News & Politics

10 Girl’s Rules

More and More Women Are Making It to the Top. They're Rewriting the Rules of the Game, and They're Winning.

Kathy Bushkin was born before the revolution. she grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and went to Purdue University at a time when nice girls majored in teaching or nursing.

By the time Bushkin graduated with a degree in speech and hearing therapy, she no longer wanted to do that for a living. So she went to paralegal school. She was 22, a petite blonde with cheerleader hair, when she came to Washington in 1972 because her fiancé had a job here. They were married that year.

Bushkin's life was right on track–from Happy Days to Ozzie and Harriet with a brief stopover at That Girl.

Bushkin went to work as a writer and researcher for Kiplinger's Education Service. In her spare time, she got involved in a political group called the Democratic Forum.

Four years later, at age 26, Bushkin became press secretary to a senator she met at the Democratic Forum. His name was Gary Hart. When she took media calls, reporters would often say, "Hi, hon, will you have the press secretary call me back?"

Fast-forward to 2001. Kathy Bushkin's space odyssey has taken her to the stratosphere of corporate money and power: the executive suite at AOL Time Warner. Bushkin, 52, is senior vice president for corporate relations and president of the AOL Time Warner Foundation.

Bushkin and her husband, Art, a telecommunications expert who heads the high-tech Stargazer Group, made so much money on their AOL stock that they set up a foundation to hand out $100,000 "genius grants" to enterprising do-gooders. Before the women's movement, it would have been assumed that Kathy Bushkin had been lucky enough to catch a sweet ride. But her meteoric journey is one she piloted herself.

When Bushkin started working in Washington, she adapted to a man's world. "We learned to get along with the guys. We thought we had to, and it got exhausting," she says.

But working for powerful men pushed her to think like a woman.

With Gary Hart–with whom she worked through his 1984 presidential bid–and then with real-estate/media mogul Mort Zuckerman–who hired her to be director of editorial administration at U.S. News–Bushkin learned the importance of maintaining her own identity.

"People respect you when you know who you are," Bushkin says. In her case, it's being a team player, a motivator, a very hard worker.

Although Bushkin has pursued what she wanted–she went after the jobs at U.S. News and AOL–she has never had a rigid plan for success. And like many other powerful women, she's discovered that this more-female approach can work very well.

Judy Rosener is a professor at the Graduate School of Management at the University of California at Irvine who studies the styles of men and women at work. In an article in Harvard Business Review, Rosener wrote, "In the 1970s, women succeeded the only way they could, by imitating the qualities and characteristics associated with their male colleagues. . . . [Now] they are succeeding because of, not in spite of, certain characteristics generally considered to be 'feminine' and inappropriate."

These women have discovered that while it's helpful to learn the games their mothers never taught them and to dress for success, they don't have to follow conventional wisdom about the way people in power positions should think, act, or lead.

Instead, they can do what comes naturally: show empathy, be flexible, encourage collaboration and cooperation.

Washington's powerful women are playing by "girls' rules." And they are winning.

Here's how:

1. A side track can be the right track.

There are 13 women serving in the US senate. Few–if any–of them grew up dreaming they'd be there.

If they had, they probably would have gone to law school, the traditional incubator for a career in politics. Most of the men in the Senate are lawyers. Only two of the women senators, Hillary Clinton and Kay Bailey Hutchison, went to law school. Only Clinton practiced law.

Hutchison graduated from University of Texas Law School in 1967 with high marks. Then she went job hunting and was rejected by every law firm she approached. (The same thing happened to Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.)

"It was my first major brick wall of life," Hutchison says. Looking back, she believes the experience turned out to be a bonus–if she had gotten a legal job, she'd be a partner in a law firm today, not a US senator.

Hutchison faced another brick wall when she lost her first race for Congress in 1984 after leading in the early days of the campaign. Her opponents thought she would not be tough enough to try again. She came back to capture a Senate seat in a special election in 1993 and won re-election the following year. Voters chose her again in 2000 with the most votes in Texas history.

