As Founding Executive Director of the Program for Research and Outreach on Gender Equity in Society at Carnegie Mellon University (PROGRESS), Ayana Ledford is a highly sought out national lecturer by nonprofit, corporate, government agencies, and academic institutions who seek to address the need for greater diversity. She is an expert on multiple factors influencing women’s long-term career success and utilizes negotiation as an essential leadership tool in her trainings.  PROGRESS’ mission is to improve society by empowering women and girls through the art of negotiation; Ms. Ledford’s fulfills this mission by providing negotiation training and self-sufficiency to women that are in all stages of their life. She has presented to over 500 for profit and nonprofit organizations. Her trainings and workshops have been presented to a variety of college campuses, businesses, nonprofit organizations, after school programs, private/public/independent schools, and community based programs. For example, groups such as the 2014 Women of Courage Awardees, Harvard University, Westminster College, Chatham University, PNC Bank, AmeriCorps, Dress for Success, Penn State University, University of Pittsburgh, BNY Mellon, National Association of Graduate Professionals, Pittsburgh Area Independent Teachers Association, Charles Schwab, American Association of University Women, and Emory College.   In addition, she developed innovative curriculum for next generation of women leaders. The path that led her toward her work was built on a foundation of advocacy,  with past work experience including time with the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University and community organizing efforts made on behalf of low income Pittsburgh Public School students. She has also fought for low-income access to health care with the Consumer Health Coalition and while serving as a consultant in Central West Africa.  Some of her past and present commitments include serving on the board of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Sojourner House, Athena Awards host committee, Girls Coalition of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Terry McAdam Book Committee for Nonprofit Management, and founding member of the Sankofa Fund of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Ms. Ledford holds a bachelors from Dickinson College and Masters from the University of Pittsburgh.