Gillian Caldwell is a strategist who helps non-profits, foundations, films and socially responsible corporations increase their impact. Her special areas of expertise in the US and global contexts are: strategic planning, outreach and advocacy campaigns, video advocacy, organizational development, retreat design and facilitation, executive coaching and transition planning. She has been busy consulting full time since the fall of 2010. In 2010, Gillian completed three years as Campaign Director for 1Sky (www.1sky.org now merged with www.350.org), which she helped build from inception. From start up under her leadership, 1Sky grew within two years to become the largest collaborative climate and energy campaign in the United States, and combined the force of over 640 allied organizations, a team of organizers in 23 states nationwide at the height of the 2009 Congressional debate, more than 225,000 climate advocates and more than 4000 volunteer “Climate Precinct Captains” covering every state and Congressional District in the country.
Prior to launching the 1Sky campaign, Gillian served as the Executive Director of WITNESS, which was co-founded by musician Peter Gabriel and uses the power of video to open the eyes of the world to human rights abuses. Gillian led WITNESS’ rapid expansion during her decade of leadership and helped produce over 30 documentary shorts and films for use in systems-changing advocacy campaigns in partnership with NGOs in dozens of countries around the world. During that time, she also worked with many well-known musicians and actors, including Angelina Jolie, Jackson Browne, Susan Sarandon, and Tim Robbins. Before her 10 years of leadership at WITNESS, Gillian Directed a global undercover investigation and global campaign on the Russian mafia’s involvement in trafficking women for forced prostitution, and produced and directed an influential documentary film which was televised internationally and helped spur policy changes worldwide.
Gillian is also co-editor and author of a book titled Video for Change: A Guide to Advocacy and Activism (Pluto Press, 2005). She received her BA from Harvard University and a J.D. from Georgetown University, where she was recognized as a Public Interest Law Scholar.
She is a recipient of numerous awards and honors for social entrepreneurship, including an echoing green fellowship, the Skoll Award, the Schwab Foundation Award and an Ashoka Award. She was also honored with a Next Generation Leadership Award by the Rockefeller Foundation. Gillian has benefited from several intensive leadership development programs, including Rockwood’s Art of Leadership and their yearlong program, Leading from the Inside Out.
Gillian is an athlete and musician who is living in Chiang Mai, Thailand until June of 2014 when she will return to her home in the Washington DC area with her life partner Louis Spitzer (the former Global Director of New Media at the ONE campaign co-founded by musician Bono), their children, Tess and Finley, and the other members of their family: four chickens and a pound hound.