3 of 5
Cheryl Dorsey, MD
Dorsey immediately agreed to take part in Women Rule! when she was contacted by the White House Project. In the early 1990s, while studying to be a pediatrician at Harvard Medical School, Dorsey saw a photo in a local paper of a poverty-stricken mother leaning over the grave of a child. It was her "moment of obligation"—the realization that a particular issue is so important you have to do something about it, "that you are accountable for it, that you own it." Dorsey launched Family Van, a mobile health unit for Boston's inner-city residents. That endeavor was financed by Echoing Green, a global nonprofit that provides seed money to social entrepreneurs with bold ideas. Today Dorsey is its president. "Ideas without execution are simply daydreams," she says. "My mother was convinced she invented Cookies 'n' Cream ice cream. Maybe she thought of it. It doesn't matter—she didn't do it."