2013 Conference

The 2013 Women’s Leadership Conference focused on the theme of “It Takes A Community” and the importance of community engagement. The keynote speaker was Marne Levine, vice president of global public policy at Facebook, who noted that great things can happen when we harness the power of social media to connect the world. She provided many specific examples of social media empowering people to come together to help those in need. Next on the conference agenda were three parallel professional development sessions: “Getting Engaged in your Community,” led by Amy Cohen, executive director of the George Washington University' (GW) Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service; “How to Leverage your Presence in Social Media,” led by Suzette Gardner, associate director of online alumni communications for the GW Office of Alumni Relations; and “Stress Management,” led by Patti Plaza, administrative manager for the GW Department of Exercise Science.

The afternoon address was delivered by Holly H. Shimizu, executive director of the United States Botanic Garden, who offered a global perspective on “Creating Community with Sustainable Landscapes.” Ms. Shimizu spoke about the importance of gardens to the health of our environment, as well as to our personal well-being. “Gardens create community and bring people together,” she said.

The conference concluded with a panel discussion titled “Creating Community Efforts,” moderated by Laura Taddeucci Downs, B.A. ’92, M.A. ’95, chair of the GW Council of Chairs, and featuring panelists Mary Ellsberg, director of the GW Global Women’s Institute; Shilo Groover Karzen, B.A. ’03, a news producer for WEAR-TV in Pensacola, Fla.; Akshaya Kumar, B.A. ’03, Sudan and South Sudan policy analyst for the Enough Project; and Dianne Sherman, Mount Vernon College ’76, founder and principal of Dianne Sherman Communications.

2013 Images

Dianne Sherman

Communications Expert Dianne Sherman

Panelist Dianne Sherman, Founder and Principal of Dianne Sherman Communications, poses with an attendee.

Holly Shimizu

Holly Shimizu of the U.S. Botanic Garden

Holly H. Shimizu, Executive Director of the United States Botanic Garden, spoke about the importance of gardens to the health of our environment, as well as to our personal well-being. 

2013 Panel discussion

2013 Panel Discussion

The 2013 panel discussion was titled “Creating Community Efforts” and was moderated by Laura Taddeucci Downs, chair of the George Washington University Council of Chairs.

Mary Ellsberg

Mary Ellsberg of the Global Women's Institute

Panel participant Mary Ellsburg is the director of the Global Women's Institute at the George Washington University.

Akshaya Kumar

Policy Analyst Akshaya Kumar

Akshaya Kumar, a Sudan and South Sudan policy analyst for the Enough Project, answers a question as a part of the discussion panel. Akshaya is an '03 graduate of the Elliot School of International Affairs at the George Washington University.

Shilo Groover Karzen

Journalist Shilo Groover Karzen

Shilo Groover Karzen, a news producer for WEAR-TV in Pensacola, Fla, participated in the panel discussion.