OUR TEAM

Jennifer Iannolo (ya-KNOW-low)

Founder & CEO

Whether sharing her insights at the United Nations, Harvard, or around the world on behalf of the U.S. State Department, Jennifer is a global empowerment catalyst. She is a lifelong entrepreneur and digital pioneer, and released her empowerment manifesto, No One is Coming, in late 2018.

In 2015, Jennifer launched The Concordia Project to explore a global conversation of inclusive empowerment. In 2019 the project evolved into IMPERIA, a global resource for women’s leadership development, including an innovation incubator to gather high-potential women from every country on Earth to collaborate and support one another.

As a pioneer in digital content, Jennifer co-created Culinary Media Network® — the world’s first all-food podcast channel — in 2006. She’s been featured in media from television to Bloomberg Businessweek, to a New York Times bestseller, and the documentary Eat. Cook. Love.

While an undergraduate at NYU’s Stern School of Business, she built her second company and chaired a conference on social entrepreneurship (before it was an official major or buzzword). Today she collaborates with leaders in social impact, including UN Women and 1M1B, and often speaks about social initiatives at her alma mater, the NYU Stern School of Business. Jennifer lives in New York City, but considers the globe her home.

For more information about Jennifer’s speaking engagements, or to book her as a speaker, please contact us directly.

MICHELLE ZAYLAR (ZY-lar)

DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL PROGRAMMING

With a background in cognitive training and leadership development, Michelle is a multifaceted resource for empowerment. She is an experienced coach who has trained diverse individuals and groups to elevate their performance by disrupting old patterns of thought and behavior to transcend their perceived limitations.

Prior to joining IMPERIA, Michelle managed member experience and staff engagement at the National Society of Leadership and Success, the largest collegiate leadership organization in the US. Michelle was also certified in 2012 to administer the WJIII cognitive assessment and LearningRX cognitive training for students and adults with developmental and learning disorders.

Michelle is certified to lead Self-Offense training, a global program created in 2003 combining Laban movement analysis and practical tools for awareness to empower individuals in the prevention of sexual assault. In 2018, she co-founded the OurSpace Retreat and Peace Amazon organization, a holistic experience for new teachers to be trained and thrive in leading Self-Offense.

LISA PETRO (PEE-tro)

DIRECTOR OF CURRICULUM

Lisa Petro is an international educator, speaker and curriculum development expert. With a deep understanding of how people learn optimally despite various cultures and backgrounds, Lisa co-founded Know My World LLC, a global education organization that has connected participants in over 24 countries. As the organization’s Executive Director, Lisa has created a variety of programs that focus on the human condition as a component of learning through project-based structures and intercultural competencies. Know My World’s projects have been featured in learning communities including the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the State University of New York, Preparatorias del Tecnologico de Monterrey ITESM, and numerous public and private schools around the world.

Lisa’s passion for motivating students inspired her to live abroad and research various methods of teaching, cultural and socioeconomic learning gaps, and the impact of learning in homo- and heterogeneous societies. She was selected to participate as an ELA educator and cultural ambassador through the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program, a highly-competitive program through the Japanese Ministry of Education that selects only 4,000 participants from 40 countries each year. During her time in Japan, she served as the Curriculum Development Director for Everest of Apples, a local organization dedicated to providing quality educational practices to developing countries. Lisa was invited by Nepali Education Support Trust (NGO) to design and implement teacher training workshops to government and private school teachers in Hetauda, Nepal.

Lisa has participated in discussions at the prestigious Garrison Institute, and presented keynotes and workshops at several major international conferences including the East Asia Regional Conference of Overseas Schools (EARCOS) in Shanghai, China, and Bangkok, Thailand, IV Congreso de Preparatoria, Preparatorias del Tecnólogico de Monterrey, ITESM in Guadalajara, Mexico, SUNY Collaborative Online Intercultural Learning Conference in New York and SUNY New Paltz Multicultural Education Conference. As a curriculum development consultant, Lisa has developed programming and facilitator training workshops for organizations internationally, including programs in Mexico and Palestine.

ABEER PAMUK (pa-MOOK)

INTERN: INNOVATION INCUBATOR

Abeer is an experienced communications professional with a focus in creating human-interest content for fundraising and program development in vulnerable regions.

A native of Aleppo, Syria, she worked on the frontlines of the Syrian war to create communications packages to support the fundraising efforts for SOS Children’s Villages. She went into the field to document the impact of their programs by interviewing beneficiaries and capturing their stories.

She also worked as a Crisis and Emergency Communications Advisor in the regional office of SOS in Casablanca, Morocco. There, she created guidelines and strategies that aim to improve the quality of communications for offices across 8 countries.

In 2017 Abeer was selected to be a fellow with Atlas Corps, a fellowship program for social change leaders in the United States. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in Peace Studies at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

ADVISORS

MONIQUE AIKEN

VP OF PROGRAMS, MISSION INVESTORS EXCHANGE

Monique Aiken is the Vice President of Programs at Mission Investors Exchange, where she delivers programming that leverages the innovation, experience, and talent within and beyond the exchange’s vibrant network.

