Gail Straub

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Gail Straub

A visionary pioneer and activist in the field of empowerment, Gail Straub co-founded the Empowerment Institute in 1981. One of the world’s leading authorities on women’s empowerment, she co-founded IMAGINE: A Global Initiative for the Empowerment of Women to help women heal from violence, build strong lives, and contribute to their community. IMAGINE initiatives are currently under way throughout Africa, India, and the Middle East where they have impacted over half a million lives. 

Gail has been a consultant to many organizations furthering women’s empowerment including the Chinese Women’s Federation, Women for Women International, World Pulse, and the Omega Women’s Leadership Center. She has served in the Peace Corps in West Africa and on many boards including Omega Institute and the Russian American Initiative.

Taking her empowerment work global early in her career, Gail served as the co-founder for the First Earth Run, a historic planet wide initiative cosponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and ABC Television in 1986, during the height of the cold war. As a torch of peace was passed around the world, 25 million people in sixty-two countries participated and the relay garnered recognition from forty-five heads of state. The event raised millions of dollars for UNICEF that was distributed to the neediest children in the world.

Gail Straub is the author of seven books that have garnered multiple awards, including-- with her husband, David Gershon--the best-selling Empowerment, which has been translated into over 14 languages; the critically acclaimed The Rhythm of Compassion; her feminist memoir, Returning to My Mother’s House; and her love letter to her mountain valley, The Ashokan Way: Landscape’s Path into Consciousness. Gail’s white paper entitled The Missing Piece in the Empowerment Equation is considered a seminal contribution to the field of human agency. She has contributed to various anthologies on women’s empowerment including Enlightened Power: How Women Are Transforming The Practice of Leadership. She lives in the Hudson River Valley in New York.