YaleWomen Council: 2020-2021 OVERVIEW

Dear Yale women alums:


Under the Bylaws of YaleWomen, Inc., the Governance Committee of the YaleWomen Council is responsible for recommending candidates for each new Class of the Council. The committee is beginning the process for terms that will begin July 1, 2020 and we need your input.


Each year, YaleWomen elects one-third of the members to its Governing Council. These new or returning members are elected to serve three-year terms. We invite both eligible sitting Council members whose terms will end June 30, 2020 and other Yale women alums who have an interest in serving on the Council to apply for these eight seats.


You have seen YaleWomen grow from the “big idea” of possibilities that was envisioned when it was founded in 2011 – following the 2010 celebration of the 40th anniversary of the coeducation of Yale College and the 140th anniversary of the coeducation of the Graduate & Professional Schools – to the tangible realities of compelling signature initiatives that connect Yale women alums and amplify their voices to transform the world, including the quarterly newsletters, social media, webinars, chapter events, and conferences and symposia that we produce. As we have grown, the import of YaleWomen’s work has become increasingly significant. This year, with the University, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the coeducation of Yale College and the 150th anniversary of the coeducation of the Graduate & Professional Schools – and we are approaching our first decade, a noteworthy milestone for an all-volunteer organization. Consider joining us!  


YaleWomen is an all-volunteer organization. When we say “we produce,” we mean we produce. We are hands-on in everything we do, including managing and upgrading our digital communications platform (NationBuilder), writing the stories the newsletters tell, producing webinars (Zoom), and hosting global and local events. Equally important, we continually raise the bar on our own expectations of the work we do, whether it is enhancing current initiatives or cutting from whole cloth to produce new ones: our best work is always ahead. This is one of the most remarkable and rewarding aspects of engaging with YaleWomen. 


We encourage you to consider joining the YaleWomen Council. Applications are due Sunday, March 15, 2020. The election will be held by Monday, June 1, 2020.


Who would be a good nominee? YaleWomen’s Bylaws contain the following guidance: “The ideal Council member will be an engaged alum, who has demonstrated volunteer commitment to Yale or to a Yale alum organization (including YaleWomen). Nominees for the Council should be able to devote adequate time to Council activities and be willing to make Council service a priority. They should possess good judgment, listening and speaking skills, follow through on work they undertake, be able to work collaboratively, and be willing to serve as ambassadors for YaleWomen.”


Our mission, set forth in our Strategic Plan, is: “To create a vibrant, engaged community of alums, drawn together by the common thread of our Yale experiences, that is committed to advancing women's voices and perspectives and to enriching and inspiring one another, Yale, and the world.” Our vision, which emerged from YaleWomen’s inaugural conference in 2013, is: Connecting women, Igniting ideas, Transforming the world. The Council is responsible for stewarding and advancing this bold mission and vision. 


Selection of Council members will be in keeping with the criteria enumerated in the Bylaws. These criteria envision active participation by Council members, both in the work of the Council, including the Council’s committees, and in one or more ongoing projects.  We ask each nominee to commit to a significant level of engagement as we continue to build infrastructure and create compelling programming that engages alums within the four focus areas set forth in our Strategic Plan: Building community, Promoting lifelong learning opportunities, Contributing to society, and Contributing to Yale.  Please see the Statement of Expectations for specific information about the ways in which Council members are expected to contribute to YaleWomen’s work.


Much of YaleWomen’s work is done outside the monthly Council meetings, through our committees. Committees are responsible for the production of newsletters, social media, webinars, chapter events, and conferences and symposia. It is important to emphasize that while Council members are expected to attend monthly Council meetings (by Zoom conferencing), this is not sufficient. We have ambitious goals for FY21 and beyond. Their realization requires serious commitment and hands-on work. We ask each nominee to be realistic about her ability to make service to YaleWomen a priority. There are opportunities to be a significant contributor to YaleWomen without serving on the Council and some potential nominees may want to serve in ways that permit them more flexibility.


If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected].  You must submit your completed application no later than Sunday, March 15, 2020. The election will be held by Monday, June 1, 2020.


With our thanks and best wishes,


YaleWomen Governance Committee 

Chieko Barry ’84 JD, Chair of the Governance Committee

Lauren Graham ’13 MEM

Susan Lennon ’85 MPPM

Jennifer Ebisemiju Madar ‘88

Susan Pepin ‘87

Dana Allen Sands ‘83

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