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YWCA Career Women of Achievement Keynote Speakers


Geena Davis, 2015


Jeanette Walls, 2011

Viola Davis, 2014




Cokie Roberts, 2006

Susan Taylor, 2007


Soledad O'Brien, 2008


Alfre Woodard, 2010


Maya Angelou, 2000

Pat Mitchell, 2001

Alexis Herman, 2002


Anna Quindlen, 2003










2015Geena DavisAcademy Award-Winning Actress and Activist
2014 Viola Davis Award-winning actor, The Help & Doubt
2013   Diana Nyad Legendary Ling-Distance Swimmer, Journalist & Author
2012 Deborah Roberts Emmy Award winning news correspondant: ABC's 20/20
2011   Jeannette Walls Journalist & author of best-selling novel, The Glass Castle
2010 Alfre Woodard Critically acclaimed actress and committed activist
2009   Elizabeth Vargas Award winning anchor and correspondent: ABC's 20/20
2008 Soledad O'Brien Anchor and special correspondent for CNN: Special Investigations Unit
2007 Susan Taylor Editorial Director, Essence Magazine
2006 Cokie Roberts Political commentator for ABC News , Senior News Analyst for National Public Radio
2005 Dr. Johnetta Cole First African-American female President of Spelman College, First African-American Board Chair of the United Way of America, Current President of Bennett College
 2004  Ellen Goodman Writer, Pulitzer Prize Winner for Distinguished Commentary
 2003 Anna Quindlen  Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist, Best-Selling Author 
 2002 Alexis M. Herman  Former US Secretary of Labor 
 2001 Pat Mitchell  President & CEO, PBS 
 2000 Maya Angelou  Poet, Author, Performer 
 1999 Gail Sheehy  Author- Passages, Passages for Men 
 1998 Myrlie Evers-Williams  Widow of Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers and past Chair of the National Board of Directors of the NAACP 
 1997 Liz Carpenter  Lifetime of reporting and participating in national scene.  Executive Assistant to President Lyndon Johnson, Press Secretary and Staff Director to First Lady.  President of National Women's Press Club. 
 1996 Patricia Russell-McCloud  President of Russell-McCloud & Associates, "Quantum Leap:  One Step at a Time" 
 1995 Nina Totenberg  Legal Affairs Correspondent, National Public Radio's All Things Considered, Morning and Weekend Editions 
 1994 Dr. Mae C. Jemison  Chemical Engineer, Scientist, Physician & Astronaut 
 1993 Charlayne Hunter-Gault  Correspondent, PBS's The McNeil/Lehrer News Hour and author of "In My Place" 
   Dr. Mary Francis Berry U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, "Insights on Diversity" 
   Charlotte Fedders Author of "Shattered Dreams: Dealing with Domestic Violence" 
   Sally Heglesen Author of "The Female Advantage:  The New Female Management Style" 
   Dr. Niara Sudarkasa President, Lincoln University (PA), "Empowerment Through Education" 
   Betty Rollins Author of "Last Wish & First You Cry:  A Look at Breast Cancer Today" 
 1992 Susan L. Taylor  Editor-in-Chief, Essence Magazine 
 1991 Helen Thomas  UPI, White House Bureau Chief 
 1990 Norma Merrick Sklarek  Architect, "Gender in Architecture" 
 1989 Jane Bryant Quinn  Financial Advisor, "Money- Our Life and Times" 
 1988 Marcia Ann Gillespie  Executive Editor, Ms. Magazine, "Taking Charge" 
 1987 Andrea Mitchell  NBC White House Correspondent 
1986 Carole Simpson ABC News Correspondent, Washington
1985 Roseabeth Moss Kanter "Women as Change Masters...Leadership Skills in an Entrepreneurial Era"
1984 Kate Rand Lloyd Editor in Chief, Working Woman Magazine.  "Making It in the World of the Working Women."
1982 Felice Schwartz Founder and President of Catalyst.  "Women in the Corporate World- Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow."
1981 Mary Alice Kellogg Senior Editor, Parade Magazine and Author of "Fast Track:  The Upside and Downside of Making It"
 1980 Dr. Marina V.N. Whitman VP & Chief Economist of General Motors.  Board Member, The Procter & Gamble Company.  "As Outsiders Move Inside- Women and the Career World."

 Liz Carpenter, 1997

Charlayne Hunter-Gault, 1993

Jane Bryant Quinn, 1989

Marcia Ann Gillespie, 1988

Kate Rand Lloyd, 1984



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