Who We Are

Founder and Executive Director

Tiffani Brownley-Meijer

The creation of The World Parity Institute was inspired by Tiffani’s years of working across sectors on gender and human rights issues in Africa, Asia and Europe. She began her career in domestic and international corporate law working for companies in the United States and London, England, but later worked in diplomacy and public international law.

The scope of Tiffani’s work has ranged from international women’s issues, to conflict resolution, to humanitarian and human rights law in both her professional and academic careers. She has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali, West Africa working on maternal and infant health, STD and AIDS outreach, and addressing gender inequality through GAD (Gender and Development). Her gender equity work continued in Japan in collaboration with the United Nations University, and the Tokyo and Yokohama Women’s Networks.

She has worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) handling genocide appeals cases for both the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and has worked at the OPWC addressing global compliance to weapons of mass destruction treaties. Her civic leadership includes work for organizations such as The International Rescue Committee, The American Enterprise Institute, and The Respect Institute. Tiffani holds a Bachelor of Arts in French and International Affairs from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master of Arts in Diplomacy concentrating on conflict resolution and strategic studies from the International University, Vienna, Austria, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Colorado at Boulder with an international law concentration from Leiden University.

Board of Directors

Michelle Branch

Michelle is the founder of Branch Law Group, where she advises a wide variety of companies, founders, and nonprofits focused on building change through technology. In prior years, Michelle has counseled Google, Twilio, and the Founders Fund venture capital firm. Michelle has taught as a full-time faculty member at NYU Law School and as a visiting faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley. A strong advocate for public service, Michelle has served as a board member with SIRUM, City Slicker Farms, the La Cocina kitchen incubator, and the Junior League of San Francisco. She currently serves on United Way Worldwide’s Women’s Leadership Council. Michelle holds A.B. and J.D. degrees from Stanford and a Ph.D. in U.S. History from the University of California at Berkeley.

Bette Shifman

Bette is the Principal at Words and Bytes. Previously, Bette has served as Vice President of CPR, the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, in New York. Ms. Shifman has experience in international law and dispute resolution, including positions at the International Court of Justice, and at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). Ms. Shifman is a former general editor of the Journal of International Arbitration and World Trade and Arbitration Materials, and has served as special consultant to Kluwer Law International’s international arbitration database and web portal. Ms. Shifman is also an accredited mediator (CEDR), and holds a master’s degree in information science with a focus on the digital information lifecycle. Prior to joining DLA Piper, Ms. Shifman was Executive Director of ADR Chambers in Toronto, also heading the ADR Chambers Banking Ombuds Office. Her previous legal experience includes positions in New York, Amsterdam, Brussels and Kinshasa.

D. Danard Smith

Danard is a fully registered Financial Advisor with LPL Financial and has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. In addition to his general securities registration, he holds Series 31, 63, and 65 Registrations, and Property, Casualty, Life and Health Insurance license with specialties including Retirement Planning, Individual Retirement Accounts, Churches, Charities and Financial Planning.

Danard holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences from William Penn College, in Oskaloosa, Iowa. He began his brokerage career with Kober Financial. Subsequently, he worked with The Chapman Company, Legg Mason Wood Walker, Citi Smith Barney, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, and has been an Independent Financial Advisor with LPL Financial since 2010.

In Danard’s civic life, he is very engaged in the communities in which he works and lives. He is a member of the Baltimore Municipal Golf Board of Directors and the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute Alumni Association. Danard is a past board member of the Episcopal Community Services of Maryland, the Pi Omega Foundation, the Baltimore Delta Alumnae Foundation, the St. James Episcopal Church Foundation, the Associated Black Charities Gala Committee, the St. James Development Corporation, the Baltimore City Community College Marketing Advisory Committee and the Maryland Sickle Cell Disease Association.

Glenn Blumhorst

Glenn Blumhorst is President and CEO of the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), a national membership organization for individuals influenced by the Peace Corps experience, whose mission is “to champion lifelong commitment to Peace Corps ideals.”

Blumhorst is a senior corporate executive and international development professional with extensive expertise in non-profit organization leadership, agriculture development and community development. He has over 25 years of resident and/or short-term experience in more than 30 countries.

Prior to joining the NPCA, he enjoyed an illustrious 18-year career with ACDI/VOCA, most recently leading the establishment and successful growth of ACDI/VOCA’s worldwide community development practice area as Managing Director. He has also served as Chief of Party on several USAID-funded programs throughout South America.

Blumhorst launched his career by serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala (1988-91). He holds a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, both from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is a licensed private pilot.

Andreas Sæbjørnson

Andreas is an entrepreneur and software engineer with a wide range of experience in tech. During his career he founded Cosemble, a social event ticketing service, as well as a non-profit called Fruitfulminds that educates inner-city kids and their families about healthy nutrition. He started his education in physics and switched to a computer science PhD. He currently works for Uber on growth.