Gloria Gilbert Stoga founded Puppies Behind Bars in 1997, when she began teaching a group of carefully selected inmates at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, New York’s only maximum-security prison for women, to raise service dogs. She brought the first five puppies into prison on the eve of Thanksgiving to begin their training. Puppies Behind Bars has now raised more than 900 dogs, and works in six prisons in New York and New Jersey. Mrs. Stoga has extensive experience in the non-profit sector. Prior to starting Puppies Behind Bars, she served as a member of New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s Youth Empowerment Commission, whose mission was to secure private-sector summer employment for New York City youth with little means of their own in finding paying summer jobs. At the Commission, Mrs. Stoga was responsible for introducing the corporate community to the initiative and securing their commitments to provide training and jobs for the city’s underprivileged young people.
Prior to joining City Hall, Mrs. Stoga was the executive director of the New York Metropolitan Committee for UNICEF where she oversaw all educational, fundraising, and community outreach initiatives in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. From 1988-1994, she was the founder and director of the Privatization Project at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs. The Privatization Project analyzed the transference of governmental entities into the hands of the private sector around the world, with a focus on the social as well as economic costs of such transactions.