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Board of Directors

Biographies:

Jenny Backus (Chair): From Communications Director for Sen. Harry Reid and the Democratic National Committee to Assistant Secretary of HHS for Public Affairs, Jenny Backus has been a strategic communicator for over 20 years. As a consultant to political candidates, organizations like NARAL Pro Choice America, and the Obama transition team, she shaped both messaging and policy. As Senior Policy Advisor and Head of Strategic Outreach & Engagement at Google from 2012 to 2015, Jenny has been instrumental in strengthening NNEDV’s partnership with Google.

Gloria Terry (Vice Chair): Gloria Aguilera Terry joined the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) in January 2008 as President. In 2013, she was promoted to Chief Executive Officer. In her role as CEO, Gloria guides and directs the statewide activities of TCFV, such as the Texas Legislative Session, establishing and fostering statewide tactical partnerships, working with staff to provide outstanding services to programs and strategically positioning TCFV to create the influence necessary to continue serving the needs of victims and their families. Ms. Terry came to the Texas Council on Family Violence from El Paso, Texas where she served as Executive Director of the Center against Family Violence (CAFV). During her tenure at the CAFV, Gloria managed a significant border community domestic violence program with a $1.8 million dollar budget and a staff of fifty employees. Ms. Terry, a 2003 Leadership Texas graduate, holds a BBA from the University of Texas at El Paso and has extensive community service currently offering time to the Tarrant County Family Advocacy Steering Committee, Collaborative Council for the Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families with the Texas Supreme Court, VAWA Planning Committee with the Governor’s Office, National Leadership Committee with Center for Disease Control, and Diversity Committee of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

Janelle Moos (Secretary): Janelle Moos is the Executive Director for CAWS North Dakota, a statewide membership based non- profit organization dedicated to ending violence against women. She has been with CAWS North Dakota since 2002 and the Executive Director since 2008. Ms. Moos presently serves on a variety of state and national committees including the STOP Violence Against Women Advisory Committee, the ND Crime Victim Services Board, and is the current Co-Chair of the ND Domestic Violence Fatality Review Commission, the past Chair for the Program Committee of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) and a member of the Steering Committee of the Intimate Partner Violence Prevention Council. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and criminal justice from Minnesota State University at Moorhead and her Master’s degree in criminal justice from Minot State University (ND).

David Diggs (Treasurer): Since 2009, David Diggs has been Vice President of Wireless Internet Development for CTIA–The Wireless Association, responsible for working with industry stakeholders to accelerate the growth of the wireless data segment of the industry. Diggs began his tenure at CTIA in 1995 as the Vice President of Operations, and from 2000 to 2009 was Executive Director of The Wireless Foundation. Under his leadership, The Wireless Foundation was a significant supporter of NNEDV’s Safety Net Project. Prior to his time at CTIA, Diggs spent nearly 20 years serving in leadership positions at a variety of wireless companies.

Victoria Boston: Victoria Boston is the director of community relations for Discover You, a social justice non profit organization bringing arts and education to the under-served youth in Compton, Ca. Most recently, Boston was the customer service area vice president for Verizon Wireless, the largest wireless company in the United States. Prior to her recent retirement after 25 successful and fulfilling years, she was responsible for leading more than 5,000 customer service professionals located across eight company-owned and operated Customer Service contact centers in Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New York, North Carolina and South Carolina. Before her last assignment, she was director of retail stores for Verizon Wireless, where she led more than 800 professionals to drive profitable revenue growth and serve residential and small business customers in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC. Boston held several sales, marketing, project management, human resource, workforce development, large business and information services leadership positions across Verizon and its legacy companies over a 25-year span. In 2013, she received the prestigious CEO Leadership Excellence Award and in 2006 she received the Development Roundtable for Upward Mobility, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for her commitment to developing others. She has also received the Consortium of Information and Telecommunications Executives National Diversity Award, and was featured in Afro newspaper as one of its 2014 and 2007 Black History Award honorees. Boston earned an MBA in Marketing, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management, and an Executive Human Resources Graduate Certificate from Strayer University. She also received a Masters Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University and completed executive leadership classes at Columbia University in New York City. She currently serves on the board of directors for the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), headquartered in Washington, DC.