Several other women in the Senate were civic activists. Social worker Barbara Mikulski was planning to go back to school for her doctorate when she got involved in a community protest.

"I was on my way to becoming a senator, although I didn't know it, when I picked up a protest sign to protect my community from a highway," Mikulski has said. "I discovered I didn't only want to knock on doors; I wanted to be on the inside opening doors."

Mikulski started on the Baltimore City Council, then ran for Congress and won. As with Hutchison, one of Mikulski's secret weapons was that her opponents underestimated her.

Belle Wheelan is the first woman to head Northern Virginia Community College. Nova's 61,000 students and six campuses make it the nation's second-largest multicampus community college and the largest institution of higher education in Virginia.

The African-American Wheelan loves her job at Nova, but it is not where she intended to be.

Wheelan always wanted to be a child psychologist. She was in the doctoral program at Louisiana State University when her mother got sick and she had to leave school.

She returned home to San Antonio with her master's degree, knowing that without a PhD she couldn't practice psychology.

"I knew I could teach," Wheelan says. But without a doctorate, she also knew she could be a teacher only on the community-college level.

San Antonio had two community colleges when Wheelan was job hunting in 1974–one predominantly black, the other predominantly white. Wheelan first applied to the predominantly black school and was turned down. The head of the psychology department said she already had a black woman working there, Wheelan recalls. The psychology department at the other community college didn't have a black woman on the faculty. Wheelan was hired there.

By the time Wheelan earned her doctorate in 1982 as part of the Community College Leadership program at the University of Texas, she wasn't interested in practicing psychology. Her PhD was in educational administration.

2. Play like a man until you can change the rules.

In her book, Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman, CNN executive vice president Gail Evans advises women to learn the rules men play by: "You need to understand the playing field even if you eventually choose to make up your own game."

After that, Evans contends, women can press their natural advantages: intuition, social skills, and strong bonds with other women.

That is what Red Cross president Bernadine Healy did.

Two weeks after she was named director of the National Institutes of Health in 1991, Healy, a cardiologist, announced the creation of a Women's Health Initiative.

Until then, researchers with NIH grants often tested treatments and drugs only on male subjects–even a study on estrogen and heart attacks was conducted only with men. Few women sat on the review panels that approved studies for funding.

Healy's Women's Health Initiative eventually produced a radical shift in the way research was funded. "It took relentless pressure" to move the hidebound academic and research bureaucracies, Healy says.

To get to her power position, she had to prove she could play by men's rules and win. Healy did that by working harder and taking on more patients than her male colleagues. She excelled in ways the men around her found hard to ignore.

She also chose her battles. When she had applied to one medical school, an interviewer had asked her whether her mother was "menopausal and therefore frustrated" and if she had inspired Healy's "deviant life choice."

Healy withdrew her application from that school–but only after she had been accepted at Harvard.

Teamwork is a religion to Bernadine Healy. She is such a fan of Remember the Titans, the movie about the first integrated football team in Alexandria, that she donated 40 copies of the film to be circulated among Red Cross offices.

It is no surprise that Healy, 57, chooses sports, a male metaphor for success. She's spent her life in a man's world.

But Healy's message is a woman's message. "Look at what it took to get that team together," she says. "They learned to learn from each other."

3. Lead from the middle.

If you meet her on campus, Belle Wheelan won't introduce herself as the president of Northern Virginia Community College. She just says she works there. It is easier to find out what others think if you don't flaunt the trappings of office, she has found. Wheelan doesn't lead from on high. She leads from the middle.

Susan Farr, 54, executive director of the University of Maryland's Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, shares Wheelan's approach.

Farr is in charge of the new $130-million center and its six theaters and concert halls in College Park. It will be home to the university's music school and departments of theater and dance as well as a showcase for student and faculty performances and visiting artists.

Farr must be a decision-maker and, at the same time, the servant of many masters–faculty, guest performers, the university community, and the broader community.

