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Kara Norton

Co-founder & Board Member, Angel City FC;

Managing Partner, Monarch Collective

Kara is Managing Partner of Monarch Collective, an investment platform dedicated to accelerating equity in global sport. Kara is a co-founder and Board Member of Angel City Football Club, which has quickly risen to become the most valuable women's soccer team in the world.

 

Prior to Monarch, Kara was a Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures, where she worked for eight years. Before joining Upfront, Kara spent close to seven years at IAC where she co-headed the M&A group and later served in operating capacities as the SVP and General Manager of Urbanspoon and Citysearch. She served on the board of IAC's mobile technology incubator (Hatch Labs), where she incubated Tinder in their seed round. Earlier in her career Kara worked at Battery Ventures, Microsoft and Morgan Stanley.

 

Kara is also a founding member of All Raise, a VC-led Nonprofit dedicated to increased diversity in funders and founders, and she advised the Women’s National Soccer Team Players Association during their pay equity fight.

 

Kara earned an AB in Politics from Princeton University and an MBA from Stanford University. Kara resides in Los Angeles with her husband and three daughters.

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Bex Sowden

Founder, Team Heroine;

Founder, Correct The Internet;

Former Football Fern

Rebecca "Bex" Sowden is a former New Zealand Football Fern and US college player currently based in Auckland. 

 

As a Women of Influence Finalist, she has had a 20 year career in sport and entertainment with leading global properties including the likes of Hong Kong Sevens, Volvo Ocean Race, FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup and MasterChef. 

 

At the conclusion of the last FIFA Women's World Cup, she founded women's sport sponsorship & marketing agency, Team Heroine as she felt brands and rights holders were missing an opportunity to unlock the value of women's sport. Since then, she has worked alongside the Xero and Visa Europe helping them with their women's football strategy, the Women's Sport Collective, Hackney Women's FC, Spark Sport and is a co-founder of global social cause campaign, Correct The Internet which looks to tackle the gender bias that occurs against sportswomen on the internet and has attracted global interest and attention.

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Ebru Koksal

Australian Professional Leagues, Board member;

Chair, Women in Football UK;

Double Pass, Board member

Ebru Köksal began her professional career in New York, as a financial analyst at Morgan Stanley, before moving back to Turkey to serve as a senior manager at Citibank between 1992-99. In 1999, she joined private equity fund of AIG as a VP, before joining Galatasaray Sports Club in 2001 as a CFO following the investment by AIG. She was at the helm of the club as CEO until 2011 and was the first woman to be elected to the Executive Board of European Club Association in 2010, where she also served as the vice chairwoman of Institutional Relations Working Group.

In December 2011, she was appointed as the General Secretary of Turkish Football Federation and left her role to serve as a consultant for FIFA and UEFA between 2012-2018. Ms. Köksal returned to Galatasaray as a Board Member between 2013-15.

She is currently a senior adviser at J Stern & Co., Chair of Women in Football, UK, Board Director at A-Leagues Australia, INED at the Professional Footballers Association UK and a Board Member at Doublepass BV. She was the recipient of the Executive of the Year Award 2011 by Stadium Business Awards and the 1st ever Making a Difference Award by HBS Executive Education in 2018.

Ms. Köksal is a graduate of Brown University, with dual degree in Economics and International Relations and graduate of Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program. She is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.

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Kate Jacewicz

FIFA Referee

Kate started refereeing at the age of 13 after starting football when she was 7 years old. Kate began refereeing in the Australian W-League in 2008 (rebranded as the A-League women’s competition in 2021) and was appointed referee to the 2019 W-League grand final – her ninth final out of the first eleven seasons. Also, in the 2019-20 A-League season she became the first woman to referee a match in the A-League men’s competition.

Kate became a FIFA referee in 2011 and oversaw the final of the 2016 FIFA U -17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan. Kate was part of the 27 member referee team for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where she refereed a group stage match, round of 16 knock-out game and was 4th official on the 3rd v 4th play-off. She represented Australia and AFC at the Tokyo Olympic games where she refereed a group stage and the quarter final between USA and The Netherlands.

