Marta Cabrera is President of EMpower and was one of the founding sponsors of EMpower at its inception in 2000. Ms. Cabrera is responsible for the management and organizational development of EMpower globally. Prior to joining EMpower, Ms. Cabrera worked for sixteen years in the Emerging Markets financial sector, joining Chase Manhattan Bank in 1986 and, in her last position, was a Senior Fixed Income Salesperson responsible for developing and managing some of the business unit’s most significant client relationships. Ms. Cabrera received a Bachelor’s degree at Barnard College, Columbia University; a Licenciature in Political Science at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid; and a Masters of International Affairs at the School for International and Public Affairs, Columbia University.
As Executive Vice President at EMpower, Cynthia Steele oversees grantmaking, program initiatives and relationships with private foundations and contributes to organizational management. Prior to joining EMpower, Cynthia was Vice President, Programs for the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), overseeing IWHC’s regional and international policy programs. Previously, Ms. Steele worked at Engender Health, an international health organization, including six years on the executive team as Vice President for Resource Development and Vice President for Program Innovations, leading global strategic initiatives and program expansion. Ms Steele is Chair of the Board of Directors of Girls for Gender Equity, the Global Committee of the Council on Foundations and other international advisory bodies. Ms Steele has a BA from Denison University, a Masters degree in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and attended the Senior Executive Program at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
Prior to joining EMpower, Michael was Chief Financial and Operating Officer at ENACT (which taught social and emotional skills through drama therapy in over 100 NYC public schools). Previously, he was Director of Finance and Administration at Living Cities (an urban renewal grant organization) and Senior Director of Finance and Administration/Chief Financial Officer at the Americas Society/Council of the Americas ( a large non-profit in NYC which fostered an understanding of the cultures and societies of the Western Hemisphere). Michael was also a Legal Administrator for several law firms. Michael has over 25 years of experience in administration, finance, human resources, and employee benefits. Michael received a BS in Finance and Accounting from New York University.
Jasmine Charbonier is the Operations Assistant at EMpower. Ms. Charbonier is responsible for providing overall support to the EMpower staff. Prior to joining EMpower, Ms. Charbonier served as Office Manager at The Salvation Army Bushwick Corps. Ms. Charbonier obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communication from Baruch College.
Nisha Dhawan is the Program Officer for India responsible for developing and managing grantee partnerships in India. Prior to joining Empower Nisha worked at Abt Associates in New Delhi as a gender and market linkages specialist on as USAID funded project – examining food, agriculture and rural market systems. However, Nisha began her career in the world of Empower’s donors, working in Equities Compliance at Deutsche Bank and Barclays Capital where she managed the Banks relationship with regulators and exchanges. Nisha has a Master’s degree in Gender, Development and Globalization from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Bachelor’s degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada in International Politics and Women’s Studies. She is based in New Delhi.
Virginia Dooley is the Senior Program Officer responsible for developing and managing grantee partnerships in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Russia and Turkey. Prior to joining EMpower, Virginia worked with Interaid Uganda and Mercy Corps on issues pertaining to supporting urban refugees and disaster relief. Virginia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Russian Language from Georgetown University and a Master’s degree in International Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.
Lucie Kucharova serves as Operations Manager for EMpower UK, responsible for supporting EMpower’s UK Board in development of the organization and building a fundraising and marketing strategy. She co-ordinates with EMpower US staff and reports to EMpower’s Executive Director in New York. Prior to joining EMpower, she advised a leading infrastructure group operating in Africa, on launching a charitable foundation. As part of her role she was responsible for Field research in South Africa on operations of NGO’s. Through her career Lucie has developed a strong network of valuable relationships within the emerging markets investment community particularly in Africa, Europe and India. Miss Kucharova received a BA from the University of Westminster in Third World Studies and International Relations.
