2019 KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Digital Media Executive, Startup Investor & Best-Selling Author
Fran Hauser is a long-time media executive, startup investor and best-selling author of The Myth of the Nice Girl. Best known for her role building PEOPLE.com – one of the biggest media brands online – Hauser made the leap to early stage investing in 2014, funding and advising consumer-focused companies such as HelloGiggles, Mogul, The Wing and Gem&Bolt. 18 of the 20 companies in Hauser's portfolio are founded by women, highlighting her broader commitment to increasing the representation of female founders and investors.
Hauser's first book, THE MYTH OF THE NICE GIRL: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) deconstructs the negative perception of "niceness" that many women struggle with in the business world and resonates with smart women who are looking to take their career to the next level. The Myth of the Nice Girl was named Audible's Best Business Book of 2018 and one of Amazon's Best Business and Leadership Books of 2018, among other accolades.
Hauser spent 15 years in the digital media space, holding President and General Manager positions at Time Inc., AOL and Moviefone. She played an integral role in the $525mm sale of Moviefone to AOL and in building PEOPLE.com into one of the most successful women's websites.
Hauser speaks frequently about topics such as career building, digital media and investing in and by women. She recently received the Fairy Godmother Award from Girl Be Heard and the W Award from the YWCA of the City of New York, both of which honor change makers who advocate for women and girls around the world. She was named one of Business Insider's "30 Women In Venture Capital to Watch in 2018" and one of the "Six Most Powerful Women in New York City's Tech Scene" by Refinery29. In 2014, Hauser was honored as a Global Champion of Women on International Women's Day and was selected as a Forty Over 40 Women to Watch, a distinction that honors women who are reinventing, disrupting and making an impact. Fran and The Myth of the Nice Girl have been featured on a wide range of outlets including NBC's Today Show, CNBC, PEOPLE, Fortune, TIME, Yahoo! Business, Fast Company, Oprah.com, Business Insider, Elle, and many more. She writes a regular career advice column for Refinery29.
A passionate advocate of women around the globe, Hauser is Special Advisor to Girl Be Heard; an advisory board member of 92Y Women in Power and Rent the Runway's Project Entrepreneur; on the board of directors of GlobalGiving; and a mentor to hundreds of young women. A summa cum laude graduate of Pace University, Hauser lives in Bedford, New York with her husband and two sons.
Fran is the board chair of The Foundation for Bedford Central Schools , which funds leading-edge academic initiatives across all seven schools in her school district. The Foundation has been successful in supporting grants for new curriculum, providing 15,000 books to classroom libraries, delivering over 100 internships and job shadows to high school students, funding middle school interdisciplinary capstone projects, providing cutting-edge technology, and more. Fran and the Foundation passionately support projects that build critical thinking, executive functioning, leadership skills and resilience in students.