During her interview for the post, the search committee asked Farr about her plan for the center. She said she didn't have one. "My first job was to listen to them," Farr explains.

"Women manage from a web," Farr believes. It's a process that author Sally Helgesen describes in The Female Advantage: "Women, when describing their roles in their organizations, usually referred to themselves as being in the middle of things. Not at the top, but in the center; not reaching down, but reaching out."

Bringing and holding people together is essential in a place like the Smith Center, where individual impresarios, used to operating autonomously, now work in concert. So Balkanized were the arts at Maryland that the annual piano competition wasn't part of the music department.

This fall the theater department will open its season with The Music Man. A guest artist will play Harold Hill; all the other parts will go to acting students. It took Farr five months to broker the arrangement.

4. You can win without declaring victory.

When her husband, Dick Cheney, was sworn in as Vice President, Lynne Cheney was expected to make a transition, too. Like First and Second Ladies before her, Cheney the scholar and writer would surely become Cheney the ribbon cutter.

People were in for a surprise. Lynne Cheney, 60, is still a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. She goes to her AEI office every morning at 9 to work on the book she is writing about education.

By 2:30 or 3, she's finished writing for the day and goes to the Old Executive Office Building next to the White House to begin her second job as wife of the Vice President.

Lynne Cheney never made a speech about redefining the role of the "wife of." Nor has she made a pretense of being "the little woman" either. While Hillary Clinton careened between heading policy panels and handing out cookie recipes, Lynne Cheney has serenely gone on with her work.

5. Necessity is the mother of chutzpah.

Successful women don't play it safe–especially when they see a risky choice as their only choice.

When attorney and conservative commentator Barbara Olson decided to go to law school, she knew what her father's reaction would be. He believed that people went to graduate school because they didn't want to work.

Olson graduated in 1978 with a teaching degree from the University of St. Thomas in her hometown of Houston, then tried to figure out the fastest way to make $50,000 to put herself through law school.

Forget teaching, Olson concluded. By the time she could save enough on a teacher's salary, she'd be too old to practice law. She needed a job in a field that paid handsomely but didn't require a special degree.

Within months of graduation, 22-year-old Olson moved to Los Angeles to get into the movie business. She called every actor–starting with the A's–who had a production company. She was vague about her background, talking up her one experience working on a TV show during college.

Olson had no qualms about her ability to do any job she was offered. "I'm a quick learner. I can figure it out," she reasoned. She had reached the K's when Stacy Keach Sr. hired her as a bookkeeper and associate producer.

Olson didn't stay with Keach for long. She moved on to HBO and Lorimar Productions. Six years after her arrival in Los Angeles, Olson had her $50,000, and she quit the movie business.

Olson enrolled in Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School, part of Yeshiva University. When the dean asked her why she chose Cardozo, she explained that it was the only program that started in May. She was afraid that if she waited until fall, she might be tempted to stay in Hollywood.

After graduating in 1989, she came to Washington to practice law at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. Later she served as an assistant US attorney for the District and solicitor for the House of Representatives, where she defended liberal congressman Henry Waxman when he was sued by Brown & Williamson tobacco.

At 45, Olson is now in private practice with Balch & Bingham and married to Solicitor General Ted Olson. She is an influential insider in conservative circles.

Had she not gone to Hollywood with little more than moxie on her résumé, where would Olson be today? She could easily have been a teacher in Texas, cursing her father and her fate.

6. Ignorance isn't fatal.

Mary Macpherson is a kind of fairy godmother to budding high-tech businesses, as head of the Morino Institute's Netpreneur program. Would-be companies come to her to vet ideas, develop business plans, and link up with investors.

MacPherson started out in high tech knowing less about the Internet than the average ten-year-old. Her career began at the Washington Service Bureau, which provided research help for attorneys, and her expertise was in marketing, project management, and strategy.

When her company was sold, MacPherson went for a job at Informatics, a computer company.

