Meet the Changemakers
Co-Founder and Managing Director
Gerda is passionate about women’s rights and gendered development. In her early twenties, she dropped out of university to join Women's Information Centre, a local NGO working on women’s rights and development in the post-conflict country of Georgia. One of the biggest takeaways of her experience was the challenges of modern-day colonialism in the development aid space.
Eager to explore how development aid and financing could be done differently, Gerda has focused her career on building and scaling CSR efforts, organizations, and philanthropic foundations. From her on-the-ground experience in Georgia to working as the Deputy Executive Director at UN Women Sweden, Gerda brings strategic knowledge and expertise on both development work internationally as well as regionally in Sweden.
"It's an incredible journey that we have embarked upon. I'm grateful to have co-founded The Case For Her with Wendy and Cristina, two of the most inspiring people I have met. As system entrepreneurs, we arrange convenings and support and fund otherwise ignored or overseen areas of women's health."
Beyond her work at The Case for Her Gerda is the Chair of the Mitt Alby foundation, Chair of 1325 Policy Group, on the board of East African e-commerce company Kasha, and on the jury for the feminist film prize The Anna Award.
Gerda has a BA in Urban and Regional Planning and a Masters in Development Politics from Stockholm University.
Cristina has dedicated herself to improving the lives of women and girls. Her focus on menstrual health and other underfunded areas of women's health is owing to the education, health, water, sanitation, and gender equality aspects women's health cuts across. Cristina believes that without funding these areas, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are unreachable.
Cristina's dedication to the subject was inspired by Bill Gates, who, in a commencement speech in 2007, asked: "Should our best minds be dedicated to our biggest problems? Should the world’s most privileged people worry about the lives of the world’s least privileged? Don’t let complexity stop you. Be activists. Take on big inequities. It will be one of the greatest experiences of your life."
Cristina has a background working in the biotech industry for Baxter International and, following an MBA, worked in the management consulting industry. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Tufts University, a Masters in Biotechnology from Northwestern and an MBA from The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
In 2010, Cristina launched Giving Wings in Stockholm, Sweden. The foundation’s work is focused on women's and girl’s education and healthcare with a specialization in East Africa and Southeast Asia. She is one of the founding members of Maverick Collective, a global community of strategic philanthropists and informed advocates created by PSI in partnership with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Cristina is also a board member of AFRIpads in Uganda and Acumen.
Beyond her work as a women’s health advocate, Cristina is a founding partner at Influence Film, supporting the production of feature-length documentary films and growing new audiences for them through Influence Film Club.
Wendy’s focus is on strategic philanthropy: in investing and engaging with an entire ecosystem to learn from its gaps and overlaps, in building and nurturing networks and supporting local leadership, and in convening meetings and events. Wendy believes that The Case For Her must actively engage with its partners and provide resources to help ensure success. "Effective giving requires doing homework. And it’s much more fun with teamwork."
In addition to her work with The Case for Her, Wendy is Chair of Futura Foundations, Social Initiatives, a Swedish foundation with interests in both environmental ventures and in the leadership, education, and health of women and girls. Wendy is an active board member of Be Girl and Women Moving Millions and is on the advisory board of Saral Designs.
Lindsey is passionate about projects that promote gender equality and environmental stewardship. A Geographer by training, Lindsey has a PhD in Physical Geography from Stockholm University where her work focused on freshwater issues in East Africa. Prior to that, Lindsey received a Masters in Geography from The Ohio State University where she studied climatology.
A long time advocate of open and honest discussions around sexual health and wellness, Lindsey has previously worked for Planned Parenthood as a peer educator.
In addition to her work with The Case for Her, Lindsey is an active volunteer with Pink Programming—a nonprofit organization promoting computer programming in female and transgender communities.