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Women's Center Holds Leadership Conference

The nation’s first woman secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, leads a lineup of speakers for the Women’s Center’s Leadership Conference on March 8. Television Network morning news host Paula Zahn is also on the list.

Since its inception 18 years ago, the conference has gained status and word-of-mouth recognition as an annual occasion for women to celebrate their gains and redirect their energies as they try to balance the demands of their families and careers while somehow preserving a sense of self.

”We’re extraordinarily fortunate to bring access to America’s leadership through the vehicle of the 18th annual Women’s Center Leadership Conference,” said Judith Mueller, its founder. She has directed the Women’s Center for 27 years of its 30-year history.

“Women today are seeking role models for the definition of their own lives. Madeleine Albright achieved status as the highest-ranking female government figure in the United States of America.

“We look at Condoleeza Rice, and it feels comfortable. But we have to realize the struggle of getting Madeleine Albright over the transom first,” Mueller said.

“For most people, the visualization of leadership — access to a model of mentoring — is the key to self-actualization. People can do what they have seen and can be inspired by that they learn and witness, but it’s hard to imitate what they’ve never seen or known.

“That’s why this conference is so important,” Mueller said. “We are showcasing women leaders. Their actions and lives have achieved new benchmarks in the status and condition of women. Their successes have improved conditions for the rest of us,” she said.

The one-day conference will be held at the Hilton McLean on Jones Branch Road in Tysons Corner from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 8. Registration fees range from $145 to $190.

Information is available at 703-281-4928 or at www.thewomenscenter.org.

Conference sponsors include Cox Communications, Booz Allen Hamilton, Reed Smith, the WebMethods Foundation and Kaiser Permanente.

Donors include Capital One, Chevy Chase Bank, Diane Cox Basheer Communities and McDonald Bradley Inc.

Ivonne A’Baki

Former ambassador of Ecuador to the United States, she has served as director of the Conflict Management Group at Harvard. A’Baki is an expert in international relations and conflict resolution, who has won many awards for her diplomacy and peace advocacy.

Madeleine Albright

First woman to serve as Secretary of State during the Clinton administration, she is chairman of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and founder of the Albright Group, which advises multinational companies and nongovernmental organizations.

Elizabeth Campbell

A teacher and pioneer in the field of educational television, Campbell recognized the potential held by television to educate as early as the 1950s. She founded WETA in 1961, guiding the station as it grew into a multimedia company. She celebrated her 100th birthday in December 2002.

Nina Totenberg

As National Public Radio’s legal affairs correspondent, Totenberg’s coverage of the Anita Hill story earned the prestigious Peabody Award and the George Polk Award for excellence in journalism.

Andrea Roane

Roane, WUSA-TV/Channel 9 news anchor and reporter, covers local and national issues such as politics, education, the arts and health. She has won three Emmy Awards for her work.

Birch Bayh

Bayh represented Indiana in the U.S. Senate from 1962-80, then practiced law for 20 years. He authored Title IX of the Higher Education Act, which mandates equal opportunities for women students and faculty.

Susan Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.A.

Blumenthal, a rear admiral, is the U.S. assistant surgeon general. She was the nation’s first deputy assistant secretary for Women’s Health and is a major force in bringing important public health issues, including disease and violence prevention, women’s health and mental illness to scientific and public attention.

Susan Brackshaw

As a partner with the law firm of Webster, Fredrickson & Brackshaw, Brackshaw was lead attorney in Harman v. Albright, which resulted in the largest federal sex-discrimination settlement ever recorded. She received the National Trial Lawyer of the Year award.

A’Lelia Bundles

An Emmy-award-winning journalist, producer and author, Bundles is director of talent development for ABC News. She has written two books about her famous great-great-grandmother, Madam C.J. Walker, an African-American entrepreneur, philanthropist and political activist.

Martha Burk, Ph.D.

Burk, co-founder and president of the Center for Advancement of Public Policy, is chair of the National Council of Women’s Organizations. She is leading the effort to open Augusta National Golf Club, host of the Masters Golf Tournament, to women golfers.

Robin Gerber

A senior scholar at the Academy of Leadership at the University of Maryland, Gerber teaches women’s leadership, politics and history. She contributes to leading newspapers and wrote “Leadership: The Eleanor Roosevelt Way.”

Lovey Hammel

Hammel is co-founder and president of Employment Enterprises Inc., listed in Working Woman magazine among the 500 largest companies owned by women in the United States and in Washington Business Journal as one of the top 25 women-owned companies in the metro area.

Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D.

Hartmann is an economist and director of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, which she founded in 1987 to inform and stimulate debate on issues of critical importance to women. She won the 1994 MacArthur Fellowship Award.

James Kimsey

Founding CEO and chairman emeritus of America Online Inc., Kimsey is a graduate of West Point and a Vietnam veteran and is actively involved in organizations that promote international understanding.

Geraldine Laybourne

Co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Oxygen Media, an integrated television and Internet company, Laybourne won acclaim for her innovation and leadership as president of Nickelodeon, which she transformed from a small cable network into an $8 billion success, winning Emmy, Peabody and Parent’s Choice awards for programming.

Pat Mitchell

President and CEO of the Public Broadcasting System, past president of CNN Productions and Time Inc. Television, Mitchell won an Emmy for her innovative programming for women.

Mariah Burton Nelson

Formerly a star basketball player at Stanford University, who played professionally in Europe and the United States, Nelson has written five books and is expert on sports and leadership. She writes for Newsweek, The Washington Post and The New York Times.

Jana Yeates

CEO, founder, and co-owner of Employment Enterprises Inc., Yeates was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Inc. and Ernst & Young and inducted into the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame at the University of North Carolina.

Paula Zahn

As anchor of CNN’s morning news program, Paula Zahn hosts the program “People in the News.” Before joining CNN, she served as anchor and host of news programs for the Fox and CBS television networks. She has interviewed four former presidents and many other dignitaries and celebrities.