President | USA
Jeri Rhodes has a BA in American History from American University (District of Columbia) and a Masters in Administration with a concentration on Finance from University of California, Riverside. She has also earned a CPA and CMA. Ms. Rhodes has worked in Finance and Administration in a variety of settings. From 1983 to 1988, she served as Treasurer at St. John’s College, Annapolis, Maryland. In 1988, she moved to the legal industry, working as Director of Finance or Executive Director in several firms until 2012. Ms. Rhodes was Chief Financial Officer at Greenpeace US until 2013 and currently works for the Friends Committee on National Legislation in Washington DC. At VGIF, Ms. Rhodes has served on the Finance and Investment Committee, including two years as convener, as 4th Vice President and as Executive Vice President.
Leslie Erway Wright
Executive Vice President | USA
Leslie Erway Wright, a long-term supporter of VGIF as initiator of the United Nations Committee, former Board member and grants previewer, returns to the Board as Executive Vice President in support of the President. Her activism at the UN and community levels, her work as a feminist and her skills in communication and marketing make her well-suited to the role. She says, “I have worked for women’s advancement all my life, and supporting VGIF’s efforts is the best way of accomplishing equality for women and girls. I hope to continue to support these grants and the growth of the Board using all my skills." Wright has worked as a volunteer with various NGOs at the UN for the past 17 years. Before that she was a marketing and communication consultant and organized numerous conferences and events for various organizations. She holds a BA in Latin American Studies, a MA in Public Policy and a MS in Marketing.
Vice President, Project Grants | USA
Maggie Ford has worked in institutional advancement for more than 40 years, primarily in public and private higher education. Her advanced degrees are in teaching and nonprofit public relations. As the principal of Ford Consulting, she worked with a spectrum of nonprofit clients on organizational and resource development. Today, she provides pro bono consulting through Executive Service Corps. Maggie has been an active volunteer throughout her professional life including: 12 years of service on the board of the AAUW Educational Foundation, the last two as president, service on the board of the YWCA of Hartford (CT), Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford (CT), advisory commissions to a variety of agencies in CT, two local environmental conservation organizations, and of the local historical society. She has donated many hours to VGIF, spending 2 terms on the Board, serving on the Project Grants Committee and as convener of the Nominating and Development Committees. In addition to knowledge of VGIF, Maggie brings an understanding of organizational behavior/dynamics, strategic planning and implementation, demonstrated success in resource development and nonprofit public relations and management, and a recognized commitment to women's equity issues.
Vice President, Strategic Planning Task Force | USA
Mary McGovern has a BCL degree from University College Dublin, an LLM from the University of London and a Barrister at Law degree from The Honorable Society of King’s Inns, Dublin, Ireland. From 1987 – 1991 she was an associate at the law firm of David Polk & Wardwell in New York. She served as Executive Director of The Clean Air Campaign in Atlanta, Georgia from 2001-2003. Since then she has volunteered as a fundraiser, grant writer, grant reviewer and evaluator with a variety of nonprofit organizations, including CareRing, Inc., Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, Women’s Impact Fund and Alliance for African Women Initiative. Ms. McGovern recently began volunteering with VGIF assisting with strategic planning.
Treasurer | USA
Christine Schmitz has a B.M. from Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University as well as a Certificate in Accounting and a Masters in Legal and Ethical Studies from the University of Baltimore. She is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Financial Planner and Personal Financial Specialist. She is also a Registered Investment Advisor and a licensed advisor in the areas of life and long term care insurance. From 1986 – 2003 she served in various capacities as a CPA. Since 2003 she has been employed by Glass Jacobson, a CPA/Wealth Management Firm. At VGIF, she has served as Treasurer since 2013 and has been a member of the Finance and Investment Committee since 2011. She has served in numerous capacities with other non-profit organizations.