The Women’s Rights & Empowerment Network (WREN) is thrilled to announce that the Board of Directors has named Dr. Amalia Luxardo its new Chief Executive Officer. With more than 20 years of service in the public sector, Luxardo brings a wealth of leadership experience and a passion for positive change. She succeeds Ann Warner, who stepped down in September 2023.
As a bilingual, bicultural daughter of immigrants, Luxardo’s distinguished professional and academic career has been dedicated to elevating and empowering communities that have been historically underrepresented and underserved.
“I was truly impressed by how Amalia’s experience, passion, and vision perfectly aligned with the needs of our organization,” said Beth Ruffin, chair of WREN’s Board of Directors. “Amalia’s track record of fundraising success and strategic thinking is exactly what we need to solidify WREN’s position as a leader in the Southeast and across the nation. Her leadership style is a perfect fit for our mission. I am confident that under her guidance, we will continue to make a lasting impact within the communities we serve.”
Before joining WREN, Luxardo served as the CEO of the Women’s Foundation for the State of Arizona, where she transitioned a regional organization to expand statewide, redistributed over $10MM to individuals and local organizations, launched the state’s first and only Women and Girls of Color Fund, and passed legislation that provided an avenue for self-sufficiency to over 160,000 single mothers in Arizona. Luxardo has been awarded Arizona’s Top 40 under 40, Top 20 Women in Arizona, Capital Times Achiever of the Year, Cox Hispanic Heritage Leader, and one of Arizona’s Women of Influence in the Non-Profit Sector.
Brandi Parrish Ellison, WREN’s Chief Operating Officer and interim CEO, expressed enthusiasm about the appointment, saying, “We warmly welcome Luxardo to the nest. I am confident that her leadership will build upon our strong foundation, and I look forward to collaborating with her to grow our influence in advancing the cause of gender justice.”
Luxardo received her Ph.D. in conflict analysis and resolution from Nova Southeastern University. She previously served as a researcher and policy advisor for the Department of State during the Obama administration. During that time, her research was published as a resource for the national administration’s blueprint for immigration reform.
“I am honored to join such an incredible team doing critical work for women, girls, and gender-expansive people in South Carolina. I look forward to increasing our visibility, expanding our reach, and securing legislative wins for our communities.”
Luxardo’s appointment concludes a national search, and she will assume the CEO role on February 20, 2024.
Through a strong collective voice, the Women’s Rights & Empowerment Network is a non-partisan, non-profit organization building a movement to advance the health, economic well-being, and rights of South Carolina’s women, girls, gender-expansive people, and their families. Learn more at https://scwren.org.