Karma Cottman: Karma joined the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCCADV), as Executive Director in 2010. As the membership agency for the twelve primary purpose domestic violence agencies in the District, DCCADV provides leadership to all sectors of the Washington, DC Community to respond effectively to the needs of domestic violence survivors and their children. The coalition works to strengthen city-wide domestic violence prevention and intervention efforts.

From 2000 through 2010, Karma was employed at the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV). As the Vice President of Policy and Emerging Issues, she directed the agency’s policy agenda as well as, supervised NNEDV’s state coalition and housing technical assistance projects. She worked closely with national policy partners to strengthen federal legislation to effectively respond to the needs of all domestic violence survivors. Ms. Cottman also worked with federal agencies to enhance violence against women programming. She provided training and technical assistance to state and territorial domestic violence and dual domestic violence and sexual assault coalitions across the nation.

Since 1994, Karma, who is a Washington D.C. native, has worked with numerous national partners to address emerging issues in domestic violence service provision and sits on several national committees. Prior to joining NNEDV, Karma served as the co-director of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence Rural Diversity Initiative. In this capacity, she assisted with the development of a community assessment tool used to identify service gaps in numerous local Florida communities. Karma currently serves on the steering committee of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African Community and the Policy Partnership for Communities of Color.

Antigone Davis: Antigone Davis has served as Facebook’s Head of Global Safety Policy since 2014. She participated in a panel on technology safety during the 3rd World Conference of Women’s Shelters held in The Hague in 2015. Antigone has been instrumental in strengthening NNEDV’s partnership with Facebook.

Ben Hammer: Ben Hammer, Hammer Strategies, is a communications and public affairs strategist who works with executives throughout the media & technology industries to help them tell their stories, advocate for policy positions, find consensus with coalition partners, and plan for major strategic events. Ben is a former vice president of strategic communications for The Glover Park Group, and was a business reporter in NY and DC who wrote for wire services, magazines, and specialty subscription outlets. He focuses on coalition formation and management, M&A and foreign investments under government review, complex litigation and antitrust cases, and international business.

Susan Higginbotham: Susan Higginbotham is executive director of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) and has more than 30 years of experience in addressing mission-related issues including domestic violence, reproductive and sexual health, HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ health. Susan previously served as executive director of the Society of Family Planning (SFP) based in Philadelphia; president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Chester County; and executive director of the AIDS Fund. Before relocating to Pennsylvania, Higginbotham worked as executive director of a community-based domestic violence center in South Carolina before going on to lead the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVSA) as executive director. Susan received her BA in psychology and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her Master’s degree in Counselor Education and Psychology from North Carolina State University.

Sarah Holland: Sarah Holland is the U.S. public policy lead for Google’s strategy and programs on youth and technology. Prior to joining Google, she served as Legislative Assistant and senior advisor to Senator Mark Pryor on online safety, communications and technology, foreign policy, and education issues. In Spring 2018, Sarah received a project-based fellowship on artificial intelligence and its governance at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society & MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, MA.  Sarah received a B.A. from the University of Arkansas and an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University, and also studied at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. She is the immediate past board chair of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) Board of Directors.

