Organization Enhances Strategic Leadership with Public, Private and Nonprofit Expertise
Washington, D.C. – The National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) is pleased to announce the addition of six new members to its board of directors: Molly Bordonaro, Jon Bouker, Mari Snyder Johnson, Cheri Kaufman, Julie Smolyansky and Joan Walker. The board provides leadership for delivering on NWHM’s mission to build a world-class museum on the National Mall that educates, inspires, empowers and shapes the future by integrating women’s distinctive stories into the culture and history of the United States.
“NWHM is pleased to have these accomplished members join our board at this exciting time in our evolution,” said NWHM Board Chair Susan Whiting. “These new board members bring their valuable expertise from the worlds of government relations, communications and marketing, community engagement, nonprofit strategy and business, as well as a firm commitment to ensuring women’s contributions to American history are included in our national narrative.”
About NWHM’s New Board Members
Molly Bordonaro served as the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Malta from 2005-2009, becoming the first American diplomat to receive Malta’s highest award, the Medal of Honor or Gieh ir Reublicka, for significant contributions to Malta and the Mediterranean region. She has also served as a member of the U.S. Congressional Commission on the Advancement of Women in Science and Technology, a board member of Portland State University’s Center for Real Estate, and as a member of the board of directors of the Fannie Mae Corporation.
Jon Bouker is a long-time government relations leader with extensive experience in the U.S. Congress, who brings his expertise in legislation, business relations and economic development. As co-practice group leader of Arent Fox’s government relations practice, he represents clients before Congress, The White House and federal agencies, particularly the General Services Administration. Jon also served as chief counsel and legislative director to Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and minority counsel to Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.).
Mari Snyder Johnson is a business executive and CEO specializing in diverse entrepreneurial opportunities, an executive producer for both feature and documentary films and a passionate activist for socially conscious causes. She brings media and business management experience as well as legislative relationships and acumen. Prior to joining NWHM’s board, Mari served as an advisor to the organization’s president, Joan Wages, where she helped advance passage of the legislation that established the commission to study the feasibility of a National Women’s History Museum on the National Mall.
As a business executive, Cheri Kaufman raised funds for non-profit organizations such as PS1, American Cancer Society and New York Partnership Association. As one of the founding partners of Kaufman Astoria Studios, she played a crucial role in starting the studio on the successful path to its prominent place today in the New York film and television industry. Cheri raised significant funds for financing and was in charge of construction cost and design, leading the campaign to restore the historic facility, which today encompasses an 18-acre campus, and is a recognized leader in New York film production. She headed the studio’s advertising and public relations and participated in leasing studio space to major corporate clients (i.e. Lifetime Cable, Paramount, Universal Pictures). Under her initiative, all the studio’s sound stages are named after women who filmed there, including Diana Ross, Claudette Colbert and Helen Hayes. Kaufman currently serves as Vice President of Lifeline Organization of New York, and is also a member of the UN Women for Peace Committee and is a board member of the MoMA. She is also Founder and CEO of CiGive.
Julie Smolyansky became the youngest female CEO of a publicly held firm when she assumed that role at Lifeway Foods at age 27, and brings a successful track record in business and social advocacy to the Museum’s board. Julie bolstered Lifeway’s growth trajectory with innovative product development and marketing strategies, boosting annual revenues to more than $130 million by 2015 and expanded distribution throughout the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. She is a member of the United Nations Foundation Global Entrepreneurs Council and part of the 2015 class of Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum.
Joan Walker brings more than 25 years of experience in major corporations, leading world-class communications and marketing functions, building reputation leadership and brand strength to drive corporate performance. She combines research, marketing and strategic communications expertise and insights to support companies and their leadership teams through times of change, including M&A transactions, CEO transitions and corporate crisis. Most recently, Joan served as EVP Corporate Relations and Interim CMO for The Allstate Corporation. There she developed and led the company’s Reputation Leader- ship Strategy and Consumer-Focused Reinvention — initiatives that transformed the company into four distinct customer segments, each with a unique value proposition that achieved successful market outcomes. Prior to Allstate, Joan served as EVP at both Monsanto and Qwest Communications, where she helped her former Ameritech CEO lead the firm through a time of acute crisis.
“We could not be prouder of the board we have assembled and are confident that their experience and skills will be a great asset to the Museum,” said NWHM President and CEO Joan Wages. “They bring a variety of experiences and backgrounds that strengthen our strategic leadership and will help us achieve our vision of a world-class museum dedicated to incorporating women’s stories into American history.”