Board of Directors

Jim Tobin, Chair

Ronni Goldfarb, President

Saswati Paul, Vice Chair

Robert J. Berg

Annette N. Brown

Amir Dossal

Mary Beth Garber

Tom Gottlieb

Julie Gupta

Jen Hamilton

Jenn Louie

Mary MacPherson

Mark Gunther, Chair Emeritus


JIM TOBIN, Chair

Mr. Tobin joined Equal Access’ Board of Directors in October 2006. In January of 2006, James M. Tobin formed the Law Office of James M. Tobin to focus his practice on the evolving convergence of the Internet and traditional telecommunications industries, with emphasis on policy, regulatory issues and business transactions. From 1990 until 2005, Mr. Tobin was the partner in charge of the San Francisco-based telecommunications practice of Morrison & Foerster, a large international law firm. Mr. Tobin has over thirty years of legal and business experience in the telecommunications industry. Prior to joining Morrison & Foerster, Mr. Tobin held corporate offices as Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary of ALC Communications Corp. (now part of Global Crossing) and Vice President-Regulatory Affairs of Sprint. Mr. Tobin also served as a member of the Board of Directors and Vice-Chairman of COMPTEL, the trade association of competitive telecommunications service providers. Mr. Tobin also served as the Chairman of the Board of Southern Pacific Telecommunications Company (predecessor company to Qwest Communications) from 1991 through 1993. Mr. Tobin’s practice has focused on the transactional, regulatory, and political aspects of the telecommunications and evolving internet industries, both domestic and international. Mr. Tobin has counseled service providers (such as cellular carriers, long distance carriers, local exchange carriers, and providers of enhanced and Internet-related services), large users of communications services, and government regulators.

Mr. Tobin has lectured and spoken on telecommunications issues at the University of California, Golden Gate University School of Law, the Institute of the Americas, California Continuing Legal Education classes, and other industry and legal seminars in the United States, Europe, and Latin America. In 2004, the San Francisco Magazine named Mr. Tobin one of Northern California’s Super Lawyers in Telecommunications, and Who’s Who Legal, the International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers named him one of the world’s finest Regulatory Communications lawyers of the years 2005, 2006, and 2007. Mr. Tobin has been listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Law for over fifteen years.

 

RONNI GOLDFARBPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Ronni Goldfarb is the founder of Equal Access International and has served in the capacity of President and CEO since Equal Access’ inception in 2000.  Under her leadership, Equal Access launched and developed its mission and unique methodology for catalyzing social change – combining the power of innovative media with direct community engagement.  Today, Equal Access  has a broadcast reach to more than 100 million underserved people across Asia, Africa and the Middle East, with country offices and large-scale programs in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Chad, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Yemen and project activities in Lao PDR. Focusing organizational efforts to address critical needs in the developing world at scale, Ronni leads the organization in strategic planning and major partnership development. She also serves as a Program Development Specialist, Champion and International Ambassador for Equal Access work across five key sectors: Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment, Youth Life skills & Livelihoods, Human Rights, Civil Society & Governance and Global Health.

In 2010, Ronni was appointed by Secretary of State Clinton as a Commissioner to the National Commission to UNESCO. The National Commission supports worldwide humanitarian development and values by coordinating efforts and delivering expert advice from the federal, state, and local governments and from nongovernmental organizations on issues of education, science, communications, and culture. Ronni also serves as President of the Equal Access Board of Directors. With more than 16 years experience as a Strategic Communications Consultant prior to the founding and launch of Equal Access, Ronni has created and implemented communications initiatives, multi-media events, and programs for Fortune 500 Corporations and the United Nations. Her work with the United Nations includes strategic consulting and program implementation for UNDP, Regional Bureau of Asia and the Pacific, the UN Conference on Women, Beijing, and the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Ronni holds a Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude from SUNY Buffalo and studied Cultural Anthropology and Media at New York University.

 

SASWATI PAUL, Vice Chair

Saswati is an attorney by profession, focusing in particular on employee benefits and ERISA fiduciary issues.  Previously she was with GreenbergTraurig, LLP, the ERISA boutique Trucker Huss, White & Case LLP and Baker & McKenzie. Before moving to the private sector, she worked with the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, CA, for nearly eight years, enforcing fiduciary compliance under ERISA. She is a frequent speaker and writer on ERISA fiduciary issues and is currently on the 2010-2011 Program Committee of the Western Pension & Benefits Conference (WP&BC) San Francisco Chapter. She began her legal career as the first Anheuser-Busch Fellow at the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium, and co-authored its first comprehensive national audit on anti-Asian violence. She was appointed to the Maryland Governor’s Task Force on Anti-Asian Violence, and served as President of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association Educational Fund of Washington, D.C.  This past summer, she was invited to participate in the Smithsonian Institution Folklife Festival’s program on Asian Pacific Americans. She is a member of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and Executives and various bar associations.  Presently she serves on Audubon Elementary School’s Site Council, teaches art in school through ArtinAction, and is Treasurer of her daughter’s Girl Scouts Troop.

