Past Speakers

Past IWLC keynote speakers

From icons such as Gloria Steinem and Martha Stewart, to women's leadership experts with practical advice for your career, IWLC prides itself on bringing world-class speakers to Iowa. This is just a partial A-to-Z list of our prior speakers: 

Dr. Rohini Anand 
Global Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Vice President, Sodexho Inc. 
Dr. Rohini Anand is senior vice president and global chief diversity officer for Sodexho, a food and facilities management services company with $20 billion in annual revenue. Rohini is responsible for the strategic direction, implementation and alignment of Sodexho’s integrated global diversity initiatives including sustainable development and corporate citizenship strategies. Rohini has been responsible for designing and developing the organization’s workforce diversity strategy, launching sustained culture change initiatives, developing and implementing a comprehensive learning strategy and developing and implementing a diversity scorecard that links managers’ diversity achievement with their annual compensation. 

Barbara Annis 
Founder and CEO, Barbara Annis & Associates, Inc. 
Barbara Annis is a world-renowned expert on Gender Intelligence® and inclusive leadership, advocating the value of this new type of leadership in more than 60 Fortune 500 companies, and numerous governments and organizations across the globe. She is chair of the Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and was recently conferred the International Alliance for Women Lifetime Achievement Award. Her latest book, Gender Intelligence: Mars & Venus Working and Winning Together, in conjunction with John Gray, author of the best-selling Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, exposes and debunks the blind spots that lay at the heart of our miscommunications and frustrations at work. 

Joanna Barsh 
Director Emeritus, McKinsey & Company 
At McKinsey & Company, Joanna created The Centered Leadership Project, a leadership development program for women and men who aspire to lead profound change in their organizations. Centered Leadership is based on interviews with more than 160 leaders globally, and on current research in leadership, organization behavior, neuroscience, evolutionary biology and positive psychology. Joanna’s best-selling book, How Remarkable Women Lead, was published in 2009, and her new book on Centered Leadership will be released in 2014. A New York City Commissioner on Women’s Issues since 2002, Joanna has led several research projects on advancing women to the top. 

Ann Bancroft 
Polar Explorer 
Ann Bancroft is one of the world’s preeminent polar explorers. Ann and Norwegian polar explorer Liv Arnesen in 2001 become the first women in history to sail and ski across Antarctica’s landmass. In 1993, she led the American Women’s Expedition to the South Pole, earning the distinction of being the first woman in history to cross the ice to both the North and South Poles. 

Charlotte Beers
Advertising Guru
Charlotte Beers has combined her business insight and Southern charm to achieve extraordinary success in the competitive world of advertising and marketing. She has been featured on the covers of Fortune and Business Week as one of the most powerful women in America, and has been called “the queen of Madison Avenue.”  Starting as an account executive at J. Walter Thompson Advertising, Beers was named in 1992 as Chairman/CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, a $5.4 billion, 8,000-employee, multinational advertising agency. From 2001 to 2003, she served as Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy & Public Affairs, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for her success in communicating “Brand America” to the world. Her recent book, I'd Rather Be in Charge, is her master class for helping women grow in leadership and influence.

Gladis Benavides 
Founder and President, Benavides Enterprises, Inc. 
Gladis Benavides is founder and president of Benavides Enterprises Inc. in Madison, Wisconsin. She has more than 30 years of experience assisting individuals and groups to enhance interpersonal relationships and successfully bridge cultural differences while meeting individual and collective challenges. Gladis has an established reputation among professionals in fields such as workforce development, strategic planning, labor, community relations, customer services and marketing. She has been widely recognized and has received multiple awards at the local, state and regional levels, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Award Hispanic Woman of the Year. 

Lisa Bloom
American Civil Rights Attorney
Host of her own national live daily talk show on Court TV for eight years, Lisa Bloom is now a legal analyst for NBC News, appearing frequently on the Today Show, Nightly News, CNN, HLN and many other television and radio shows. As a legal analyst for the biggest legal website,, Lisa writes a popular weekly column on civil rights issues. In addition, Lisa runs a prominent Los Angeles based general practice law firm, The Bloom Firm, representing celebrity clients and ordinary people seeking justice in all areas of civil litigation and family law, and especially victims of domestic violence, sexual harassment, race or sex discrimination, sexual assault, and police excessive force. Lisa has been chosen as a SuperLawyer and has a perfect 10.0 rating for her legal work on

Nancy Bocskor 
President, The Nancy Bocskor Company 
Nancy Bocskor helps individuals and organizations raise money and win campaigns. She is an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management where she teaches both an online and a “live” fundraising course. In 1990, Nancy started The Nancy Bocskor Company, a political consulting firm specializing in training for officeholders, candidates and campaign workers, and fundraising for Members of Congress. Nancy is a Vice President of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale, where she chairs the school’s Curriculum Committee. She is also on the boards for Running Start and Food for Thought. 

