YaleWomen Award 2019


All alumni are invited to attend! 

Hotel Information
If you are traveling from outside the DC area and in need of hotel lodging, we have provided a summary of local area hotels in close proximity to the National Press Club, to assist in your travel planning. 

JW Marriott Washington DC
1331 Pennsylvania Ave NW

W Washington DC 
515 15th St NW

Hilton Garden Inn
815 14th St NW

Grand Hyatt Washington
1000 H St NW

Sponsorship Information

This event is brought to you by the generous support of our Platinum Sponsor, Haynes & Boone

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for the event, please click here for more information about packages and sponsorship levels. The deadline for submissions is Thursday, February 21, 2019. 

Lifetime Achievement Award Biographies

Anita F. Hill ’80 JD
Brandeis University Professor of Law, Public Policy and Women’s Studies; Chair, Commission to Eliminate Sexual Harassment and Advance Equality in the Workplace

The youngest of 13 children from a farm in Oklahoma, Hill received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1980.  She began her career in private practice in Washington, D.C. There she also worked at the U. S. Education Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  In 1989, Hill became the first African American to be tenured at the University of Oklahoma, College of Law, where she taught contracts and commercial law.  Currently, at Brandeis University, she teaches courses on gender, race, social policy and legal history. Along with Provost Steve A. N. Goldstein, Hill is responsible for implementing Fulfilling the Promise:  The Brandeis University Strategic Plan.  As counsel to Cohen Milstein, she advises on class action workplace discrimination cases. 

In December of 2017, Professor Hill became the Chair of the Hollywood entertainment industry’s Commission to Eliminate Sexual Harassment and Advance Equality in the Workplace.  In that role she will establish a best practices and policies framework for addressing workplace abuses and discrimination and creating more equitable work environments throughout the industry.

Hill’s latest book is Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race and Finding Home (Beacon Press, 2011), an analysis of the housing market collapse of 2008 and its impact on gender and racial equality. Hill adds this work to numerous other publications including books and articles on subjects ranging from bankruptcy to equal educational opportunity.

Professor Hill continues to push the envelope in pursuit of equality, teaming up with MacArthur Genius Award-winning artist Mark Bradford as he creates an exhibit for the 2017 Venice Biennale International Arts Festival opening in May in Venice, Italy. 

In addition, Hill is engaging prominent academics and business professionals all over the country to spearhead “The Gender/Race Imperative” a project to revive awareness of the broad capacity of Title IX, the crucial law mandating equal education opportunities for women. “The Gender/Race Imperative” will kick start inquiry as well as legal and policy reforms that empower girls and women of all races and economic backgrounds for success in schools and workplaces. 

Time, Inc., Newsweek, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and Ms. Magazine have published Professor Hill’s commentary and she has made numerous appearances on national television programs.

She is the recipient of numerous awards, grants and honorary degrees. Hill’s professional and civic contributions include chairing the Human Rights Law Committee of the International Bar Association, and membership on the Board of Governors of the Tufts Medical Center and the Board of Directors of the National Women’s Law Center and the Boston Area Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. 

Professor Hill is the subject of Freida Lee Mock’s documentary, ANITA, which premiered in January of 2013 at the Sundance Film festival.  Samuel Goldwyn Company staged the film’s theatrical release in the spring of 2014. 