In past years, she has also served on the boards of various Asian Pacific American Bar Associations. She was instrumental in establishing the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California’s Hate Crimes Hotline. Saswati has also worked with battered women and provided representation to indigent clients seeking political asylum and/or facing deportation. While earning a B.A. in Economics from Yale University, Saswati wrote her senior essay on the role of women in economic development. Saswati continues to be involved with Yale by serving as an interviewer for its Alumni School Committee. She also holds a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law, where she was the recipient of the Gryzmish and Dean’s Funds Awards focusing on public interest law. She is a member of the California, Maryland and District of Columbia Bars, and various U.S. District Courts.

 

ROBERT J. BERG

Mr. Berg is Senior Advisor to the World Federation of United Nations Associations.  Previously he served as senior advisor to four different parts of the UN helping to devise summits for human progress and initiating the first system-wide substantive initiative.  He served in the U. S. Agency for International Development where he helped devise basic human needs legislation, incorporated social and environmental concerns for the first time of any donor, and was the Agency’s first director of evaluation simultaneously serving as founding chair of evaluation for the official donor community. He then was senior fellow at a Washington think tank devoted to international development. For many years he led the International Development Conference, then the largest forum on international development issues in the US.  He serves on non-profit boards in higher education and international development, focusing on peace, community development and climate change. He is a trustee and Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, Fellow of the Royal Africa Society, and member of the Cosmos Club and the Bretton Woods Committee.  Bob lives in Washington, DC with his spouse, Vivian Lowery Derryck.  Their family includes three children and four grandchildren.

 

ANNETTE N. BROWN

Dr. Annette N. Brown is an economist with more than 15 years of technical assistance, research, project management, and business development experience in international development, including more than seven years in executive and senior management positions. Brown currently serves as the Deputy Director for Advancement and Impact Evaluation Services and head of the Washington office for the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie). In this position, she directs 3ie’s replication, registry, and database programs and quality assurance services as well as 3ie’s fundraising and membership development activities. She previously served as Chief Evaluation Officer, for which she directed 3ie’s evaluation office and was responsible for ensuring the quality of all impact evaluations funded by 3ie. Prior to joining 3ie, Brown served in several roles at Chemonics International Inc. including Director of Impact Measurement and Director of the Knowledge and Innovation Department. Before Chemonics, Brown served as Center Director at the Urban Institute (UI), where she oversaw all aspects of program management and strategic development for UI’s international development research and technical assistance portfolio. Over the last decade, including several years with the emerging markets division of BearingPoint, Inc. (now part of Deloitte Consulting, LLC), she has performed research and technical assistance work in both the economic growth and democracy and governance sectors in more than twenty countries across Europe and Eurasia, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, including a resident position in Armenia. Earlier in her career, Brown taught and conducted research as an Assistant Professor in the economics department at Western Michigan University, served as a Research Associate at the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, and also served as an economist in the research department at the World Bank.

Dr. Brown’s current research projects include a review of evaluating stabilization interventions, a systematic review of public information impacts on governance, and a book chapter on impact evaluations of peace education.

 

AMIR DOSSAL

Amir Dossal is Founder of the Global Partnerships Forum, a new global initiative to address economic & social challenges through innovative partnerships. Amir is also Co-Initiator of the Pearl Initiative, which promotes transparency and accountability in the Gulf Region as well as Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union for Global Partnerships.

Until recently, Amir served as the United Nation’s Chief Liaison for Partnerships where he developed strategic alliances with governments, corporations, foundations and philanthropists to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. One of Amir’s many responsibilities was as the UN’s Representative for the partnership with media mogul Ted Turner’s $1 billion donation, through the UN Foundation, supporting over 450 programs and projects for women and children’s health; population; climate change; and biodiversity. This partnership attracted social investments of over $560 million from other donors and partners, such as American Red Cross, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Coca-Cola, Rockefeller Foundation, Rotary International etc. In addition, Amir oversaw management of the UN Democracy Fund, which he established in 2005 to strengthen institutions and enhance democratic governance in new or restored democracies.