Tina Brown 
Founder, Tina Brown Live Media 
One of the most talked-about editors in the world, Tina rose through the ranks of the magazine industry to become editor in chief of Tatler, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, publisher of Talk magazine, and editor in chief of the Newsweek/The Daily Beast Company. In 2010, Tina launched the annual Women in the World summit and later founded the Women in the World Foundation to address problems faced by women and girls worldwide. This fall, she announced her retirement from the publishing industry to start Tina Brown Live Media, which will focus on enhancing the Women in the World conferences and foundation. 

Anna Maria Chávez
CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA
Anna Maria Chávez is Chief Executive Officer of the Girl Scouts of the USAAnna's insight and desire to leave the world a better place led her from her hometown to Yale University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in American history before pursuing a Juris doctorate from the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona. She is admitted to the Bar for the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, the Arizona Supreme Court, and U.S. Supreme Court. 

Eleanor Clift 
Author and political commentator 
Eleanor Clift writes about politics and policy in Washington and has covered every presidential campaign since 1976. Clift is author and co-author of several books, including Madam President: Shattering the Last Glass Ceiling, written with her late husband, Tom Brazaitis, who was a columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer; and Founding Sisters, about the passage of the 19th amendment giving women the vote. Clift is a regular panelist on the syndicated talk show, The McLaughlin Group. She has appeared as herself in several movies, including Dave, Independence Day, Murder at 1600, Rising Sun, and the CBS series, Murphy Brown

Barbara Corcoran
Barbara Corcoran’s credentials include straight D’s in high school and college and 20 jobs by the time she turned 23. It was her next job that would make her one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country when she took a $1,000 loan to start The Corcoran Group. She parlayed the loan into a $5 billion real estate business and sold it in 2001 for $66 million. Barbara is the real estate contributor for NBC’s TODAY Show where she comments weekly on trends in the real estate market. She’s also a star on ABC’s reality hit Shark Tank. 

Marietta Colston Davis
Vice President of U.S. Dynamics at Microsoft
Marietta Colston Davis is Vice President of U.S. Dynamics at Microsoft leading more than 300 technical professionals who serve Microsoft's Dynamics ERP and CRM Solutions business customers. Davis is a dynamic leader who has more than 30 years of sales and sales leadership experience with unique expertise in anticipating change in the business landscape, which allows her to increase organizational effectiveness and capability.  She has proven expertise in importing and exporting top talent with an emphasis on diversity.  A graduate of Bradley University with an MBA from Loyola University, Davis has a passion for education.  She is a champion of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and encourages young women to enter technology fields.  Davis invests her time in mentoring and helping others achieve their full potential and is frequently recognized for her work to help elevate young professionals including being named as one of Atlanta’s “Superwomen” by the Atlanta Tribune.  She is a proud supporter of Youth Villages, TechBridge and the Autism Society of America. 

Giada De Laurentiis 
Chef, Author, Entrepreneur 
Giada De Laurentiis is the star of Food Network’s Everyday Italian and Giada at Home, a judge on Food Network Star, a contributing correspondent for NBC’s Today Show, and the author of six New York Times bestselling cookbooks. She attended the Cordon Bleu in Paris and worked at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago restaurant in Los Angeles before starting her own catering company. Born in Rome, she grew up in Los Angeles. Among her most recent books is Giada's Feel Good Food, which shares tips for health living and 120 recipes for breakfasts, juices, lunches, snacks, dinners, and desserts—each with nutritional breakdowns—that can be combined into 30 days of delicious feel-good meals. 

Dianne Dillon Ridgely 
Chair, Plains Justice 
Dianne Dillon-Ridgley is chair of Plains Justice, an public interest environmental law center working for environmental justice and sustainable communities in the Northern Plains region of the U.S. Dianne, a graduate of Howard University in philosophy, has spent her life working in numerous public and private capacities on social, political and environmental issues. She is a state-certified mediator in Iowa specializing in agricultural mediation and public policy negotiation. She is on the boards of River Network in the US, the Center for International Environmental Law, Interface Inc, Green Mountain Energy and Natural Step-US. Dianne is a former trustee of the Wallace Global Fund. 

