Julie Castro Abrams, Founder and CEO, How Women Lead

Julie Castro Abrams is an expert in board governance and building diverse boards that are a strategic advantage. She is an experienced non profit CEO and entrepreneur and through her consulting practice she supports leaders to build high-performance boards, break through performance for the leaders and high performing multicultural teams. She is Chair and CEO of How Women Lead, a network of over 10,000 women dedicated to promoting diverse women’s voices and propelling women’s leadership forward as well as the Managing Partner of BoardLeaders.com where she actively places leaders on corporate boards and supports them to build inclusive and high-performance boards.


An active investor and advisor to start-ups, Julie also sits on the advisory boards of the fin-tech start-up LENDonate, The New Search Collaborative and is the Governance Chair for the Women’s Funding Network, a network of women’s foundations across the globe. She has previously led the board of multiple nonprofit organizations located throughout the country, including Board Director for the National Council of La Raza, Governance Chair for the Association for Enterprise Opportunity and Board Chair of Cypress String Quartet.


The recipient of many accolades, Julie has won the More Jobs Genius Award, the Morgan Stanley Innovation Award, Cisco’s Innovation in Technology Award, the League of Women Voters’ Women Who Could Be President Award, the Stevie Award for Best Non-Profit Executive, and the Commission on the Status of Women’s Human Rights Award, and is a member of the Women of Color Action Network, Leadership California, and the Marin Women's Hall of Fame. She has also been featured in four books, including “Scrappy Women in Business,” “Women of Courage,” and “The Missing Mentor,” and Fast Company’s video series “30 Second MBA.”

Nicole Stiles, Head of Operations

Nicole Stiles is a growth driven self-starter overseeing all content delivery and programming for the network of 10,000 senior women leaders. As the driver for the Bay Area implementation of 2020 Women on Boards national movement, she was instrumental in the passage of California’s historic SB826 law. Nicole networks corporate board directors and develops trainings to prepare women for corporate board roles. She is an innovative intrapreneur having created the How Women Give foundation to fund services for low-income women and girls in the Bay Area and curating the annual invitation-only Global Women’s Leadership Summits. She is also leading the exploration phase of the forthcoming angel fund How Women Invest. Additionally, Nicole plays a pivotal role in the transition and growth of the newly acquired Women Leaders for the World program.

Nicole earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication with a minor in Psychology from Rutgers University in New Jersey. She earned her Master of Public Administration degree from San Francisco State University with a concentration in Nonprofit Management. Nicole is also a content contributor to the Los Angeles Times and Cosmopolitan.

Patricia Murillo, Women Leaders for the World Program Facilitator

Patricia Murillo is a strategy and organizational development consultant bringing 25 years of non-profit leadership experience to the field. She is the Director of Training for Women Leaders for the World at How Women Lead. As a first generation Latina who came up from working the fields in Watsonville, she has been on a mission to provide supports and opportunities for youth, women and communities to give back for the many hands that uplifted her throughout her education and career.  


Patricia served as the Executive Director for Alternatives in Action for 11 years where she successfully grew the organization from a 1.4 to a 6 million operating budget and increased services from 400 youth served annually to 1,300. Prior to AIA, she served as the Senior Director of Program Services for the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco where she led initiatives internally and externally including developing Behavioral Health programs, program improvement and evaluation strategies and a comprehensive professional development effort. She brings expertise in strategic planning, program improvement, business development and training and facilitation. She has taught at the high school, community college and college level and has served on several boards including the Latino Affairs Commission of Santa Cruz County and the On the Move Board of Directors. She holds a Bachelors from Vassar College and a Masters in Social Welfare (MSW) from UC Berkeley with a concentration on Management and Planning.

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How Women Lead is a registered 501(c)3. Our EIN is 47-1938087.