Kate is one of four Australians selected as part of the 33 referees for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand.

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Jo Fernandes

WWC23 Competition Manager;

FIFA General Coordinator

Jo has been an administrator of the world game for 26 years. She began her football career in 1997 at the ACT Women’s Soccer Association. Jo secured the role of Team Manager, Westfield Matildas in 2000, a position that she held for 13 years. She then transferred to become General Manager, Westfield W-League before moving to Football NSW in 2017. Since 2021, Jo has been in the role of Head of Competition Australia for the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.

Jo has also worked internationally as a FIFA Match Director for ten FIFA tournaments. The Match Director is the highest-ranking FIFA position in a World Cup city with their role to ensure the successful delivery of matchdays and all venue operations throughout the tournament.

Jo was the first female to manage a final at a FIFA men’s tournament, the U17 World Cup in India in 2017. At the FIFA World Cup in Russia, Jo was one of two female Match Directors, the first time females had worked in this role at a senior men’s World Cup. More recently, Jo delivered the FIFA Women’s World Cup final in 2019, her second in a row after delivering the 2015 final.

Jo is also an AFC Match Commissioner; was a member of Football Australia’s 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Bid Steering Committee; and won the NSW Sports Awards Administrator of the Year award in 2018.

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Dr Johanna Wood

President, New Zealand Football Association;

Oceania representative on FIFA Council; FIFA World Cup 2023 Legacy Working Party

Johanna’s main background is as a dairy farmer as well as a school teacher and principal from Lower Hutt in New Zealand. She began her involvement in football through her family’s participation at local level and in 2010 she was elected chair of the Central Football Federation, covering Manawatū, Hawke’s Bay and Taranaki.

Johanna was elected to the Board of the NZ Football Association in 2018 and she is the first female president of NZ Football having been re-elected for a second term in 2022. She was elected to the FIFA Council as the Oceania representative in 2019 while working and completing a PhD. She has since had her FIFA council membership extended a further four years from 2023. As a key leader in Oceania, she is the first New Zealander elected to the FIFA Council since Charlie Dempsey, who served from 1996 to 2000.

Johanna currently sits on the FIFA WWC Legacy Working Group on behalf of NZ Football. 

In 2021, Wood was awarded the Sport New Zealand Leadership Award at the prestigious Halberg Awards for her significant contributions to football.

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Rae Dower

Football Australia Technical Director Women’s Football; Head Coach of the Junior Matildas (U17's)

Rae started her footballing journey in Queensland and was a mainstay of youth and senior representative teams for well over a decade. After her playing days finished, she turned her attention to coaching at local and state levels, later becoming a highly successful championship winning assistant and head coach with Canberra United FC in the W-league prior to the rebranding to the A-League women’s competition.

Rae is Australia’s highest ranked female coach with a dual role of Football Australia Technical Director, Women’s Football and Head Coach of the CommBank Under 17 Matildas. As the first female Technical Director at Football Australia Rae works with stakeholders across the country to broaden player pathways, with a particular lens on strategically improving alignment across the women’s game from grassroots all the way through to our established CommBank Matildas.

She’s a FIFA Instructor, Football Australia Coach Educator and in 2019 completed the inaugural FIFA Coach Mentor Program. 

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Jackie Lee-Joe

Director, Football Australia;

Director, Global Sisters;

Global Marketing, Cash App

Jackie has over 20 years of marketing, digital disruption and transformation experience across media, tech, communications and financial services. She has enjoyed working in a myriad of global and regional roles around the world with some truly impactful brands BBC, Netflix, Skype, Virgin and Afterpay.  

 

As Global Director of Audience Marketing, Entertainment Partnerships and Broadcast Media – she was responsible for Skype’s campaign platforms, growing the entertainment partnership program and building Skype's capability and presence in the broadcast space.