Amir works globally across sectors, including Health, Education, Environment, Peace, Security and Human Rights. He has built strong links with governments, multilateral agencies, business group, foundations and networks, such as the Arab Foundations Forum, Business Council for International Understanding, Chambers of Commerce, China World Peace Foundation, Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, Commonwealth Business Council, European Foundation Centre, Foreign Policy Association, IDP Foundation, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, LTB Foundation, NEPAD Business Group, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, The Synergos Institute, United Nations Associations, US Council for International Business, US Department of State, and more.

Amir has spearheaded the UN’s engagement with leaders in the finance, technology and pharmaceutical sectors, including 3Com, BT, Cisco, Ericsson, Google, GSK, Merck, Microsoft, Nestle, Novartis, Pfizer, Standard Chartered Bank, Telefonica, Vodafone, and Walmart. He also works with high-profile personalities to support humanitarian causes, such as the Countess Sondes, Cherie Blair, Geena Davis, the Duchess of York, Julia Ormond, Joan Rivers, Russell Simmons, Joss Stone, Christy Turlington Burns, and others.

1997: Set-up the Management Policy Office to oversee reform within the United Nations.

1999: Established the UN Fund for International Partnerships, as the interface for the UN Foundation.

2004: Set-up Diaspora Networks for Africa and the Caribbean, to promote innovation & investments.

2005: Established the UN Democracy Fund.

2006: Set-up the Peace-Building Support Office to spur development in post-conflict countries.

2007: Established the UN Office for Partnerships, to oversee multiple partnership functions.

2007: Created a Business Advisory Council for Greater Tumen Region, to attract investment in NE Asia.

2008: Launched Digital Health Initiative focused on m-health applications & services, and telemedicine.

2008: Spearheaded key report of public & private sector commitments for MDG Summit ($1.6 billion).

2009: Substantially increased UN engagement with private sector and civil society in the Middle East.

2009: Launched several new initiatives in Arts, Culture and Inter-Faith.

Amir is a Chartered Accountant (FCA) trained with Deloitte, Haskins & Sells, London in 1975. Prior to joining the United Nations, he worked in business for over 15 years. He has lived and worked in Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, Middle East, and North America. Amir regularly undertakes speaking engagements, and serves on several non-profit boards. He is married to Tas, and they have one son, Zecki.

 

MARY BETH GARBER

Mary Beth Garber, president of the Southern California Broadcasters Association (SCBA), was named Broadcaster of the Year at the 2008 national Radio Advertising Bureau convention. Under Garber’s leadership during the past ten years, the Los Angeles Radio market has grown to be the largest in the world, and the only one with annual revenues exceeding $1 billion. While at SCBA, Garber has co-produced with Arbitron three behavioral studies about media usage and created the concept of “The Virtual Neighborhoods of Radio.” An early and vocal advocate of radio’s continued importance as a twenty-first century medium, she has written and spoken throughout the country on the value of using radio together with the Internet to build stronger, more targeted marketing campaigns.

Garber has received numerous honors during her distinguished advertising and broadcast career including the Genii Award for Excellence in Radio, from the American Women in Radio and Television, the 2007 Golden Buccaneer Award from PIRATES (Print, Interactive Radio and TV Education Society) for her philanthropic endeavors, and has been on Radio Ink magazine’s list of “20 Most Influential Women In Radio” since its inception in 1999.

A former Pitzer College trustee, Garber is on the Board of Directors of think(LA), the Executive Board of the Los Angeles Media Marketing Research Council, the Board of Trustees of St. Francis Hospital Foundation and the Board of Variety Children’s Charity, Tent 25. Garber’s natural leadership talent and ability to influence others was recognized during her undergraduate years while she served as the first student class president.

 

TOM GOTTLIEB

Tom has served as the Managing General Partner of Geolo Capital since 2005, bringing to the group more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, banking, real estate development and in managing private equity investments throughout the US and the Pacific Rim. Following a career in banking and international finance, Tom lived in Hong Kong and was the Chief Investment Officer and one of the founding partners for the InterPacific Group – a privately held company active in the Pacific Rim in the hospitality industry, consumer services & products, real estate development and recreational facilities. In 1995, Tom founded Mandara Spa in Bali, Indonesia serving as its Chief Executive Officer and growing the company to become the largest resort spa operator in the world. Today he serves on the boards of Joie de Vivre,  Exclusive Resorts, Roost, Local TV and Western Athletic Clubs – and also serves as a Trustee for the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii.

