The WEDO team is a dedicated, diverse and dynamic group of activists and advocates committed to realizing the vision of the organization, supported by an extraordinary group of interns, Graduate Fellows and other volunteers, as well as an international Board of Directors.
As Program Director at WEDO, Eleanor manages internal and external relationships and partnerships, including with staff, funders and coalition and project partners. She works closely with program staff in strategic development, implementation and monitoring of WEDO programs and projects. With a particular focus on sustainable development, climate change and urbanization, her work incorporates research, capacity building, and global-level advocacy at multiple UN fora, including the UNFCCC and related to the post-2015 development agenda. Supporting WEDO’s long-standing role of facilitating space for women’s organizing and action, she represents WEDO as organizing partner of the Women’s Major Group for Sustainable Development. Prior to WEDO, Eleanor worked on climate change projects ranging from green roofs to waste management to adaptation with the Earth Institute, the Clinton Foundation and the World Bank. She has community development experience in the areas of agriculture and women’s empowerment with organizations in Nicaragua and Nigeria. Her current work is informed by a professional background in bilingual elementary education with a focus on race and gender equity in public schools. Eleanor holds a Master of International Affairs in Urban and Environmental Policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a Bachelors degree in Environmental Sciences.
With several years experience managing projects, networks and strategic communications in the areas of women’s rights and sustainable development, at WEDO, Bridget works to implement the organizations advocacy goals and influence policy through multiple channels of communication- from traditional and online media to multi-stakeholder outreach and capacity building. She currently specializes in policy advocacy, research and mobilization around the linkages between gender equality, women’s rights and climate change; particularly in the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Prior to WEDO, Bridget worked at LEAD International coordinating a global network of environmental leaders and conducting leadership training. She obtained a Masters from the London School of Economics in Gender, Development and Globalization, where the focus of her research was on eco-feminism, strategic essentialism and its deployment in literature and policy, as well as a Bachelors in International Policy. Through this work and study, Bridget has also spent time completing on site practicum on a wide variety of development issues in several countries: renewable energy infrastructure in Beijing, global health issues in Tunisia, disaster risk and resilience in Bangkok, and women’s economic development in Costa Rica. She has been and is currently engaged in a number of local and international climate activist groups, including local NY fossil fuel resistance campaigns.
Bringing more than twenty years of experience in non-profit accounting and financial management in very diverse settings, Dona Weekes joined WEDO as Finance Manager in January 2013. Thriving on the details and rolling up her sleeves as a team player, Dona’s motto is, ‘Change is good!’ Dona is committed to community volunteer work and counts among her biggest accomplishments taking the lead on a faith-based project called Welfare to Work. Dona has a BS and a Master’s in Accounting from the University of Phoenix.
Based in Costa Rica, working primarily in developing countries and promoting South-South collaboration, Andrea Quesada-Aguilar is a consulting Sr. Project Coordinator at WEDO. Andrea has a background in botany and obtained her Masters degree in Ecology and Evolution. Since 2007, her work has focused on establishing the links between gender equality and various environmental issues, including a leading role in pioneer activities to ensure that the climate change agreements promote gender equality and women’s rights. Andrea is the author of multiple publications on issues regarding gender and climate change, has been involved in advocacy and capacity building efforts at both the international and national level; has supported various platforms to strengthen women’s networks; and has coordinated several projects and initiatives to implement gender sensitive climate change policies in multiple developing countries. Particularly, her work has focused on understanding the gender considerations of REDD+, and at WEDO she translates that experience into ensuring that national strategies, safeguard initiatives, proposals, projects and financing mechanisms related to REDD+ address gender considerations and take steps towards becoming gender transformative.
Saara Ahmed left her Northwest hometown to pursue a Master’s Degree at the New School with a concentration in Gender and International Development. Her experience supporting community-based approaches to address domestic violence in Seattle’s South Asian community and lobbying for international bills protecting women’s rights, shaped her passion for creative feminist approaches to human rights advocacy. During her graduate studies she spent about three months in Kampala, Uganda working on Gender-Based Violence prevention advocacy. At WEDO, Saara works as a consultant to provide overall support to the team’s day to day operations and contributes to the organizations online presence. She believes communications can be a useful tool for social change and community mobilization; when she’s not tweeting for WEDO, she’s participating in online feminist activism. Her prior experience and interests range from humanitarian relief fundraising, immigrant rights activism, supporting community art and hiking.
Based in New York and having worked as an IT consultant with WEDO for a little over a decade, Mary has vast experience supporting the IT needs of small not-for-profit organizations. Asked to describe her role at WEDO, Mary stated (in typical Mary style), “when computer/network stuff breaks, I try to fix them, and then make suggestions on how not to break things in the future.” She also added, “WEDO’s role in my employment is more interesting – putting their money where their mouth is, in terms of supporting and hiring a female techie, in a male-dominated field…..I’m “living” it, and WEDO has been supporting and encouraging it for years.” Mary has been an anchor for WEDO for many years, and continues to be an incredible support.
Ingrid is a second year graduate student in International Development at Sciences Po in Paris. At WEDO, she is conducting research and assisting in the work on the issues closest to her heart: climate change, agriculture and food security, and women’s empowerment. Ingrid has previously worked as an intern with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and on a research project in collaboration with the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) in Paris.