Julia Cuba Lewis

Executive Director

Girls Empowerment Network


Before GEN, Julia worked for eight years at the Girl Scouts of Central Texas running various outreach programs that served at-risk girls.  Prior to that, she worked in Chicago at several grassroots women’s agencies on equal employment opportunities, international women’s issues, mentor programs and emergency rape counseling.  She is the recipient of numerous professional and academic awards, including Austin Under 40.  While earning her Master’s degree at UT, she was honored as the NASW Student of the Year for the City of Austin and again for the State of Texas, and was the student commencement speaker for her graduating class. She is past Secretary and two-time Chair of the Austin Commission for Women, and is a graduate of Leadership Austin and Leadership Texas. Julia was also a Visiting Scholar and Community Sabbatical Recipient through The University of Texas Humanities Institute. Julia previously taught a graduate course at the U.T. School of Social Work called Leadership of Human Service Organizations, and currently co-teaches a certification program at U.T. called The Executive Director Lab, which provides real leadership resources and strategies to emerging leaders. She is a Trustee on the board of the Khabele School. She was the narrator and troop leader in an award-winning documentary about a program she directed while at the Girl Scouts called Troop 1500, which aired on PBS to more than 800,000 viewers in March 2006 and was highlighted in O Magazine, People Magazine, This American Life and won the runner up “Audience Award” at SXSW. The documentary, about a Girl Scout troop with incarcerated mothers, had a successful U.S. tour with Julia as its spokesperson and can still be seen on PBS today.

What I love about GEN: 

I love that GEN is addressing critical issues that girls face today, both locally and nationally. GEN is an amazing catalyst for change because we are educating our community about the unique pressures of growing up female. The staff members of GEN are as passionate about women’s and girls issues as I am, and that makes our work environment not only energetic, but educational and very fun. Together we are committed to being a resource for our community – so that when a parent, educator or girl calls us for help, we have a way.

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