Ami Becker Aronson
From a young age growing up in Northern California, I’ve had an unbridled passion and deep curiosity about the world. I remember I would stand on my head and wonder, ‘what would the world be like if we were all upside down.’ This wide-eyed spirit took me to Pueblo, Mexico at age 15, where I discovered the immense disparities in the world, and a few years later to Nairobi, Kenya, to study giraffes and learn about the natural order. These experiences shaped my personal and professional path, to study medical anthropology and public health, to travel the world and appreciate different cultures and people, and to help address the world’s most pressing problems in creative and imaginative ways. And to always remember what my mother ingrained in me: to be conscious of my role in the world, and to serve at the highest level. After getting my Masters in Public Health in Jerusalem, I worked for 18 years in the field of global public health, with organizations like Save the Children and the Women’s Aid Network, across Thailand, Nepal and the U.S. For the past ten years, I’ve led the Bernstein Family Foundation, preserving my grandfather’s legacy of service while catapulting the organization into the 21st century, both in terms of structures and systems but also in the way we assess and address the issues that we fund. I thrive in creative, energetic environments that allow me to stretch my imagination, take risks, and disrupt the traditional ways of doing things; as my husband likes to say, “Ami doesn’t think outside the box, she never knew a box existed in the first place.” I’ve been blessed to work with dynamic women across several industries, and strongly believe that empowering and nurturing women in leadership positions holds enormous benefits for our communities and for the world. In fact, if I could give myself a title, it would be ‘Lead Feminine Design Strategist’ – helping women leaders harness their unique qualities to advance vital issues. Finally, nothing brings me greater joy than to be of service, to people and to the world. I want to help architect the future; to be part of the team that’s thinking creatively to solve the world’s most intractable problems. I’m excited at this stage of my life to look back and to dream forward; to have a beginner’s mind and to know what I don’t know. And to continue to put into practice my grandfather’s legacy. He used to say, “Give 17 ounces to the pound, Ami.” Don’t just do the obvious, go beyond what’s expected; that one ounce more can make a lifetime of difference.