Jonathan Newhouse, Chairman of the Board of Condé Nast – the publisher of The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wired, Vogue  and GQ – has been appointed Chair of the Board of Girl Effect. He succeeds Maria Eitel, founder of Girl Effect and the Nike Foundation, who has held the position for over 15 years.

Girl Effect, now an independent organisation, reaches 20 million people in 20 countries across Africa and Asia through its media and digital platforms – and helps girls to be in control of their health, learning and livelihood. Jonathan’s breadth of expertise in leading global media properties will help steer Girl Effect’s ambitious plans to use mobile and digital to scale over the next five years. He served as Chief Executive of Condé Nast International for nearly 30 years, and under his leadership the Condé Nast footprint grew from 7 to 31 markets worldwide.  Jonathan brings his experience growing one of the world’s most successful media companies and driving its digital transition to Girl Effect’s work.

Jonathan joined the Girl Effect Inc Board of Directors in 2020. Other recent appointments to the Board include Salma Hayek Pinault (actor, director, producer and activist), Alex Morgan (US Women’s Soccer player), and Jualiana Rotich (Kenyan technology entrepreneur) and Deborah Dugan (American innovator and entrepreneur).

Commenting on his appointment as Chair, Newhouse said:

“The way Girl Effect uses media and storytelling to tackle often taboo topics and inform millions of girls is truly unique, and I am inspired by how the content for girls is created by young women.  Maria pioneered an agenda for more than 15 years to champion girls to end intergenerational poverty.  I am delighted to play my part in Girl Effect’s ground-breaking efforts to use digital and technology innovation to scale its reach and impact in the world.”

Maria Eitel first established Girl Effect’s mission in 2004 as part of the Nike Foundation – working with teams and partners – to create a global movement unleashing the potential of adolescent girls to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. The team’s early work was focused on getting adolescent girls on the global agenda, driving investment towards them, and equipping them with the resources they need. The Foundation made grants to 150 organizations in 90 countries to determine how to scale successful girl programming. The Girl Effect team, along with partners, established the Girl Summit which resulted in 19 countries committing to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and to end child marriage within a generation. The team created the Girl Declaration – a partnership between 25 development organizations to ensure girls’ needs were included in the Sustainable Development Goals. The Girl Effect sought to make sure that girls would no longer be overlooked.  Today, thousands of programs and organizations around the world focus specifically on the challenges and opportunities of millions of adolescent girls. In 2015, Maria led Girl Effect’s transition to become an independent non-profit organization.

She said:

“It seems obvious today, but 15 years ago, the power of enabling an adolescent girl to realize her potential, was being overlooked by the world.  We believed that with an unwavering focus on unleashing a girl’s potential, she could transform not just her own life but the lives of those around her. It has been an honor to work with such great teams and partners. While I am so proud of what has been accomplished so far, there is still so much work to be done for – and with – girls. With Jess’ brilliance as CEO and Jonathan as Chair – bringing his vast experience in media, digital expansion and leadership – I am excited to see Girl Effect’s next chapter, and the positive change it will create for girls and the world.”

Maria will become Chair Emeritus of Girl Effect. Over the next five years, Girl Effect plans to expand into new geographies through investing in new digital and technology innovations to scale its work.

Jess Posner Odede, CEO of Girl Effect, said:

“It’s now almost impossible to imagine girls not being on the global agenda, and Maria’s inspirational role in driving this global shift cannot be underestimated. Girl Effect has been shaped by Maria’s pioneering leadership since our formation – and I am grateful that we will continue to do so as Chair Emeritus. We welcome Jonathan as our new Chair.  With over 30 years experience on the frontlines of media and content, Jonathan truly understands the changing media landscape from leading Condé Nast’s successful evolution and expansion from print to a global digital  business. I’m confident that Jonathan, along with the rest of the Board, will help challenge us and support the global Girl Effect team to realise our ambitious plans for the years ahead.”

Notes: Girl Effect Inc is a 501c3 organisation with EIN number 84-3629323. Girl Effect UK is a registered charity 1141155 and company 07516619.