Who We Are

About The New Agenda

2015 Advisory Council

  • Lara Brown

    Lara Brown

    Engaging young women in not only the study, but also the practice of American politics is part of what Lara enjoys about being a political management professor in the Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) at The George Washington University. With research interests in presidential aspirants, congressional incumbents, and political scandals, her aim is to help more people understand the institutions and rules that structure American political parties and national elections. A regular contributor to U.S. News & World Report’s “Thomas Jefferson Street Blog,” she looks to demystify the politics that operate in our nation’s capital. Lara’s last sole-authored book, Jockeying for the American Presidency: The Political Opportunism of Aspirants (Cambria Press, 2010) traces the paths of aspirants from 1796-2008 on their way to the presidency. Prior to completing her Ph.D. at UCLA, Lara served in President William J. Clinton’s administration at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

  • Kathleen Carroll

    Kathleen Carroll

    Kathleen Carroll is the President of The Branding Clinic, a company she founded in 2000. She helps some of the most prominent household brands reposition themselves to achieve double-digit growth. Some of her clients include: Abbott, American Express, Avon, Bath & Body Works, Benjamin Moore, Cendant, Domino Foods, The GAP, Glaxo-Smith Kline, Johnson & Johnson, Playtex, Samsung, Stryker and Unilever. Her fingerprints are on many recognized marketing successes including Unilever’s Simple skincare, Citibank’s U-Promise credit card program. Benjamin Moore’s Aura Paint and Procter & Gamble’s Puritan (Crisco now) cooking oil.

    She is often hired as a branding, positioning, new product development and insights expert by other consultancies and agencies. She gained her experience in top-notch marketing and consulting organizations including Procter & Gamble, Marketing Corporation of America and CNBC.com where she held senior marketing, consulting and CMO roles.

    She graduated from Cornell University’s accelerated, advanced dual-degree program with a BS in Food and Retail Marketing and MBA in Marketing. She is an annual judge for the HSMAI Advertising Awards for the hotel, travel and tourism industry. She is an officer in the highly prestigious President’s Council of Cornell Women and actively lends her marketing expertise to several not-for-profit organizations.

  • Kerry Fitzgerald

    Kerry Fitzgerald

    Kerry Fitzgerald is a Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley. She thoroughly enjoys the opportunity to support women in their pursuit of sound and disciplined financial planning by applying her extensive professional and personal experience with her passion for investing.

    Kerry has over twenty years of financial services experience within both USA and non-USA based financial services corporations including Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch, Canadian Imperial Bank of Canada, and Mitsubishi Bank. She began her career at Price Waterhouse where she was a consultant.

    Kerry earned an MBA from Pace University as well as a BA from Binghamton University and spent time studying overseas in the United Kingdom at Brunel University.

    Kerry is married with two daughters and is a very active member of the Woman’s Club of Ridgewood, which is dedicated to enriching the lives of women and children in need within the greater Ridgewood community by supporting local charities. In her spare time Kerry enjoys tennis, golf, travel and being an enthusiastic spectator at her children’s sporting and entertainment events.

    Investments and services offered through Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC

  • Vanessa Maddox

    Vanessa Maddox

    Born in Washington, D.C. the youngest of 5 children, Vanessa Maddox began her career in the information technology (I.T.) in the 11th grade. Since then, she has evolved into a visionary leader with over 20 years of experience in several industries.

    Vanessa began as a staff assistant and trainer for the U.S. House of Representatives. She went on to work for Fortune 500 organizations, federal government agencies and federal contractors such as Verizon, AOL, Nextel Corporation, Global Knowledge, Harris Corporation and the U.S. Congress.

    Vanessa is well versed at building and supporting learning & development and human resources programs. She effectively manages teams and promotes learning as a competitive advantage. Ms. Maddox coined the term knowledge transfer strategist and is able to communicate and work with all levels of employees in an organization.

    In 2008, Vanessa parlayed her 20 years of experience into her first entrepreneurial venture. She founded V.R. Maddox Consulting. V.R. Maddox Consulting is a boutique consultancy specializing in partnering with organizations to build and manage world-class employee development programs. In July 2010, V.R. Maddox Consulting proudly became a Certified Virginia SWaM business (Small, Women & Minority Owned). One year later in 2009, Ms. Maddox and her cousin Naomi Williams, co-founded a second enterprise called TheGirlfriendGroup (TGG). TGG is a global business/social community for women. TGG’s mission is women helping women in all aspects of life. Vanessa is known as the Chief Executive Girlfriend. TGG began as a tribute to her dearly departed sister Valerie. Less than a year later, TGG had grown quickly into a well-respected global online phenomenon. The group offers social events, an active mentoring program for young girls, an education series, a training institute, philanthropic outreach and media relations.

    Her up and coming brands are GetAGirlfriendHired.com (GAGH) and GetAFriendHired.com (GAFH). GAGH and GAFH are employment and entrepreneurial portals for women and men respectively. GAGH was founded in 2010 in response to the “depression” of 2008 where women were disproportionately affected by the economic downturn. GAFH followed shortly thereafter due to overwhelming response from men who desired the same outreach!

