Leadership Team

The girl effect leverages the unique potential of adolescent girls and provides them with resources to end poverty for themselves, their families, their communities, their countries and the world.

Maria Eitel – President & CEO

Maria Eitel is the founding President & CEO of the Nike Foundation, where she created the foundation’s singular focus on adolescent girls. Prior to the Foundation, Eitel served as NIKE, Inc.’s first Vice President of Corporate Responsibility, tasked with developing and implementing the company's first corporate responsibility agenda. Before NIKE, Inc., Eitel served as the European Corporate Affairs manager for Microsoft Corporation, where she managed corporate, public and community initiatives based out of Microsoft’s European headquarters. Prior to Microsoft, Eitel led public affairs for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and served as Senior Manager of Communications and Community Relations at MCI Communications Corp. She also led media relations for the U.S. White House as Media Affairs Deputy Director and Special Assistant to the United States President. Eitel began her career as a reporter and producer in commercial and public broadcasting. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University, a Masters of Science in Foreign Studies from Georgetown University, a Senior Executive Program degree from Stanford University and an Honorary Doctorate of Humanity from Babson College. Eitel serves on a number of boards, committees and advisory councils including the Acumen Fund Advisory Council, Girl Hub Board of Trustees, Initiative for Global Development Leadership Council, Nike Foundation Board of Directors and World President’s Association.

Howard Taylor – Vice President & Managing Director

Howard Taylor leads the development and delivery of the Foundation's strategy, programs, partnerships and advocacy in the US, Europe, Africa and Asia. Taylor joined the Nike Foundation in January 2012 from the UK Department for International Development (DFID), where he held a number of senior roles over 14+ years, including running the office of the Secretary of State and a secondment to the UK Prime Minister's Performance and Innovation Unit. From 2008-2011, Taylor led DFID's program in Ethiopia to deliver results at scale for transformational change, building it into a $500 million a year program – the largest UK Government development program in the world. Taylor has a PhD in Economics and a Masters of Science degree in Medical Demography from the University of London and a Bachelor's degree in Population Studies from the University of Southampton.

Vanessa Garcia-Brito – Senior Director, Partnerships and Strategic Communications

Vanessa Garcia-Brito leads partnerships and communications work across the Nike Foundation, working closely with all of the Nike Foundation and Girl Hub teams, and with Nike Corporate Communications and other teams across Nike, Inc. Garcia-Brito most recently worked at Mars, Inc. where she was the global Head of Corporate Citizenship and Community Engagement, leading a team responsible for global programs and partnerships, sustainability communications, community and citizenship initiatives, and working with Mars shareholders in community and citizenship initiatives. Prior to Mars, Garcia-Brito was an attorney at Arent Fox, LLP in Washington, D.C., where she focused her practice in the areas of Technology and International Law. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Rutgers University and a law degree from the George Washington University Law School.

John Hess – Senior Director, Brand and Creative

John Hess leads the brand creative and insights work for the girl effect, focusing specifically on the role that brands can play in driving global social change. He manages the development of global and local brands through the Nike Foundation and Girl Hub. With over ten years of NIKE, Inc. experience, Hess served as the Global Brand Connections Director at Jordan, leading the Jordan brand's advertising and digital efforts and prior to that, held brand positions in North America Basketball, Foot Locker, Inc., and in advertising at Converse. Prior to Nike, Hess was the creative director at an advertising agency in Boston where he worked on Dunkin' Donuts, Togo's, Timberland, Budweiser and Avid. Hess holds degrees from Georgetown University and The George Washington University in International Business and Communications, respectively, and an MBA from the Darden School of Business at University of Virginia.

Collette Hemmings – Chief Operating Officer

Collette Hemmings oversees all Nike Foundation core functions, including finance, operations, human resources and knowledge management. She joined the Nike Foundation from NIKE, Inc., where she led several operational functions in apparel. Prior to that, Hemmings led Product Integrity for Nike EMEA based out of the Netherlands, opened the Nike Apparel Liaison Office in Shanghai, and led the Global Product Integrity function at Nike World Headquarters. Hemmings also led the initial corporate team and business proposal for Road to Zero, which addressed Nike’s public commitment to eliminate toxics from the supply chain. She holds a Textile Engineering degree and Post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Stuart Hogue – General Manager, Girl Hub

Stuart Hogue oversees Girl Hub, a strategic collaboration between the Nike Foundation and the UK's Department for International Development, and leads the management of major partnerships within the public and private sector. Before joining the Nike Foundation in 2007, Hogue was a strategy director at frog design in New York City where he advised clients such as HP and MTV on brand strategy and new product development. Prior to that, he was a VP of Product Development at Thomson Financial in New York. Hogue received an MBA from the New York University Stern School of Business and Bachelors of Science degree from Washington and Lee University.

Shaifali Puri – Executive Director, Global Innovation

Shaifali Puri helps drive innovation across all aspects of the Nike Foundation’s work, including leading the New Business Model initiative. Puri was most recently the CEO of Scientists Without Borders (SWB), where she was Executive Director. Under Puri’s leadership, SWB pioneered the development of novel models to address global public health and sustainability issues facing the world’s poorest communities. Prior to Scientists Without Borders, Puri was Senior Advisor to the President of the Empire State Development Corporation, the economic development arm of the State of New York. In that capacity, she helped devise and execute economic development strategy and supervise the operations of the 550-employee agency with a $50 million annual operating budget and a $500 million capital and program budget. Puri has been named as a '40 Under 40' rising business star of New York, is a Term Member of the Council of Foreign Relations, and was previously an Assistant Solicitor-General of New York and a journalist at Fortune magazine. Puri received her A.B. from Princeton University and her JD from Stanford Law School.

Jacob Stefanik – Director, Strategic Planning

Jacob Stefanik works with all of the Nike Foundation and Girl Hub teams in the US, Europe and Africa to identify and evaluate strategic and operational issues, opportunities and risks, and where necessary catalyse action against them. Stefanik has a wealth of experience evaluating strategy and processes, providing strategic advice to principals in both multilateral and bilateral economic development organizations. He has served as the Senior Business Analyst and Executive Director's Speechwriter at the United Nations World Food Programme, Counselor for North American Affairs at the World Bank, and the Director for Legislative Affairs at the Millennium Challenge Corporation. Stefanik holds a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish from Oregon State University.

Board of Directors

  • Mark Parker, President & CEO, NIKE, Inc.
  • Maria Eitel, President & CEO, Nike Foundation
  • Don Blair, Executive VP and CFO, NIKE, Inc.
  • Trevor Edwards, President, Nike Brand
  • Hannah Jones, VP, Sustainable Business & Innovation, NIKE, Inc.
  • Hilary Krane, Executive VP, Chief Administrative Officer & General Counsel, NIKE, Inc.