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Inspiring Leadership Forum 2021: Virtual Edition


Holly Austin Gibbs

Survivor of and Advocate Against Human Trafficking

Holly Austin Gibbs is a survivor of child sex trafficking and an advocate for survivors of all forms of human trafficking. Her book, Walking Prey: How America’s Youth are Vulnerable to Sex Slavery, provides insight based on Gibbs’ own experience of commercial sexual exploitation at the age of 14 in 1992, in the hope that such insight will enable professionals to offer all victims compassion and appropriate care.


Holly has appeared on the Dr. Oz show and her story has been featured on multiple media outlets, including the Brian Lehrer Show, MSNBC, Huffington Post, Al Jazeera, PBS NewsHour, and USA Today. In 2011, Holly submitted joint testimony to Congress with labor trafficking survivor, Ima Matul, in support of reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Holly also testified before the U.S. Congressional Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations on the connection between sporting events and sex trafficking. In 2015, Holly testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on behalf of two bills: Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act and Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act.

Holly has a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and formerly worked as a Senior Microscopist for an environmental microbiology laboratory. Holly has consulted for numerous organizations, including the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), and AMBER Alert program. Holly was featured as a plenary or keynote speaker for events around the world, including the 2012 Department of Justice (DOJ) Trafficking in Persons Symposium in Salt Lake City, UT; 2013 National Association of Attorneys General conference in Milwaukee, WI; 2013 Next Generation Leadership Exchange Forum in Paris, France; 2014 DOJ National Missing Children’s Day award ceremony in Washington, DC; 2014 Immigration and Customs Enforcement event for World Day Against Child Labor in Washington, DC; and 2014 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime event for World Day Against Trafficking in Persons in Cali, Colombia.

Holly is requested on a regular basis to provide testimony and input to others in the anti-trafficking field. In 2014, Holly published an academic book titled Walking Prey: How America’s Youth are Vulnerable to Sex Slavery, and continues to publish articles on her Huffington Post blog. She currently serves as an Advisory Board member to several organizations, including ECPAT-USA, the Human Trafficking Institute, and the McCain Institute. In June 2015, Holly joined Dignity Health, one of the largest healthcare systems in the nation and largest hospital provider in California. As Director of Dignity Health’s Human Trafficking Response Program, Holly oversees efforts to identify and appropriately respond to vulnerable persons and victims of human trafficking in the healthcare setting.

Suki Kim

Journalist and Award-winning Author Undercover in North Korea

An award-winning novelist and investigative journalist, Suki Kim is the only writer ever to have lived undercover in North Korea for immersive journalism. With unprecedented access, Kim’s work sheds new light on a place that has been, for the past seventy years, completely shrouded from the eyes of the world.


Kim’s obsession with the country led her to pursue journalistic assignments there, visiting the country five times over a decade and witnessing both Kim Jong-il’s 60th Birthday Celebrations and his death in 2011. Her six months in Pyongyang living and working as a teacher to the sons of North Korea’s elite gave her unprecedented insights into the country’s current state.

In her New York Times bestseller Without You, There Is No Us Suki Kim chronicles the time she spent teaching the sons of North Korea’s elite. Working in disguise as a Christian missionary, Kim spent her days at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology locked in what she calls the school’s “prison disguised as a campus,” recording everything she experienced on USB sticks in secret. Her talks delve deep into the realities of her day-to-day life in North Korea, drawing from her experiences to reveal the realities of what it’s like to live in a world where everything is controlled, closely monitored, and centered on a single “Great Leader.” Kim had unprecedented access to a side of North Korean culture most foreigners never get to see, and her insights about the country’s culture are as urgent as they are unsettling. Without You, There Is No Us has been praised by The New York Times Book Review, New York Review of Books, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and Foreign Policy, among others.

Her first novel, The Interpreter, was the winner of a PEN Open Book Award and a finalist for a PEN Hemingway Prize, and her articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, The New York Review of Books, Harper’s, and The New Republic, where she is a contributing editor. She has been featured on programs around the world, including on CNN’s Christian Amanpour Show and Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, BBC Radio 4, and NPR’s Morning Edition. She has spoken as a part of Moth Radio Hour on the main stage of Sydney Opera House, and her TED Talk has drawn millions of viewers online. She has been awarded a Guggenheim, a Fulbright, a George Soros’s Open Society fellowship, and was a Ferris professor in journalism at Princeton University. Her investigative feature for New York Magazine on sexual harassment at WNYC was selected as Longreads’ Best Investigative Reporting, and her essay on fear appears in Best American Essays 2018. She is a 2019 national fellow at New America, and a 2019-2020 Berlin Prize recipient.

Dr. Jen Welter

Trailblazer and Pioneer - First Female Coach in the NFL

Etched in the record books as the first female coach in the U.S. National Football League, Dr. Jen Welter broke a nearly impossible physical barrier in the history of modern day sports, when she became the first woman to play running back in a men's professional football season.


Upon finishing her glass-ceiling shattering season in men's professional football, Dr. Welter broke yet another barrier in the sport commonly referred to as the final frontier for women in sports, by becoming the first female coach of a professional football team. An earned doctorate degree in Psychology, a professional athlete and 18 years’ experience in fitness, Dr. Welter has addressed and provided expert advice from a wide range of topics in fitness and sports as it relates to business and life.

Dr. Welter's message has been widely acclaimed and well received on worldwide platforms that speak to audiences from global enterprising companies, top performing schools, brand non-profits, top ranked performance enhancement facilities and professional sports teams.

The ultimate team player, Dr. Welter's attitude is, “Tell me the problem, and we can tackle it! Challenges are fun!” She displays initiative and a sincere heart becoming personally involved with the organizations she supports. Her current philanthropic efforts have gone toward working with established and start-up organizations whose missions are to empower and to educate, specifically addressing life skills, children's and women's topics.