Board of Directors
- Jenny Backus, Backus Consulting (Chair)
- Debra Chandler, TransAmerica Financial (Vice Chair)
- Gloria Terry, Texas Council on Family Violence (Treasurer)
- Ben Hammer, Hammer Strategies (Secretary)
- Victoria Boston, Discover You
- Karma Cottman, DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- Antigone Davis, Facebook
- Deborah DeBare, Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- David Diggs, CTIA–The Wireless Association
- Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever, Incite Unlimited
- Susan L. Lees, Allstate Insurance Company
- Janelle Moos, CAWS North Dakota
- Vanessa Timmons, Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
- Stephanie Valencia, Google
- Brian Jones, Black Rock Group
- Kim Gandy, NNEDV President and CEO
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.
Debra Chandler (Vice Chair): For the past 15 years, Debra has worked as an independent financial advisor with Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. Her experience includes nonprofit development and event management, political fundraising, real estate development and sales, and financial services. Debra has served as a grant reviewer for the United Way of the National Capital Area, Fairfax County, and as a development committee member for Chipping In to End Domestic Violence to benefit the Fairfax County Women’s Shelter. She is an alumna of Northwestern State University of Louisiana and Georgetown University’s Executive Development Program in Financial Planning and Real Estate Investing. She has lived in the Washington, DC area for nearly 30 years.
Gloria Terry (Treasurer): 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.
Ben Hammer (Secretary): 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.
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.
Deborah DeBare: Deborah DeBare has served as the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) since 1995. Prior to that, Ms. DeBare served for five years as the Executive Director of the Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County and for two years as the Policy and Information Associate for the Rhode Island Division of Mental Health and Community Services. Deborah received a Master’s degree from the Heller School at Brandeis University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University. She has served on the Board of Directors for the National Network to End Domestic Violence, Rhode Island Legal Services, the Rhode Island Emergency Food and Shelter Board, and numerous statewide task forces and committees to address violence against women.
David Diggs: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.
Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever: An accomplished writer, scholar, and public speaker, Jones-DeWeever, has devoted her entire professional life to advancing the socioeconomic well-being of women and communities of color. She is a highly respected authority on race, power, gender, inequality and author of numerous publications focused on women of African descent. She is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Virginia State University and holds a Ph.D. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Jones-DeWeever is the president and CEO of Incite Unlimited, a consulting firm devoted to moving ideas to effect action, and is host of the nationally-syndicated radio show Focus Point with Avis Jones-DeWeever, which examines the intersection of race, gender and politics. Prior to founding Incite, she was executive director of the National Council of Negro Women, and was Director of Poverty and Social Justice Programs at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
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.
Janelle Moos: 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).
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.
Stephanie Valencia: Strategic Partnerships & Outreach at Google. Stephanie Valencia is one of Washington, DC’s leading political strategists, having spent over ten years working on campaigns, in Congress and building coalitions and running issue campaigns from the the White House, Department of Commerce and now the private sector. Stephanie is currently at Google’s Washington, DC policy office, managing the companies strategic outreach and partnerships with third party advocacy groups and think tanks. She works on issues ranging from the transatlantic digital agenda and user privacy to patent reform and broadband access. Prior to serving at Google, Stephanie was Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary Penny Pritzker at the U.S. Department of Commerce. In her role, she oversaw all external engagement and strategic planning for the Secretary. She was a key player in the President’s trade agenda, playing a critical role in passing Trade Promotion Authority. Prior to joining the Commerce Department, Stephanie served for almost five years in the White House Office of Public Engagement, as Special Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy Director, overseeing critical engagement around the President’s top priorities such as immigration, Affordable Care Act implementation and confirmation of nominees. She served in the Office of Public Engagement from day one in 2009 where she originally handled outreach to the Hispanic community, immigration and housing. Before the Obama Administration, Stephanie served on the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team and was Deputy Latino Vote Director on the 2008 Obama campaign. Stephanie has also served as Press Secretary to United States Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO), serving as his spokesperson and media advisor. She also worked in the U.S. House of Representatives as Special Assistant and Press Secretary to the Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, Congressman John Larson (D-CT), and as Press Secretary to Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-CA).Stephanie started her career in the nation’s capital as a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Fellow for the U.S. Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, chaired by Senators Tom Dashcle (D-SD) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY). Stephanie, a graduate of Boston College, was born and raised in New Mexico. She and her husband Oscar live on Capitol Hill with their two dogs, Dug and Lucy.
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.