Prior to joining Mission Investors Exchange, Monique was a Director at Tideline, a consulting firm providing tailored advice to clients developing impact investment strategies, products and solutions. Before that, she was Project Manager at the Clinton Foundation for No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project, a women’s empowerment initiative led by Secretary Clinton. Before that, she served as Business Development Manager for the Clinton Global Initiative. Previously, Monique was a VP in the Commodity Derivatives Sales group at Deutsche Bank where she managed client relationships with Oil and Gas (E&P), Utility, and Consumer Products companies in both the United States and Latin America.

Before earning an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business, where she majored in Financial Instruments and Markets, Monique worked for Citigroup in both the US and European Debt Capital Markets groups. She began her career as an Analyst at Bank of America in the Credit Products group after graduating with a BSc in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Monique is literate and conversational in both Spanish and Portuguese. She serves as Secretary of the Board for 200 Orphanages Worldwide, a non-profit that supports efforts to build safe shelter for vulnerable children. An advanced beginner tenor saxophone player, Monique also enjoys running, pilates, and salsa dancing, though she does none of the above as often as she should.

JEFF HOFFMAN

FOUNDER OF PRICELINE.COM

Jeff Hoffman is a successful entrepreneur, proven CEO, worldwide motivational speaker, published author, Hollywood film producer, a producer of a Grammy-winning jazz album, and executive producer of an Emmy Award winning TV show. He has been the founder of multiple startups, has been the CEO of both public and private companies, and has served as a senior executive in many capacities. Jeff has been part of a number of well-known companies, including Priceline.com. uBid.com, ColorJar, and more.

Jeff serves on the boards of companies in the US, Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia, supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses in more than 150 countries. He also serves on the boards of Global Entrepreneurship Week and The Unreasonable Group. He supports the White House, the US State Department, the United Nations, and foreign governments on economic growth initiatives and entrepreneurship.

Jeff is a frequent keynote speaker, having been invited to speak in over 50 countries, on the topics of innovation, entrepreneurship, and business leadership. He is the co-author of the book SCALE, a how-to guide for growing your business. Jeff also teaches innovation workshops to major corporations on a regular basis. Jeff is a featured business expert seen on Fox News, Fox Business, CNN, CNN International, Bloomberg News, CNBC, ABC, and NPR, and in publications including Forbes, Inc., Time, Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, and more.

Jeff received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the national CEO council for his contributions to the field of entrepreneurship, and he received the Champion of Entrepreneurship Award from JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, and Rising Tide Capital, as well as receiving the George Brown Award for International Cooperation.

Outside of the world of technology, Jeff has produced movies, has produced musical events including concerts, tours, and charity events with such artists as Elton John, Britney Spears, NSYNC, and others, and serves on numerous charity and non-profit boards.

DONYA NASSER

Donya Nasser recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from St. John’s University where she studied Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies as an Honors student and McNair Scholar. She is passionate about advocating for gender equality and reproductive justice on both a domestic and international level; empowering women, youth, and minorities to become civically engaged and run for office, and contributing to Middle East policy while combating stigmas and stereotypes. She has interned for the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, the Wilson Center’s Middle East Program, and the Brennan Center for Justice.

Donya served as the 2015-2016 U.S. Youth Observer to the United Nations and a Truman-Albright Fellow at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She is currently the youngest Board Director of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund Board. She is a 2016 Humanity in Action Fellow, 2015 TRIALS Scholar, and 2014 PPIA Fellow. She has previously served as a member of the Advocates for Youth Young Women of Color Leadership Council, the President of the College Democrats of New York, and  AAUW Youth Representative to the United Nations. A Truman Scholar, she intends to pursue a joint degree and prepare herself for a career in public service and foreign affairs so to be in a position to better serve women and underrepresented communities across the country and the world. She has supported these marginalized groups through her academic successes, leadership advancements, and social media opportunities.

Donya believes in the power of galvanizing younger generations, who embody the potential of our future to secure equality and justice for all. She is a 2016 Bustle Upstart Award Honoree, 2015 recipient of the WIN Young Women of Achievement Award in Service/Nonprofit Advocacy, and a 2014 Glamour Magazine Top 10 College Woman and L’Oréal College Woman of Worth. She has been featured on ABC, Al-Hurra, Al Jazeera, the Huffington Post, the L.A. Times, MSNBC, and Voice of America. She was named one of CDS’ 2016 “30 Under 30 Leaders of Tomorrow” and Persian Tech Entrepreneurs and Forbes’ “100 Most Influential Persian Entrepreneurs and Innovators of 2015”. She has been a speaker for the Iranian American Women Foundation, the International Association for Volunteer Effort, AYUDH, the United Nations, and many more conferences. Donya is currently attending SOAS, University of London as a recipient of both the John Loiello and Kamran Djam Scholarships to earn an MA in Iranian Studies.