Kathleen Dore 
President, Television & Radio CanWest MediaWorks Inc. 
Kathleen Dore is president of broadcasting at Canwest Media. She joined the company in 2004, in charge of Canadian television and was named to her current position after the acquisition of Alliance Atlantis. She is responsible for the company’s Canadian broadcast assets, including Global Television, E! Network; and 21 specialty cable channels. She is on the board of the Canadian Film Centre and the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business Advisory Board. 

Marian Wright Edelman 
President and Founder, The Children’s Defense Fund 
Marian Wright Edelman is president and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, a non-profit child advocacy organization that works to ensure a level playing field for all children. Marian is a graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School. She began her career in the mid-60s when, as the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar, she directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund office in Jackson, Mississippi. Marian served on the board of trustees of Spelman College and was the first woman elected as a member of the Yale University Corp. She serves on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation, the Association to Benefit Children, and City Lights School.

Janice Reals Ellig 
Co-CEO, Chadick Ellig 
Janice Reals Ellig is co-CEO of Chadick Ellig, an executive search firm in New York City. With over 20 years of experience as a senior-level corporate executive, Janice has worked extensively with CEOs and boards of directors on talent management and succession planning. Janice has co-authored two books: Driving The Career Highway, 20 Road Signs You Can’t Afford To Miss and What Every Successful Woman Knows: 12 Breakthrough Strategies to Get the Power and Ignite Your Career. She serves as chair of the YMCA Board of Greater New York and on the board of the University of Iowa Foundation. 

Carol Evans 
President and CEO, Working Mother Media 
Carol Evans founded Working Mother Media in 2001 by acquiring Working Mother magazine, Work Life Congress and the National Association for Female Executives with MCG Capital. In 1986, she launched the Working Mother 100 Best Companies, which became an important benchmark for women in corporate America. Working Mother Media acquired Diversity Best Practices and Best Practices in Corporate Communications in 2006, making Working Mother Media the largest multimedia company in the country focused on diversity and the advancement of women. Her award-winning book, This is How We Do It: The Working Mothers’ Manifesto, was published in 2006. 

Carly Fiorina
Former Chairperson and CEO, Hewlett Packard
When Carly Fiorina was recruited to Hewlett Packard, she became the first woman to lead a Fortune 50 business. She grew HP to the 11th most profitable company in the US. In her six years as Chairman and CEO of HP, she doubled its revenues to $90 billion; quadrupled its growth to 9%; tripled the rate of innovation to 11 patents a day; quadrupled cash-flow and achieved market leadership in every market and product category. She currently serves as the Chairman of the American Conservative Union Foundation; the Chairman of Good360, the world's largest product philanthropy organization; and the Chairman of Opportunity International, the largest non-profit micro-finance lender in the world. In 2014, Carly launched the Unlocking Potential Project, a PAC aimed at engaging women voters. Carly Fiorina is a passionate, articulate advocate for conservative policies that advance economic growth, entrepreneurship, innovation, and effective leadership.

Carol Frohlinger 
Negotiations Expert 
Co-author of Her Place at the Table and Nice Girls Just Don't Get It, Carol Frohlinger is an internationally known authority on the ways women can negotiate with authenticity to achieve their maximum personal and professional potential. Co-founder of Negotiating Women, Inc., Carol consults with organizations and associations nationwide that wish to attract, retain and promote talented women. With humor and practical advice, Carol demystifies the negotiation process, providing women with the tools needed to advocate and get results – not only for themselves, but for their organizations as well. She has appeared on the Today show, Fox and Friends, and Cash Call with Jean Chatzky.

Connie Glaser
Author & Columnist
Connie Glaser is one of the world's top experts on women's leadership and communications. Her keen insights and dynamic presentations have inspired diversity initiatives around the globe - helping thousands of women to succeed, and organizations to work together more collaboratively. Connie is the author of five landmark books, and her most recent book, "GenderTalk Works," has been hailed as "an indispensable guide for opening the lines of communication to bring out the best in men and women." Connie has appeared on The Today Show, FOX News, and CNN, and her syndicated newspaper column appears in award-winning papers throughout the United States. 

Stacey Hanke 
President, 1st Impression Consulting Inc. 
Stacey Hanke is author of the book Yes You Can! Everything You Need From A To Z To Influence Others To Take Action. Her book provides practical and immediate skills and techniques that can change the way you communicate forever. Her area of expertise lies in offering practical skills and techniques that build confidence and credibility into leadership, client relationships and our personal lives. She does this by helping individuals change their communication behavior to maximize performance, improve results and build relationships to win business. 

