ABOUT Gail Straub

A visionary pioneer and activist in the field of empowerment, Gail Straub co-founded the Empowerment Institute in 1981. One of the world’s leading authorities on women’s empowerment, she co-founded IMAGINE: A Global Initiative for the Empowerment of Women to help women heal from violence, build strong lives, and contribute to their community. IMAGINE initiatives are currently under way throughout Africa, India, and the Middle East where they have impacted over half a million lives.

Gail is the author of seven books that have garnered multiple awards, including with her husband David Gershon, the best-selling Empowerment, which has been translated into 14 languages; the critically acclaimed The Rhythm of Compassion; her feminist memoir, Returning to My Mother’s House; and her love letter to her mountain valley, The Ashokan Way

Gail’s white paper entitled “The Missing Piece in the Women’s Empowerment Equation” is considered a seminal contribution to the field of human agency. She has contributed to various anthologies on women’s empowerment including Enlightened Power: How Women Are Transforming The Practice of Leadership. She lives near the Ashokan Reservoir in the Hudson River Valley in New York.

The Ashokan way: about the book


Corporate and Non-Profit Clients

Dozens of corporations and non-profits have been trained or formed strategic partnerships to implement Empowerment Institute’s methodology. Some of the larger or more well know clients include:

  • American Express
  • Coca-Cola
  • Dove
  • Deloitte
  • Josie Maran Cosmetics
  • Nike
  • Omega Institute
  • Sterling Publishing
  • Unilever
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Whole Foods Markets
  • Women for Women International


  • Arlington County, VA
  • Bend City Water Department, OR
  • Chattanooga-Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Agency, TN
  • Chattanooga Area Regional Transit Authority, TN
  • City of Chattanooga Department of Public Works, TN
  • City of Columbus Health Department, OH
  • City of Harrisburg, PA
  • City of Irvine, CA
  • City of Issaquah Resource Conservation Office, WA
  • City of Kansas City Department of Environmental Management, MO
  • City of Los Angeles,CA
  • City of Madison Recycling Office, WI
  • City of Mountain View, CA
  • City of Minneapolis, MN
  • City of Mountain View, CA
  • City of Petaluma, CA
  • City of Palo Alto, CA
  • City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, OR
  • City of Portland Department of Transportation, OR
  • City of Portland Water Bureau, OR
  • City of Portland Energy Office, OR
  • City of Portland Office of Sustainable Development, OR
  • City of San Francisco, CA
  • White House Office of Sustainable Development


Empowerment Institute’s non-profit research arm, Global Action Plan, has received the following foundation support for its research and development initiatives around behavior change, community empowerment and sustainable development.

  • Bullitt Foundation
  • Joyce Mertz Gilmore Foundation
  • Kettering Foundation
  • MacArthur Foundation
  • Merck Family Fund
  • Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Rockefeller Family Services
  • Sloan Foundation
  • Surdna Foundation
  • A Better World Fund
  • Adobe Systems
  • Ciba-Geigy Foundation
  • Compton Foundation
  • Cray Foundation