Gina Reiss-Wilchins Appointed Director of the United Nations Foundation's "Girl Up" Campaign
Washington, DC — March 22, 2011
The United Nations Foundation announced today the appointment of Gina Reiss-Wilchins as Director of its Girl Up campaign (www.GirlUp.org) — an innovative program to build and maintain a constituency dedicated to improving the lives of the world’s hardest-to-reach girls.
There are currently more than 600 million adolescent girls living the developing world - part of the largest youth generation in history. But less than two cents of every development aid dollar goes to programs specifically helping these girls. Girl Up supporters are encouraged to give a “High Five” to girls in developing countries by donating $5 or more that can help provide girls with such basic needs as access to school supplies, clean water, life-saving health services, safety from violence and more.
UN Foundation CEO Kathy Calvin said, “Gina joins Girl Up at a time in which her experience and energy will perfectly fit the mission of the campaign. The number of supporters has grown tremendously in recent months, and Gina is the ideal director to continue expanding that growth and turning support into action on behalf of girls around the world.”
The “for girls, by girls” campaign mobilizes American girls to raise funds and awareness for UN programs that support the millions of adolescent girls growing up in developing countries. Through Girl Up’s support, these girls will have the opportunity to become educated, healthy, safe, counted and positioned to be the next generation of leaders.
“I am very excited and honored to be working with the United Nations Foundation and the Girl Up Campaign,” Reiss-Wilchins remarked. “Girls across the world have dreams and goals just like my daughter does here in America. They want to go to school, be safe, stay healthy and have a chance to grow up and be whatever they can be. I understand firsthand the importance of raising the next generation of global leaders and philanthro-teens in America. I am looking forward to leading this campaign and helping to build a movement that American youth have created in rallying behind Girl Up.”
Before joining the UN Foundation's Girl Up program, Ms. Reiss-Wilchins served as Executive Director of TrueChild, an action tank devoted to bringing gender transformative approaches to US policy and programmatic work that challenges narrow, traditional ideas of masculinity and femininity and promotes gender equity for girls. Prior to TrueChild, she served as Managing Director of the Gender Public Advocacy Coalition, growing it from a small group of volunteers in New York City to a national organization with a budget of almost $2mm, headquarters in Washington, DC and a staff of 15. While there, she created a chapter system that was adopted by college youth advocates on 104 campuses in 26 states. Her 20+ years of advocacy and non-profit experience includes serving as Action Vice-President of NOW/NJ and founding member of Equality Federation.
About Girl Up
Girl Up, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation, gives American girls the opportunity to channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for programs of the United Nations that help some of the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls. Through Girl Up’s support, girls have the opportunity to become educated, healthy, safe, counted and positioned to be the next generation of leaders. Campaign supporters are encouraged to give a “High Five” to girls in developing countries by donating $5 or more to provide girls with such basic needs as access to school supplies, clean water, life-saving health services, safety from violence and more. Founding campaign partners include MTV Networks, National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, Women’s National Basketball Association, Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, Girls Inc., and Camp Fire USA. Go to GirlUp.org to learn more.
About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation, a public charity was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. We build and implement public/private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and work to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. Through our campaigns and partnerships, we connect people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The campaigns we conduct reduce child mortality, empower women and girls, create a new energy future, secure peace and human rights, and promote technology innovation to improve health outcomes. These solutions are helping the UN advance the eight global targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.