"I knew a lot about lawyers, not about technology," she says. "I convinced Informatics that I knew how to market to lawyers and I could learn about computers. I didn't know enough to be afraid."

MacPherson had expertise–and the confidence to admit her ignorance.

She also took calculated risks. MacPherson was bitten by the Apple–she fell in love with the corporate ideology that Steve Jobs espoused when he started Apple Computer. MacPherson faxed her résumé to Jobs in California and was hired to work with Apple's new federal-systems group here in Washington.

A former Apple colleague lured MacPherson to a start-up company. Another Apple connection got her to MCI. As head of MCI's International Call Center, MacPherson oversaw communications in nine languages–none of which she spoke.

"I was worried at the start," MacPherson admits. "You have to be able to pull out your past experience" for a new situation, she believes. "I'm good with people, I'm resourceful, I knew about marketing, and I knew business."

7. Get personal.

Candidate Al Gore discussed his son Albert's near-fatal accident. President George W. Bush hauled out family photos at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

Empathy isn't a woman thing anymore. Men are beginning to realize what women have always known–that you reach more people when you show your own humanity. Kate Michelman has been the president of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) for 16 years. While polls show that the majority of Americans favor reproductive choice, NARAL's opponents have lots of clout. Michelman sometimes has to debate opponents who want to shout her down.

Michelman rarely raises her voice. Instead, she tells the personal stories of women who risked their lives to end pregnancies when abortions were illegal and often unsafe–women like actress Polly Bergen, former congresswoman Elizabeth Furse, and Michelman herself.

Michelman believes that her story illustrates what can happen to a woman who has no control over her own life. In 1970, she was the wife of a college professor and the at-home mother of three daughters. One morning, her husband announced that he was in love with another woman.

Michelman was left with no money, no job, no car, and no support for her three children. Then she discovered she was pregnant.

"In the end, I made one of the most moral decisions of my life," she says. "I decided to have an abortion."

Michelman had to go before a hospital panel of doctors–all men–to plead her case for a therapeutic abortion. Already devastated by her husband's rejection, she was forced to convince a skeptical panel that she was not capable of raising another child.

Pennsylvania law required Michelman to get her husband's permission before she could have an abortion. "I got dressed and left the hospital to search for the man who had deserted me. It was just one more humiliation," Michelman recalls.

Michelman can–and does–reel off facts and figures about reproductive choice. But she also knows when to get personal. Older women can identify with her. Younger women don't want to find them-selves in her place.

8. Find a female-friendly workplace.

It is easy to find a job in a company, agency, or organization that claims to be female-friendly and family-friendly. But many women find that the friendliness disappears when they ask for flextime, family leave, or the key to the executive suite.

Too often, a woman gets a top position only when she starts the company herself.

Karen Jurgensen, 52, is an exception, and so is her employer.

When she became editor of USA Today in 1999, Jurgensen joined a select society. There are more women driving stock cars than editing major newspapers.

Jurgensen attributes her success to the natural progression of women through journalism. But while women have moved up at the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other leading papers, few have made it to the top.

Jurgensen did because she worked hard and had talent. She was also lucky to find a company that treats women well.

In retrospect, going to work for USA Today seems like a no-brainer. But Jurgensen left a secure job at the Miami News in 1982 to join a "concept" paper before it ever saw print. She was a single mother of a five-year-old.

Why did she take the risk? "I thought then and think now USA Today is the most exciting thing going on in journalism," Jurgensen has said.

Jurgensen started out in journalism in the early 1970s, when women were often confined to the features sections. By the time Jurgensen was feature editor of the Miami News, doors had begun to open. She asked for a demotion to become assistant to the metro editor to get into hard news.

It was a chancy move, but that experience was put to good use as she rose through the ranks at USA Today–as senior editor for special projects, managing editor for cover stories, editor of the Life section, and editorial-page editor.

Jurgensen has helped create a workplace that stresses cooperation rather than competition, an environment where it's comfortable to lead like a woman.

