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.
Jennifer Catino, Co-Chair
Independent Consultant, Global Health and Youth Development
Jennifer is committed to working with others to learn, design, test and scale effective and sustainable approaches to health and development challenges from a gender perspective. She believes deeply in creating conditions and using tools to harness interdisciplinary and cross-cultural expertise for social change. Catino is a global health, youth and development specialist with cross-sector experience in program, policy and research initiatives in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. She has technical expertise in adolescent girls’ health, social and economic asset building; gender and rights; women’s health across the lifecycle; and HIV/STI and gender violence prevention. With over twenty years of professional experience, she has demonstrated skills in: strategic planning; program design, management and evaluation; technical writing; curricula and materials design; mentoring and coaching; qualitative research; grant management and resource mobilization. She holds a Master of Public Health with a focus in maternal and child health, is an accredited partnerships broker, a certified doula and is fluent in Spanish. Catino has been working as an independent consultant for the past two years with a range of clients, including the Population Council, the Nike Foundation, GirlHub, UNFPA and the Harvard School of Public Health. She has held prior positions with the Population Council, EngenderHealth, Family Care International and John Snow Inc.
Amy Spindler, Co-Chair
Adolescent Girl and Youth Advisor at Mercy Corps
Amy Spindler is the Senior Adolescent Girl and Youth Advisor for Mercy Corps. In her current role, Amy supports global programming that helps girls to stay in school and improve learning;make successful and safe transitions to work; and secure the assets they need for successful futures and healthy families. She also builds the capacity of Mercy Corps teams to find, reach and design programming with adolescent girls in both development and humanitarian contexts. Amy has more than 10 years of experience in technical advising with expertise in initiatives that target adolescent girls; address gender equality; and improve rural development.As a former journalist, Amy can translate technical research and information into compelling narratives to reach diverse audiences; she also loves to hear and tell peoples’ stories.Amy holds an MS in Rural Sociology from the University of Missouri and a BA in Journalism from the University of Oregon. She also has a graduate Certificate in Community Processes, which translates into applied skills in community mobilization.
Rachel Clement, Policy Lead
Policy Associate at the International Center for Research on Women
Ms. Rachel Clement is a Policy Associate at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). In this role, she implements ICRW’s advocacy strategy and monitors relevant policy developments within the U.S. Government and among select international policy making arenas, including the UN. Ms. Clement has over 5 years of professional experience at organizations as respected and diverse as the US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, the Coalition for Adolescent Girls, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Plan International, and has worked in contexts such as Ecuador, Vietnam, Russia and the Philippines on youth and gender issues. Since joining ICRW in 2015, Ms. Clement has written for Ms. magazine, Girls Globe and ICRW’s own blog on the topics of economic empowerment, child marriage and adolescent girl’s agency. She has also spoken on panels and to university classes on the topics of adolescent girls and child marriage. Ms. Clement is the co-author on a chapter of the forthcoming UFNPA The State of World Population report on challenges facing girls in early adolescence. Ms. Clement’s ICRW portfolio includes gender-based violence, youth and girls, HIV/AIDS, LGBTI and aging populations, and urbanization in development. She earned her B.A. in Sociology and Spanish and her M.A. in International Development Studies from the George Washington University, with a concentration in youth and gender. Ms. Clement is fluent in Spanish and conversant in German.
Irene Diaz Soto, Research Lead
Senior Advisor – Youth Economic Empowerment and Gender at Save the Children Netherlands
Irene has worked with nonprofits for over ten years dealing with education, law and advocacy, especially on gender and immigrant issues in different countries. She also has first-hand experience in post-conflict areas in the Middle East and Ex-Yugoslavian countries assisting local NGOs and gender focus programs regarding entrepreneurship and education. Originally from Spain, she studied in Paris and Madrid where she worked on youth empowerment programs with immigrants at risk and moved to the United States where she pursued her second Master’s degree in Non-profit Leadership from Seattle University. While in Seattle, she worked for the American Red Cross and was awarded their National Heroes Award for her assistance to refugees and projects related International Services. In the last three years she has worked as a specialist on youth economic empowerment first with CYFI as its Civil Society Coordinator and Gender Expert where she advised multiple leading organizations and Institutions worldwide. Nowadays, she is the senior expert and technical advisor for Save the Children assisting country offices to development and implement gender strategies and economic empowerment programs.
Kathryn Paik, Program Lead
Program Officer at the Women’s Refugee Commission
Kate manages the Women’s Refugee Commission’s program on developing agency and social capital amongst displaced adolescent girls, including promoting greater attention and support for quality and appropriate education and skills building programs targeting them. Her work includes developing short- and long-term strategic programs for the displaced adolescent girls initiative: overseeing and providing technical assistance to field based pilot projects and guiding the Women’s Refugee Commission’s response to emerging issues related to pre-employment readiness, skills-building, and livelihoods for displaced adolescent girls.
Christa Stewart, Networking Lead
Program Manager, Adolescent Girls Legal Defense Fund at Equality Now
Christa Stewart serves as the Program Manager for Equality Now’s Adolescent Girls Legal Defense Fund. She manages four staff in the Americas, Europe, MENA and Africa offices who are engaged in strategic litigation and advocacy on behalf of adolescent girls’ rights. Prior to joining Equality Now in 2015, she served as the Coordinator for the New York State Response to Human Trafficking Program overseeing six service providers, staffing the NYS Inter Agency Task Force on Human Trafficking, and working with newcomer communities. Before joining the state, she served as Director of Legal Services at The Door, a youth development agency in New York City. As Director, she managed a staff of nine handling all civil legal matters for youths ages 12 to 21. In 2001, Ms. Stewart co-founded and directed Safe Horizon’s Anti-Trafficking Initiative, providing coordinated services to trafficking victims and served as Administrative Director of the Sexual Assault and Child Advocacy Programs. Ms. Stewart had earlier served as legislative staff attorney for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where she was an Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Law Fellow during law school. She received her BA from Binghamton University and her JD from Brooklyn Law School. She has served on the Board of Trustees of WomenRising, a domestic violence organization, the Board of Queens Legal Services, and is currently on the Board of the Global Workers Justice Alliance.