NDI & NYWIFT Present: Representation Matters

National Democratic Institute & New York Women in Film & Television Present: 
Representation Matters: Ensuring Inclusive Leadership in Politics and the Media

Join NDI & NYWIFT for this incredible panel that will focus on addressing the power imbalances and gender gap in politics and the media caused by excluding and biased representation. These often male-dominated mechanisms – e.g. media production hiring practices and party candidate selection committees – mean that women are shut out of the storytelling and policymaking processes, therefore they are not in control of their own narrative and empowerment. A globally representative panel of political leaders, media experts and producers will be asked to discuss why representation matters, and provide examples of initiatives across the media and politics which promote a more diverse and intersectional environment.

Speakers include Sheila Nevins (Executive Producer at MTV Networks), Tanya Saracho (playwright and television writer), H.E Hanna Tetteh (UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union) and Birgitta Ohlsson (Director of Political Parties at the National Democratic Institute and former Swedish MP).

Introduction from Ambassador Kathryn Walt Hall.

Journalist Natasha Del Toro will moderate.

Date: Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Time: 9:00am EST (6:00am PST)


Please register at least 24 hours prior to the event.

IMPORTANT Registration Guidance:
Registering on Eventbrite has closed. But, we are accepting registration for the livestream on Facebook Live.




Sheila Nevins is currently serving as an Executive Producer at MTV Networks. She is the former President of HBO Documentary Films and Family Programming for Home Box Office. As an Executive Producer or Producer, she has received 32 Primetime Emmy® Awards, 35 News and Documentary Emmys® and 42 George Foster Peabody Awards. In her career to date she has been responsible for Programming that has won 26 Academy Awards®. She is the New York Times bestselling author of You Don’t Look Your Age… and Other Fairy TalesSheila holds a BA from Barnard College and an MFA from Yale University School of Drama in Directing.


Tanya Saracho is a playwright and television writer who most recently served as creator, showrunner, and executive producer of the critically-acclaimed series Vida on Starz, which earned 100% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes for its first, second and third seasons.  The show, which aired its third and final season on Starz in May 2020, featured all Latinx directors in season one, and all Latina directors in seasons two and three, including Saracho, who made her television directorial debut. Saracho recently signed an overall deal with Universal Content Productions (UCP), and is establishing a lab and incubator program aimed to nurture, amplify, guide, and empower intersectional Latinx voices.  Her television credits include How to Get Away with Murder, HBO’s Looking, and Devious Maids.

H.E Hanna Tetteh, is the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) a position she assumed in January 2019. Ms. Tetteh has Senior level government experience having served previously as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of the Republic of Ghana, a member of the National Security Council and the Armed Forces Council (Jan 2013-Jan 2017). From 2014-2015 she was concurrently the Chairperson of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers as well as Chairperson of the Mediation & Security Council. Prior to that she served as Minister for Trade and Industry (2009-2013), Member of the Economic Management Team, Chairperson of the Ghana Free Zones Board, Member of the National Development Planning Commission and Board Member of the Millennium Development Authority. She served as an MP in the Parliament of Ghana representing the Awutu Senya Constituency (2000-2005), and the Awutu Senya West Constituency (2013-2017). Ms. Tetteh was previously involved in high level mediation activities when she was appointed Co Facilitator in the High-Level Forum for the Revitalization of the Agreement for the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan (2017-2018). Earlier in her career she was a practicing lawyer with experience in Government, the private sector and private practice. Ms. Tetteh holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of Ghana, Legon, and thereafter completed two years of professional legal training at the Ghana School of Law, she was called to the Ghana Bar in October 1992.