"The way we tend to operate, it has to be a fairly collaborative newsroom," Jurgensen says. "There are no lone rangers here."

9. Get together with the girls.

Long before "networking" became a buzzword, women were doing it–from quilting bees to consciousness-raising groups to professional associations. The difference is that when women now get together, they often support each other with more than hugs and "atta girls." They become financial backers and promoters of one another's enterprises.

In politics, lots of the "money men" are now women. Senators Dianne Feinstein, Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Hillary Clinton are among the top fundraisers on the Hill.

Senator Patty Murray and Representative Nita Lowey are heading the Democratic Senate and House campaign committees. Two years ago, Murray led Women on the Road to the Senate, a campaign that raised $1 million from female donors.

"If William 'Boss' Tweed ever got wind that two ex-housewives have taken over the Democratic Party's fundraising machine, he'd probably turn over in his grave," wrote National Journal's Eliza Carney.

In July 2000, the first Washington-area Springboard Women's Venture Capital Forum was held at America Online headquarters near Dulles. Forty-four female entrepreneurs (selected from 300 applicants in the Mid-Atlantic region) made presentations to venture capitalists, angel networks, and private investors.

Mary Naylor, 37, founder of, was one of the presenters. She closed a deal for $7.4 million in second-round funding to expand her business.

In 1987, Naylor, then 24, started a company called Capital Concierge. Naylor wanted to set up concierge desks in office and apartment buildings to provide the kind of services to tenants that hotels offer to guests.

Naylor knew her market–her concierges offered to pick up dry cleaning, plan parties, and get birthday and anniversary gifts for Washington workaholics.

It was an easier sell to building managers than to bankers. Naylor was turned down by all the financiers she approached. Her business got off the ground only when she found two angels: local businessmen Cal Simmons of Alexandria and Mark Teitelbaum of Arlington.

In 1997, Naylor decided to go national. She offered the same services, but an Internet site would be her concierge desk. Services would be available 24-7 to the employees or clients of companies who signed with Naylor. To finance the new venture,, Naylor needed serious money.

Enter the Women's Growth Capital Fund, which invests in new and expanding businesses owned and operated by women. Patty Abramson, Wendee Kanarek, and Rob Stein started the $30-million fund four years ago.

Abramson had approached Naylor while WGCF was in the planning stage. Naylor became the fund's case study on the challenges women face raising capital, and was one of its first investments. Abramson introduced Naylor to other potential investors and helped sharpen her fundraising presentations.

Abramson, Kanarek, and Stein are also part of Each woman in the group puts up $75,000 in venture capital. The angels meet monthly to consider investment in young, high-growth companies in the Mid-Atlantic. is no soft touch. "Companies tell us we do the best due diligence of anyone they've approached," Abramson says.

10. "Feminist" isn't the "F" word.

Most of Washington's powerful women are part of the generation that fought for and benefited from the women's revolution. They came of age when women were often rejected when they sought careers in law, medicine, journalism, and science. They faced barriers that kept women out of executive suites.

Helen Thomas, dean of the Washington press corps and not one to suffer fools gladly regardless of their sex, was asked by a young woman whether she had ever experienced discrimination. "Where did [she] drop in from–Mars?" Thomas wondered.

For women in their late forties and beyond, "feminism" is not a lifestyle. It's a movement to keep women's options open.

Even conservative women of this generation can identify with basic feminism–if not with all of the issues associated with it.

When she heard that she had been labeled a "feminist intellectual," Lynne Cheney said, "If it means being convinced that women should have equal opportunities to achieve in their lives, if it means believing firmly that women should be able to make choices about family and career, if that's what it means, then I am happy to be called a feminist."

Women have made many gains in the past few years. There are enough women elected or appointed to high positions in the federal government alone to fill the list of Washington's 100 Most Powerful Women. Women in business could fill another list.

Mature women blanch when they hear their daughters say that sexism, like polio, is no longer a threat to their lives. They see the hills, the valleys, and the land mines that still exist on the "level playing field."

