Ms. Christen Brandt is the co-founder and chief programmes officer at She’s the First, an NGO that promotes girls' education and girls' rights internationally through a coalition of locally-led organizations. She's the First began as a grassroots movement in 2009, and has since grown into a million-dollar organization which has funded nearly 2000 years of education while conducting trainings in the areas of sexual and reproductive health, girl-centered program design, and professional development for staff who work with girls.
Christen regularly leads or coordinates focus groups with girls, mentors, and program staff to direct the organization based on the voices of those most impacted by its programs. This has included running a community inclusion project in rural Nepal, researching high drop-out rates in West Africa, and most recently, creating Girl Hour, a methodology for the inclusion of girls' voices within conferences and other practitioners' spaces. In her spare time, Christen is a self-defence instructor at the Center for Anti-Violence Education, NY, and works to end all forms of violence against women through advocacy and action. In 2016, her Facebook post about catcalling went viral, kicking off a worldwide conversation on casual street harassment. She is a strong advocate for girls' rights and voices, mentorship programs, and creating a holistic educational experience to ensure girls' success in the world.