Special Episode: Bisa Butler: TIME-Featured Fiber Artist and Educator
Bisa Butler is an art educator and award-winning American fiber artist, known for her life-sized quilts celebrating Black identity. Bisa has exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, amongst other venues; most recently, Bisa was selected as one of the 2021 United States Artist Fellows. In this episode, Bisa discusses the inspiration behind her art, her journey towards becoming an established Black artist, advice she would offer to young Black women, and more.
S2 E1: Introducing Jamie Vinick and Katya Shmorhun: Season 2 Co-Hosts
Jamie Vinick, founder and President of The Women’s Network, chats with Katya Shmorhun about Season 2 of Redefining Ambition, cohosting, and what to look forward to in Season 2’s release.
S2 E2: Farah Mohamed: Founder of G(irls)20 and Former CEO at the Malala Fund
Farah Mohamed, founder of G(irls)20 and former CEO of the Malala Fund, has educated and empowered girls and young women around the world throughout a career dedicated to advocacy. In this premiere Season 2 episode, Farah shares the importance of female labor force participation in relation to the global economy and building a reliable network of people, her experience in founding a global social enterprise, her time in working with Malala Yousafzai, and why gender inequality remains a pressing issue.
S2 E3: Laura Zapata: Co-Founder at Clearloop Corporation and Former Head of Global Communications at Uber Eats
Laura Zapata is the Co-founder of Clearloop Corporation, a renewable energy accelerator expanding access to solar energy and helping clear carbon from our electricity grid. Laura is a communications expert who served as the Head of Global Communications for Uber Eats. She also worked for several political campaigns, having served as the Ohio Press Secretary for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign and Deputy Press Secretary for former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. In this episode, Laura opens up about navigating college as a first-generation college student, the inspiration behind her interest in public policy, how to make a scalable impact when addressing climate change, and the importance of advocating for both yourself and others.
S2 E4: Dr. Marisa Porges: Head of School at The Baldwin School, Former Cybersecurity Senior Policy Advisor, Former U.S. Naval Flight Officer
Dr. Marisa Porges, author of “What Girls Need: How to Raise Bold, Courageous, and Resilient Women'' and Head of School of the prestigious all-girls private school, The Baldwin School, has devoted her life to public service and has had a prolific career in many different capacities. After graduating from Harvard with a degree in geophysics, Dr. Porges began her career as an active-duty member of the U.S. Navy, and was later promoted to a Naval Flight Officer. She went on to become a Harvard Kennedy School International Security Research Fellow, Counterterrorism Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of Treasury, and Senior Policy Advisor on cybersecurity at the National Economic Council in the Obama White House. In this episode, Dr. Porges shares some of her experiences interviewing former members of Al Qaeda and the Taliban (and what it was like to fly naval aircraft), discusses the importance of thinking boldly and taking risk, and reflects on embracing moments of failure — which ultimately led to many of her successes.
S2 E5: Sheila Marmon: Founder and CEO at Mirror Digital
Sheila Marmon is the founder and CEO of Mirror Digital, a media company focused on helping large, established brands reach multicultural consumers through digital advertising platforms. By taking advantage of opportunities and being able to distinguish risk from fear, Marmon has learned to follow her own “unconventional wisdom” throughout her remarkable career. In this episode, Marmon shares anecdotes relating to the importance of learning from your failures, describes the difficulty of fundraising as a woman of color, and elaborates on how to develop genuine mentor/mentee relationships.
S2 E6: Kayla Lebovits: Founder and CEO at Bundle Benefits
Kayla Lebovits is the founder and CEO of Bundle Benefits, a personalized work-life benefit service that supports employees, their families, and their work teams to improve overall wellbeing and productivity. After working in finance for a number of years, Lebovits left her job to pursue grad school — and a more entrepreneurial path. In this episode, Lebovits opens up about how she has adjusted to the challenges of the pandemic while raising a young daughter, the importance of encouraging diversity of thought in the workplace, her definition of effective leadership, and the thought process behind calculated risk-taking.
