Founding Member Jill Follows was a UN Observer for the League of Women Voters between 2017 and 2020. She has served as Co-Chair of Action and Advocacy for the LWV Fairfax Area (VA). Jill convened the Fairfax Working Group for CEDAW and secured a Fairfax County Resolution in Support of CEDAW. Jill is an attorney and a registered nurse. She served as a trial attorney and Judge Pro Tempore in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. She represented clients under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Jill’s health policy experience includes a fellowship and subsequent contractor work with the National Center for Health Research. She testified before the US FDA Advisory Committee on medical devices and collaborated with national women’s organizations to present information on the Affordable Care Act to the US DHHS Office on Women’s Health. She earned a Master of Science in Nursing and worked primarily with women and children facing health care challenges.
Founding Member Savanna Mapelli is a member of the Bucks County League of Women Voters, serving as chair of Voter Registration from 2015-2017. For several years, she was a Delegate representing the League of Women Voters of the United States to the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). Savanna is a licensed attorney in New Jersey. She teaches international humanitarian law for the American Red Cross Service to Armed Forces emphasizing the Geneva Conventions. Her advocacy efforts center around United States ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most widely adopted human rights treaty.
Founding Member Kathleen Montgomery serves as Director of International Relations at the LWV of Orange Coast (CA). Her roles with the state and national League of Women Voters include serving as a LWVUS delegate to the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), as a moderator at the LWV National Convention, and as a representative of her local League to the LWVC State Convention. Kathleen’s interests in human rights have permeated her academic research on women’s experiences of incivility and disempowerment, as well as patients’ informed consent. She is Professor Emerita and Professor of the Graduate Division of the University of California, Riverside, and has held visiting scholar appointments at the Universities of Oxford, Sydney, Stanford, and UCLA. She has been named a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.
Founding Member Anu Sahai serves as the Co-President of the League of Women Voters of Fairfax Area, Virginia (2018-2022). A lawyer by profession, Anu worked in legal aid in India before moving to the United States in 1991. She commits time and energy to League initiatives, especially to those concerning ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, redistricting, and census. She represented her local League as a delegate to the 2020 LWVUS Convention and served as a LWVUS delegate to the UN Commisson on the Status of Women in 2019 and 2021.
Founding Member Michele Thorne is an attorney and serves as the Equal Rights director on the board of the League of Women Voters of Wilmette, Illinois. She was a delegate to the 2018 and 2020 LWVUS Conventions and served as a LWVUS delegate to the UN Commission on the Status of Women in 2019 and 2021. Michele is an active member of groups advocating for certification of the Equal Rights Amendment, abolition of the Electoral College, adoption of the CEDAW treaty on women’s rights, protection of the environment and the humane treatment of animals.
Member Ashley Raveche serves as the Deputy Area Director of Social Policy for the League of Women Voters of California and is Past President of the San Francisco League. For her leadership and community activism, SF Mayor and the Human Rights Commission awarded her League the HERO Award. Ashley was a LWVUS delegate to the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26), where she collaborated on a side event: Disability-Inclusive Climate Action. Ashley is also a member of the UNA-San Francisco Ratify Movement Steering Committee, participating in several CSW66 events to promote the ratification of CEDAW in the US. UNA-SF recently honored Ashley with the Emerging Public Leader for the United Nations Agenda 2030 Award for her advocacy in human rights and racial justice.