Mavis Elizabeth Nicholson-Leno (born September 5, 1946), is an American philanthropist and wife of Jay Leno, the former host of the American late night television broadcast ‘The Tonight Show’. She and Jay have been married since 1980.

Mavis is a leading feminist in California in the United States, as well as internationally, but maintains a low profile in comparison to her husband. She chooses instead to commit her time and energy to non-profit, politically charged groups she supports and runs.

Mavis has been the chair of the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Campaign to stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan since 1997. In 1999, Mavis and her husband donated $100,000 to the organization, to further support the education of the public about the plight of Afghan women under the Taliban.

The organization successfully protested the construction of an oil pipeline through Afghanistan that could potentially have brought in billions of dollars to the Taliban.

According to Melissa Rossi (born 1965), an American author and journalist, Mavis was a driving force in changing the opinion of U.S. President Bill Clinton and the executives of the now-defunct oil company Unocal Corporation, concerning the Taliban. Leno had shed light on the group’s treatment of women.

Formed in 1987, the Foundation has been headquartered in Arlington County, Virginia with a stated mission to advance non-violence and women’ s power, equality, and economic development.

More Info: