President & Co-Founder of Born This Way Foundation & Mental Health Advocate
Keynote Speaker, ACA 2019 Conference & Expo
Friday, March 29, 9:00 - 10:30 AM, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
Cynthia Bissett Germanotta is President of Born This Way Foundation, which she co-founded with her daughter Lady Gaga in 2012, with the goal of supporting the wellness of young people and empowering them to build a kinder, braver world. Under Cynthia's leadership, Born This Way Foundation has connected with tens of thousands of young people across the country and around the world, launched innovative youth-focused programming, and conducted cutting edge research to improve the understanding of mental wellness.
Cynthia, Lady Gaga, and Born This Way Foundation have been the recipient of numerous honors, including the National Council for Behavioral Health’s Award of Excellence, the Family Online Safety Institute’s award for Outstanding Achievement, the National Association of School Psychologists Special Friend to Children Award, the Anti-Defamation League’s "No Place for Hate" Making a Difference Award and the President’s Medal of Excellence from the Teachers College, Columbia University, and Logo named the Foundation 2013's Most Innovative Charity at their annual NewNowNext Awards.
Cynthia is a former telecommunications executive whose career in sales & management spanned twenty-five years. A graduate of West Virginia University, she went on to earn her Masters Degree in Public Administration from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., which she considers invaluable to her work with the foundation.
Additionally, Cynthia has served as an ambassador for the Women’s Council on Heart Health for the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute and on the Board of the Empowerment Initiative at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is also an alumni member of the Board of Governors for the Parsons New School of Design.
Cynthia was born and raised in West Virginia and now resides in New York City with her husband Joe Germanotta and dog Lilu. Joe and Cynthia have two wonderful daughters, Natali and Stefani, and are owners of a charming NYC neighborhood restaurant, Joanne Trattoria. In her free time, Cynthia continues to study ballet and dance, a lifelong passion, as well as yoga. She loves to write and has a newfound passion for interior decorating!
For access to this keynote, register for the conference or purchase a one-day pass for Friday, March 29. Pre-conference registration alone does not provide access to this event. This session does not offer CE credit hours.