Our Founding Story
It’s hard to believe now, but She’s the First launched on November 1, 2009 as a simple YouTube video. Tammy Tibbetts' original idea was to use social media to inspire and motivate Millennials to support girls' education—and when she took that idea to Facebook, Christen Brandt immediately messaged her to get it started.
Coincidentally, both Tammy and Christen had received scholarships themselves from an organization called New York Women in Communications, and they had always wanted to pay it forward. Their initial conversation turned into a game-changing collaboration as co-founders.
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Read more about why the word "charity" doesn't adequately describe what we do & the STF Students we support.
Co-Founder & CPO
Christen is a feminist and women’s rights advocate who knows that quality education is the key to a more equal world. She was a student and scholarship recipient at Syracuse University when starting She’s the First, and she now oversees the programs side of STF. When she’s not jet-setting to visit our local partners, you can often find her teaching a self-defense class or speaking on the importance of education and empowerment.
Tyler supports STF's Programs and Development & Communications teams. She is a proud alumna of The University of Georgia, where she received a degree in International Affairs. Tyler is extremely passionate about human rights and the empowerment of women in overlooked communities, especially those who have been affected by their racial and socioeconomic status. When not fighting social inequality, you’ll find Tyler fashion styling and creating bridges between the fashion world and the community.
Development and Communications Manager
Henah manages development and communications for She’s the First, including social media, donor management, and grassroots fundraising campaigns. She is a proud Scarlet Knight from Rutgers University, holding a dual-degree in Psychology and Communications, and she completed her Master’s in Social Entrepreneurship from Pepperdine University. Henah is super passionate about financial inclusion, economic opportunity, and access to quality education.
Director of Strategic Partnerships
Katie oversees growth partnerships, events, and brand collaborations for She's the First, with a focus on creating meaningful relationships with corporations and bringing STF to new audiences. As the organization's first intern and later first employee, Katie has worn many hats while creating STF's network of 200+ campus chapters, building internal systems, and producing 10 conferences in 3 countries. She was named YNPN-NYC’s 2014 Nonprofiteer of the Year and is a proud graduate of the University of Tennessee.
Alvi supports our programs team on both the campus and international sides. Prior to her joining STF, Alvi dedicated a year of service as an AmeriCorps member to build volunteer capacity at generationOn. She graduated from Pace University with a degree in Economics and History, and she has always been passionate about making a positive change in her community.
Co-Founder & CEO
Tammy sets fundraising and communication strategy that shares STF's incredible work with the world. She creates fresh and engaging opportunities for supporters to be involved, both on a grassroots and major giving level. Tammy is a first-gen college graduate from The College of New Jersey. When she dreamed up She’s the First, she was working at Hearst Magazines as a pioneering web editor and Seventeen’s first social media editor.
Board of Directors
Tara is a passionate global advocate for girls and women and currently serves as the managing director of VOW To End Child Marriage. Tara recently advised the Obama Foundation’s Global Girls Alliance and Girls Who Code, and served as executive director of The Girl Project at Glamour, the brand’s philanthropic initiative to support girls’ secondary education around the world. Tara began her work in gender equality as the president and deputy director of Girl Rising. Tara graduated from Harvard College and completed her MBA at the Harvard Business School, where she received the Horace W. Goldsmith Fellowship for outstanding contributions to the nonprofit sector.
Harish is a partner at Angelo, Gordon & Co, a leading alternative investment firm based in New York. As an investment professional for the last 15 years, Harish has sat on numerous for-profit boards, providing guidance on product and sales strategy, governance, and capital planning. He graduated from the University of Rochester, where he met his wife, Sarah, a cancer research scientist. He also sits on the board of Friends of Mt. Sinai, and he resides in Pelham, NY.
Philippe is a Technical and M&E Officer for the United Nations’ Spotlight Initiative for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls. Before that, he was a Policy Specialist in the Ending Violence Against Women Section at UN Women. Philippe also worked in Sierra Leone as the Head of the Gender, Adolescents and Youth Team for the UNFPA Country Office, where he supported the design, implementation and monitoring of programs. He has worked in Ethiopia, The Gambia, and Haiti, where he supported the humanitarian response to the 2010 Earthquake. Philippe has a Master’s Degree in International Organizations’ Law from the University of Paris.
Dee is the Co-Founder and CEO of WIE (Women Inspiration and Enterprise), a leadership network whose mission is to support women in their career ambitions by providing real-world learning. She is also the founder of The Other Festival, a platform designed to showcase female makers and creators, which has garnered support from Arianna Huffington, Reshma Saujani, Tyra Banks, among others. She was previously a senior media & marketing executive. She lives in New York with her husband and son.
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Lisa is Chief Client Officer at Edelman and a member of its Executive Committee. She works with Edelman teams across all practices and geographies to ensure delivery of creative, quality client work. Her portfolio includes Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, eBay, Johnson & Johnson, and Starbucks. Previously, Lisa was President of Global Consumer Marketing at Weber Shandwick. Lisa lives in Rockland County, NY with her family.
Angela is a CPA and Assurance Associate at PwC, where her clients are comprised of major universities, hospitals, and renowned museums. She attended Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY and earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting and a Master’s of Business Administration. Angela is passionate about making a positive change in the world and believes that education is the pathway to a better society.
Vivian is the founder of Too Damn Young, an online community and resource for teenagers and young adults who have lost loved ones. Additionally, Vivian created the platform Creating Espacios on Forbes, which highlights Latin-American women entrepreneurs. Vivian holds a BBA in Digital Marketing and a minor in Journalism from the City University of New York-Baruch College. She is a freelance digital strategist and copywriter.
TAMMY and CHRISTEN (see bios under Staff) serve on the Board of Directors.
* Communications Committee **Strategic Partnerships Committee
Hunt & Gather
Yum's the Word
Ruth Ann Harnisch
Erin Leigh Patterson**
Young Women’s Leadership Network
Campus Advisory Council
University of Texas at Dallas
Staten Island Academy
Staten Island Academy
George Washington University
University of Florida
Thomas Sprigg Wootton High School
Sacred Heart Academy