Helping Each Other Win

BWOI Trailblazers

Each year BWOI honors women who are trailblazing women of color who exemplify our mission of helping women and communities of color win.   Meet our Trailblazer honorees below:

Ambassador Alice Dear

President A.M. Dear & Associates,
 Former Executive Director, African Development Bank

Africanist, businesswoman and former banker, Ambassador Alice Dear is President of A.M. Dear & Associates, a business advisory boutique that promotes private sector investment and public-private partnerships in Africa.  Ambassador Dear is also President of Unique Afrique, Inc., a web-based importer of unique fashion accessories handcrafted primarily by African women.  

A strong advocate for gender equity and women’s economic empowerment, she is a frequent speaker on strategies to support small and medium scale enterprises.Her familiarity with the nuances of African business, political, and economic affairs complements her skills in international finance garnered during an 11-year tenure on Wall Street covering the Middle East and Africa regions. 

In 1994 President Clinton appointed Ms. Dear, with unanimous Senate confirmation as Executive Director of the African Development Bank, Africa's premier financial institution. From 1994-2000 she represented the U.S. Government on the Board of Directors at Bank headquarters in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa.  As the first woman to represent the U.S. in the ambassador level position at the Bank, she paved the way for three female successors.

Ambassador Dear is a Life Member and representative of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. at the United Nations in special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council.  She is a current Board Member and Treasurer of Women’s eNews, an online news service covering women’s local and global issues, and Board Member of the Atlanta-based IUGB Foundation, whose mission is to provide financial support to help the International University of Grand-Bassam, Cote d’Ivoire realize its vision of becoming a Regional Center of Excellence in Higher Education.  She is also member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Planning Committee of Global Summit of Women. 

Ambassador Dear holds a M.B.A. from Pace University, and a B.A. from Howard University.  Born and raised in Gary, Indiana, the avid traveler speaks French fluently.  She is a long-time resident of the Village of Harlem in New York City.

 Kaylin Whittingham

Founder & Managing Attorney, Whittingham Law

President, Association of Black Women Attorneys (ABWA)

Founding and Managing Attorney of Whittingham Law, a boutique law firm in New York City that focuses on attorney disciplinary defense, legal ethics and professional liability.  She defends attorneys and other professionals who are alleged to have committed professional misconduct. 

Prior to opening her own practice, Ms. Whittingham served as an ethics counsel at the Department Disciplinary Committee, Appelate Division First Judicial Department - where she investigated and prosecuted attorneys accused of a wide array of ethical violations.   Before that she worked in health law - assisting individuals with mental illness.   Ms. Whittingham served as judicial intern for the Honorable Dolores Sloviter, Unites States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; and the Honorable Milton Tingling, Supreme Court for the State of New York, New York County.  She is a graduate of Northeastern School of Law, where she is a member of the Northeastern Law Journal; and is admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. 

Ms. Whittingham is the President of the Associaton of Black Women Attorneys (ABWA) - an organization dedicated to providing vital support and training to black women attorneys while giving back to the community.  She is a member of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) House of Delegates - the governing body of the largest Bar Association in New York. She serves on NYSBA's Committee on Professional Ethics; the New York City Bar Association Committee on Professional Discipline and the Committee on Minorities in the Profession. Ms. Whittingham speaks frequently at Bar Associations, law firms and other organizations. 

Ms. Whittingham is also very involved in her community - whether it is representing pro-bono clients; or helping to serve meals at the Bowery's Men's Shelter; or helping women at the Bottomless Closet who are reentering the workforce; or helping to bring awareness to Lupus; or volunteering at a career day for Elementary School students; or assisting victims of domestic violence.

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