I take great pleasure and delight in holding mirrors up to others so they can see their own greatness. I grew up with parents who loved me in every way and who struggled with addiction. I used much of that love and struggle from my childhood to help find my path and create a path for others. I’m exceptional at seeing you. I can see where you’re stunning, wise, and glorious, and where you hold fear and doubt. I hold the space for you to allow your voice to shake, to be vulnerable, to be brave, and to be great even before you are entirely sure you are ready.
Many of us will experience a cultural condition asking us to compromise long before we can understand it. It’s often considered the feminine role to “keep the peace”, “not ruffle feathers” and “go with the flow.”
But you are awake and wanting more.
You’re seeking to be more connected to your unique wisdom and life’s calling. You hold a story only you can tell, a power only you can direct, a contribution only you can make. The world will never be the same until you unleash yourself. We need your voice, your brilliance, your insight, your power.
This is what it means to be uncompromising.
I work with women 1-1, in groups and on the stage to help them take the rebellious act of revering themselves and living joyful uncompromising lives.
Here’s the deal on me. I’m an irrepressible optimistic troublemaker who took 20 years to figure out how to go from a challenging childhood, a world of self-doubt and not a lot of resources to living a life full of magic, inspiration, love and impact. AND...I’m still embarrassingly human. I feel jealous, anxious, overwhelmed and afraid - often - but these feelings no longer own me. They are visitors who I recognize and usher through my house, sometimes cursing, and sometimes with grace.
Here is my super official bio!
Niko is an expert and an unshakeable advocate and speaker for women’s leadership. She has spent the last 20 years working with thousands of women and girls all over the world through innovative and progressive programs.
Niko launched Girls For A Change in 2001 and scaled the organization from 10 girls in the US to over 20,000 girls globally during her 9-year tenure as CEO. She grew Girls For A Change from proof of concept to scale as a national organization, raised millions of dollars in growth capital for national expansion from venture capital investors and high visibility national corporate partners that included Sephora Inc, Bank of America, Intel and American Express.
She has been acknowledged for her accomplishments by NPR, named by The Silicon Valley Business Journal as a “40 Under 40” social innovator and Fast Company magazine’s Social Capitalist Award.
She was selected to attend Harvard Business School’s Executive Management Program on a full scholarship.
Niko was selected by the US State Department in 2013 as a diplomatic speaker to teach Social Entrepreneurship to women in Tajikistan.
Niko co-founded Young Women Social Entrepreneurs, a national non-profit executive membership organization promoting women with socially-conscious agendas into leadership.
Niko’s been a Tedx speaker and been featured in Newsweek, The Washington Post, The San Jose Mercury News and a bunch of other awesome publications.
Niko helped build Career College of California, a higher education model that empowered high school graduates to achieve their hopes, dreams and aspirations in life through career training. She became a Senior Advisor at the Broad Academy where she coached and provided strategic advice to national school system leaders.
Niko’s designed and facilitated executive leadership trainings propelling transformation, change management, building high performing teams and cultures of purpose and performance for school districts, tech companies and corporations.
She now lives in Southern California with her husband and son. When she isn’t working with brilliant women, she surfs, runs, rides, cycles, dances and prays to the loudest music with the best beat she can get her hands on.
- Fellow, Draper Richards Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship
- Silicon Valley Business Journal, “40 Under 40” Award
- Fast Company Social Capitalist Award (Honorable Mention)
- U.S. State Department, Diplomatic Speaker
- National Public Radio, Community Hero Award
- Harvard Business School Scholarship Awardee, Executive Non-Profit Management Program
Select Speaking Engagements
- TedX, Orange County, CA, Speaker, “Meet Yourself: A Users Guide to Building Self-Esteem.”
- California Assoc. of Private Post-Secondary Schools Conference, San Diego, CA, Speaker, “Empowering Admissions.”
- Stanford Univ. Social Entrepreneurship Day, Palo Alto, CA, Speaker, “The Cost/Benefit of Corporate Partnerships.”
- Fundraising Day, San Francisco, CA, Workshop Leader, “Building Strategic Partnerships with Corporations.”
- Haas School of Business, Univ. of California Berkeley, Annual Net Impact Conference, Berkeley, CA, Panel Presenter
- Contributor: Brown University & National Institute of Health, Perinatal Abuse Prevention Program
- Guest Lecturer on Social Entrepreneurship: Stanford, Haas School of Business, Santa Clara University and San Jose State
- Business Plan Competition Judge: Judge for business plan competitions at Haas School of Business and Stanford University
- Young Women Social Entrepreneurs: Co-Founder
- Workforce Investment Board: Former Member, Board of Directors
- High School Inc.: Business Partner and High School Facilitator
- Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership: Fellow
- Harvard Business School, Non-Profit Management Executive Education, 2007
- Tufts University, Bachelor of Arts, 1997