< Back to Press Releases

Participant Media Names Girl Rising Co-founder Holly Gordon as its Chief Impact Officer

Gordon Will Drive Development and Execution of Social Impact Campaigns to Further Strengthen Company's Mission

LOS ANGELES, CA (November 1, 2017) – Participant Media has appointed seasoned social impact leader Holly Gordon to the newly created role of Chief Impact Officer. In this position, Gordon will expand the company’s social impact strategy through global, multi-year campaigns that are driven by Participant’s content and powered by strategic partnerships to address the most important issues of our time. She will report to company CEO, David Linde, who made the announcement today.

“Participant was founded on Jeff Skoll’s vision of compelling social action worldwide through poignant content, a vision that is more pertinent than ever today,” said Linde. “With social impact as a cornerstone of our business, we will benefit from Holly’s leadership in activating on our mandate to inspire action among a wide audience on timely initiatives. Her impressive background in both film and social impact programs makes her the ideal fit to drive our distinctive mission.”

Gordon added, “Storytelling is a transformational catalyst for impact and long-term social change and so I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join the team at Participant, an organization dedicated to using compelling stories to increase peace and prosperity around the world. In this new role, l look forward to partnering with individuals, organizations and governments to create campaigns that connect everyday citizens with meaningful opportunities to shape our future, community by community, one act of courage at a time.”

Participant aims to generate and accelerate conversations about important social issues as a first step to positive social change. In combination with its award-winning films, Participant invests in social impact campaigns designed to build awareness, create community, spark action and accelerate positive change. The social impact team partners closely with non-profits, corporations, civic leaders, policy experts, philanthropists, and governments to deepen audience engagement around these stories and drive measurable results. Most recently, Participant released An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, the follow-up to Al Gore’s critically acclaimed 2006 climate crisis documentary. The sequel’s social impact campaign is one of the company’s largest to date, encouraging NGOs, government and civic leaders, investors, students, and audiences globally to embrace a clean energy future.

Before joining Participant, Gordon co-founded Girl Rising, a global campaign for girls’ education. Selected by Fast Company as a member of the League of Extraordinary Women and named by Newsweek/Daily Beast as one of 125 Women of Impact, Gordon is also an Executive Producer for the Girl Rising film at the center of the movement. Forbes Magazine named the Girl Rising campaign the #1 Most Dynamic Social Initiative of 2012. Gordon serves as the Chair of the Nantucket Project Scholars Program, an accelerator for social change leaders. Prior to launching the TNP Scholars Program and Girl Rising, Gordon served as Director of Content for the Tribeca Film Festival. She came to Tribeca from ABC News, where she worked for 12 years as a producer and booker for the major news broadcasts. Gordon is a member of the 2015 class of Presidential Leadership Scholars and serves on the boards of Girl Rising, Unreasonable Group, All In Together, and the One Love Foundation. Holly graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in International Relations.

Participant’s upcoming film slate includes the highly acclaimed film, Human Flow, from celebrated artist, activist, filmmaker Ai Weiwei; Stephen Chbosky’s Wonder, starring Jacob Tremblay, Owen Wilson and Julia Roberts; director Andy Serkis’ Breathe; Steven Spielberg’s The Post; the untitled Entebbe thriller, from Jose Padilha and Working Title; Rupert Wyatt’s Captive State; and the upcoming film On the Basis of Sex, from director Mimi Leder. Next year the company also expands into television with its limited scripted drama series Central Park Five, directed by Ava DuVernay, which will be released through Netflix, and acclaimed documentarian Steve James’ unscripted series America to Me, a year-long look into one of America’s most exemplary and diverse public schools in Chicago’s suburban Oak Park.

Press Contact

All interview and appearance requests, or other press inquires, should be directed to our Communications team.

Find a Press Contact

Sign up to get exclusive updates and extras.

Participant MediaAbout Participant Media

Founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll, Participant Media’s (www.participantmedia.com) content combines the power of a good story well told with opportunities for real world impact and awareness around the most pressing global issues of our time. As an industry content leader, Participant annually produces up to six narrative feature films, five documentary films, three episodic television series, and more than 30 hours of digital short form programming, through its digital subsidiary SoulPancake—all aimed at entertainment that inspires social awareness and engaging audiences to participate in positive social change. Participant’s content and social impact mandate speaks directly to the rise of today’s “conscious consumer,” representing over 2 billion consumers who are compelled to make impactful content a priority focus. Through its worldwide network of traditional and digital distribution, aligned with partnerships with key non-profit and NGO organizations, Participant is positioned uniquely within the industry to engage a rapidly growing audience while bringing global awareness and action to today’s most vital issues.

Participant’s more than 100 films, including Spotlight, Contagion, Lincoln, The Help, He Named Me Malala, The Look of Silence, CITIZENFOUR, Food, Inc. and An Inconvenient Truth, have collectively earned 73 Academy Award® nominations and 18 wins, including Best Picture for Green Book and Spotlight and Best Foreign Language Film for Roma and A Fantastic Woman. Participant’s digital entertainment division, SoulPancake (www.soulpancake.com), is an award-winning provider of thought-provoking, joyful, and uplifting digital content including such widely popular series as Kid President and The Science of Happiness and reaches an audience of nearly 9 million fans. Follow Participant Media on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram. Follow SoulPancake on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram.


Participant Media became a Certified B Corporation in 2018. B Corps are a new type of company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Corp certification is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk.