Conference Speakers

Opening Speaker: Tara Cookson | Closing Speaker: Peter Drury

NWMUN-Seattle 2017 Opening Speaker: Tara Cookson 

Director, Ladysmith: A Gender Equality Venture; Seattle Women's Commissioner

Dr. Tara Cookson is co-founder and director at Ladysmith, a social venture for gender equality. Tara earned her PhD from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Gates Cambridge Scholar. Her forthcoming book, Unjust Conditions: Women’s Work and the Hidden Cost of Cash Transfer Programs analyzes women’s experiences of participating in the world’s most widely implemented anti-poverty programs. She is the recipient of the Bill Gates Sr Prize for a demonstrated commitment to improving the lives of others and currently serves as a Seattle Women’s Commissioner. 

Additional Information

Cookson describes her research as being based upon "a deep interest in the political economy of care, especially as it relates to inequality." Her PhD disseration at Cambridge analyzed Peru's conditional cash transfer (CCT) program and found that "well-intentioned social inclusion policy came to have unintended exclusionary impacts." Her time at Cambridge also focused on feminist geography and institutional ethnography.

Peter Drury is Vice President for Mission Advancement at Make-A-Wish (Alaska & Washington). He serves also as Adjunct Professor in Seattle University’s Master of Nonprofit Leadership Program and a Director on the Board of Women’s Funding Alliance.

Peter is highly regarded in philanthropic circles for his insight, ethics and smarts regarding truly effective nonprofits, high-impact boards, and transformational philanthropy. He holds graduate degrees from Seattle University (Master of Business Administration), the University of Illinois  (Master of Social Work), and Yale University (Master of Divinity), three fields he weaves together in service of strategic and ethical leadership. Peter has been featured as a master-teacher by the Chronicle of Philanthropy and several leading professional associations.

Additional Information

He was formerly president of Independent Means, a leading firm in family-centered financial education, and director of strategy for Splash, an innovative social enterprise securing clean water for kids in Asia and Africa. His experience also includes serving as president of Advancement Northwest, a chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Today he consults regionally and nationally with boards, executives and philanthropists on a variety of relevant topics.