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Mikaela Beardsley

Mikaela is an Emmy-winning documentary producer and social entrepreneur who is dedicated to finding innovative ways to deploy storytelling’s power for good. She has worked with filmmakers Martin Scorsese, Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing, Alex Gibney and Wim Wenders, among others, and produced twelve nationally broadcast films.

Mikaela is currently Executive Director of The What Works Media Project, a joint venture she initiated with Results for America, The Sorenson Impact Center, Soledad O’Brien’s Starfish Media Group, and Impact Partners. The What Works Media Project will commission award-winning documentary directors to produce authentic, character-driven shorts that will harness the power of nonfiction filmmaking to highlight "what works" to advance social mobility and the courageous leaders in government who are driving this change. Mikaela envisions The What Works Media Project as a kind of  “30 for 30” for government and the social sector. 

Previously Mikaela originated and executive produced Half the Sky Movement, a multi-year global media project aimed at improving opportunity for women and girls in the developing world. Centered around the internationally broadcast television series based on Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's bestselling book, the project had over 2 billion media impressions and raised $5 million for direct programs. Mikaela developed a groundbreaking partnership with USAID that linked the Ford Foundation, IKEA Foundation, Intel and numerous other foundation and corporate partners, and she managed funding relationships with over a dozen funders including Coca Cola, Goldman Sachs, Ford, Gates, IKEA, MacArthur, Nike, NoVo, and Rockefeller. Mikaela optioned Half the Sky after producing the Emmy-nominated HBO documentary Reporter: A Film with Nicholas D. Kristof

She graduated from Princeton University.