    Ms. Maddox’s personal philosophy is “collaborate and remain open-minded”. She enjoys working with smart, talented, innovative, fearless people that are willing to learn and contribute to the mission, values and goals of TheGirlfriendGroup brands. Vanessa lives in Northern VA with her husband Roger, sons Connor & Jamison and their over-excited Yorkie, Sal.

  • Becky Fleischauer

    Becky Fleischauer

    Becky Fleischauer is the founder of Navigator Communications, an issues advocacy and communications firm serving clients whose work enlightens, promotes health and creates opportunity. She has more than 20 years of media and communications experience and loves a challenge. Prior to starting her own business, she was a vice president at GMMB, a nationally recognized public affairs and issue advocacy firm. At GMMB, Becky helped manage the communications planning and media outreach for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s education division, as well as the American Beverage Association’s campaign to reduce childhood obesity, the Pew Center on the States Government Performance Project, the National Governors’ Association, Civic Enterprises’ National Summit on America’s Silent Dropout Epidemic, and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Young Scholars Program.

    Before joining GMMB, she was a U.S. Senate press secretary and led media efforts for the National Governors Association, the National Education Association (NEA) and NeighborWorks America. Her work in producing the NEA’s Crisis Communications guide received an International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Silver Inkwell award.

  • Suzanne Penavić

    Suzanne Penavić

    Suzanne Penavić is Senior Director, Employee Experience at SunGard. SunGard is currently one of the largest privately held IT software and services companies and will be acquired by Fidelity National Information Systems (NYSE: FIS) in December 2015. Suzanne is a member of the Human Resources team and oversees global employee engagement, learning, diversity & inclusion, and corporate responsibility programs for the company.

    She is a software professional with 25+ years of experience in management and leadership, large scale project management, as well as product strategy, sales, delivery, and support of solutions within global financial services. Her experience has spanned privately held startups, venture-capital funded mid-sized companies, and public and private Fortune 500 firms; she was worked in markets in the Americas, Western Europe, South Africa and Asia.

    Suzanne splits her time between Brooklyn and Long Island with her husband and 4 children. Active in professional and community organizations, she is a member of the New York City based Women’s Bond Club and the prestigious President’s Council of Cornell Women. She also sits on the Advisory Council of NPower’s Community Corps and is a board member of the AIC Foundation. Suzanne holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and will earn a Master of Professional Studies in Human Resource Management from Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations in 2016.

  • Kelly Watson

    Kelly Watson

    Kelly Watson is the National Service Group Leader of KPMG’s Risk Consulting Practice, supervising a team of more than 7800 partners and professionals who provide the risk and compliance insights organizations need to protect themselves and grow. Prior to accepting this position, Kelly was for six years the first woman ever to serve as the Office Managing Partner of the firm’s Short Hills Office, which houses more than 1100 people who serve the state’s largest companies and mid-market clients.

    Risk Consulting professionals help organizations transform risk and regulatory compliance into competitive advantage. They identify how businesses’ corporate strategies can expose them to various forms of risk – ranging from failure to adapt to fast-changing regulations to susceptibility to cybercrime – and help them avoid those pitfalls while maximizing value.

    Kelly has 27 years of global auditing and advisory services experience serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and industrial product industries, and also has experience in acquisitions and regulatory and compliance issues. She previously served on KPMG’s Legal, Risk and Compliance committee, and in October 2013 was elected by her fellow partners for a five-year term on the KPMG Board of Directors, where she sits on the Professional Practice Ethics and Compliance and Nominating committees.

    She is the global lead partner on a number of priority accounts and serves as an account executive on two SEC audit clients. Her international experience includes more than two years in the KPMG Czech Republic member firm’s Prague office.  During her time abroad, Kelly served on several global accounts and helped establish and develop the Central and Eastern European practice training program.

    A fierce advocate for developing leaders in the firm, the accounting profession, and the community, Kelly initiated KPMG’s relationship with the United Nations Millennium Village Program, a global development initiative designed to alleviate poverty and promote gender equality in Africa. She is actively involved in KPMG’s Family for Literacy/First Book program, whose mission is to combat childhood illiteracy, and serves on the Essex County (NJ) Advisory Board of First Book. Kelly is also a member of the Liberty Science Center’s Women’s Leadership Council. She chairs the New Jersey Women’s “Network-to-Network” organization, a consortium of women leaders from some of New Jersey’s most prestigious companies that provides a forum for professional women to share best practices and form mutually beneficial business relationships. Most recently, she has joined Advisory Council of The New Agenda, which is devoted to providing “a voice for all women.”

    Kelly’s leadership has been widely recognized. In 2014, she was honored by the Executive Women of New Jersey as an influential policy maker in the State, and by New Jersey Business magazine as a top managing partner. In 2010, Diversity Inc. named her among their “Women Worth Watching,” and she received the Helen Keller “Women Who Make a Difference” and the Boy Scouts’ “Woman of the Year” awards. In 2008, she was Garden State Woman magazine’s “Woman of the Year”; in 2007, she was named one of the Best 50 Women in Business by NJBIZ and won the YWCA Tribute to Women in Business Award.

    Kelly received a BS from Fordham University in public accounting and finance. She is a certified public accountant in New York and New Jersey and a member of the New York Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Kelly and her husband Derek Watson have two children, Victoria, 16, and William, 14.

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