Government, Higher Education, and Human Resources

College producing Conference of US Women Governors

September 4, 2017
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Jennifer Granholm
Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Courtesy GVSU

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm will be one of several former U.S. governors and public figures featured at a women-focused conference in downtown Grand Rapids this weekend.

The women will be keynote speakers and panelists at the first-ever Conference of U.S. Women Governors, hosted by Grand Valley State University’s Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies.

The two-day event, hosted in partnership with the National Governors Association, kicks off at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and continues from 8:15 a.m. to around 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Friday’s events will be in the Eberhard Center in Grand Rapids, and Saturday’s events will be in the Richard M. DeVos Center in Grand Rapids.

A number of topics will be covered: the challenges, rewards and opportunities encountered by women in executive leadership roles; how women can encourage and prepare the next generation of female leaders; and insights on leadership, common ground and gender-relevant issues.

The event is free and open to the public, but GVSU requests that guests RSVP on the Hauenstein Center’s website.

A full schedule can be found online.

Speaker lineup

7 p.m. Friday: Keynote conversation “Leading Change and Forging Common Ground”: Christine Todd Whitman, former cabinet administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and former governor of New Jersey; and Janet Napolitano, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and former governor of Arizona.

Moderator: Mary Kramer, group publisher of Crain Communications and GVSU Board of Trustees vice chair

9 a.m. Saturday: Welcome address: Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm

9:45 a.m.: Pioneering women panel: Former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco; former Vermont Gov. Madeleine Kunin; and former Oregon Gov. Barbara Roberts

1 p.m.: Keynote with Deborah Rhode, author of “Women and Leadership”

2:15 p.m.: Panel response to keynote: Granholm, her husband and former first gentleman Dan Mulhern; and former Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift

Moderator: Mary Engelman, executive director of the Michigan Women’s Commission in the Michigan Department of Civil Rights

4 p.m. Wheelhouse Talk: Women leaders of West Michigan: Maria Cimitile, provost and EVP for academic and student affairs at GVSU; Birgit Klohs, president and CEO of The Right Place; and Lisa Posthumus Lyons, Kent County clerk

Moderator: Megan Sall, member of the GVSU Board of Trustees and assistant city manager of Wyoming

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