Catherine E. Lhamon ’96 JD
Legal Affairs Secretary to California Governor Gavin Newsom; Chair, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Catherine E. Lhamon currently chairs the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, to which President Obama appointed her in December 2016, and in addition is Legal Affairs Secretary to California Governor Gavin Newsom.  Until January 2017, Lhamon served as the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, where she enforced federal civil rights laws in the nation’s schools.  President Obama nominated her for that position on June 10, 2013, and the United States Senate unanimously confirmed her on August 1, 2013.  Immediately before joining the Department of Education, Lhamon was Director of Impact Litigation at Public Counsel, the nation’s largest pro bono law firm.  Before that, she practiced for a decade at the ACLU of Southern California, ultimately as Assistant Legal Director.  Earlier in her career, Lhamon was a teaching fellow and supervising attorney in the Appellate Litigation Program at Georgetown University Law Center, after clerking for The Honorable William A. Norris on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The Feminist Majority Foundation and Ms. Magazine awarded Lhamon the Wonder Women Award in 2018. Politico Magazine named Lhamon one of Politico 50 Thinkers Transforming Politics in 2016.  The Daily Journal listed her as one of the Top 20 California Lawyers Under 40 in 2007, and as one of the state’s Top Women Litigators in 2010 and 2007.  In 2004, California Lawyer named Lhamon Attorney of the Year for Civil Rights.

Lhamon received her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was the Outstanding Woman Law Graduate, and she graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College. 

Ann Olivarius ’77, ’86 MBA, ’86 JD
Chair of McAllister Olivarius; Senior Partner of AO Advocates

Dr. Ann Olivarius is the Chair of McAllister Olivarius, one of the leading firms in the US and UK advancing the rights of women.  She also is the Senior Partner of AO Advocates which has won landmark rulings protecting children and adults who are victims of abuse in Britain.  After developing her corporate finance skills in the M&A departments of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, Ann’s career includes service as a strategic advisor for Perot Systems and as head of the corporate department in the Washington office of Shearman & Sterling. Ann coined the term “date rape” while at Yale which Susan Brown Miller later published.  Ann was pivotal in opening Mory’s – a popular Yale watering hole – to women and was the legal heart and mind behind the filing of the landmark civil rights case, Alexander v. Yale, establishing sexual harassment law in the US. The ACLU has named her as one of the nine most influential actors in the history of Title IX, which provides for equal treatment for women in education; the British academic journal “Nature” has named her as one of the 10 most influential people who matter in science given her work for women, and Nelson Mandela introduced her as “a lawyer who has advised me well and who has courageously advanced the cause of justice, and improved life opportunities, for millions of women, blacks and disadvantaged, worldwide.”

Ann has served on the Boards of openDemocracy, Autistica and Women Moving Millions.  She has advised Prime Minister Thatcher, Chancellor of the British Exchequer, Sir Geoffrey Howe, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, the government of Mexico in its NAFTA negotiations; Queen Rania of Jordan; and the “Queen of Spies” Baroness Park of Monmouth on her work with M16 and in the House of Lords.  She also founded and chairs the Rhodes Project, which evaluates the lives and careers of women Rhodes Scholars.

Impact Award Biographies

Araceli Campos ’99
Chair, Los Angeles County Women & Girls Initiative; Executive Director, Miguel Contreras Foundation

In her public service, Araceli Campos is Chair of the LA County Women & Girls Initiative (WGI) Governing Council.  WGI is a 5-year, $5 million task force launched to provide gender equity recommendations across LA County services, employment, and partnerships.  Araceli was part of the working group that led to the creation of the WGI under Board Chair Sheila Kuehl and Supervisor Hilda Solis.  After establishment of the WGI, she was appointed to the WGI Governing Council by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, and elected Chair by her peers.  This initiative will affect LA County’s services to over 10 million residents and over 100,000 employees.

Araceli’s work for the WGI was informed by her 5 years as President of the LA City Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the youngest in its history.  In this role, Araceli supported Mayor Eric Garcetti’s first-of-its-kind gender study and historic implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in LA City.  Successes include the highest percentage of female appointees of any major U.S. City, and the elimination of all-male commissions for the first time in LA City history.  This work catalyzed gender equity initiatives within government in other cities and counties throughout the United States.

