HWW Impact Committee

In 2014, HWW created a special committee to work closely with the HWW Board and staff to plan and execute the 2014 Impact Investing Symposium and related events and to help guide HWW’s emergence as a thought leader in the Impact Investing space. This committee continued with the 2015 Impact Investing Symposium and we look forward to their continued support and guidence in 2016.


photo1Drianne Benner joined Appomattox Advisory as Managing Director in 2010.  She is responsible for client and consultant service and marketing communications.  Prior to joining Appomattox, Drianne was the Director of Global Marketing for Cadogan Management, a global fund of hedge funds manager. Previously, she managed marketing and institutional consultant relations at U.S. Trust, where she assisted in the development of the multi-manager platform for the firm.  Earlier she worked for a global asset manager in a variety of roles including institutional and consultant relations to some of the largest U.S. pension funds and as a manager of portfolios in an enhanced quantitative strategy.   She is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts.  Drianne serves on the Board of Peconic Green Growth as well as on the Philanthropy committee of the Peconic Land Trust.


photo2Moya Connelly is an impact investment professional with extensive experience in microfinance investing and investment funds.   Moya was one of the founders of MicroVest in 2002.  She has served as the chief financial officer of a capital management company, an investment officer (lending and equity), and a member of the Board of various microfinance organizations (MFIs and NGOs).   Most recently, she developed several funds for the European market and managed a large microfinance fund.  She has volunteered on several microfinance consulting projects for High Water Women.  Moya has an MBA from the University of Virginia and an undergraduate degree in Economics from Smith College.  She is currently the Treasurer and a Board member of Seed Capital Development Fund, a microfinance NGO.


Leadership of the Young Women's Council

The YWC was created in 2010 to recruit young women who are passionate about philanthropy into High Water Women.  The YWC plans events (intellectual, cultural, social and service-oriented) that would appeal to a younger generation of professional women to introduce more women to HWW volunteer opportunities and cultivate the future leadership of the organization.

Alexandra Brown is an Associate at The Alberleen Group, where she serves on the investment team and works with Alberleen's Investment Banking teams on Mergers & Acquisitions as well as Private Placement Transactions.   Alexandra previously worked at Epoch Media Group, developing and assisting in raising capital for their Independent Film portfolio.  She holds a BS/BA from McGill University in Psychology, Economics and International Development.  She is active with the McGill alumni network, a member of the High Water Women’s Young Women’s Council and is passionate about financial literacy, education, women’s and children's causes in New York and abroad.

 Bhav Dhanak is a sales and business development professional with experience in capital markets and sales and trading.

Most recently, she worked with Fortune 200 corporations at Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo. She earned her B.S in Finance and a minor in French from the University of Florida. Bhav has been a member of High Water Women since 2011.

Kate Kessler is a Director in Finance at NYU Langone Medical Center. She is primarily responsible for managing the Revenue Cycle Operations through the capture, management, and collection of outpatient service revenue. Previously, she worked as a healthcare consultant providing operational and financial consulting, expertise in client performance management, process evaluation, and cost analysis. Kate graduated from Northern Illinois University with a B.A. in Communications with emphasis in Organizational/Corporate Communications.

Rebecca Liu is a Director of Joint Venture Management at American Express, where she leads the JV integration and separation strategy for AXP’s retained stake in its Global Business Travel business. Before this role, she worked within product development at AXP, delivering cross-border payment solutions for companies with internal exposure. Prior to joining AXP, Rebecca worked in investment banking at Barclays Capital, focusing on derivatives hedging advisory for multinational corporations. She received her B.S from Cornell University in 2008. In her spare time, Rebecca geeks out over all things TV-related, pop culture-based, and technology-driven.  She is passionate about financial inclusion and works to connect women in technology and finance with inspiring peers and worthwhile content.

Vanessa Singh BWVanessa Singh is an analyst at Innisfree M&A, Incorporated where she performs shareholder analysis with particular focus on hedge arbitrageownership for her clients.  Prior to that she was an associate in the private wealth management division at Morgan Stanley.  She graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a degree in Psychology and Economics and earned a Master’s Degree in International Finance from Columbia University.  She is a mentor coach with New York Needs You and enjoys volunteering to teach financial literacy, traveling and cooking with friends.

Jamila Justine Willis is a corporate finance associate in the New York office of DLA Piper LLP (US), where she practices corporate restructuring. She previously worked as a human rights attorney for International Bridges to Justice in Geneva, Switzerland. Jamila earned her JD from the University of Virginia Law School and B.A. in Economics and Communications from the University of Pennsylvania. Dedicated to the economic empowerment of women and support of the arts, Jamila is also a member of the Leadership Council of Sadie Nash Leadership Project and on the board of the Neuberger Young Collectors for the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, New York. Jamila has been an active member of High Water Women since 2011 and part of the Young Women's Council since 2012, during which she has focused on programming and fundraising for High Water Women.

Catherine Wright is an Associate Financial Analyst for the Business Planning team at Moody’s Corporation. In her role, she assists in managing the global business planning workflow for Moody’s Sovereign line of business and operations in Canada and Latin America. Catherine graduated with a BS in Finance with a concentration in Marketing from Lehigh University in the spring of 2015.

At Lehigh, Catherine developed a strong passion for both economic empowerment and educational development of women and underprivileged communities. She embraced these pursuits by volunteering as an English tutor at a correctional facility and serving as the President for Lehigh’s Women in Business organization during her senior year. Upon graduation, Catherine was quick to become an active member of High Water Women in the summer of 2015 and join the Young Women’s Council in 2016. Given her strong belief in the mission, Catherine is thrilled to support High Water Women as a Councilwoman. 

Jacklyn Young HeadshotJacklyn Young is an audit manager at KPMG in the financial services division. She specializes in the private equity and alternative investment management space. At KPMG, she is a National Instructor for firm-wide trainings and is also involved in recruiting. Jacklyn earned her B.S. in Accounting from Creighton University. She is excited to be part of High Water Women’s Young Women’s Council and aid the organization in pursuing its mission.