Recently the American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession issued a report called "The Unfinished Agenda." Women remain underrepresented in positions of greatest status, influence, and economic reward, the study found.

Two years ago, a story in Legal Times confirmed this in the legal world: Women made up only 15 percent of the partners in Washington law firms. For women of color, the percentage was much lower.

George W. Bush appointed more women to his Cabinet than any president before him. However, except for national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and White House adviser Karen Hughes, women occupy the second-tier slots. They are at Agriculture, Interior, Labor, and the Environmental Protection Agency, not at the powerful departments of State, Defense, and Treasury.

Power cannot be judged by numbers and titles alone. The greatest gains made by powerful women may be off the radar screen–the changes in the way power in Washington is defined, earned, and exercised.

"Integration of female values is already producing a more collaborative kind of leadership," according to author Sally Helgesen. "The old lone-wolf leader is increasingly being recognized as not only deadening to the human spirit but also ultimately inefficient."

In other words, when you play by Girls' Rules, everybody wins.

Mary MacPherson

Susan Farr

Karen Jurgensen

Kathy Bushkin

Kate Michelman

Bernadine Healy

Belle Wheelan

Patty Abramson


Who are Washington's most powerful women? They are people of influence who shape what happens in their field. A Senate staffer may have more clout than a senator. A television bureau chief who decides what is news can have more power than the TV anchor who delivers it.

This special section tries to reflect the region and all of its power bases–local and national, public and private, business and culture, education, medicine, and media.

Here are this year's 100 Most Powerful Women in Washington.


Laura Bush, First Lady

Elaine Chao, US Secretary of Labor

Lynne Cheney, Second Lady

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice, US Supreme Court

Karen Hughes, Counselor to the President, White House

Margaret LaMontagne, Director of Domestic Policy Council, White House

Gale Norton, Secretary of the Interior

Sandra Day O'Connor, Justice, US Supreme Court

Condoleezza Rice, National Security Adviser

Ann M. Veneman, US Secretary of Agriculture

Christie Todd Whitman, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency


Hillary Clinton, US Senator, New York

Jennifer Dunn, US Representative, Washington State

Susan Hirschmann, Chief of staff, House majority leader Tom DeLay

Kay Bailey Hutchison, US Senator, Texas

Eddie Bernice Johnson, US Representative, Texas; chair, Congressional Black Caucus

Nita Lowey, US Representative, New York; chairwoman, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

Barbara A. Mikulski, US Senator, Maryland

Patty Murray, US Senator, Washington; chair, Democratic Senate Campaign Committee

Pam Pryor, Chief of staff, House Republican Conference

Olympia Snowe, US Senator, Maine

Ellen Tauscher, US Representative, California; vice chair, Democratic Leadership Council


Katherine Hanley, Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

Charlene Drew Jarvis, President, Southeastern University

Iris Metts, School superintendent, Prince George's County

Constance A. Morella, US Representative, Montgomery County; chairwoman, subcommittee on the District of Columbia

Eleanor Holmes Norton, Delegate to Congress, District of Columbia

Alice Rivlin, Senior fellow for economic studies, Brookings Institution

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Lieutenant governor, Maryland


Brooksley Born,Arnold & Porter

Maureen Dwyer, Shaw Pittman

Tilly Fowler, Holland & Knight

Natalie Ludaway, Leftwich & Douglas

Judith A. Miller, Williams & Connolly

Marna Tucker, Feldesman, Tucker, Leifer, Fidell & Bank

Greta Van Susteren,TV host and legal expert, CNN


Patty Abramson, Managing director, Women's Growth Capital Fund

Dyan Brasington, President, High Technology Council of Maryland

Kathy Bushkin, Senior vice president, AOL Time Warner; president, AOL Time Warner Foundation

Linda Chavez-Thompson, Executive vice president, AFL-CIO

Nancy Chistolini, Senior vice president of fashion and public relations, Hecht's

Josephine Cooper, President and CEO, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers

