Maggie Ragland Neilson

CEO, Global Philanthropy Group

Maggie is a co-founder and CEO at Global Philanthropy Group (GPG) where she leads efforts on issues including the status of Latinas in the U.S., education reform, global poverty alleviation, the use of technology and its social impact, women’s mental health, conflict resolution, cause marketing, and kids with serious illnesses or disabilities for clients including The Eva Longoria Foundation, The Avril Lavigne Foundation and The Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative. Previously, Maggie has addressed domestic and international social issues ranging from microfinance to childhood obesity and has provided strategy, communications and management services to multiple public and private sector organizations including the United Nations,, Unitus, Rachael Ray's Yum-o! Organization, John Legend’s Show Me Campaign, the Cobalt Group, the M.A.C. Global AIDS Fund, Synergos and the E&J Gallo Winery. As an independent strategy consultant, Maggie has launched new organizations, restructured existing institutions, forged cross-sector partnerships and branded international efforts. She helped design and launch Rachael Ray's Yum-O! organization, which empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking. For Sir Richard Branson and Nelson Mandela, she helped convene and advise the development of The Elders, an independent group of eminent global leaders who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, address human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. For Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, she launched the Demi & Ashton Foundation and helped develop an international media campaign to end child sex slavery. Maggie worked with the Tory Burch Foundation to provide economic opportunities for women through microfinance, with The Liya Kebede Foundation addressing maternal health and with Jim Carrey to develop strategies for promoting sustainable agricultural development. She also developed and implemented plans for the trailblazing M.A.C. AIDS Fund and the United Nation's International Year of Microcredit. Maggie was an early employee at Unitus, where she drove the award-winning microfinance accelerator's advocacy, strategic partnership and communications efforts. In addition to her philanthropic and socially-oriented work, Maggie has private-sector experience in technology and consumer products including marketing, sales, business development, and product and project management for, where she helped build the Gift department and managed the gift certificates division. She also managed corporate accounts for the E&J Gallo Winery, and designed and implemented online strategies for global automobile manufacturers at the Cobalt Group. Maggie is a founding board member of the Center for Women & Democracy, sits on the Parent Revolution Board, the New Leadership Board for the International Women's Health Coalition, volunteers for the Trevor Project and has conducted international political training in Morocco and across Latin America for the National Democratic Institute. Maggie was previously the Los Angeles Commissioner for Animal Services and is an annual participant at TED and Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit. She holds a BS from the University of Washington and an MBA from Columbia University, both with honors.