Speaker biographies

Kavitha Cardoza, Special Correspondent, WAMU
Special Correspondent Kavitha Cardoza reports on Washington D.C area news, with a special focus on children, education and poverty. She is also the host of the documentary series, Breaking Ground, that airs on public radio stations across the U.S. Cardoza joined the station in 2008, and was previously the Springfield bureau chief for WUIS in Illinois. She was also an adjunct faculty member at American University and at the University of Illinois. She holds graduate degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Manipal Institute of Communication in India. Cardoza has won more than 25 awards including the National Award for Investigative Reporting from the Education Writers Association.


Sue Carroll, Senior Scholar, the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), and Professor of Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University
Susan J. Carroll is Professor of Political Science and Senior Scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) of the Eagleton Institute of Politics. She is co-author of More Women Can Run: Gender and Pathways to State Legislatures (Oxford University Press 2013, with Kira Sanbonmatsu) and co-editor of Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics (Third Edition, Cambridge University Press 2014, with Richard L. Fox). Earlier books include: Women as Candidates in American Politics (Second Edition, Indiana 1994); Women and American Politics: New Questions, New Directions (Oxford 2003); and The Impact of Women in Public Office (Indiana 2001). Carroll also has published numerous journal articles and book chapters focusing on women candidates, voters, elected officials, and political appointees in the United States. Her current research focuses on the politics of the gender gap in voting and women’s representation in Congress. As a nationally recognized expert on women’s political participation, Carroll is frequently called upon for media commentary.


Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, Michigan’s 12th Congressional District
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell represents Michigan’s 12th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Before being elected to Congress, Dingell was the Chair of the Wayne State University Board of Governors, and for 30 years, served one of Michigan’s largest employers, the General Motors (GM) Corporation, where she was President of the GM Foundation and a senior executive responsible for public affairs. An active civic and community leader, Dingell is a recognized national advocate for women and children. She successfully fought to have women included in federally-funded health research, and advocated for greater awareness of issues directly related to women’s health, including breast cancer and women’s heart health. She is a founder and past chair of the National Women’s Health Resource Center and the Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dingell has also led a number of efforts and initiatives related to young people and education stemming from her role as a WSU Governor and co-chair of the Children’s Leadership Council, a business-led advocacy group that promotes investment in early childhood education.


Holly Fechner, Chair of the Board, Institute for Women’s Policy Research
Partner, Covington & Burling LLP
Holly Fechner is a partner in the public policy practice at Covington & Burling LLP. Named a top lobbyist by The Hill, Ms. Fechner manages teams that handle public policy, government affairs, and regulatory matters for clients in Washington, DC and around the world. With over two decades of legal, legislative and public policy experience, Ms. Fechner focuses on pensions, healthcare, intellectual property, tax, food, energy and education.  Ms. Fechner is also a visiting lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Ms. Fechner was Policy Director for Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Massachusetts). In that position, she developed policy initiatives, legislation and campaigns on a broad range of issues, including the economy, health care, employment, education, retirement policy, and civil rights. She was also Chief Labor & Pensions Counsel for the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee. In her eight years on Capitol Hill, Ms. Fechner served as chief negotiator and drove passage of over a dozen laws worth hundreds of billions of dollars.


Barbara Gault, Ph.D., Vice President and Executive Director, Institute for Women’s Policy Research
Since joining IWPR in 1997, Barbara Gault has focused on issues of poverty, education, work-life balance, and child care options for working parents. Her publications include College Affordability for Low-Income Adults: Improving Returns on Investment for Families and Society and Resilient and Reaching for More: Challenges and Benefits of Higher Education for Welfare Participants and Their Children. Dr. Gault has testified in Congress on low-income women’s educational access and need for quality jobs and workplace supports, has spoken on women’s issues in venues throughout the country, and appears in a range of media outlets. Prior to joining IWPR, Dr. Gault conducted research at the Office of Children’s Health Policy Research, and served as a staff and board member of organizations promoting human rights in Latin America. She received her Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. from the University of Michigan. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Coalition on Human Needs, and is a Research Professor of Women’s Studies at the George Washington University.


Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., President, Institute for Women’s Policy Research
Dr. Heidi Hartmann, a MacArthur fellow, is a leading economist and women’s movement intellectual whose work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. In 1987, she founded the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the leading American think tank informing women’s policy issues. Dr. Hartmann is sought after by the media to comment on the most pressing issues impacting the status of women, including the gender wag gap, paid family leave, Social Security, and the glass ceiling for women in leadership. Dr. Hartmann is the recipient of honorary degrees from Swarthmore College and Claremont Graduate University, the Wilbur Cross Medal for distinguished alumni of the graduate school of Yale University, and the 2012 Women of Vision Award from the National Organization for Women. Most recently she was named the 2014 Charlotte Perkins Gillman Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. She is an economist with a B.A. from Swarthmore College and M. Phil and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University, all in economics, and is the President of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. She is also a Research Professor at George Washington University.


Ariane Hegewisch, Study Director, Institute for Women’s Policy Research
Ariane Hegewisch has been a Study Director at IWPR since the summer of 2008. She came to IWPR from the Center for WorkLife Law at UC Hastings and is responsible for IWPR’s research on workplace discrimination. She is a specialist in comparative human resource management, with a focus on policies and legislative approaches to facilitate greater work life reconciliation and gender equality, in the U.S. and internationally. Prior to coming to the U.S., she taught comparative European human resource management at Cranfield School of Management in the U.K. where she was a founding researcher of the Cranet Survey of International HRM, the largest independent survey of human resource management policies and practices, covering 25 countries worldwide. She has published many papers and articles and co-edited several books, including ‘Women, work and inequality: The challenge of equal pay in a deregulated labour market.” She is German and has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and an MPhil in Development Studies from the IDS, Sussex.


Avis A. Jones-DeWeever, Ph.D., Founder, Exceptional Leadership Institute for Women
As one of the nation’s leading experts on the intersection of race and gender, Exceptional Leadership Strategist,™ author, political commentator, and internationally-acclaimed speaker, Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever is the Founder of the Exceptional Leadership Institute for Women. Dr. Jones-DeWeever’s expertise and perspectives have been enthusiastically received by a wide range of audiences around the world. She had the distinct honor of serving as the keynote speaker to the President of the United States’ Inaugural Young African Leaders Summit, has served as a featured speaker before the World Bank, and as a key messenger on women’s empowerment issues on behalf of U.S. Embassies worldwide. At home, her research, writing, advocacy strategy and personal and professional development work helps to tackle a wide array of issues impacting the well-being of women within the policy sphere as well as within the very personal space of career maximization and successful work/life integration and advancement. Find out more by logging on to: www.exceptionalleadershipinstitute.com.


Barbara Krumsiek, Former CEO Calvert Investments
Barbara J. Krumsiek’s career in investment management spans four decades, including seventeen years as CEO of Calvert Investments. Calvert is an investment management firm known for its innovation and performance in the field of sustainable and responsible investing. During her tenure at Calvert, Ms. Krumsiek advanced Calvert’s position as a globally recognized leader in in the SRI field, serving as Co-Chair of the UN Environment Programme – Finance Initiative for three years. In the past decade, Barbara has devoted much of her time and influence to advancing the role of women in the workplace and championing Board diversity. Ms. Krumsiek serves on the Boards of Pepco Holdings, Inc.. and the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital. With degrees in mathematics from Rutgers University (AB) and NYU (MS), Ms. Krumsiek was awarded the Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by Georgetown University, Honoris Causa, citing her work in advancing the critical dialogue regarding the role of business in society.
Adriana Kugler, Vice-Provost for Faculty and Full Professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University
Dr. Adriana Kugler is Vice-Provost for Faculty and Professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. She served as Chief Economist of the U.S. Department of Labor in 2011 and 2012, where she worked on developing policies on unemployment insurance, training programs, retirement benefits, and occupational safety regulations among others. Her academic work includes contributions on the role of labor policies and unemployment. Her contribution on the impact of policies and regulations was recognized with the 2007 John T. Dunlop Outstanding Scholar Award from the Labor and Employment Relations Association. Her work has been published in top general interest and specialized journals in Economics and Public Policy. Her work has been broadly covered by the media. She has testified as an expert witness in front of Congress and, as an undergraduate, she was an intern for Senator Mikulski. She was an elected member of the Executive Committee of the European Association of Labor Economists and she has held multiple editorial positions in academic journals. She is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and her BA from McGill University.


Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Wisconsin’s 4th Congressional District
Congresswoman Gwen Moore was elected to represent Wisconsin’s 4th Congressional District in 2004, making her the first African American elected to Congress from the state of Wisconsin. Prior to her election to the Senate, Congresswoman Moore served two consecutive terms in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1989-1992. She is a member of the House Committee on Financial Services and serves as the Ranking Member on the Financial Services Committee’s Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee. The Congresswoman has made it her mission to give voice to the voiceless and has been a strong advocate for measures that focus on improving the economic and employment conditions in low-income communities. A champion for women, Congresswoman Moore served as the Democratic Co-Chair of the Congressional Women’s Caucus from 2011 to 2013. Through this and other work, she has become a leader on issues related to women’s health, maternal and infant mortality, and domestic violence. Congresswoman Moore earned a B.A. in Political Science from Marquette and is the proud mother of Jesselynne, Ade, and Sowande “Supreme,” and grandmother of three.


Wendy Naugle, Executive Editor, Glamour Magazine
Wendy Naugle is the Executive Editor of Glamour, the most celebrated women’s magazine in America today, having won more than 170 journalism awards. Naugle helmed the magazine’s nationally recognized domestic violence campaign and heart health awareness campaign, and her stories on subjects ranging from breast implants to health insurance to reproductive rights have won top honors, including two National Magazine Awards for Personal Service, a National Press Club Consumer Journalism Award and multiple Exceptional Merit in Media Awards, among others. Naugle oversees the magazine’s digital edition, and has appeared on Today, Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight and CNN. Prior to joining Glamour in 2001, she worked at Ladies’ Home Journal, Family Life and American Baby. She is a graduate of the magazine journalism program at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and lives in Tarrytown, New York, with her husband and two children.


Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance
Co-director, Caring Across Generations campaign
Ai-jen Poo is the Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Co-director of the Caring Across Generations campaign. She has been organizing immigrant women workers since 1996. In 2000 she co-founded Domestic Workers United, the New York organization that spearheaded the successful passage of the state’s historic Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in 2010. In 2007, together with 11 other organizations, DWU helped to launch the National Domestic Workers Alliance. In 2011, in response to the growing call for domestic workers who were hired as nannies and housekeepers to provide home care for their employer’s aging relatives, she helped launch Caring Across Generations to address two of the major social issues of our time: widespread unemployment and the coming need for care for the nation’s expanding aging population. Ai-jen serves on the Board of Directors of Momsrising, National Jobs with Justice, Working America, and the National Council on Aging. She is a 2013 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, winner of a 2014 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and most recently on Fortune.com’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders list. Her book, The Age of Dignity, was released in 2015.


ShierholzHeidi Shierholz, Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Labor
Heidi Shierholz is Chief Economist to U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. She held previous positions at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, DC, and the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario. She has done research in the areas of wage inequality, employment and unemployment policy, long-term unemployment, labor force participation, the minimum wage, young workers, and immigration. She received an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, an M.S. in Statistics from Iowa State University, and a B.A. in Mathematics from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa.


WeingartenRandi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers
Randi Weingarten is president of the 1.6 million-member American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, which represents teachers, higher education faculty and staff, nurses, government employees, and early childhood educators. Weingarten has launched major efforts to place education reform high on the nation’s and her union’s agendas. In 2012-2013, Weingarten served on an education reform commission convened by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, which made a series of recommendations to improve teaching and learning. She was appointed to the Equity and Excellence Commission, a federal advisory committee chartered by Congress to examine and make recommendations concerning the disparities in educational opportunities that give rise to the achievement gap. Prior to her election as AFT president in 2008, Weingarten served for 12 years as president of the United Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2, representing educators in the New York City public school system and in 2013, she was named by the New York Observer as one of the most influential New Yorkers of the past 25 years. Weingarten holds degrees from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Cardozo School of Law. Born and raised in Rockland County, N.Y., Weingarten now resides on Long Island and in Washington, D.C. Her column “What Matters Most” appears in the New York Times’ Sunday Review the third Sunday of each month.