Considered a pioneer in the field of empowerment, Gail Straub co-founded Empowerment Training Programs in 1981 and has offered her work to tens of thousands of people throughout America, Europe, Russia, China, and East Asia. She co-directs the Empowerment Institute, a school for transformative leadership whose certified graduates are implementing the empowerment model in education, business, health, hip-hop, and social change. With her husband, David Gershon, Gail co-authored the best seller Empowerment: The Art of Creating Your Life as You Want It. In its twelfth printing, the book has been translated into eight languages and is used worldwide as the basis for empowerment life coaching and support groups. Gails empowerment work has had an impact on women all over the world. She trained Russian activists in the empowerment methodology, helping them build a visionary leadership model for social change. She has done similar work in China where the Chinese Womens Federation adopted the empowerment model. Currently her Afghanistan Womens Empowerment Initiative is helping hundreds of Afghan women to heal from violence and to build strong empowered lives. The partnership between the Empowerment Institute and the Womens Institute at Omega has placed Gail at the forefront of visionary work for women. In addition, she is a contributor to the groundbreaking book Enlightened Power: How Women Are Transforming the Practice of Leadership. Taking her empowerment work to a global platform early in her career, Gail served as the international director for the historic First Earth Run, a global initiative co-sponsored by the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) and ABC Television. During the height of the Cold War, a torch of peace was passed around the world, mobilizing the participation of 25 million people, 62 countries, and 45 heads of state. The event raised several million dollars for UNICEF, which distributed it to the neediest children in the world. In 1992, when her students requested more in-depth training, Gail created Grace: A Spiritual Growth Training Program. Designed to integrate spiritual development with social and ecological responsibility, the yearlong program has been completed by hundreds of students throughout North America, Europe, and Russia. Based on its success, she wrote the critically acclaimed The Rhythm of Compassion: Caring for Self, Connecting with Society, and Circle of Compassion: Meditations for Caring for the Self and the World. Gail received her B.A. with honors in political science from Skidmore College. She has served in the Peace Corps in West Africa, and on the boards of the Omega Institute, the Russian American Humanitarian Initiative, and The Next Wave of Women and Power, among others. She is a faculty member at The Edge International School for Leadership and Spirituality in the Netherlands.?