S2 E7: Leigh Morgan: Chief Strategy and Operating Officer at Nia Tero Foundation and Former COO at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Leigh Morgan is the Chief Strategy and Operating Officer at Nia Tero Foundation, a Seattle-based non-profit dedicated to protecting and securing Indigenous people’s guardianship of vital ecosystems. Morgan has underscored the importance of community work “across dimensions of difference” throughout her impactful career where she has served in many leadership capacities, including as the COO at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Associate Chancellor at UC San Francisco, and the VP and Global Head of Human Resources at Genentech. In this episode, Morgan emphasizes the importance of building relationships, demystifies what it means to be a leader, shares insight on how Gen Z is changing the world, and discusses the privilege she had in working with Melinda Gates.
S2 E8: Taly Goody: Attorney and Founder at Goody Law Group
Taly Goody is the founder of Goody Law Group and an attorney specializing in business formation, personal injury, and employment law. After spending several years working in art litigation, Goody felt stagnant in her career and decided to pivot to a different area of the law. In growing a TikTok following of tens of thousands of users, Goody utilizes social media as a vehicle to educate and mentor people with aspirations to become a lawyer. In this episode, Goody opens up about early experiences that affected her family and inspired her to pursue law, how to stand out as a law school applicant, and her experience in building an online community during the pandemic.
S2 E9: Meredith Gertler: EVP, Content Strategy and Planning at HBO and HBO Max
Meredith Gertler is the Executive Vice President of Content Strategy & Planning at HBO and HBO Max. After several pivots throughout her time at HBO, this entertainment exec has learned the importance of “being adaptable and flexible to change” while combining her passions for entertainment and marketing. In this episode, Gertler shares how to find “the opportunity in chaos,” the importance of casting “as wide a net as possible when it comes to networking,” how spending time abroad shaped the future of her career, and how she landed her “needle in a haystack” dream job.
S2 E10: Lydia Fenet: Global Managing Director and Lead Charity Auctioneer at Christie’s
Lydia Fenet is an author, art auctioneer, and Global Managing Director at Christie’s, the largest auction house in the world. Working her way up from a 20-year-old intern tasked with shredding paper to the leading charity auctioneer in a highly competitive industry, Fenet has utilized her can-do attitude, networking skills, and “a good poker face” to establish her enduring career in the art world. In this episode, Fenet shares the key to building confidence and overcoming fear of rejection, why “you can never be above a job,” and tips on how to advocate and negotiate for yourself.
S2 E11: Amani Duncan: President at BBH, New York and former SVP of Music at MTV
As a veteran marketer and brand strategist, Amani Duncan leads the creative advertising agency BBH New York and embraces the firm’s philosophy “when the world zigs, zag.” In this episode, she advises that being earnest and authentic is the most important way to forge a professional path, while never compromising integrity or sense of self. Inspired by the arts with a passion for piano, Duncan initially pursued a career in the music industry and got her foot in the door by interning for Def Jam Records. Duncan relays her experiences in senior leadership positions as a Black woman, and offers guidance on how to use networking to your advantage.
S2 E12: Gabby Hirata: President at Diane von Furstenberg
Gabby Hirata is the President at global luxury fashion brand DVF, where much of her focus remains on “customer-centric thinking” and dedication to solution-driven leadership in an industry defined by change. With over a decade of leadership experience at iconic brands such as Ralph Lauren and Jill Stuart International, Hirata shares how she got her foot in the door — literally — in a notoriously competitive industry. In this episode, Hirata reveals the key to a good elevator pitch, the importance of finding a unique edge and using it to your advantage, and the impact that Diane von Furstenburg has had on her life. She also shares her perspective on time being the single most valuable asset and how to network through “genuine connection based on shared values and passions.”
S2 E13: Dr. Andra Blomkalns: Stanford Medicine Professor of Emergency Medicine and Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Stanford University
Dr. Andra Blomkalns, the first chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Stanford University and a professor of Emergency Medicine, is no stranger to being “the first.” In addition to becoming the first chair of her department at Stanford, Dr. Blomkalns graduated first in her class from medical school and became the first female residency program director at the University of Cincinnati. She has always pursued new opportunities with the goal of “making things better, creating things differently, and not necessarily going along with the status quo.” With over two decades of leadership experience in the medical field, Dr. Blomkalns gets candid not only about her experience working in emergency medicine prior to and during COVID-19, but also how the pandemic brought out the best in her team. More in this episode includes advice for medical school applicants, the importance of practicing failure, and thoughts on gender bias in the field of medicine.