SENECA WOMEN & SENECA POINT GLOBAL
Seneca Women is a global leadership platform centered on the principle that advancing women and girls will fast forward us to a more equitable and prosperous world. Seneca Women focuses on driving impactful media and thought leadership, including at institutions such as the World Economic Forum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the World Bank, the U.S. State Department and the United Nations, among others.
Seneca is led by co-founders Ambassador Melanne Verveer and Kim Azzarelli, co-authors of the best-selling book Fast Forward: How Women Can Achieve Power and Purpose.
Seneca Point Global is the world’s leading strategic organization focused on advising Fortune 100 companies and public sector institutions seeking to advance women and girls. For more than two decades, we have worked with companies, media, governments and non-profits to help shape global policy and business practices that create shared value. Seneca’s co-founders have helped launch and/or implement some of the largest media, philanthropic and business initiatives focused on women.
Fast Forward Principles
We are on the cusp of a global paradigm shift: women command resources, skills and power at an unprecedented scale. And as they ascend, women are increasingly using their power for purpose.
Power backed by purpose propels women to create success and meaning in their own lives while bringing about a better world—often by advancing other women and girls.
Connecting with others is the key to turning your power and purpose into action. This can be accomplished through today's women-led networks: purposeful, inclusive and impactful.
AMBASSADOR MELANNE VERVEER
Co-Founder and Chair
Ambassador Verveer serves as the Co-Founder and Chair of Seneca Women and Executive Director of Georgetown University's Institute for Women, Peace and Security. In 2009 President Obama appointed Verveer to be the first ever Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the US State Department. Ambassador Verveer worked on behalf of Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to coordinate foreign policy issues and activities relating to the political, economic and social advancement of women and girls.
Prior to her role at the U.S. State Department, Ambassador Verveer served as Chair and Co-CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international nonprofit she
co-founded. Vital Voices invests in emerging women leaders and works to expand women’s roles in generating economic opportunity, promoting political participation, and safeguarding human rights. Prior to her work with Vital Voices, Ambassador Verveer served as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady in the Clinton Administration.
Ambassador Verveer has a B.A. and M.A. from Georgetown University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has served as the 2013 Humanitas Visiting Professor at Cambridge University. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the U.S. Secretary of State's Award for Distinguished Service.
In fall 2015, Ambassador Verveer and Kim Azzarelli published Fast Forward: How Women Can Achieve Power and Purpose. Fast Forward chronicles how women are harnessing their growing economic power and leadership to invest in women and girls in order to yield extraordinary dividends for people, organizations, and countries.
Co-Founder and CEO
Azzarelli is a business, philanthropic, and legal advisor focused on advancing women and girls. Together with Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Azzarelli is a Co-Founder and CEO of Seneca Women and co-author of the book Fast Forward: How Women Can Achieve Power and Purpose.
Azzarelli is the Chair and Co-founder of Cornell Law School’s Center for Women and Justice, and a Partner at Seneca Point Global. Prior to her work with Seneca, she served as Senior Vice President of the Newsweek Daily Beast Company, where she led strategy, partnerships, and philanthropy for Women in the World.
In her prior roles, Azzarelli held senior philanthropic and legal roles at Goldman Sachs and Avon, respectively. At Goldman Sachs, she led the billion-dollar donor advised fund, Goldman Sachs Gives. At Avon, she served as Vice President, Legal and Public Affairs and Corporate Secretary. Prior to joining Avon, Azzarelli practiced corporate and securities law at Latham and Watkins.
Azzarelli is currently an adjunct professor at Cornell Law School, where she teaches Women, Law and the Economy and Women, Law and Technology. She is an author on matters relating to women and girls, including "Sustainable Development, Rule of Law and the Impact of Women Judges," co-authored with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and numerous articles on women's economic participation.
Azzarelli is a graduate of Cornell Law School, Cornell University, and Friends Seminary High School in New York City, where she resides.
COMMISSIONER SHARON BOWEN
Sharon Bowen was the first African-American to be appointed as Commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. She was sworn in on June 9, 2014 and served in the CFTC until 2017.
Prior to her role in the CFTC, Bowen was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and appointed by President Obama to serve as Vice Chair and Acting Chair of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). Previous to her work in the Obama administration, Bowen had a renowned three-decade career in corporate and transactional law as an associate at Davis, Polk & Wardwell and later as associate and partner at Latham & Watkins.
She currently serves on the Board of the Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE) and certain of its affiliates. Bowen has served as a member of the Board and Emeritus Board of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, Inc., the Boards of New York City Economic Development Corporation, and Public Education Needs Civil Involvement in Learning (PENCIL). She is also a recipient of the 2011 Diversity Trailblazer Award of the New York State Bar Association and was selected as the New York City Bar Association 2007 Diversity Champion and the Metropolitan Black Bar Association 2006 Lawyer of the Year.
Bowen holds a BA in Economics from the University of Virginia and a JD-MBA from Northwestern University. During her time at Northwestern Law, she served as Managing Editor of the Northwestern Journal of International Law and Business. Bowen has also served as a former Executive Member and Chair of the Law School Board.
Fast Forward Weekly Briefing
Our weekly newsletter provides timely information on news, events and activities that enable every woman to Fast Forward her life. There are inspiring articles on achieving success and meaning, ideas for ways to make a difference for women and girls and updates on women-focused events.