Carla Harris
Vice Chairman, Global Wealth Management, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley
Carla Harris is a Vice Chairman, Global Wealth Management, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley. She is responsible for increasing client connectivity and penetration to enhance revenue generation across the firm. She formerly headed the Emerging Manager Platform, the equity capital markets effort for the consumer and retail industries and was responsible for Equity Private Placements.  Ms. Harris has extensive industry experiences in the technology, media, retail, telecommunications, transportation, industrial, and healthcare sectors. In  August 2013, Carla Harris was appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the National Women’s Business Council.

Sylvia Ann Hewlett
Economist and Author
As an economist, founding president and CEO of the Center for Talent Innovation, Sylvia chairs a Task Force of more than 70 global companies focused on fully realizing the new streams of talent in the global marketplace. She also directs the Gender and Policy Program in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. Sylvia is the author of 10 Harvard Business Review articles and 10 critically acclaimed nonfiction books—including Off-Ramps and On-Ramps and Winning the War for Talent in Emerging Markets—and is ranked #11 among the world’s 50 top business thinkers. 

Arianna Huffington
Chair, President, and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group
Arianna Huffington is the chair, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, and author of fourteen books. In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet. In 2012, the site won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. She has been named to Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union.  She serves on numerous boards, including The Center for Public Integrity and The Committee to Protect Journalists. Her 14th book,Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list and was released in paperback in March 2015. Her new book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night At A Time, on the science, history and mystery of sleep, will be published on April 5, 2016.

Jane Hyun
Executive Coach and Global Leadership Strategist
Prior to launching her consulting firm, Hyun and Associates, she was a Vice President of HR at JP Morgan and Director of Recruiting at Deloitte and Touche and Resources Global. Hyun is continually sought after for her expertise in the area of talent management of women and multicultural professionals. She has appeared on CNN, National Public Radio, and in the Wall Street Journal and Fortune. She serves on the Women's Alumnae Council, is an advisor to the Toigo Foundation, and is an advisor to the Center for Talen Innovation. She has a passion for helping others flourish in their workplace and communities. 

Kathy Ireland
Former Model and Lifestyle Designer
In 1993, supermodel Kathy Ireland started developing what would become her business empire. She took out $50,000 to help launch her own line of socks. Over time, she grew this business to become Kathy Ireland Worldwide, which brings in more than $2 billion. The company now markets more than 15,000 products, including furniture, baby items, and jewelry. In 2012, Ireland was featured on a very different type of magazine cover: Forbes magazine nicknamed her "Supermogul" for her tremendous success as a designer and entrepreneur. Kathy Ireland Worldwide has the unique capability to design and translate fashion trends for all markets and price points allow it to develop product for a wide variety of customer tastes. Ireland credits the success of her company to teamwork and dedication.

Christine Jahnke 
Communications Consultant 
A Washington, D.C.-based speech coach, Chris is passionate about helping women move into positions of leadership. She works with senior leaders in business, government, and nonprofits, and has coached more women elected officials and candidates than any other trainer. A Minnesota native and former TV reporter and anchor, Chris has said that overcoming her own fears about public speaking forged her determination to help more women find and use their voices. She is the founder of the training firm Positive Communications and author of The Well-Spoken Woman: Your Guide to Looking and Sounding Your Best

Erica Jong 
Novelist, Poet and Essayist 
Erica Jong is a novelist, poet and essayist. From her 1973 blockbuster novel, Fear of Flying, to several worldwide bestsellers, her adventurous explorations of female emotion and empowerment have been credited with unlocking a new female spirit. Her most recent novel, Sappho’s Leap, tells the story of Sappho, the greatest lyric poet of ancient Greece, whose life is largely a mystery. Erica is a board member of the Woodhull Institute, dedicated to creating strong women leaders. She has taught literature and writing at universities nationwide and was honored with the United Nations Award for Excellence in Literature. 

Donna Katen-Bahensky 
President and CEO, University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics 
Donna Katen-Bahensky is president and chief executive officer at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. Donna leads the 529-bed tertiary care center, which consists of University Hospital, the American Family Children’s Hospital, an NCI designated cancer center, and Level 1 trauma and burn centers. Donna has served on the board of the University HealthSystem Consortium and the Council of Teaching Hospitals of the Association of American Medical Colleges. She serves as chairwoman of the American Heart Association’s Midwest Affiliate Board of Directors and as a board member for multiple community non-profit organizations. 

Bernice A. King 
Author and Activist 
Bernice A. King, youngest daughter of the late Coretta Scott King and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is CEO of The King Center in Atlanta. A powerful orator, Bernice has been featured on multiple TV shows, including “Oprah,” and in magazines such as People, Ebony, and Ladies Home Journal. She also is the author of Hard Questions, Heart Answers. In her work with the Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy, Bernice challenges girls to embrace a life of nonviolence. Through Be A King®, which she founded, she seeks to re-brand and re-image generations of people to elevate the way they “Think, Act, Live and Lead. 

Hoda Kotb
Journalist, Author, & Co-anchor
An award-winning broadcast journalist and author, and "Dateline NBC" correspondent since April 1998, Hoda Kotb has been co-anchor with Kathie Lee Gifford of the fourth hour of "Today" since August 2007. After captivating readers with her New York Times bestselling memoir "Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee" (2010), her latest book turns to stories about others who have undergone personal transformation against great odds. "Ten Years Later" (2013) chronicles six amazing stories by identifying a game-changing event in the subjects' lives and then revisiting those lives a decade later. The book is a firsthand testament to the enduring power of the human spirit. Through Inspirational life stories, Hoda shows how adversity can unleash our best qualities: resilience, perseverance, gratitude, empathy, and creativity. 

Nicholas Kristoff
Columnist for The New York Times
Nicholas Kristof, a columnist for The New York Times since November 2001, is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who writes op-ed columns that appear twice a week. In 1990, Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, previously a Times journalist, won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of China’s Tiananmen Square movement. Kristof won a second Pulitzer in 2006 for what the judges called “his graphic, deeply reported columns that, at personal risk, focused attention on genocide in Darfur.” Kristof and WuDunn are authors of four best-selling books: China Wakes: The Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power in 1994; Thunder from the East: Portrait of a Rising Asia in 2000; Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide in 2009; and most recently, A Path Appears:  Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity.

Audrey S. Lee
Executive Coach & Global Leadership Strategist
Audrey S. Lee, co-author of "Flex: The New Playbook for Managing Across Differences," brings her expertise to Fortune 500 companies, universities, and non-profit organizations. A highly effective speaker and consultant, Audrey is also a performer who combines her onstage performance experience and business acumen to present effective leadership programs focusing on culture, communications and executive presence. She has written for the New York Times and is a graduate of Georgetown University's Executive Certification Program in Leadership Coaching (accredited by the International Coaching Federation). Prior to her career in diversity and leadership development, she managed key marketing initiatives in small and large high technology companies such as Adaptec, Fujitsu Computer Products of America, Network Peripherals, and Raychem. 

Helene Lemer

Author & Producer
Helene Lerner has been addressing the concerns of contemporary women for more than two decades. As a prolific author, independent public television host, Emmy Award-winning executive producer and Fortune 500 workplace consultant, she covers a wide array of women’s issues—from breaking barriers to building self-esteem. Under the umbrella of Creative Expansions, Inc., the company she founded in 1994—and home of — Lerner has produced more than 20 televised specials and received American Public Television’s “MVP” award for her outstanding contributions. 

Alison Levine
History-making Polar Explorer
Alison Levine is a history-making polar explorer and mountaineer. She not only served as team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition, but she also climbed the highest peak on each continent and skied to both the North and South Poles—a feat known as the Adventure Grand Slam, which fewer than forty people on the world have achieved. In January 2008, she made history as the first American to complete a 600-mile traverse from west Antarctica to the South Pole following the route of legendary explorer Reinhold Messner. Levine completed this arduous journey on skis while hauling 150 pounds of her gear and supplies in a sled harnessed to her waist. Her success in extreme environments is noteworthy given she has had three heart surgeries and suffers from Raynaud’s disease, which causes the arteries that feed her fingers and toes to collapse in cold weather—leaving her at extreme risk for frostbite. 

Justine Metz 
Marketing and Sales Support Executive 
Global Wealth & Investment Management, Bank of America 
At Bank of America, Justine is responsible for developing and executing marketing plans for the Wealth Management businesses that serve affluent corporate and institutional clients. Prior to joining Bank of America, Justine was Senior Vice President of Segment Management at Fidelity Investments, and spent time at Morgan Stanley and General Electric. Justine serves as a mentor in Bank of America’s Global Ambassador Program, which focuses on making connections globally to empower women. She also serves as a mentor for the Bank of America Women’s Exchange; and participates in the Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Development (LEAD) Women’s Group. 

Benita Mosley 
Athlete and Advocate 
When Benita Fitzgerald Mosley won a gold medal in the 100-meter hurdles in the 1984 Olympic Games, she became just the second American woman to do so and the first African-American woman to accomplish this feat. Mosley competed with the University of Tennessee Lady Vols Track & Field team from 1980-1983 and earned her degree in Industrial Engineering in 1984. After serving for the United States Olympic Committee, she was named president and CEO of Women in Cable Telecommunications, an organization committed to developing women leaders in the cable industry. In 2009, Mosley was appointed Chief of Sport Performance for USA Track & Field, where she oversees programs dedicated to maximizing Team USA's performance. 

