University of Rochester

EVENT: 'Conversations' Examine How Women Lead and Use Power

September 27, 2002

Despite the fact that they make up half the population in most countries, women do not enjoy the same political status, access, or influence as men. A panel of government, business, and education experts will look at reasons for the disparity and discuss how women lead and use power during this year's Elizabeth Cady Stanton/Susan B. Anthony Conversations on Contemporary Issues.

The annual public forum, sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women's Leadership at the University of Rochester, will be held from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, in the Interfaith Chapel on the River Campus. Started in 1995, the program echoes the talks between suffragists Stanton and Anthony about women's issues.

The Conversations are being held during the University's annual Meliora Weekend, which this year celebrates the theme of leadership. Two related events, a luncheon and a talk by U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on "Leadership in the 21st Century," will also be held that day.

The panel discussion on "How Women Lead" will feature participants Ann F. Lewis, former White House communications director; Madeleine M. Kunin, former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Education and former governor of Vermont; Gail Lione, vice president, secretary, and general counsel of Harley-Davidson, Inc., an alumna and trustee of the University of Rochester; and Georgia Duerst-Lahti, professor of political science at Beloit College. The audience will be able to submit written questions for the panelists.

The forum will be preceded by a luncheon at noon in the River Room of the Interfaith Chapel. The luncheon will celebrate the birth date of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and will spotlight the results of a study on "Women in New York Politics and Government: Where We Stand," by Nora Bredes, director of the Anthony Center and moderator for the Conversations forum. The luncheon is co-sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Women and Gender Studies at the University.

Clinton will be speaking at 3 p.m. in the Alexander Palestra in the Robert B. Goergen Athletic Center.

Registration is required for all events. The Conversations forum is free but there is a charge of $20 for the luncheon. Because of the large number of visitors to campus and the large turnout expected for the events, contact the Anthony Center at (585) 275-8799 for additional information and reservations for the luncheon and Conversations forum.

Attendance at Clinton's talk requires separate registration for Meliora Weekend; for information contact the Fairbank Alumni House at (585) 273-5888 or (800) 333-0175.

Lewis was a visiting professor at Brandeis University and a Public Policy Fellow at the Annenberg School of Communications of the University of Pennsylvania after leaving the White House in 2000. Earlier this year, she was appointed National Chair of the Democratic National Committee's Women's Vote Center, the party's major initiative to educate, engage, and mobilize women voters across the nation. Before joining the White House staff in 1997, Lewis was vice president for public policy at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Kunin was elected the first woman governor of Vermont in 1985 and served three terms. In 1991, she founded the Institute for Sustainable Communities, an independent non-profit that provides training and grants to help communities work on environmental, economic, and social concerns. She served as the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education and as U.S. ambassador to Switzerland in the Clinton administration. Her political memoir, Living a Political Life, was published in 1994 by Knopf. Kunin is the Bicentennial Scholar in Residence at Middlebury College.

Lione, a 1971 graduate of the University of Rochester with a bachelor's degree in political science, has served as vice president, secretary, and general counsel of Harley-Davidson, Inc., since joining the company in 1997. For the seven years before that, she was general counsel and secretary of U.S. News & World Report and its affiliates, the Atlantic Monthly Company, Applied Graphics Technologies, Inc. and Applied Printing Technologies. Her first general counsel position, from 1986 to 1989, was with Sun Life Group of America in Atlanta, Georgia.

Duerst-Lahti is the co-editor of Gender Power, Leadership, and Governance, and is currently working on two other book projects, Making Masculine Mothers: Gender Ideology in Welfare Reform, and Manliness, Ideology, and Governing As We Know It. At Beloit College, where she also serves as chair of the political science department, she teaches courses in gender politics, women's studies, public administration, media and politics, the American Congress, and the American Presidency. Duerst-Lahti also has served as president of the Women's Caucus for Political Science.