The CAG’s Steering Committee guides the coalition’s activities and objectives. Each member donates their time and expertise in an effort to build a safer, healthier world for adolescent girls.
Divya Srinivasan, Co-Chair
Divya Srinivasan has been working with Equality Now since 2017. She is a passionate and dedicated human rights lawyer, with a specialisation in women’s and girls’ rights, gender equality and international law. At Equality Now, Divya’s work has included a focus on various issues affecting the human rights of women and girls, including sexual violence, anti-discrimination, female genital mutilation, and child, early and forced marriage. Her work spans numerous countries, including work on campaigns to address sexual violence in India and South Asia, with a focus on marginalized communities; and to address female genital mutilation globally. Qualified for the bar in India, Divya was an associate in labour and employment law at an Indian law firm prior to joining Equality Now. She holds a Master’s degree in law (with a concentration in international human rights) from Harvard Law School.
Carrie Ellett, Co-Chair
As BRAC’s Head of Youth Empowerment, Carrie provides technical support on youth programming, with a focus on AGYW, including program design, proposal development, and quality program implementation. Prior to joining BRAC, Carrie was the COO of Kepler, an innovative higher education program serving vulnerable students in East Africa. Carrie was also the inaugural Country Director for the Akilah Institute for Women in Bujumbura, Burundi. She started with Akilah as the Academic Director in Rwanda. Before beginning her work in East Africa, Carrie served as the National Program Director of Girls for a Change, worked for the Girl Scouts of Silicon Valley, and was a consultant to NGOs for more than seven years. Carrie earned a Master’s in International and Multicultural Education with an emphasis in Human Rights Education from the University of San Francisco. She is based in Nairobi. Marissa Cardwell, Coordinator
Marissa Cardwell began her professional experience as a Girls Only! Program facilitator and the Program Coordinator for PCI’s Human Trafficking Prevention Programs. Marissa found her passion and drive to empower girls, working at the Boys and Girls Club in the neighborhood where she grew up, after noticing that many of her childhood peers later became victimized by the sex industry and trafficking. As a result, Marissa made it her mission to help create a “village” to mentor and support youth to take a healthier path. Marissa learned early on the importance of positive representation and engaged local community members to join the village by participating in events such as career day, clothing and school supply drives and safe school walking programs. Marissa later came back as an intern with PCI’s Healthy Start Program as she completed her thesis to earn her MPH, with an emphasis on Global Health. Marissa was hired as a PCI Healthy Start Perinatal Navigator in 2019 and has recently transitioned back to her ROOTS as the Technical Advisor for Human Trafficking Prevention Programs at Global Communities.
Julianne Deitch, Evidence Lead
Julianne Deitch has over a decade of experience working in global health with international, regional,and community-based organizations. As the Senior Advisor for Adolescent Health and Protection with the Women’s Refugee Commission, Julianne’s work focuses on engaging adolescents in program design and implementation and collecting meaningful evidence to inform integrated service delivery in multiple humanitarian settings. Prior to joining WRC, Julianne worked with the RAISE Initiative at Columbia University, supporting research and programming on family planning and post-abortion care, and with the UNICEF Data and Analytics Team, where she created guidelines for MICS data analysis and reporting on adolescent health and well-being. Julianne began her career in global health with the UN Secretariat in Ethiopia and Lebanon, where she focused on supporting policy research on health and gender equality. Julianne holds a doctorate of Public Health and a master of Public Health from Columbia University, a master’s degree in Development Studies from the London School of Economics, and a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Economics from the University of California, Davis.
Martha Brady, Program Lead
Advancing women’s rights and improving the health and well-being of women and girls is the thread that runs throughout Martha’ s professional life. In a career spanning more than two decades, Martha has worked across sectors and geographies with NGOs, governments, donors, and private sector entities to develop innovative and impactful products and programs for women and adolescent girls. She has served in a variety of capacities as a strategist, innovator, technical advisor, and evaluator of women and girls’ programs and initiatives. Her technical expertise encompasses sexual and reproductive health and rights, HIV prevention, self-care, health literacy, product development and introduction. Martha began her career at the Population Council where she was Senior Associate focusing on adolescent girls’ programs, policy, and research. She led pioneering work on girls’ sports, safe spaces and asset-building, and co-directed a global implementation science research program on adolescent girls. Martha has published and presented widely and is co-author of Investing When it Counts: Reviewing the Evidence and Charting a Course of Research and Action for Young Adolescents. She holds a master’s degree in nutrition and public health from Columbia University.
Sophie Soares, Secretary
Sophie Soares is a dedicated girls’ rights advocate who focuses, in her work, how to utilize evidence-based tools and best practices to innovate and establish girl-centered programming on the ground globally, particularly around girls’ education, health, and economic justice. She serves, among her other roles, as a Staff Associate at the Population Council where she co-leads the Council’s Adolescent Girls’ Programming Community of Practice, building the capacity of a wide portfolio of partners who are bringing thoughtful programs to scale among the hardest-to-reach populations. Her work extends to sub-Saharan and West Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia. Sophie is also committed to girls’ health, literacy, and advanced education in low-income communities of New York City.
Emily Heimsoth, Policy Lead
Emily is the Gender Policy and Advocacy Specialist at Save the Children US, where she develops and executes advocacy strategies to advance gender equality in childhood and empower girls globally. She helps drive efforts to make U.S. Government foreign assistance more responsive and accountable to girls, and lobbies for legislation on girls’ civic and political leadership. She also project manages a multi-country advocacy initiative on investing in girls and ending child marriage, which leverages the Generation Equality process and UN forums to push for financial and policy commitments to girls. As part of this work, she coordinates the participation of adolescent girls in policy spaces so that they can speak directly to policymakers and share their perspectives. Prior to her role at Save the Children, Emily supported a network of feminist grassroots organizations in the Global South at the Women’s Learning Partnership, and completed a fellowship in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with the All Women’s Action Society, a non-profit organization that does advocacy on GBV issues and provides services for survivors. Before that, Emily was a teacher in Spain and in Taiwan. She holds a master’s degree in International Affairs with concentrations in Global Gender Policy and International Security Issues from George Washington University, and a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Spanish from the University of Maryland College Park. Emily is based in Washington D.C.
Trizah Gakwa, CAG Networking Lead
Trizah’s passion for working with girls to co-create a safer, more equitable world was sparked by the birth of her daughter which made her acutely aware of the inequalities that she had and was still fighting and that her daughter would now be fighting. As the Strategic Growth Director at Freely in Hope, she focuses on building a healthy and dynamic team of survivor leaders who design and lead solutions to end sexual violence in their communities. She leverages strategic partnerships and develops systems and structures that support programs that empower girls to achieve their highest academic and leadership potential and become change agents that influence worldwide systemic change. She has over 10 years of
experience supporting the growth and sustainability of different organizations. She has a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and is currently pursuing a Master's in Organizational Leadership.