Jo Miller 
CEO, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 
Jo Miller is CEO of Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc., which helps women break into leadership in industries that have been traditionally considered “a man’s world,” such as technology, finance and energy. Jo facilitates leadership development programs for women’s initiatives in Fortune 1,000 companies, including Oracle Women in Leadership, Nortel Women’s Business Council, the Women at Intel Network Conference, UBS Women’s Leadership Conference, and many more. She was named one of Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal’s 40 people to watch under the age of 40 in 2006, and one of Silicon Valley’s Women of Influence in 2008. 

Betsy Myers
Betsy Myers is Founding Director of the Center for Women & Business at Bentley University, which focuses on educating students about their leadership potential while conducting research about how and why companies should promote and retain women. With deep experience in business, public service, and higher education, Betsy served as a senior adviser to Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign. Prior to this appointment, she was the Executive Director of the Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. In addition, she served as a senior official in the Clinton Administration, where she was the first Director of the White House Office for Women’s Initiatives and Outreach. She is the author of Take the Lead: Motivate, Inspire, and Bring Out the Best in Yourself and Everyone Around You. 

Diana Nyad 
World Class Athlete, Speaker and Writer 
Diana Nyad holds the record for the longest swim in history for both men and women, which she earned in 1979 with a 102.5-mile swim. Today, she is a columnist on “All Things Considered,” and is the sports business reporter for the award-winning show “Marketplace,” both on National Public Radio. 

Soledad O'Brien
CNN Anchor
Emmy Award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien anchors CNN’s morning show Starting Point and is a special correspondent for CNN/U.S. Since joining the network in 2003, O’Brien has reported breaking news from around the globe and has produced award-winning and critically acclaimed documentaries on some of the most important issues of our time. O'Brien came to CNN from NBC News, where she had anchored the network's Weekend Today show and served as field producer for Nightly News and Today. O’Brien began her career as an associate producer and news writer at WBZ-TV in Boston. Her numerous honors include a Gracie Allen Award in 2007 for her reporting from Cyprus on the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict, as well as her reports from the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. The NAACP honored her with its President’s Award in 2007 for her humanitarian efforts and journalistic excellence. She is a graduate of Harvard University and currently lives with her husband and four children in Manhattan. 

Suze Orman 
Financial Expert
Suze Orman has been called “a force in the world of personal finance” and a “one-woman financial advice powerhouse” by USA Today. A two-time Emmy Award-winning television host, New York Times mega bestselling author, magazine and online columnist, writer/producer, and one of the top motivational speakers in the world today, Orman is undeniably America’s most recognized expert on personal finance. 

Pamela Peeke 
Women's Health Expert
Dr. Pamela Peeke is an internationally renowned physician, scientist and expert in the fields of nutrition, metabolism, stress and fitness, and one of the most requested physician speakers in America. She is a regular medical commentator for the national networks including CNN’s American Morning, the Today show and Fox & Friends; chief medical correspondent for Discovery Health TV; and lifestyle expert for WebMD’s 90 million members. A bestselling author, Dr. Peeke’s newest book, The Hunger Fix: The 3-Stage Detox and Recovery Plan for Overeating and Food Addiction, was launched on the Katie Couric show and became a New York Times bestseller. 

Selena Rezvani 
Leadership Consultant 
A recognized author, speaker, and consultant on women and leadership, Selena is the founder and president of Women's Roadmap, a consulting firm whose goal is to propel more women into leadership positions and to help companies position an inclusive workplace as a competitive advantage. Selena established Women's Roadmap while writing The Next Generation of Women Leaders: What You Need to Lead but Won't Learn in Business School, 2009), and after identifying the need for Generation X and Y women to be seen as a viable talent pool and leadership pipeline. Her newest book, Pushback: How Smart Women Ask — and Stand Up — for What They Want focuses on the power of negotiation skills in women's career advancement. 

Linda Rottenberg
Mentor Capitalist
Named one of “America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News and one of TIME’s 100 “Innovators for the 21st century,” Linda Rottenberg is considered one of the world’s most dynamic experts on entrepreneurship, innovation, emerging markets, and leadership. A frequent lecturer at Fortune 500 companies, Rottenberg has been the subject of four case studies by Harvard Business School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Dell featured her in its “Take Your Own Path” advertising campaign; Veuve Clicquot named her Businesswoman of the Year; and Tom Friedman dubbed her the world’s “mentor capitalist” in The World Is Flat.