Professionally, Araceli is Executive Director of the Miguel Contreras Foundation (MCF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit partner of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO (LA Fed).  The LA Fed represents over 300 unions with 800,000 workers in Los Angeles County. MCF provides economic opportunity programs for underserved workers outside of organized labor in Los Angeles County, focusing on people of color and immigrants, the formerly incarcerated, and women.  MCF seeks to partner with labor and business to create pipelines and placements for underserved workers in quality careers where workers have equitable wages and benefits, fair treatment, and a collective voice in their economic destiny.

Araceli is a first-generation American, with family from rural Mexico and Cuba.  A first-generation middle school, high school, college, and law school graduate, she attended Los Angeles public schools before moving to the East Coast for college.  At Yale, Araceli co-founded the major Ethnicity, Race & Migration, and was one of the first four graduates in the program.  Araceli went on to graduate from Stanford Law School, where she co-founded the Stanford Journal of Civil Rights/Civil Liberties.

C’Ardiss Gardner Gleser ‘08
Program Officer, Satterberg Foundation; Andrus Family Fund

C’Ardiss Gardner Gleser (CC) is an advocate for social impact and social justice work. The vast amount of her personal time has always been dedicated to supporting underrepresented and marginalized communities.  Her personal narrative and life experience has made her commitment to this work and communities more than passion projects, but core life values.

CC began her career as a project manager in the tech and engineering sector with GE Healthcare.  However, most of her career she has served in several renowned nonprofit organizations focused on equity and changing educational outcomes for underserved children, such as the Technology Access Foundation (TAF). TAF is a national model of integrating STEM education in underrepresented communities and elevating the impact of teachers of color. 

CC transitioned from the nonprofit sector and is now entrenched in the philanthropic sector.  CC is a Program Officer at Satterberg Foundation, whose mission focuses on promoting a just society and sustainable environment. She also serves on the boards of Andrus Family Fund, Charlotte Martin Foundation, Philanthropy Northwest, and The Bush School. CC is a graduate of the 2017 Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) Connecting Leaders Fellowship.

CC is extremely involved in her community, both locally and nationally. CC is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Links, Inc., where she elevated programming impact and initiatives. She was also a Brainerd Fellow and a partner with Social Venture Partners Seattle where she co-¬chaired the Social Venture Teen Philanthropy Program.

CC has been deeply engaged with Yale since she graduated in 2008. In 2011 she created an annual Yale Black Alumni event in Seattle, The Do You Conference, which is focused on introducing youth of color to the steps of navigating the college admissions process and to college life. This event has served over 350 youth and is now co-led with the Stanford Black Alumni Assoc.  She also has been involved with the Higher Education Initiative, which is led by Yale Alumni and partners with current Yale students, while serving youth in the Child Welfare System around the county. CC was previously the National President of the Yale Black Alumni Association. She also served on Yale’s Board of Governors and the Council for YaleWomen and she also co-chaired the 2016 Yale Day of Service with Sheryl Carter Negash ’82.

Most exciting, CC founded Black Ivy Manor, which provides funding and other opportunities for Black scholars, artists, and social justice advocates the space to develop their crafts and voices, while supporting movement in community and cultivating relationships with one another.

CC earned her Bachelor's degree in African American Studies from Yale University, and an M.Ed. in Education Administration from Seattle University. She currently resides in the Detroit area with her husband and three children.

Kamala Lopez
President, Heroica Films; Executive Director, Equal Means Equal

Actress, filmmaker, activist and President of Heroica Films, Kamala Lopez, has launched the movement and film Equal Means Equal, to educate Americans about the importance of equal rights under federal law for women and complete the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Since the film’s release in the summer of 2016, after over thirty-five years of inaction, the Equal Rights Amendment was ratified in Nevada (March 2017) and in Illinois (May 2018).  Deputy Majority Leader of Illinois House of Representatives, Louis Lang, Sponsor of the ERA said in a letter to Kamala: “As you know, I have been working in the House for twenty-five years to accomplish this, and without your help, this year’s vote would have ended as another failed attempt.  Your exemplary leadership and strategic actions were felt throughout the state and the nation.”

Born in New York City to an Indian mother and a Venezuelan father, Lopez has worked as an actor in over thirty feature films including Born in East L.A., Deep Cover, The Burning Season (winner of 2 Emmys, 3 Golden Globes and the Humanitas Prize), Clear and Present Danger, Lightning Jack, and I Heart Huckabees.  She has starred in over sixty television shows including Medium, 24, Alias, NYPD Blue, Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice, and 21 Jump Street (winner of the Imagen Award). She hosted the PBS series Wired Science.

Lopez, a Yale University graduate in Philosophy and Theatre Studies, formed production company Heroica Films in 1995 with the mission to write, direct and produce media for women, about women and utilizing women both in front and behind the camera. 

Her film, A Single Woman, about the life of first Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin, won the 2009 Exceptional Merit in Media Award from the National Women’s Political Caucus. In 2013 her short Spanish-language film “Ese Beso” won the Jury Award at the Senorita Cinema Festival and the Audience Award at the Boyle Heights Latina Film Festival.

In 2009 Lopez began the ERA Education Project, creating multi-media PSA’s, video FAQ’s, social media campaigns, educational videos & sites, piloting curriculum and travelling around the country speaking to groups as well as students in colleges and high schools. She has been the Keynote or Featured Speaker in venues as disparate as the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery, the United Nations, The National Arts Club, at the YaleWomen Global Conference as well as to “at-risk” girls and other children in L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa’s Partnership for Los Angeles schools.

Lopez’s work on behalf of women and girls has been recognized by Los Angeles County’s Board of Supervisors and the Women’s Commission who named her 2015 Woman of the Year (Arts/Media). In 2012 Women’s eNews selected her as one of the 21 Leaders for the 21st Century and the National Women’s Political Caucus named her the 2011 Woman of Courage. In 2016, the State of California awarded her the Latino Spirit Award for Achievement in Advocacy and Entertainment and the national civil rights group Equal Rights Advocates named her Champion of Justice.

Rebecca Reichmann Tavares ‘78
Interim Coordinator, UN's Every Woman Every Child Initiative

Rebecca Reichmann Tavares is President of Tavares Associates, an international consulting firm based in California. Currently serving as interim coordinator of the UN Secretary General’s Every Woman Every Child initiative hosted by UNFPA, Dr. Tavares has worked as educator, practitioner, donor and United Nations diplomat in gender & development, social justice, peace & security and governance program development in Latin America, South Asia and the USA.  Areas of research and expertise:   Gender equality and women’s empowerment; Women, peace & security; Ethnic, racial and caste-based diversity and inclusion; Immigration policy and immigrant civic engagement (USA); Governance, training and evaluation; and Microfinance.

Dr. Tavares served the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (UN Women) in Latin America and South Asia from 2009 to 2017. She was Representative of UN Women’s Multi-Country Office for India, Bhutan, the Maldives and Sri Lanka (2013-2017), and Representative, a.i, for UN Women’s Afghanistan Country Office (2017). Previously Dr. Reichmann Tavares was Representative for Brazil and Regional Programme Director of UN Women’s Brazil & Southern Cone Office (2009-2013).  A life-long advocate for economic, gender and racial equity, her career in philanthropy and social justice spans the Ford Foundation, ACCION International, the New Americans Immigration Museum, the San Diego Foundation and consultancies with over a dozen other international organizations, firms and foundations.

A native of California, Dr. Reichmann Tavares graduated from Yale University and holds a doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has published books, monographs and articles on race in Brazil, women’s empowerment, reproductive rights and microfinance in Latin America and South Asia.