 

JULIE GUPTA

Julie is an independent consultant focused on providing business and product strategy and implementation for media, Internet and technology companies at all stages of development. Previously, she was Executive Director of Product Strategy at AOL. Julie brings over 15 years of proven success in project leadership, business strategy and product management experience in for-profits and non-profits to her board role at Equal Access. She has been instrumental in managing successful teams at both startups and Fortune 500 companies charged with launching new product initiatives. Prior to AOL, she re-engineered a 150-year old non-profit organization to profitability and long-term sustainability. Julie has been an executive with multiple start-ups at early stages of their inception, developing and executing both long-term business strategies and the delivery of products and services. She has held key positions at Bain and Company, Sun Microsystems, and Kleiner Perkins-backed Corsair Communications. Additionally she co-founded Rentanything, an Internet marketplace known as the ‘eBay for rentals’. Julie started her career at IBM. Julie has a Bachelors and Masters in Engineering from MIT and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

 

JEN HAMILTON

Jen is passionate about creating opportunity and social change through education and entrepreneurship. While pursuing her Bachelor of Commerce degree at Queen’s University in Canada, Jen co-founded The Perth Bagel Company. Upon graduating, she began her finance career working with Citibank Canada in Toronto and later moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to become a technology investment banker first at DLJ and later Credit Suisse and UBS. She went on to obtain her MBA from INSEAD (at both the France and Singapore campuses) where she explored various passions including travel, culture, and microfinance. This led her to found On The Road Travel, an online resource for independent travelers in Latin America. She subsequently joined Kiva.org, where she served as Chief Financial Officer.

Jen has two young children and a big, shaggy dog. When she is not chasing them around, or practicing yoga (she is a certified yoga teacher), she works as an independent consultant providing strategy and implementation to technology companies in the Bay Area. She also serves as Board Member for Mission Graduates, and as an Expert in Residence for the Women’s Initiative For Self Employment.

 

 JENN LOUIE

Jenn Louie manages the Trust & Safety team at Meetup, a local community organizing network at the intersect of online and offline social community building. Prior to joining Meetup, she worked at Google for over 7 years in several roles spanning from Sales Strategy & Operations for New Product Solutions to Product Policy Development and has worked in Biotech and for the Japanese government. Jenn also serves on the Board for the Community Technology Network.

MARY MACPHERSON

Mary MacPherson is an executive with backgrounds in corporate and nonprofit organizations, expertise in the role of entrepreneurship and early stage company formation and growth, and in nonprofit organizational capacity building and governance. Mary held senior management roles at Apple Computer, MCI Telecommunications Corp. and Blackboard, Inc. and several smaller startups in the Washington area and served as executive director of Netpreneur, an entrepreneurial venture of the Morino Institute. In 2004, Mary formed M2Works LLC, an independent consultancy. Her practice includes work in the areas of entrepreneurship, international development, non-profit capacity building, sustainability, governance, public private partnerships and network and community building. She is currently serving as Special Advisor to the President of Northern Virginia Community College on the expansion of a multi-stakeholder regional STEM education program and an initiative to bring veterans into the region’s education system and technology companies. Working with Vital Voices Global Partnership, Mary led a multi-year program to facilitate the MENA Businesswomen’s Network. Recent engagements include development of donor materials based on strategic plans for a progressive media organization; strategy and planning for the cultivation of an entrepreneurial ecosystem and angel investment network in Doha, Qatar and co-development of an executive mentoring toolkit for a multinational public company.

Mary’s non-profit service includes eight years and two terms as Board Chair for Mary’s Center for Child and Maternal Care (termed off in 2013), Honorary Board Member of College Summit of the National Capital Region and the DC Region Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). She serves on the Boards of Directors of MindShare, the Slovak American Foundation (Vice Chair) and the Path Forward Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Mary also serves on the Advisory Council of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Mary Washington. Mary holds a BA in American Studies from Mary Washington College and was honored to receive the University of Mary Washington Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2011.

MARK GUNTHERChair Emeritus

Mr. Gunther began his business career organizing food cooperatives during and after college while working first as a cook, then a carpenter. Since 1980, Mr. Gunther has been the Financial or General Manager of small businesses in the catalog, periodical publishing, and consumer product industries, including Mix Publications, publisher of the leading professional, audio and electronic musical instrument magazines, and the Dinocardz Company, publisher of a series of innovative, educational dinosaur products. He spent ten years as a trustee, including serving as treasurer and then president, of Presidio Hill School, California’s oldest, continuously operating progressive independent school.  Mr. Gunther currently is managing director of the Eva Gunther Foundation, a grant maker and seed funder focused on enabling self determination for girls. He serves on the boards at Buddy Rhodes Concrete Products and Rhythm and Motion, Inc., and on the Finance Committee of Congregation Beth Sholom, where he previously led the complete reconstruction of the congregation’s campus. He has been Chairman of Equal Access since its inception. Also an athlete, he rides his bike about 7,000 miles per year.