Marjorie Scardino 
Former CEO, Pearson 
Marjorie Scardino is chief executive of Pearson, the international education and media business made up of Pearson Education, Penguin and the Financial Times Group. Until January 1997, she was chief executive of The Economist Group, of which Pearson owns 50 percent, and, prior to 1985, she was a partner in a Savannah, Georgia law firm. 

Claire Shipman
Journalist & Author
Claire Shipman is a co-author of New York Times bestselling "Womenomics: Work Less, Achieve More, Live Better" and "The Confidence Code: The Science of Art of Self-Assurance - What Women Should Know," which provides an informative and practical guide for women to help them understand the importance of workplace confidence and how to achieve it. As a veteran journalist, Shipman covers a range of politics and social issues, and in recent years has focused on issues that concern women and women in the workplace. She is a regular contributor to "Good Morning America" and other national broadcasts for ABC News. 

Erica Williams Simon
Social Impact Strategist
Erica Williams Simon is an award-winning political strategist and advocate turned digital media maker, speaker, coach and writer. A World Economic Forum Global Shaper and the youngest appointed member of the Global Agenda Council on Social Media, her work focuses on sharing the ideas and practices that can lead to personal fulfillment and social change in today’s youthful, diverse, digital world. As Deputy Editor at, the fastest growing media site of all time, Erica William Simon uses uplifting storytelling and data analysis to reach an audience of up to 30 million unique visitors each month. She is also a frequent contributor to TIME magazine, where she writes thoughtfully on social change movements, popular culture and values.

Donna Rae Smith 
Founder and CEO, Bright Side, Inc. 
Donna Rae Smith is the founder and CEO of Bright Side, Inc., a globally recognized behavior and culture change company. Bright Side customizes personal, team, and organizational leader development workshops and processes designed to rapidly accelerate the execution of change. A barrier-shattering change-leader herself, Donna has pioneered a highly sought after approach for preparing people, teams and entire organizations to thrive in an ever-evolving business world. 

Debora L. Spar
President, Barnard College & Author
Debora L. Spar became the seventh president of Barnard College on July 1, 2008. Since her arrival at the College, Spar has been a vocal proponent of women's education and leadership, spearheading initiatives that include the Athena Center for Leadership Studies, an interdisciplinary center devoted to the theory and practice of women's leadership, and Barnard's Global Symposium series, an annual gathering of high-profile and accomplished female leaders held each year in a different region of the world. Prior to coming to Barnard, Spar was the Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. She is the author of numerous books, including most recently "Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection."

Gloria Steinem 
Writer and Activist 
Feminist icon Gloria Steinem is a writer, lecturer, activist, and frequent media spokeswoman on issues of equality. She is particularly interested in the shared origins of sex and race caste systems, gender roles and child abuse as roots of violence, non-violent conflict resolution, indigenous peoples, and organizing for peace and justice. In 1972, she co-founded Ms. magazine and continues to serve as consulting editor. Her books include Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-EsteemOutrageous Acts and Everyday RebellionsMoving Beyond Words, and Marilyn: Norma Jean, on the life of Marilyn Monroe. Steinem helped to found the National Women’s Political Caucus and the Ms. Foundation for Women, which supports grassroots projects to empower women and girls.

Martha Stewart 
Author and Entrepreneur 
An Emmy Award-winning television host, entrepreneur and bestselling author, Martha Stewart is America’s most trusted lifestyle expert and teacher. Her namesake company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO), which she founded in 1996, reaches approximately 66 million consumers across all media platforms each month with an expansive portfolio that includes award-winning properties such as Martha Stewart Living, Martha Stewart Wedding, the website, “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School” on PBS, and Martha Live, a live daily radio show on SiriusXM. Her latest book, Living the Good Long Life: A Practical Guide to Caring for Yourself and Others, was published in May 2013. 

Mary Stier 
Founder, Mary Stier Connects 
Prior to founding Mary Stier Connects, Stier enjoyed a 25-year career as one of the top executives of Gannett Company, Inc., a Fortune 500 media company. As one of the youngest publishers in Gannett’s history, Stier served as President and Publisher of The Des Moines Register as well as Senior Group President for Gannett’s Midwest and SunCoast Newspaper Groups. Ultimately, she was responsible for $1 billion in revenue, 26 daily newspapers, 350 non-daily publications, 27 websites and more than 7,400 employees. Stier currently serves on the boards of the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines, the Iowa Initiative for Untended Pregnancies and on the Honorary Advisory Council for the Women’s Media Center in New York City. 