Vera Wells ‘71
Retired Executive of National Broadcasting Company (NBC)

Vera Wells was a member of Yale’s first undergraduate class to include women and also among the first to enroll in its African American Studies courses in 1969.  After graduating in 1971 with a BA in psychology, she studied organization management at Harvard’s Kennedy School.  Vera then consulted on education programs and conducted field research in Africa in the 1970s for international development projects, primarily in the southern BLS countries.   Most of her career, however, was spent during 20 years as an executive at the National Broadcasting Company where she began in promotional research for new TV programs, including HILL STREET BLUES, MIAMI VICE, THE COSBY SHOW and LAW & ORDER. She also oversaw NBC's Page Program in the seating of NYC based shows, including SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, and completed her tenure there as Director of Corporate and Philanthropic Initiatives.   

During the spring term of 1970, Vera requested and wrote the proposal for the Yale residential college seminar on Black women that originally recruited Sylvia Ardyn Boone to teach it at TD in September 1970.  That set in motion the two women organizing the “Chubb Conference on the Black Woman" which brought Maya Angelou, Gwendolyn Brooks, John Henrik Clarke and Shirley Graham DuBois to campus that December.  After Vera's graduation in 1971, Sylvia Boone continued to mentor and befriend Vera.  When Prof. Boone died in 1993, Vera coordinated her funeral details at Yale and still continues as the Director of the Boone Memorial Project.  She has been overseeing the court-approved donation of Boone’s papers for appropriate archiving so that they can be made available to scholars in the future.  Vera used her own personal assets to endow both an undergraduate scholarship and a graduate student prize to honor her mentor at Yale, and she continues to fund this project to secure Boone’s literary estate and intellectual legacy. 

An active and committed alumna, Vera was the recipient of a 2007 Yale Medal for her volunteer service to the University.  She has helped to organize events for women and Black alumni and has championed efforts to raise funds to support the Afro-American Cultural Center, Robert Farris Thompson’s portrait at TD, the Women Faculty Forum and many Yale initiatives that benefit women and students of color.  She was an at-large member of Yale’s University Council for 10 years, where she served on its Theater Review Committee, a member of the Yale Development Board, Yale Tomorrow Campaign, and a preliminary founding committee member for YaleWomen.  Vera was a co-founder of Y-Apply in 2007 and helped develop its parent workshops.  She also served as Co-Chair of the National Advisory Council of the Yale Black Alumni Association during its early years. Vera continues to be a TD Fellow and has an office at Timothy Dwight College, where her Boone Project is based. 

Panel Moderator:

Joanne Lipman '83 
Bestselling author, That's What She Said and former Editor in Chief of USA TODAY

Joanne Lipman, the bestselling author of THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID, is one of the nation’s leading journalists. She most recently was Chief Content Officer of Gannett and Editor-in-Chief of USA TODAY and the USA TODAY NETWORK, comprising the flagship publication plus 109 local newspapers including the Detroit Free Press, the Des Moines Register, and the Arizona Republic. In that role, she oversaw more than 3,000 journalists and led the organization to three Pulitzer prizes.

Lipman began her career as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, ultimately rising to deputy managing editor – the first woman to attain that post – and supervising coverage that won three Pulitzer Prizes. At the Journal, she created Weekend Journal and Personal Journal, and oversaw creation of the Saturday edition. She subsequently was founding editor-in-chief of Conde Nast Portfolio magazine, which won Loeb and National Magazine Awards.

Lipman’s work has been published in numerous outlets including The New York Times, Time, Fortune, Newsweek and the Harvard Business Review. She has appeared as a television commentator on ABC, NBC, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, and PBS, among others. She is a frequent public speaker, with recent engagements including the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Aspen Ideas Institute, the National Press Club, and the Milken Institute Global conference. She also is co-author, with Melanie Kupchynsky, of the acclaimed music memoir “Strings Attached.”

A winner of the Matrix Award for women in communications and a 2017 honoree for New York City’s Literacy Partners, Lipman is a member of the Yale University Council; the Council on Foreign Relations; the Knight Commission on Trust, Media and Democracy; and the boards of the World Editors Forum, the Yale Daily News and the advisory boards of Breastcancer.org and the Yale School of Music. She and her husband live in New York City and are the parents of two children.


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