Up Close and Personal with Executive Director Courtney
Free The Girls is excited to introduce you to our new Executive Director Courtney Skiera-Vaughn!
Name: Courtney Skiera-Vaughn
Title: Executive Director
Tell Us About Yourself: I grew up as a Navy brat. We lived all over the United States, and even lived abroad for a while. Moving around as a child sparked my life-long love of travel and all things international. My husband, Chris, and I recently moved to Colorado after living in Uganda for three years and have been absolutely gorging ourselves on pizza and TexMex to make up for lost time while we were living in Africa.
Professional Background: I’m currently working on my dissertation for a Ph.D in health psychology with a concentration in culture (it’s more interesting than it sounds, I promise!).
I’ve been involved with non-profit work since a child because my mom ran a non-profit for years. I grew up volunteering and haven’t really ever stopped. Most recently, I served as Country Director for Kwagala Project (who partners with Free The Girls program in Uganda) where I worked with survivors of sex trafficking. Survivors are, quite simply, incredible and resilient women. My husband and I also founded a non-profit a few years ago. I’ve seen the whole scope of working for an international charitable organization. It’s exhausting some days, but I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Hobbies: I’m a massive book nerd so always have a few books I’m in the middle of at any given time. Since moving to Colorado, my husband and I have spent a ton of time outside biking, snowshoeing, hiking, and swimming. If it’s outside, I love it.
And I really like food. A lot.
Immediate Goals for Free The Girls: I am excited about continuing to engage supporters of Free The Girls. I want to help all these incredible people–who hold bra drives, who volunteer for us, who are Everyday Abolitionists, and who donate money–to really and truly understand the impact Free The Girls has on women around the world! By helping people connect the dots, our supporters will start to see the whole narrative of who we are and how their support is directly involved in fighting human trafficking and in providing economic empowerment to survivors of sex trafficking.
Biggest Surprise about Free The Girls since you started May 1: You know, I think I was intimidated by the idea of attending my first meeting with the Board of Directors. But, really, it was the best Board meeting ever! The awesome, fun culture of Free The Girls definitely starts at the top.