Tammy Thayer 
President, Center for Advanced Studies in Business, University of Wisconsin 
Tammy Thayer is president of the Center for Advanced Studies in Business, a non-profit group affiliated with the Wisconsin School of Business. She is responsible for custom programs, which involve building partnerships between public and private organizations and executive education to help develop organizational effectiveness and global competitiveness, and the $25 million Executive Education Center. Tammy has been active in UNICON, and serves on the membership committee. She holds a MBA from Boston University and a bachelor’s in sociology from University of Wisconsin–Madison. 

Dr. Tererai Trent
Scholar, Humanitarian, Dreamer
Dr. Tererai Trent is one of today’s most internationally recognized voices for quality education and women’s empowerment. She is a scholar, humanitarian, motivational speaker, educator, mentor, and founder of Tererai Trent International Foundation.

Cy Wakeman 
Author, Speaker, Consultant 
Cy is a dynamic national keynote speaker, thought leader, business consultant, author, and trainer, and a favorite blogger on and A popular conference headliner, Cy has delivered more than 150 keynote programs, reaching a combined audience in excess of 250,000 annually. She holds a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation from the National Speakers’ Association, placing her within the top 3 percent of speakers worldwide. Her first book, Reality-Based Leadership, is a practical guide for leaders who want to reduce office drama and improve personal accountability with their teams. Her new book, The Reality-Based Rules of the Workplace, is a recent New York Times bestseller and looks at this issue from an individual employee perspective. 

Adrian Wing 
Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Bessie Dutton Murray Professor
University of Iowa College of Law 
Adrien Wing is the Bessie Dutton Murray Professor at the University of Iowa College of Law and the Associate Dean for Faculty Development as well as the director of the summer abroad program in Arcachon, France. Author of more than 100 publications, Wing is the editor of Critical Race Feminism — A Reader and Global Critical Race Feminism: An International Reader. Her scholarship has focused on race and gender discrimination, including topics such as the impact of Hurricane Katrina, gangs, mothering, affirmative action, the war on terrorism, and polygamy in Black America. 

Eileen Wixted 
Principal, Wixted Pope Nora Thompson & Associates 
Eileen Wixted is a strategic communications veteran with core competencies in the nuclear and health care industries. As a strategist and communication trainer, she has helped clients navigate brand damaging issues as well as prepared clients to face hostile media and government investigations. Medical errors, the nursing shortage and health care business practices are major issues facing the health care industry. Eileen works closely with clients developing strategies to manage the myriad of issues that emerge on a weekly basis. Eileen uses the same business-driven approach while assisting professionals working in manufacturing, finance, education and non-profit organizations. Layoffs, sensitive personnel issues and threats to market share are the types of issues for which Eileen’s clients seek counsel. Prior to WPNT, Eileen spent more than a decade as a broadcast journalist and is the recipient of an Emmy Award. Eileen is a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in mass communications. 

Naomi Wolf 
American Author, Political Consultant and Public Intellectual 
Naomi Wolf is a feminist, social critic, and political activist who encourages people to take charge of their lives, voice their concerns and enact change. Her international bestseller, The Beauty Myth, challenged the cosmetics industry and the marketing of unrealistic standards of beauty, launching a new wave of feminism in the early 1990s. Naomi’s latest book, The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, shows how events of the last six years parallel steps taken in the early years of the 20th century’s worst dictatorships. She is co-founder of The Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, an organization that teaches young women how to become leaders and co-founder of The American Freedom Campaign, a non-partisan citizens’ alliance formed to reverse the abuse of executive power and restore checks and balances. 

Sheryl WuDunn
Pulitzer Prize Winner
Sheryl WuDunn, the first Asian-American reporter to win a Pulitzer Prize, is a business executive, lecturer, and best-selling author.  With her husband Nicholas Kristof she co-authored four books: A Path Appears, Half the Sky, Thunder from the East, and China Wakes. They were awarded the Pulitzer in 1990 for their coverage of China, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize in 2009. WuDunn worked at the Times as a business editor and foreign correspondent in Tokyo and Beijing, and now works in banking.

Valerie Young 
Author and Speaker 
Valerie Young, Ed.D., is an internationally known speaker, author, and leading expert on the Imposter Syndrome. Her latest book, The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It, is currently being reprinted in Italy, Brazil, and the Czech Republic. Publisher’s Weekly calls it “a can’t-miss primer for businesswomen everywhere.” Valerie’s career-related tips have been cited in the Wall Street Journal, USA Weekend, More, Woman’s Day, Redbook, Psychology Today, the Chicago Tribune, the Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Mail, The Irish Independent, and the UK edition of Glamour, among others.