2020 #LEADLIKEAGIRL Keynote Speakers

Rachel Lears '95, Emmy-nominated Documentary Filmmaker
Tiara Little '11, Netflix Animation
Production Manager

Rachel Lears' most recent feature documentary, Knock Down the House, follows four working-class women challenging political machines across the US, and premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2019 where it won the Audience Award for US Documentary and the Festival Favorite Award. Knock Down the House is distributed by Netflix. Her last feature, The Hand That Feeds (co-directed with Robin Blotnick) was nominated for an Emmy in 2017, broadcast on PBS, and won awards and recognition at Full Frame, DOC NYC, AFI Docs, and numerous other festivals on the 2014-15 circuit. Her video art collaborations with artist Saya Woolfalk have screened at galleries and museums worldwide since 2008. Rachel was a 2013 Sundance Creative Producing Fellow and holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology and a graduate certificate in Culture and Media from NYU, and a BA in Music from Yale. She’s also the mother of a three-year-old son. 


If “animation enthusiast” was a phrase in the dictionary, you’d probably see a picture of Tiara Little next to it.

It all started with Disney films, then evolved to Saturday morning cartoons, late-night anime, and finally, an absurd amount of sketchbooks scattered across the family home. Art and Animation were everywhere, so it came as no surprise when the then-middle schooler proudly announced that she would be pursuing a career in Animation - while at engineering camp, of course. (sorry,Mom!).

After graduating from Stuart in 2011, Tiara went on to receive a BFA in Film/Animation/Video from the Rhode Island School of Design. After college, the next destination was Burbank, CA, where she started as an intern on Nickelodeon’s Wallykazam. From there, she worked in Production Management on Cartoon Network’s Mighty Magiswords and Apple and Onion, Disney TV’s DuckTales, and now, Netflix Animation’s Battle Kitty.

As a Production Manager, Tiara gets to experience both sides of the animation industry - creative and administrative. From seeing behind the scenes of how an animation studio works to receiving fan letters from kids all over the country. Every day in Animation brings something unexpected and exciting. The choice to live a life fueled by creativity and a passion for Animation has proven to be fulfilling in many ways. Plus, it’s a great excuse to keep watching cartoons until late at night because it all counts as “research” if you ask her.

#LEADLIKEAGIRL® is presented by:

The National Center for Girls' Leadership at Stuart

Special thanks to The Harris B. Siegel Fund and our sponsors.