This was a great piece to work on: a profile of Sheryl WuDunn, Pulitzer Prize winner, journalist, author, and banking exec, but most famous, perhaps, for her book on the global scourge of violence against women–Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, co-written with her husband, the New York Times‘ Nick Kristof. Their work would go on to become a two-part PBS documentary and a Facebook game. It was the most gutting research I’ve ever done. The stories of this kind of violence are staggering, not to mention the numbers of missing, murdered, and mutilated women; but more potent than the misery was the sense of hope many of these women possessed as they struggled to better their lives and the lives of those like them. Similarly, WuDunn’s sense of hope, even in the face of all she knows and has seen, is striking, as is the way she directs her business sense to discuss potential (and realized) economic solutions to the problem of violence, fundamentalism, and even terrorism. Originally published in the November 2013 issue of Westchester Magazine.