Brian Jones: A Partner with the Black Rock Group (BRG), Brian Jones has a proven track record of creating and managing winning public affairs and public relations campaigns for some of the country’s most innovative companies, top-tier associations and coalitions along with national political candidates. In addition, Brian has worked for and with a number of national and local non-profit organizations over the past 20 years. Much of Brian’s work in recent years has been focused around a number of tech policy issues including electronic communications privacy, balance copyright, self-driving vehicles and protecting children online. Brian also worked closely with the non-profit Right for Girls, helping to see the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act signed into law. Brian has been extremely active in the world of electoral politics serving in senior roles for the presidential campaigns of Chris Christie, Mitt Romney, John McCain and George W. Bush. In 2011, Brian was named one of the “top free-agent GOP operatives” by the Washington Post. From 2004 to 2007, Brian worked as the Communications Director at the Republican National Committee. While overseeing a staff of 30 at the RNC, the National Journal wrote that Jones is “one of the best managers in the GOP communications business,” and former RNC Chairman, Ken Mehlman, noted that Jones has, “fantastic judgement, the respect of the press, good management skills, creativity and a commitment to excellent.” Brian earned his MA from the University of Washington in Seattle and BA from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He lives in Alexandria, CA with his wife, Emily, and their two children. Locally, Brian provides pro-bono communications assistance for Volunteer Alexandria, coaches youth basketball, and serves as a deacon at Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Susan L. Lees: Susan L. Lees is executive vice president and general counsel of Allstate Insurance Company. She leads the legal team to guide Allstate’s business strategy, ensure sound compliance of government practices, and foster a healthy legal, legislative and regulatory environment. Lees joined Allstate in 1988 and has held a variety of leadership positions while successfully directing several key initiatives for the corporation, most notably during her previous role as senior vice president and deputy general counsel for Allstate Financial. During her extensive tenure at Allstate, Lees led a multitude of complex initiatives, including mergers and acquisitions such as the company’s purchase of American Heritage Life Insurance Company. As the leader of the corporate law division of Allstate’s law and regulation department, Lees gained extensive experience working with a number of business areas throughout the corporation. Earlier in her career, Lees built a foundation for business acumen through professional sales roles at Celanese Fibers Marketing Company and Exxon Chemical. Lees holds an A.B. degree in political science from Brown University and a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Law. She has been a champion of key societal issues and has served as a member of Allstate’s Enterprise Diversity Council. Lees also is president of the board of directors for the Riverside Foundation, a nonprofit organization offering life enrichment opportunities to adults with developmental disabilities. In addition, Lees serves on the Boards of the Rand Institute for Civil Justice, Institute for Legal Reform and the Association of Life Insurance Counsel.

Vanessa Timmons: Executive Director of the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (OCASDV), Timmons has been a writer, activist, and women’s health advocate for over 25 years. She attended Marylhurst University’s Multidisciplinary Studies Program in Portland, Oregon, and has continued her formal education through certificates and training, including the Interpersonal Neurobiology of Trauma Certification Program at Portland State University. Timmons has served as the Director of Programs at Raphael House of Portland, a Northwest regional field organizer for the National Organization for Women, and the domestic violence program coordinator for the Multnomah County Domestic Violence Coordination Office, in addition to serving OCADSV in the past as the Women of Color Coordinator and Board Chair.

Kim A. Gandy: Kim A. Gandy currently serves as the president and CEO of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. From her years as a young activist in her native Louisiana, to her work prosecuting violent offenders, to her energetic participation in the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 1994, and its reauthorization in 2000 and 2005, Kim has remained profoundly committed to ensuring that women have the opportunity to lead healthy lives in safety and prosperity. Her long career in advocacy, legislative reform and coalition-building includes areas such as violence against women, family law, workplace fairness, poverty and economic issues, and social security. In addition to volunteering at a local shelter, Kim was a founder and director of the New Orleans Metropolitan Battered Women’s Program. She served as an Assistant District Attorney in Orleans Parish, during which time she gained particular insight into the systemic challenges facing survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. In addition to serving domestic violence survivors pro bono in private practice, Kim wrote state legislation addressing women’s concerns, including Louisiana’s first Domestic Abuse Assistance Act in 1983. On the national level, Kim worked closely with then-Senator Joe Biden and then-Congresswoman Barbara Boxer on the passage and funding of VAWA, and helped organize 200,000 people to rally in Washington the following year in a call for the release of VAWA funding, and with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney for passage and funding of the 2004 Debbie Smith Act, a law that supports the prosecution of criminal offenders and which expanded VAWA legal assistance to include survivors of dating violence. Kim has also worked extensively toward expanded protections from violence for women, including women in the workplace.

Prior to joining NNEDV, Kim was Vice President of and General Counsel of the Feminist Majority and the Feminist Majority Foundation, where she led their successful campaign to modernize the FBI Uniform Crime Report definition of rape. She spent 22 years as a top leader of the National Organization for Women (NOW), first as National Secretary, then Executive Vice President and finally, President. Kim served on the legislative drafting committees for the Civil Rights Act of 1991 and the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, and during her work with both organizations was a guiding force in many landmark cases and legislative gains, such as the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. A widely sought-after media commentator, Kim has participated in more than 400 major media interviews with news organizations such as TIME, Newsweek CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and NPR, and has appeared on programs including “The Colbert Report,” “Oprah” and “The O’Reilly Factor.” Kim is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University with Bachelor of Science degrees in mathematics and education and holds a Juris doctorate degree from Loyola University School of Law.