Meet WDN’s 3 New Board Members!

It is with great pleasure that we announce our three new Board members for 2023: Mary Cooper, Zoe Mercer-Golden, and Nancy Westcott. As we complete a year of dynamic transition at WDN, our incoming cohort brings a deep and diverse set of intergenerational skills, professional experiences, and life experiences to the strategic work ahead.

Mary Cooper

(She/her/hers)

What led to your interest in joining the WDN Board?

Honestly, I wasn’t thinking of joining the Board as I had just finished a decade serving on the Board of my alma mater. When a friend called, however, and asked me to consider it, I did just that. I’ve been a member of WDN for over 10 years, and it has had a significant impact on my life. I was an early supporter of WDN’s Reflective Democracy Campaign and that connection activated my interest in sheriff and prosecutor races nationally and locally. I’ve learned so much from members, staff, and WDN friendships that I felt it was time to give back.

What do you hope to see the Board accomplish during your tenure?

To create an exciting, bold, and innovative strategic plan that builds on the brilliant legacy of our President & CEO Emerita Donna Hall. We have an inspirational call to action  – to be a multigenerational, multiracial organization creating a more just society – that serves to spur all of us to continue the work together and with our amazing grantees, partners, and collaborators. I want to see us continue to trust, learn, and deepen our connection with our grantees. 

Further, I hope to deepen the connection among our members. While we need to grow the organization to increase the impact of our work, I want to stay mindful of how to stay in touch with, connect with, and ensure we continue to celebrate the talents of our amazing members. The recent WDN programs our members have led are beautiful illustrations of this.

If you could invite one famous person to join WDN, who would you invite?

Heather Cox Richardson, a history professor from Boston College who writes a compelling daily newsletter where she puts today’s current events into historical context. I would also invite Krista Tippett, a gifted interviewer who holds fascinating conversations with people across faiths, talents, and professions. No matter the chaos, upset, or darkness that may be going on in the world, she grounds me and sheds such light. By the way, I learned about both of these women from WDNers!

Find out more about Mary Cooper.

Zoe Mercer-Golden

(She/her/hers)

What led to your interest in joining the WDN Board?

WDN has been an incredible home for me as I’ve grappled with my family’s privilege and my own, and what it means to be a funder, activist, and donor-organizer. I have been mentored and guided by so many powerful women across generations (including my mother, the incredible Michelle Mercer, secretary of the WDN Action Board of Directors), and am eager to give back to this community in whatever way I can. I was honored to be asked to serve and said yes with all my heart. 

What do you hope to see the Board accomplish during your tenure?

As a youngish member (I mean, look, I can’t keep up with the kids these days, I’m 32), I’m really interested in thinking about how we can add younger members to this community, and also how we can make sure that our membership is ever more representational and inclusive. While I’m sure there will be many moments in which I’ll miss our beloved President & CEO Emerita Donna Hall, I’m so excited for Leena Barakat’s leadership, and am pumped about the strategic planning process that is planned for next year. I hope to see the Board support and execute on Leena’s, the staff’s, and the membership’s vision for where WDN should go in the next few years. 

If you could invite one famous person to join WDN, who would you invite?

Goodness, what a great question. I’ll cheat and give two. I think probably Susan B. Anthony, who I would pin down on where she stood on abortion rights so that the right-wing embarrassment that is the Susan B. Anthony List wouldn’t exist, and her perennial partner in the fight, Elizabeth Cady Stanton. As much as I admire and am inspired by their fierce proto-feminism and leadership, I am troubled by their inability to think intersectionally, and by the racism they both allowed that held back the suffrage movement (and the women’s movements that followed). I’m confident that WDN membership would spur these two privileged white women to think and act differently. 

Find out more about Zoe Mercer-Golden.

Nancy Westcott

(She/her/hers)

What led to your interest in joining the WDN Board?

For the past 8 years as a WDN member, I’ve been so impressed with our Board leaders. I hope my experience will add to the many talents of others to further our progress during these challenging times. Combined with the dedication and leadership of all WDN members and staff, we have a significant opportunity to leverage the strengths we have to accelerate our impact. I want to help as much as I can.

What do you hope to see the Board accomplish during your tenure?

I hope we expand our membership in a striking way, in terms of number of members, the breadth of backgrounds they represent, and our ability to retain members because they feel deeply engaged. Strong membership will result in even greater philanthropic and political influence.

If you could invite one famous person to join WDN, who would you invite?

Dolores Huerta because of her leadership and vision to do something about one of the most underappreciated and downtrodden, yet essential, communities in our society – Latino farmworkers. Think about what she could teach us in building alliances and power!

Find out more about Nancy Westcott.

Stay Connected