A. Michelle Smalls, Chair
Michelle is an Information Technology (IT) Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton who previously served in the U.S. Army for 20 years as a Signal Corps (Communications) Officer. Her areas of expertise include systems analysis, strategy development, change management, and leadership. Michelle is a member of Women in Technology (WIT), a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to advance women in technology from the classroom to the boardroom by providing advocacy, leadership development, networking, mentoring, and technology education; she serves on WIT’s Strategic Alliances Committee. Michelle is also a member of the Top Ladies of Distinction (TLOD), Inc., a 501(c)(3) professional humanitarian organization with 110 local chapters (and growing) throughout the U.S. focused on community service and mentoring teens; she currently serves as the National Chair for Strategic Planning. She has been active in her Homeowners Association (HOA) and served on the Board of Directors from 2008 to 2011. Michelle earned a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree from Georgetown University and a Master of Education (Ed.M.) degree from Boston University. Certifications she holds include: Project Management Professional (PMP); IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) V3 Foundation; and Change Management Advanced Practitioner (CMAP).
Jennifer Hogg, Vice Chair and Secretary
Jennifer is a Co-Founder of Service Women’s Action Network as well as current Vice Chair and Secretary of the Board of Directors. She served five years in the New York Army National Guard (NYARNG) as a 63Y Track Mechanic and left in 2005 at the rank of Sergeant. Jennifer also participated in the 9/11 activation as part of the NYARNG. She received a B.A. in Philosophy from Hunter College of The City University of New York in May 2009 and a J.D. from The City University of New York School of Law in May 2012.
James Benedict, Treasurer
James has been a partner in a private equity firm, a venture capitalist, and an entrepreneur. He has a passion for bringing people together in novel and synergistic ways to drive value for mission-oriented enterprises. James is currently a Principal with Kidd & Company, a middle-market private equity firm. He joined Kidd from Spencer Trask, an early-stage venture capital firm, where he served as Senior Managing Director & Chief Talent Officer. Prior to Spencer Trask, James was Managing Director and Co-Head of the E-Commerce and Technology Practice for the Diversified Search Companies. He joined the Diversified Search Companies via Diversified’s acquisition of RLM Associates, a boutique high technology executive search firm that he co-founded. James is a member of the Cerego, Acupera & Long Island Plastic Surgery Group Advisory Boards. James is a member of the Young Audiences Board of Directors where he is on the Executive Committee, Chairs the Advocacy Committee and is a Member of the Nominating Committee. He is also an advisor to Dr. Bob Bollinger of the Johns Hopkins Medicine Center for Continuing Global Health Education. James has a Ph.D. in International Economics from Columbia University and a B.A. from Baylor University. James received a Certificate on Monetary and Fiscal Policy from the Japanese Ministry of Finance, and has consulted to the World Bank and Japanese Ministry of Finance.
Frank M. Ochberg, M.D.
Frank Ochberg, M.D., served in uniform during the Vietnam era and advises several nonprofit veterans organizations.He is a founding board member of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and recipient of their highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award. He edited the first text on treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, and served on the committee that defined PTSD. He was Associate Director of the National Institute of Mental Health and Director of the Michigan Mental Health Department. At Michigan State University, he is clinical professor of psychiatry, formerly adjunct professor of criminal justice, and adjunct professor of journalism. Ochberg developed, with colleagues, the Academy for Critical Incident Analysis at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Gift From Within (a nonprofit for persons with PTSD), and the Committee for Community Awareness and Protection (responding to serial-killer threats). For the latter activity, he is the first physician to receive the Law Enforcement Medal of the Sons of the American Revolution. Ochberg founded the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, served as its first chairman and now helps journalists understand traumatic stress and traumatic stress experts understand journalists. He represents The Ochberg Society for Trauma and Journalism (formerly known as The Dart Society and renamed in his honor in 2013) and directs their support of victimization programs around the world.
Shelby Knox is nationally known as the subject of the Sundance award-winning film, The Education of Shelby Knox, a 2005 documentary chronicling her teenage activism for comprehensive sex education and gay rights in her Southern Baptist community. She has appeared on Today, the Daily Show, Hardball, and sat down with both Dr. Phil and Al Franken to discuss sex education and youth activism. Shelby travels across the country as an itinerant feminist organizer, doing trainings, workshops and civil disobedience in the name of reproductive justice and sexual health. She is currently the Director of Women’s Rights Organizing at change.org. Shelby lives in New York City, where she is working on a book about the next generation of feminist activism and plotting the revolution via Twitter, handle @ShelbyKnox.
Anu Bhagwati, Executive Director
Anu is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Service Women’s Action Network. A former Captain and Company Commander, Anu served as a Marine officer from 1999-2004 and was the second woman to complete the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor trainer school, earning a black belt in close combat techniques. Under Anu’s leadership, SWAN has spearheaded national policy reform, legislation and litigation to end military rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment and to eliminate all barriers to equal opportunity for service women. Anu has testified numerous times before Congress, advised the White House and the United Nations, and has spoken to countless audiences on challenges faced by military women, including access to combat assignments, military sexual violence, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, reproductive justice, and the VA health care and benefits system. A regular contributor to the media, Anu has been featured on Piers Morgan Tonight, The Situation Room, Fox News, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Time and Newsweek, and is also featured in the Academy Award-nominated documentary The Invisible War. Her original work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Journal, Foreign Affairs and The Huffington Post. Anu founded and still teaches free weekly yoga classes to veterans in New York City. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Yale University and a Master’s in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where she focused on international human rights policy. Anu is a 2010 Petra Fellow and the recipient of the 2012 Legacy Award at the Working Mother Multicultural Women’s National Conference.