Birgitta Ohlsson serves as the National Democratic Institute’s director of political parties. Born in 1975, she has over twenty years of experience as a leader at the national level in political parties, leadership, feminism, civil society and foreign policy She entered politics formally in 1999 when was elected president of Liberal Youth of Sweden. In 2002, she was elected for as a member of the Swedish Parliament, where she served until 2018, serving in numerous leadership roles, including in the Committee on Foreign Affairs and as her party´s spokesperson. Between 2010 and 2014, she was the Swedish Minister for European Affairs and Democracy issues, serving as a strong international voice on gender equality, democracy and LGBTI-rights. She has also been the President of the women´s wing of the Liberal Party (2007-2010) and founded an independent Feminist Network, Felira, in 2003. After leaving politics in 2018, Birgitta served as acommissioner in the Independent Commission on Sexual Misconduct, Accountability and Culture Change for Oxfam International that presented recommendations on creating a culture of zero tolerance for any kind of sexual harassment, abuse or exploitation in the aid culture. Since 2019 she serves as the chairperson for the foundation  Culture Without Borders which promotes cultural exchanges across national, religious, language and ethnicity boundaries. She also worked as a senior advisor at Prime Weber Shandwick. She published the feminist bestseller Good Girls Revolt in 2017 and the children´s book Live As You Like in 2020 about ten famous Swedish Women like Astrid Lindgren, Ingrid Bergman and Greta Thunberg. In 2017 Birgitta was awarded the National Order of the Legion of Honour (Ordre national de la Légio ‘honneur) by the French President Hollande. Birgitta Ohlsson earned her bachelor´s degree in political science at Stockholm University, and worked as a political editorial writer at Sweden´s leading daily morning paper Dagens Nyheter.

Kathryn Walt Hall is the proprietor of HALL Wines and WALT Wines, and has been involved in the California wine industry since her family first purchased a vineyard in the 1970’s. She is a New York Times Best Selling Author, A Perfect Score, and has had a distinguished career as a successful businesswoman, attorney, and community activist. From 1998 to 2001 she served as the United State Ambassador to Austria. Kathryn and her brother managed the family vineyard from 1982 to 1992, selling grapes to other wineries, as well as producing Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon under the label WALT Vineyards. Kathryn began her public career as assistant city attorney in Berkeley, California. Later, she joined Safeway Stores, where she was responsible for developing and administering one of the nation’s first and largest affirmative action programs. Subsequently, she worked as an attorney and businesswoman in Dallas, Texas, where she was president of an inner city development company and partner of Hall Financial Group, Inc. Long committed to social issues, Kathryn has served on numerous non-profit and institutional boards, addressing issues related to social care and mental health. She co-founded the North Texas Food Bank, served on the U.S. House of Representatives Hunger Advisory Committee, and was the director/vice president of the Texas Mental Health Association. Kathryn has served on the National Advisory Council for Violence Against Women and as a trustee of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. From 1998 to 2001, Kathryn served as the United States Ambassador to Austria. Since her return to America, she has resumed her role as proprietor of HALL Wines along with her husband Craig. Continuing upon her experience promoting American agriculture in Austria, in September 2001 she was appointed to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) for International Trade and to Texas One, promoting international investment in Texas. Kathryn serves on the Napa Legal Aid Board, the Board of Directors of Festival Napa, and is a Trustee of the Southwestern Medical Center. She is fluent in French and German, earned a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, a joint MBA from UC California, Berkeley & Columbia University and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. Together with her husband Craig, they have four children.

Natasha Del Toro (Moderator) is an award-winning journalist and host. She reported and produced investigative documentaries for Fusion’s Naked Truth, which became a popular docu-series on Netflix and was part of a consortium of journalists that won a Pulitzer for their reporting on the Panama Papers. She currently hosts PBS’s long-running America Reframed on World Channel and appears regularly as a correspondent on Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines, a current affairs documentary show, where she has reported on the Catholic sex abuse scandal, corrupt cops in Baltimore, and FEMA’s failed response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. A Fulbright scholar, she also anchored a news magazine on Facebook Watch called Mic Dispatch and worked for PBS’ Frontline World and Time.com, traveling across the U.S. with internationally acclaimed photographer Joakim Eskildsen to create a book and multimedia website on poverty in America called American Realities. That project led to an Emmy award-winning documentary by KQED and Center for Investigative Reporting called Hunger in the Valley Of Plenty. Born to Puerto Rican parents and raised in North Carolina, she is bilingual and proud of her southern and Latino roots.

March 24 @ 9:00am
9:00 am — 10:30 am (1h 30′)

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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.