Executive Staff


Judy Patterson

Chief Executive Officer

Judy Patterson is SWAN’s Chief Executive Officer. She comes to SWAN with more than 20 years of nonprofit and association management. Judy co-founded both the American Gaming Association (AGA) and its charitable research arm, the National Center for Responsible Gaming, and ran the day-to-day operations for each. During her 18-year tenure, she diversified revenues by creating an international trade show and conference and raised more than $25 million through multi-year corporate contributions, special events and conference revenues. She developed corporate social responsibility programs for diversity, volunteerism and environmental sustainability that became hallmarks of the industry. Prior to joining the AGA, Judy served as special assistant to the president of the American Bar Association (ABA), where she developed public-private partnerships to build and sustain support for justice system improvements. She also served the ABA as director of the Public Liaison Office. Judy also served as circulation director of The Washingtonian Magazine, co-developed a monthly newspaper for the information industry, and was a teacher of the deaf.

Judy has a passion and dedication to women’s issues. Most recently, she served as a managing partner of Aspire Ascend, LLC, a professional services firm dedicated to advancing women’s achievement by creating and implementing workplace strategies for retaining and promoting women. She also founded an industry organization called Global Gaming Women to empower women and increase opportunities worldwide in management, executive, and board positions. She developed a first-of-its-kind online mentoring program and created a scholarship program to advance educational opportunities. She also grew the organization to more than 1,000 women worldwide in less than two years.  Judy is known for her ability to connect with diverse constituencies to build trust and respect and has a talent for solving entrenched and complex problems.

Judy is a graduate of Georgetown Law School and a member of the D.C. Bar Association. She holds a Master in Education from Boston University. She is an active member of the Washington, DC Chapter of the International Women’s Forum and is Treasurer of the Washington Independent Review of Books. She is a volunteer domestic violence attorney for the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project. Judy lives in Washington, DC and is the proud parent of two adult children.  She is an avid reader, theater-goer and pet-lover.

Kristine Ringler

Fellowship Program Director

Kristine is the Women Veterans Fellowship in Public Policy and Leadership Program Director at SWAN. She has worked with the U.S. Army for 13 years and has served as a Civil Affairs soldier with deployments to Iraq and Kosovo. She has also served as a cultural advisor to the Army in Northern Iraq and as a Trainer at Ft. Leavenworth preparing teams for Iraq and Afghanistan. Kristine later went on to be an instructor for USAID/DAI and traveled throughout Afghanistan training Afghans, U.S. and NATO forces on a program management tool. She currently works at West Point as a research consultant for an African Environmental Stability Project and serves as the Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Veteran’s Yoga Project. While working at West Point, she was part of the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Minerva Research Initiative, where she helped establish a research fellowship program, and now works as a research consultant for an African Environmental Stability Project. She has also worked tirelessly overseas to better understand the perspectives of vulnerable populations and bring that message back to those making decisions. As Program Director of SWAN’s pilot Fellowship program, Kristine’s aim is to incorporate best practices for successful outcomes. Her hope is to see follow on programs in the future so that more women veterans have the opportunity to learn how they can be a voice for change. Kristine holds a Masters in Public Policy from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and Bachelors in Mass Communications from North Dakota State University.