The 2016 Girls Write Now Awards includes an amazing lineup of honorees: Jenni Konner, Janet Mock and John Osborn, with a seasoned news anchor, Alicia Menendez as our emcee. Get to know our speakers and make sure to purchase your tickets for the May 17 event!
Jenni Konner began her career as a writer on Judd Apatow’s celebrated television series, Undeclared. In 2012, she joined Lena Dunham as executive producer on HBO’s hit TV series, Girls, which follows the lives of four young women living in New York City. In 2014, Jenni and Lena co-founded A Casual Romance Production. Recently, Jenni and Lena established their own imprint at Random House where they will publish diverse, emerging voices in fiction and non-fiction.
Jenni and Lena also co-author the weekly feminist online newsletter and website LennyLetter.com. The project gives a platform to young female voices to discuss feminist issues, featuring political essays, personal stories, interviews, artwork, and an advice column from Dunham and Konner. The newsletter has seen essays from notable names including Jennifer Lawrence, Jane Fonda, and former Girls Write Now honoree Gloria Steinem.
Janet Mock is the New York Times bestselling author of Redefining Realness and the forthcoming Firsts: A Memoir of the Twenties Experience and the host of So POPular! — a weekly MSNBC digital series about culture. She is a sought-after speaker and the founder of #GirlsLikeUs, a social media project that empowers trans women.
Born in Hawaii, Janet’s story of growing up trans caught the nation’s attention in a 2011 Marie Claire article. Since then she’s become one of the most influential trans women and millennial leaders in media. TIME called her one of “12 new faces of black leadership” and one of “the most influential people on the Internet” while Fast Company named her one of 2015’s “most creative people in business.” Now, Janet finds herself on the other side of the story as a Contributing Editor for Marie Claire, a host for MSNBC, and correspondent for Entertainment Tonight.
John Osborn is President and Chief Executive Officer of BBDO New York, creators of the Barbie “Imagine the Possibilities” campaign. John has been in this role for twelve years – longer than any other New York agency head. Under John’s leadership, BBDO New York has more than doubled revenues, expanded its client base to include categories like btob, retail, healthcare and more, and diversified its workforce. The result: BBDO New York has been named an Agency of the Year 15 times by various media outlets, including in 2015.
Since John joined BBDO New York in 1991, he has demonstrated that he is an energetic, positive, and passionate leader with a proven ability to build strong client relationships and to lead big multi-disciplinary teams in the creation of powerful communication programs. He has been actively involved with many of the agency’s clients including FedEx, GE, J&J, Pfizer, CVS, Subway, Lowe’s, Mars, Visa and the American Red Cross, to name a few. He began his BBDO career on Pepsi and was the principal architect of the agency’s integrated marketing efforts, expanding the agency’s service offerings to include digital and social marketing, CRM, design and more. He was named President and CEO of the New York agency in February 2004.
Alicia Menendez is an anchor and special correspondent at Fusion (where she hosted Girls Write Now in her writer’s room!). Named “Broadcast Journalism’s New Gladiator” by Elle Magazine, and “Ms. Millennial” by The Washington Post, Alicia has emerged as one of the most influential voices of her generation. Most recently, Alicia co-moderated the Brown & Black Presidential Forum in Iowa, pressing the Democratic hopefuls on issues of importance to African-American and Hispanic communities. Alicia has also contributed reporting to ABC’s Nightline and World News, as well as ABC’s Emmy-nominated 2014 Election Night coverage, and shared her spirited take on current events on Good Morning America, This Week, and The View.
From 2014 through 2015, Alicia produced and hosted a one-hour primetime special, Generation in Crisis, for which she traveled to El Salvador, Jordan, and Rwanda to report on the international implications of a lost generation. Before joining Fusion, Alicia was an inaugural host and producer on the Internet-based video streaming network HuffPost Live.