About Frances J. Skinner-Lewis
Time Magazine recently featured Frances in its “Salute to Women in Leadership” touting her clients’ description of Frances as ingeniously creative, compassionate, a true visionary, and tenacious. The descriptors ring true whether coming from the CEO of a national construction company touting her professionalism or from a global musical artist applauding her strategic thinking in positioning his foundation for accelerated growth and sustainable impact.
A graduate of the University of Arizona with a double major in Secondary Education and Political Science with a minor in history, Frances joined the ABC-TV affiliate in Tucson, Arizona serving as its political and feature reporter covering the Presidential election and celebrities alike. Law school called and Frances graduated in 1980 from the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Chicago Kent College of Law summa cum laude with highest distinction. Upon graduation, Frances joined one of Chicago’s largest law firms as the first woman in its litigation department, making partner on the fast track. Expanding her practice internationally with different firms over her career and being recognized for her leadership through two gubernatorial appointments, Illinois Supreme Court appointment as trial judge for state ethics commission, and countless chairmanships of various bar association committees, in 2004 Frances opened her own firm where she successfully combines her litigation practice with her consulting work on behalf of celebrities, athletes, non-profits, businesses, coalitions, governments and their various agencies, and the United Nations.
Since 1980, Frances has served as consultant and strategic philanthropic advisor for high profile individuals, non-profits and companies of all sizes. A small sampling of her range of services in addition to creating bespoke foundations for high profile individuals, developing corporate social responsibility relationships for corporations and non-profits include securing appointments for celebrities including for example, UNICEF Ambassador, Membership on the US Presidential Committee on People with Intellectual Disabilities, Speaker at World Health Organization Meeting on: AIDS (Geneva), Youth Violence (Brussels); Keynote speaker and performer at Inaugural World Diabetes Day at the United Nations in New York. A few highlights of recent projects include serving as content creator, production liaison, story-teller executive producer for the first-ever International Olympics cause related documentary highlighting the power of sport as a catalyst for development featuring Olympian Johann Koss and his Right to Play organization in conjunction with the Bill and Melinda Gates World Vaccine Fund; content liaison and story teller executive producer for ExxonMobil and its malaria partnerships with Idol Gives Back in Angola on two occasions; project liaison and content coordinator/talent management for UNITED Airlines’ inaugural flight to Accra, Ghana, activations of its on the ground malaria prevention project, and filming for the World Cup; developed content and talent for the history making presentation at the United Nations on December 10, 2013 International Human Rights Day centering the world’s attention on Equality for the LGBT Community in Sports headlined by Martina Navratilova and Jason Collins.
In 2011, Frances formed Global Action Initiatives, LLC which has quickly grown into a leading strategic advisor to international game-changers from the worlds of business, entertainment, fashion, finance, philanthropy, and professional and Olympic sports. GAI develops highly leveraged and integrated projects maximizing collective social impact and improving the return on investment whether it is an investment of time, money, goods, services, or sweat equity. GAI provides high level communication and advocacy training developing powerful narratives and visual metaphors consistent with the shared values of all participants.
GAI produces the Global Action Forum, a bi-annual event convening leaders, celebrities, athletes, non-profits, corporations and activists from around the world who identify urgent needs, share best practices, develop responsive strategies, forge alliances and coalitions of targeted change. GAI presents the Global Action Awards, known as the “Oscars of Philanthropy” and “The Academy Awards for Global Game Changers” celebrating the tireless and authentic efforts of individuals, brands and non-profits on the front lines of peace and development. GAI is the exclusive global partner of the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace launching its inaugural International Sport and Social Impact Summit at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, June, 2014, where it will be located for years to come.