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Honorable Jennifer Maurine Seelig, UT | Chair

Seelig is an active member of the WAND board to create tangible safety and security for individuals, families, communities, and nations; promote transparency and accountability in our government; and facilitate equitable opportunities for women to lead. She served in the Utah House of Representatives from 2006 through 2014 and was elected the House Minority Whip in 2010. In 2012, she was elected as the first woman House Minority Leader by the Utah House Democratic Caucus. She has an extensive career in municipal government policy, budget, and constituent affairs, over a decade of experience in private sector nationwide government relations responsibilities and university teaching, research, and community partnerships. She holds a BA in English from the University of Louisville and an MPA and PhD in Political Science from the University of Utah.

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Honorable Ana Sol Gutiérrez, MD | Vice-Chair

Delegate Ana Sol Gutiérrez has represented District 18 in the Maryland House of Delegates since 2002, when she made history as the first Latina elected to the Maryland General Assembly. Gutiérrez was born in El Salvador and attended Pennsylvania State University, garnering a B.S. in chemistry, followed by an M.S. in technology of management, scientific & technical information systems from American University. She did her postgraduate studies in applied engineering at George Washington University; and executive management at The Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She currently sits on the House Appropriations Committee, the Joint Committee for Children, Youth and Families, and was the founder of the New American Caucus. She is also the co-chair of the Maryland Democratic Latino Caucus.

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Honorable Pan Godchaux, FL

Pan has served as a WAND board member since she was elected to the Michigan Legislature in 1996 because WAND ensures women state legislators are at the table in national discussions of peace and security. After serving for twenty years either on school boards or appropriation committees in the Michigan legislature, Pan signed up for a second tour in the Peace Corps in the former Soviet Republic of Moldova. She was a founder of the Institute for Local Government at the University of Michigan Dearborn and holds degrees from American University and Wayne State University. She taught little kids and practiced both print and broadcast journalism. When not traveling she can be found in Florida volunteering as an English teacher for immigrants or in a preschool for newly arrived young Latinx families.

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Jill Steger Rush, OK | Secretary/Treasurer

Jill Rush is a therapist with a therapeutic foster care agency working with abused and neglected children. She is president of the Mayfair Hills Neighborhood Association seeking to revitalize and connect urban neighborhoods in Oklahoma City, and she is active with the National Association of Social Workers. She participates in community organizing with VOICE in Oklahoma City for Medicaid expansion. Jill managed a 2014 city council race in Norman, OK and worked for Barack Obama in Michigan as part of Obama for America in 2008. Jill is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma School of Social Work.

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Kelli Hunnicutt, NC

Hunnicutt was initially drawn to this work because of the U.S. response to the 9/11 terrorist attack and my religious conviction that war is not the answer. As a mother of young children and a person of faith, she was horrified by the rush to war against a country that had nothing to do with the attack. She firmly believes that there are better answers than war. Hunnicutt believes that having more women engaged in policy making leads to the true security that comes from equality and justice for all in the form of accessible healthcare, education, equal opportunity and access to resources.  Hunnicutt is the Vice President of her neighborhood democratic precinct. She is an artist, a stay at home mother, and peace activist. She currently owns my own small business designing and making decorative pillows. Hunnicutt served as an Atlanta WAND board member from 2002-2005 and National WAND Board Member from 2015 to the present. She was the recipient of the Janice Kelley award in 2017. She earned a BFA in Studio Art from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Joni Jenkins

State Representative Joni Jenkins, KY

Representative Joni Jenkins, a WiLL state director, has represented the Kentucky 44th House District since 1995. She was recently appointed by the Speaker of the House to chair a special task force on the Foreclosure Crisis in Kentucky.  Her history of legislation reflects her concerns for the safety of women and children, from the establishment of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (S.A.N.E.) program to workplace safety to legislation to strengthen the Sex Offender Registry. Additionally, Rep. Jenkins has passed legislation dealing with elder abuse, high school athlete safety and alternative education reform. She works at the Jefferson Community and Technical College with at-risk students.

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State Senator Charleta Tavares, OH | Chair

Charleta is engaged in this work to promote peace, safety and security of women, children and families against violence and terrorism both foreign and domestic and reconciliation with women in a seat at the table. Tavares served as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives from 1993 to 1998 as Minority Whip and as Vice-chair of the Elections and Townships Committee; was on the Columbus City Council from 1999 to 2010, Chair of the Health, Human Development and Housing Committees; and in the Ohio State Senate from 2011 to 2018, as Vice-chair, Finance Medicaid Subcommittee, Ranking Member, Health and Human Services Committee and Assistant Minority Leader. Tavares has held many roles throughout her career: Chief, Children’s Protection Section, Ohio Attorney General’s Office; Executive Director Multiethnic Advocates for Cultural Competence (2006-2014); and currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of PrimaryOne Health a $43+ million Community Health Center serving 48,000+ patients at 12 sites in Central Ohio. Tavares has been involved with WAND since 1994. She has served as the WAND Education Fund Board chair since 2006. Tavares serves on many Boards in the health and non-profit fields. Tavares attended Spelman College (Atlanta, Ga.) and the Ohio State University.

Betsy Rivard

Betsy Rivard, GA | Vice Chair

Betsy has been active in Atlanta WAND for more than 16 years, serving on the board for at least eight years. Her chemistry background and Oak Ridge, TN past (her father worked for the Atomic Energy Commission) made her concerned about the nuclear issue (weapons and power). Betsy also serves on the boards of the UN Association of the USA, Nuke Watch South, Georgians for Gun Safety, and the Chattooga Conservatory.

Edie Allen

Edith Allen, MA | Secretary

Edie Allen has been active with WAND for many years as a volunteer, board member and donor.  She is president of the Colombe Foundation, which supports organizations working to create a more peaceful world through changes in American policy, and was a long-time board member of the Ploughshares Fund.  She is also co-president of the Clever Hand Gallery, an artisans’ cooperative in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

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Brenda Gray, PhD, MPH, WI

Gray serves on WANDs board because, as a public health practitioner and academic, she understands the intersectionality of women in leadership, peace, and security. She was the Director of Public Health, Waco-McLennan, Texas from 2019 to 2020, the System Director/Principal Investigator, Program Office Area Health Education Center from 2017 to 2019, and the Executive Director, Milwaukee Area Health Education Center from 2011 to 2016. Gray has been involved with WAND since 2013. She has also served on the Wisconsin AHEC State Board, from 2011 to 2019, the National AHEC Organization (NAO) as Editorial Committee Chair in 2014, Community Care, Inc. from 2012 to 2018, and Life-Course Initiative for Healthy Families (LIHF), Policy & Healthcare Access Committee from 2014 to 2018. She earned a PhD in Administration from Jackson State University, a Master of Public Health from University of Alabama-Birmingham and Bachelor of Science in Biology from Tougaloo College.

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Sayre Sheldon, MA

A founding member of WAND and president emerita of the national WAND board, Sayre has been a long-time political and social activist. She was a college professor of literature and an author of several plays and articles about women's issues and peace issues. She edited the anthology Her War Story: 20th Century Women Write About War, published in 1999 by Southern Illinois University Press. She is writing another book of poems and serving on several other boards for peace and climate in Cambridge, MA.

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