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 the empowerment of women worldwide, especially financial inclusion, economic opportunity, and access to quality education.
Director of Strategic Partnerships
Katie officially joined the She’s the First staff in 2013, but she’s been around since the early days as STF’s very first intern. While on staff, Katie spent four years on the Programs team building STF's network of 200+ campus chapters, mentors, alumni, and teachers before transitioning to a Strategic Partnerships role in 2018. Katie is the lead producer of the #STFSummit and was named YNPN-NYC’s Nonprofiteer of the Year in 2014. She is a proud graduate of the University of Tennessee with a degree in Global Politics & Economics.
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
Gwen is a Vice President and Financial Adviser at JP Morgan Securities. She graduated from the University of Rochester and serves on their Board of Trustees, chairing the Student Life Committee and the Annual Fund; the university has named the Gwen M Greene Career and Internship Center in her honor. Gwen and her husband John, an artist, raise cattle in the Hudson Valley and also live in NYC.
Harish is a partner at Angelo, Gordon & Co, a leading alternative investment manager 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.
Tara is a passionate global advocate for girls and women and currently advises Girls Who Code and The Obama Foundation. Tara recently 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 girls’ education as the president and deputy director of Girl Rising, a global movement and innovative feature film that aim to raise awareness about the importance of educating girls in the developing world. 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.
Chernor is an Associate at the Population Council, leading a collaborative initiative to provide solutions to adolescent girls affected by the Ebola outbreak. He is Co-Founder of A World at School and a youth representative on the United Nations Secretary General’s High-Level Steering Committee for the Global Education First Initiative. As a teenager, he led the Children’s Parliament in his native country of Sierra Leone.
As a Senior Vice President in Edelman’s Business + Social Purpose practice, Jennifer Simon has extensive experience in social purpose platform and initiative development for senior leaders in corporations, brands, nonprofits, and the highest U.S. government offices, with a particular expertise in women and girls’ empowerment. Previously Jennifer served as director of policy and international affairs for First Lady Michelle Obama where she led the development and launch of Let Girls Learn, Mrs. Obama’s signature initiative on global girls’ education.
Ingrid is a media technology executive. Leading up to the Charter, Time Warner Cable and Bright House merger, she directed top-priority business and technology programs. She grew the company's digital phone product business from the ground up to five million customers and $2 billion in revenue. Ingrid served as director on the corporate board for Telio, a publicly traded company in Norway, and as President of Women in Cable Telecommunications in New York. She holds a PhD in Economics and is an avid sports enthusiast, marathon runner, and triathlete.
Kim is a CPA and Manager in Retail & Consumer Advisory at PwC. Before graduating from Bucknell University with a BSBA in Accounting, Kim traveled to 13 different countries as part of her study abroad program, where she developed her passion for education around the globe.
Andrea is a National Programs Manager at CBS EcoMedia, a social enterprise that harnesses the power of advertising to help fund nonprofit projects across the country. She previously worked for Showtime Networks in Affiliate Sales and graduated cum laude from New York University. Born and raised in NYC, Andrea is a first-generation Filipina-American and the first in her family to attend college in the United States.
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