Sketch by Amanda Goss

80 years old
VGIF Committee Member and Adviser to the UN Internship Program, New York

“Cooperation, forget it! Its collaboration!” says Michaela of the United Nations. She says, “My love for the UN grows every year. It was the one place where I saw women talk to each other, to governments, and to corporations, to make change.” Michaela is a critical support and mentor of the VGIF UN Internship Program and its interns. Through the program, local university students have the opportunity to represent VGIF at weekly UN meetings. Michaela says, “I believe VGIF is one of the most financially efficient and effective – and hopeful! – NGO programs for uniting grassroots women and young female students.”

Originally from the American Midwest, Michael considers herself “a global citizen” after having lived in New York City and London, the Middle East, and several African countries. In the late 1970s, she developed Women’s World Banking, in collaboration with 30 other women, to provide banking and financial services for low-income women around the globe. Michaela continues to support women’s economic empowerment. She says, “Now, I work to create opportunities for financial ownership of small and local business in local communities around the world.”