 

At BBC Studios, Jackie had oversight of more than 300 brands globally, fostering franchise brands such as Doctor Who, the Planet Series, Top Gear and growing new brands such as Bluey.  Jackie was instrumental in helping to create new digital ways for communities to engage with BBC content globally.

 

At Netflix as Global Chief Marketing Officer, she brought her experience in media and entertainment together with her understanding of product and tech - building reach and fan engagement for a growing international content slate across an expanding range of genres, deepening partnerships, leading popular culture by fostering conversations around the world, and developing Netflix’s brand.

 

Since returning to Australia, she is an advisor to some of the leaders in the entrepreneur and innovation ecosystem, including Reejig, Canva and Afterpay.  She is on the Board of Directors for Global Sisters and Football Australia.

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Nicki Bowman

Leadership Consultant, Speaker and Author

Nicki is a leadership consultant, speaker and director whose involvement in football stretches back over four decades.

Her corporate career commenced as a lawyer in private practice, and she then went on to executive and Board roles in various industries including mining, manufacturing, finance and IT.

Alongside this she maintained her connection with football – first as a player and then as a committee member, before becoming one of the driving forces behind unification of the game in her home region of the Illawarra. She was a founding director and Deputy Chair of Football South Coast, ultimately spending 6 years on the Board.

Her involvement in football expanded to the national stage when she was appointed to the FFA Women’s Advisory Council and represented the FFA at the FIFA Women’s Football Symposium in Frankfurt in 2011.

 

More recently Nicki lobbied successfully as part of Women Onside for key changes to the FFA Constitution to embed gender equity, and she remains committed to the advancement of women’s football and women in football.

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Moya Dodd

Partner at Gilbert + Tobin Lawyers;

Former vice-captain of the Matildas

Moya Dodd is a partner at Gilbert + Tobin Lawyers, and a former vice-captain of the Matildas. She played in the first game of women’s football that FIFA ever held, a 1-0 win for Australia over Brazil in 1988. Twenty-five years later, she took her place on FIFA’s governing board as one of the first three women appointed, after 108 years of all male rule.

While at FIFA, Moya advocated for gender equality - described by the New York Times as “the driving force” in the push for more women within FIFA. During the FIFAGate crisis, after authorities raided a luxury Zurich hotel and arrested several FIFA officials as she slept, Moya led the global movement that achieved reforms requiring the inclusion of women on football federation boards, and a greater priority for women’s football. Moya also served for 12 years on the Asian Football Confederation where she and others successfully lobbied to reverse the ban on women wearing the headscarf (hijab) while playing football.

Moya was a director of Football Australia for a decade, then served on Australia’s successful bid committee for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

In 2016, she was named the overall winner of the AFR Women of Influence awards, and in 2018, she was listed as the 7th most powerful woman in international sport (outside the US) by Fortune magazine. In 2022, Moya was inducted into Football Australia’s Hall of Fame.

She still enjoys playing and has foolishly registered for her 43rd season of football. 

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Dr Katie Rowe

Associate Professor, Sport Management  Deakin University

Katie Rowe is an Associate Professor in the Deakin Business School at Deakin University. Katie conducts research focusing on sport participation, women and girls in sport and sport for development, which has been published in the top sport management journals internationally. She teaches into Deakin’s postgraduate and undergraduate degrees in sport management and sport development at and is the Course Director for the Bachelor of Sport Development. 

Katie co-leads Deakin’s Women in Sport and Exercise (WISE) group and co-edited a book entitled Developing Sport for Women and Girls, which focuses the participation, performance and engagement of women and girls in sport. She is currently conducting research with organisations including the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, Tennis Australia, and Netball Australia focusing on the advancement of women and girls in sport.

Katie’s educational background includes a PhD in sport development, a Bachelor of Applied Science (Exercise & Sport Science), a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) and a Graduate Certificate of Higher Education. She was recently a director on the Basketball Victoria (2017-2023) and served on the board of the Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand (SMAANZ) from 2014-2018, undertaking the role of Secretary from 2016-2018. 

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