Elise is EMpower’s Asia Regional Officer and works out of our Hong Kong office. Her main responsibilities are to develop the operations of the Hong Kong office, support the Board in its outreach, and manage EMpower’s grantee relationships in China, Vietnam and Philippines. Prior to joining EMpower, Elise’s experiences range from market research, marketing, business development and consulting in various industries in both for-profit and development sectors. Elise received her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Barnard College, Columbia University and her MBA from China Europe International Business School in Shanghai, China.
Caitlin Mitchell is the Program Associate at EMpower. Ms. Mitchell is responsible for providing overall program support and grants administration. Prior to joining EMpower, Ms. Mitchell served as the Latin America Program Assistant at the International Women’s Health Coalition. Ms. Mitchell received a Bachelor’s degree at Pepperdine University, and a Master of Public Administration in International Development from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service.
Carmen Morcos is the Program Officer for Latin America, responsible for developing and managing grantee partnerships in the region. Prior to joining EMpower, Ms. Morcos consulted for various international development organizations such as the Nike Foundation, Population Council, and Save the Children in youth- and adolescent girl-centered projects. Previously, she worked in the private sector in commercial securitization and fraud investigations. Ms. Morcos holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Illinois, and a joint Master’s degree in Business Administration and Foreign Service from Georgetown University. She is fluent in Spanish, competent in French, and knows basic Portuguese.
Carmen Morcos es la Oficial de Programas para América Latina, responsable por el desarrollo y la gestión de convenios con socios en la región. Antes de unirse a EMpower, la Srta. Morcos consultó por varias organizaciones internacionales de desarrollo, como la Fundación Nike, Population Council, y Save the Children enfocándose en proyectos con jóvenes y niñas adolescentes. Anteriormente, trabajó en el sector privado en la titulización comercial e investigaciones de fraude. La Srta. Morcos es Licenciada en Finanzas titulada por la Universidad de Illinois y tiene una Maestría conjunta en Administración de Empresas y Relaciones Internacionales de la Universidad de Georgetown. Habla español, es competente en francés, y habla portugués básico.
Carmen Morcos é a Diretora de Programas para a América Latina, responsável pelo desenvolvimento e gestão de acordos com parceiros na região. Antes de iniciar na Empower, a Sra. Morcos consultou para várias organizações internacionais de desenvolvimento, como a Fundação Nike, Population Council e Save the Children em projetos com foco na juventude e adolescentes. Anteriormente, ela trabalhou no setor privado na área de securitização e investigações de fraude. A Sra. Morcos é formada em Finanças pela Universidade de Illinois e tem um Mestrado conjunto de Administração de Empresas e Relações Internacionais da Universidade de Georgetown. Ela fala espanhol, tem nível médio em francês, e fala Português básico.
Christine works closely with EMpower’s senior staff and Boards to design and implement our global fundraising plans, with primary responsibility for development operations in the US. Prior to joining EMpower, Christine was Head of Major Donors at Merlin, the international medical charity based in London. Previously she worked for Landmine Survivors Network in both Washington DC and Geneva, Switzerland; served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Slovakia; worked with a political party in Ukraine; and was a legislative assistant on Capitol Hill. Christine holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Baylor University, Texas, and studied at the Institute of European Studies in London.
As the Director of Marketing & Communications at EMpower, Lee Takakjian is responsible for the development and execution of the organization’s global strategic communications platform. Her role is to advance EMpower’s brand and to communicate the organization’s unique focus and impact on the lives of young people in emerging markets. Prior to joining EMpower, Ms. Takakjian was the Vice President of Marketing & Ventures at Robert Wood Johnson Academic Medical Center where she led the strategic communications and rebranding initiative for the health system. Previously, she spent 8 years as the Senior Director at Montefiore Medical Center responsible for Advertising and Market Development, overseeing the brand strategy and strategic communications that supported the growth and revenue goals of the health system. Ms. Takakjian holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Miami University of Ohio and an MBA in Marketing Management from Pace University. She remains actively involved in Pace’s Business Honors Mentorship program and currently teaches Marketing Research as an Adjunct Professor in the Advertising and Marketing Communications Department at FIT (a SUNY college) in New York City.