Maria Bello is an award winning actor (The Cooler; Coyote Ugly, History of Violence and Sisters), and a 2013 recipient for Best Ensemble Award for Prisoners. Maria is an internationally renowned activist for social justice and women’s rights around the world. She is the US Global Ambassador for Women of Haiti, and served on the Haiti Economic Development Advisory Panel alongside Haitian President Michel Martelly, Ambassador Danielle St. Lot, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohammad Yunus.
She is currently writing a book and just completed writing a television series under her film production company, groundfloorentertainment which focuses on social impact entertainment.
Bello started her career at the Women’s Law Project in Philadelphia in 1987 and in 1997 she co-founded her first NGO in Harlem called TheDreamYardDrama Project. In 2009 she was voted one of Variety Magazine's most powerful women in Hollywood for her activism in Darfur. Since 2008, she has worked in Haiti with Artists for Peace and Justice and Femmes en Democratie. She raised funds and produced a women’s media campaign for the elections in 2010. She also spearheaded the opening of the women’s clinic in the Petionville Camp immediately following the earthquake. She also co-founded WeAdvance in Haiti to bring medical and educational services to the poorest of Haiti. She is a member of CGI and works on gender policy within the Haiti Network.
She was named a Global Ambassador for the inaugural Global Ambassadors Program mentoring forum in Haiti. In 2012, she was a keynote speaker at the State Department’s Forum on Impact Investing and also awarded with the Starkey Foundation’s “So the World May Hear Award’. She was named the Goodwill Ambassador for Women in Haiti in 2013. With Barbara Guillaume and Clare Munn, she co-founded the new website We Advance University - weadvanceu.org - to connect, educate and empower women in Haiti and throughout the world. In 2013, at the UN Global Leaders Summit, she soft launched GATEGlobalImpact’s plans on helping women entrepreneurs around the world.
She is a partner in GATEGlobalImpact.com, to better connect successful women’s organizations focused on empowering, investing and expanding women owned businesses around the world.