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Washington’s 100 Most Powerful Women
Celebrating the accomplishments of the females who've made it to the top By Leslie Milk
Comments () | Published October 3, 2011

Table of Contents:

1. Local Public Powers—Business, Labor, and Lobbying—Education

2. Law—National Powers—On the Hill—International Powers

3. Advocacy and Nonprofits—Health and Medicine—Religion—Media—Arts and Letters

It’s been a very good year for women in Washington. Three are on the US Supreme Court, the first woman has been elected Episcopal bishop of Washington, and a female Secretary of State has better poll numbers than her boss, the President of the United States.

So many women are in powerful positions in Washington today that selecting the top 100 is more challenging than ever. We could have filled the list with women in high places in the federal government and on Capitol Hill alone.

Still, if women are now free to achieve their way to the top, why are there so few female corporate CEOs and university presidents in the Washington area? And a woman occupant of the Oval Office still seems a long shot.

We celebrate the accomplishments of the women who’ve made it to the top—while recognizing that a few panes still remain in the glass ceiling.

Local Public Powers

Sharon Bulova
Chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Has been praised for her skillful handling of county finances in tough economic times, avoiding the angry budget battles that have taken place in neighboring Montgomery County.

Teresa Chambers
Chief of the US Park Police. Was reinstated in January after a seven-year battle to get her job back. She was fired when she went public about Park Police staffing shortages after 9/11.

Donna Edwards
US congresswoman. The Maryland Democrat, an emerging voice of the liberal left in Congress, became a YouTube sensation by quoting White Stripes lyrics on the House floor to protest a possible government shutdown.

Valerie Ervin
Montgomery County Council president. Has steered the body through rough budget waters, including taking on public-employee unions.

Janet Howell
Democratic Virginia state senator. Chairs the committee working out the state’s redistricting plan.

Cathy Lanier
Chief of the DC police department. One of the few holdovers from the Fenty administration reappointed by Mayor Vincent Gray—earns more than the mayor, but her approval rating is higher than his, too.

Eleanor Holmes Norton
DC delegate to Congress. May not have a vote, but she has plenty of smarts. She shepherded the Department of Homeland Security’s move to the campus of St. Elizabeths Hospital.

Ingrid Turner
Chair of Prince George’s County Council. An Annapolis grad and retired Navy commander in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps—was her colleagues’ unanimous choice as leader.

Business, Labor, and Lobbying

Anne Altman
Federal manager, Global Sector IBM. Taking over the huge public-sector responsibilities for Big Blue was a coup for the IBM veteran.

Marion C. Blakey
President and CEO, Aerospace Industries Association. With members such as Boeing, General Dynamics, and Lockheed Martin, Blakey will be fighting for every dollar in the defense budget.

Denise Bode
Chief executive officer of the American Wind Energy Association. Is a canny power player with extensive energy-industry experience who spent nine years as legal counsel to former Oklahoma Democratic senator David Boren.

Teresa Carlson
Vice president of Global Public Sector at Amazon Web Services
Promotes Amazon’s cloud-computing efforts.

Kathleen Walsh Carr
President of Cardinal Bank/Washington. Was one of the first women commercial-loan officers in the country and now runs a company with $2 billion in assets.

Debbie Dingell
President of D2 Strategies and chair of the manufacturing initiative of the American Automotive Policy Council. Left General Motors during the bailout but remains a Democratic powerhouse.

Nancy Dorn
Vice president for corporate/government relations, General Electric. GE has become the nation’s top corporate spender on lobbying—Dorn runs its efforts in that arena—shelling out more than $238 million over the past 12 years, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Candace Duncan
Managing partner of KPMG’s Washington office. Two of the “big four” accounting firms in the area are headed by women. Duncan is a CPA’s CPA who manages all of the firm’s audit work.

Theresa Fariello
Vice president of Exxon Mobil’s Washington office. The former Occidental executive is a master of the Washington revolving door—she headed an international office in the Energy Department between stints as an oil-industry lobbyist.

Linda Gooden
Executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Solutions. Heads the largest IT provider to Uncle Sam.

Linda Parker Hudson.
President and CEO of BAE Systems. Is the first woman to head a major US defense company.

Bobbie Greene Kilberg
President and CEO, Northern Virginia Technology Council. The savvy godmother of the Northern Virginia tech boom has led the region’s most influential technology group for more than a decade.

Deborah Kissire
Vice chair and East Central managing partner, Ernst & Young. Her office counts Lockheed and other major corporations as clients.

Barbara Krumsiek
Chair and CEO of Calvert Investments. Is a community power and a leader of the socially conscious investment community.

Barbara Lang
President and CEO, DC Chamber of Commerce. An outspoken advocate of improving the District’s business climate, Lang has given the once-sleepy local chamber renewed visibility.

Marne Levine
Vice president for global public policy at Facebook. Became the social-networking site’s Washington face after serving as Lawrence Summers’s chief of staff at the National Economic Council.


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Posted at 11:01 AM/ET, 10/03/2011 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Articles