Linda Daschle, Lobbyist, Baker Donelson Bearman & Caldwell

Jamie Gorelick, Vice chair, Fannie Mae

Marie Johns, President and CEO, Verizon Washington DC

Bobbie Kilberg, President, Northern Virginia Technology Council

Barbara Krumsiek, President and CEO, Calvert Group

Charito Kruvant, President and CEO, Creative Associates International

Mary MacPherson, Executive director, Netpreneur

Linda Rabbitt, President, Rand Construction; chair-elect, Greater Washington Board of Trade

Hilary Rosen, President and CEO, Recording Industry Association of America

Sheila Tate,Powell Tate

Anne Wexler, Wexler Group

Jeannette Lee White, President and CEO, Sytel


Judith Areen, Dean, Georgetown University Law Center

Alice Gresham Bullock, Dean, Howard UniversityLaw School

Rita Colwell,Director, National Science Foundation

Patricia A. McGuire, President, Trinity College

Charlene Nunley, President, Montgomery College

Susan C. Schwab, Dean, School of Public Affairs, University of Maryland

Belle S. Wheelan, President, Northern Virginia Community College


Jane Holmes Dixon, Acting bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Washington


Anne Allen, Executive director, Cafritz Foundation

Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children's Defense Fund

Terri L. Freeman, President, Community Foundation for the National Capital Region

Alma Gildenhorn, Honorary trustee, Kennedy Center; cochair of the fundraising campaign for the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at Maryland

Kate Michelman, President, National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League

Karen Narasaki, Executive director, National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium

Alma Powell, Vice chairman, Kennedy Center Board of Trustees; chair of national council, Best Friends Foundation

Julie Rogers, President, Eugene and Agnes Meyer Foundation

Jan Verhage, Executive director, Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital


Judith Bello,Executive vice president, Pharmaceutical and Research Manufacturers of America

Bernadine Healy, President and CEO, Red Cross

Karen Ignagni, President and CEO, American Association of Health Plans

Ruth Kirschstein, Acting director, National Institutes of Health

Ana Raley, CEO, DC Healthcare Alliance

Deborah Steelman, Vice presidentof corporate affairs, Eli Lilly and Company


Jill Abramson, Bureau chief, New York Times

Maureen Dowd, Columnist, New York Times

Cathy Hughes, Owner/founder, Radio One

Karen Jurgensen, Editor, USA Today

Debra L. Lee, President and CEO,Black Entertainment Television

Janet Leissner, Vice president and bureau chief, CBS News

Pat Mitchell, President and CEO, PBS

Diane Rehm, Radio talk-show host, WAMU-FM

Cokie Roberts, Anchor/analyst, ABC News and National Public Radio

Sharon Percy Rockefeller, President and CEO, WETA-TV and WETA-FM

Robin Sproul, Vice president and bureau chief, ABC News

Linda Sullivan, General manager, WRC-TV

Judy Woodruff, Prime anchor and senior correspondent, CNN


Sheila Burke, Undersecretary for American museums and national programs, Smithsonian Institution

Susan Farr, Executive director, Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts at Maryland

Norma Kaplan, Chief, Arlington County Cultural Affairs Division

Molly Smith, Artistic director, Arena Stage

Joy Zinoman, Artistic and managing director, Studio Theatre


Donna Brazile, Campaign manager for Al Gore; adjunct professor, Academy of Leadership, University of Maryland Minyon Moore, COO, Democratic National Committee

Barbara Olson, Partner, Balch & Bingham


Cathy Fenton, White House social secretary

Julie Finley, Republican hostess

Lynne Cheney

Karen Hughes

Sandra Day O'Connor

Condoleezza Rice

Susan Hirschmann

Barbara Mikulski

Maureen Dwyer

Natalie Ludaway

Barbara Krumsiek

Rita Colwell

Karen Narasaki

Maureen Dowd

Debra Lee

Sheila Burke

Minyon Moore