delivering human capital management solutions to clients and working closely with Advisory leaders on research and business development activities. Before joining KPMG, Jasmine worked with PDI Ninth House and Turknett Leadership Group, leadership development, executive coaching and human resource consulting firms as well as in a myriad of internships on the east coast. She also independently practices career counseling with undergraduates, graduate students and working professionals helping with interview preparation, resume review and career opportunities. In the community, Jasmine teaches at the annual Learning Summit for InRoads, Inc. and Agnes Scott College’s Senior Transitions Program. She is a member of the Board Director’s Network, Society for Human Resource Management and Womenetics Inc. A native of Stone Mountain, Georgia, Jasmine graduated from Agnes Scott College in 2007 with a BA in Economics and Organizational Psychology and obtained a Master’s Degree in Social-Organizational Psychology from Columbia University in New York in May 2010.

Andrina Lever is the founder and President of Lever Enterprises, an international consulting firm specializing in international trade and commercial development. She also acts as an advisor to major financial institutions and governments with respect to small business. Ms. Lever is a Barrister in England and a Barrister and Solicitor in Victoria, Australia, and has lived and worked in more than 40 different countries. Since 1998 she has been the Canadian Prime Minister’s representative to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). In 1999 she was presented with the Artemis Award in Greece for Leadership and Vision, the Canadian Women International Business Initiative Award and the Ontario Women’s Directorate Partners for Change Award. In 2000 she received the Canadian International Co-operation Award and has been the Honorary Consul for New Zealand to Toronto. Ms. Lever was instrumental in developing the first all-women’s trade mission to the U.S in 1997, the 1999 Canada / USA Businesswomen’s Trade Summit, the Women Leader’s Network of APEC and the Businesswomen Leader’s Network of the Commonwealth. She has played a major role in numerous women’s organizations including Women Entrepreneurs of Canada, the Foundation of Canadian Women Entrepreneurs and Women in International Trade of Ontario.

Laura Liswood is Secretary General of the Council of Women World Leaders, composed of present and former women presidents, prime ministers, and heads of government, an organization she co-founded in 1996 with President Vigdis Finnbogadóttir of Iceland. From 1992-1996, as director of the Women’s Leadership Project, Ms. Liswood identified global leadership contributions by women heads of state, work which is chronicled in her book and video documentary, Women World Leaders. Her work also led to co-founding in 1997, The White House Project, which is dedicated to electing a woman President of the United States. In 2001, Ms. Liswood was named Managing Director, Global Leadership and Diversity for Goldman Sachs and is now a Senior Advisor to the firm. Her professional experience includes CEO/ President of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), as well as executive positions at Rainier National Bank and at Group W Cable, a subsidiary of Westinghouse Broadcasting and Cable. She received the Westinghouse Award of Excellence for her contributions to women and minorities in the workplace. Ms. Liswood is an author whose latest book, The Loudest Duck, is a business guide that explores workplace diversity. She has contributed to the women’s community for more than 20 years as a member of the International Women’s Forum, Leadership America, the board of the First Women’s Bank of California, and the Washington Women’s Political Caucus.

Virginia Littlejohn is Global Advisor for WEConnect International, which she helped incubate as CEO and Co-Founder of Quantum Leaps, an organization that works on strategic initiatives to fuel the growth of women’s entrepreneurship. Since the 1970s, she has advocated for women entrepreneurs and worked to expand their access to markets. In the 1980s, she led lobbying efforts to fund the Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership. She was national president of the National Association of Women Business Owners, organized the first two women business owner (WBO) Public Affairs Days, and was a principal architect of the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988. Ms. Littlejohn has been a delegate to all three White House Conferences on Small Business, served on the National Women’s Business Council and federal trade advisory commissions, was Vice President of the World Association of Women Entrepreneurs and Senior Advisor to OECD on Women’s Entrepreneurship. She has sat on the small business advisory boards for IBM, American Express and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and, in addition to developing WEConnect India and WEConnect China, she is working with the United Nations Global Compact to get supplier diversity onto the global corporate agenda and WBEs into the global supply chain. Ms. Littlejohn has won numerous awards for her women entrepreneurial advocacy and has traveled and/or worked in 80 countries.

Janice McDonald is an award-winning serial entrepreneur with expertise in strategic planning, development and management of various multi-million dollar businesses in the music industry both online and off and in apparel and accessories with iStyle Originals which is a brand she created with two partners and it is now licensed in Europe and around the world. She has a new start up called: which taps into excess capacity and is described as Airbnb for Business. It is currently in beta-testing. With her trademark leadership style of humor, wisdom and insight, Janice analyzes market trends to capitalize on opportunities and employs innovative marketing and media solutions to create high profit and high visibility partnerships and new businesses. Janice received the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1996 [silver] and was a Finalist in Business Woman of the Year in 1998. WXN recognized Janice as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in 2013 and was awarded a World of Difference 100 Award in Washington from TIAW a National Leadership Award in 2011 from Canadian Women in Communications. She holds a B.A. in Communications and an M.A. in Canadian studies as well as Board Director training and certification from the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution. She is a sought after speaker on leadership, entrepreneurship and social media.


Mehrak Mehrvar is a Gender and Governance Specialist and Social Entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of Lotus Wonders, which is a social enterprise. It is inspired to achieve women’s economic empowerment in the developing world, One Village At A Time! The journey began in a small village in Cambodia. Lotus Wonders invests in and employs skilled artisans at above fair-trade wages. As a gender and governance specialist, Mehrak has worked in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Lebanon, Nepal, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and Canada with a range of International Development Agencies including UN Women, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), German Government Technical Cooperation (GIZ), Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), and many other local and international organizations. Mehrak is a 2012 TIAW World of Difference 100 winner.

Joan Melanson is Director of Program Promotion at Long Term Care Partners, the administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program and BENEFEDS, the secure portal for Federal enrollment in dental and vision programs. Since joining LTCP in 2002, Joan has dedicated herself to the outreach and educational components of promoting the FLTCIP and to the program’s overall growth. This involves working closely with Federal agencies and affinity organizations, including active employees, annuitants, retiree organizations, members of the uniformed services, and Congressional staff. Joan holds an MBA from Northeastern University.



Global Forum Resources

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Become a Sponsor: 2014 World of Difference Awards PDF (364.34 KB) Administration 9/12/2013
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Who are We?

The International Alliance for Women is organized as a 501(c)3 foundation in the USA. We are a global community of economically empowered women across all continents that welcome you to our members’ cities and countries, connecting you with their networks of business and community professionals.

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The International Alliance for Women connects leading women’s organizations worldwide to leverage their reach and resources, creating a global community of economically empowered women.

Through our Global Programs we seek to make a difference in the world for those women who are not empowered economically.