Clinton to deliver keynote at 35th Annual Simmons Leadership Conference

By Simmons College Pressroom

BOSTON (December 11, 2013) — Simmons College has announced that Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former Secretary of State and Former U.S. Senator from New York, will deliver the closing keynote address at its April 23Simmons Leadership Conference.

“Secretary Clinton is the most admired woman in the world,” said Simmons College President Helen G. Drinan. “She has dedicated her career to public service as an attorney, First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State. As an advocate for women and girls, she has inspired millions of women to reach their full potential. Simmons is deeply honored to host such an exemplary role model.”

In addition to Secretary Clinton, the conference features legendary singer, dancer, and actress Rita Moreno; Campbell Soup Company CEO Denise Morrison; former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison; award-winning journalistRana Foroohar; and renowned humanitarian Zainab Salbi, co-founder and former CEO of Women for Women International.

The Simmons Leadership Conference is the preeminent and longest-running women’s leadership forum in the country. The conference annually attracts a global audience of more than 3,000 business and professional women. This year’s conference — “Jumping the Curve” — reflects the need to step away from the familiar and face the unknown in order to succeed. The sold out 2014 event will be held at the Seaport World Trade Center Boston.

You can follow the conference live on Twitter @SimmonsLeads and#SLC14.

Closing Keynote Speaker

Hillary Rodham Clinton served as the nation’s 67th Secretary of State from 2009 until 2013, after nearly four decades in public service. Her “smart power” approach to foreign policy repositioned American diplomacy and development for the 21st century. Clinton played a central role in restoring America’s standing in the world, reasserting the United States as a Pacific power, imposing crippling sanctions on Iran and North Korea, responding to the Arab Awakening, and negotiating a ceasefire in the Middle East. Earlier, as First Lady and then Senator from New York, she traveled to more than 80 countries as a champion of human rights, democracy, and opportunities for women and girls. Clinton also worked to provide health care to millions of children, create jobs and opportunity, and support first responders who risked their lives at Ground Zero. In her historic campaign for U.S. President in 2008, Clinton won 18 million votes.

Notable Speakers

Award-winning journalist Rana Foroohar is assistant managing editor of TIME Magazine, overseeing business and economic coverage across all platforms. Her “Curious Capitalist” column, covering the intersection of the global economy and Main Street, has become a must-read for economic and political thought leaders. Foroohar previously served as Newsweek’s deputy editor in charge of international business and economics, as well as the magazine’s economic correspondent covering Europe and the Middle East.

Former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison made history as the first African-American woman to travel in space. But as an engineer, scientist, medical doctor, and educator, her accomplishments hardly stop there. She is the founder of The Jemison Group, Inc., a technology consulting company that researches, develops, and implements advanced technologies suited to the developing world. She is also founder and president of a medical devices company, BioSentient Corporation.

Legendary singer, dancer, and actress Rita Moreno is one of only a handful of performers —and the only Latina — to win all four of the entertainment industry’s most prestigious awards. Her breakout performance came as Anita in “West Side Story,” earning her an Oscar for best supporting actress and paving the way for Hispanic actors to play more meaningful roles. She won the Grammy for her contribution to “The Electric Company” album, the Tony for best featured actress in “The Ritz,” and two Emmys for television guest appearances.

Consistently named by Forbes and Fortune as one the country’s most powerful women in business, Denise Morrison became president and CEO of Campbell Soup Company in 2011. The first woman to head the $7.7 billion company, she brought to the task a 30-year track record of building iconic brands at Kraft Foods, Nestle, Nabisco, and Pepsi-Cola. In her first year as CEO, Morrison reinvigorated sales, instilling a new spirit of innovation and creativity at the venerable company.

A world renowned humanitarian activist and social entrepreneur, Zainab Salbi is the co-founder and former CEO of Women for Women International, a grassroots development organization helping women in war-torn regions rebuild their lives. She brings some of these survivors’ inspiring experiences to life in two books: The Other Side of War: Women’s Stories of Survival and Hope, and If You Knew Me You Would Care. She also wrote the bestselling memoir, Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny — Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam.

Other Speakers and Moderators

  • Debbie Dunnam, Senior Vice President of Americas Services Sales at Cisco, leads a diverse organization with responsibility for all technical and professional services sales, channel partner sales, and field marketing in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America.
  • Patricia Florissi, Vice President and Global Chief Technology Officer for EMC Sales, helps to define the company’s mid- and long-term technology strategy, and serves as a liaison with EMC’s customers and partners.
  • Helen Fisher, a pioneer in the neurochemistry of leadership, gender differences, and the evolution of human emotions, is a research professor in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers University. Her latest work focuses on the biological basis of personality.
  • Juliet Funt, a work/life balance and wellness expert, is a force for change, helping corporations across the country reenergize their employees. Funt is at work on a book entitled, White Space: The Missing Ingredient for your Technicolor Life.
  • Betty Nguyen, an NBC News and MSNBC anchor, has spent her career covering breaking news around the globe, reporting on some of the most important events of our time — from the Boston Marathon bombings, to the 2012 presidential election and the Arab Spring.
  • Helaine Olen, freelance journalist and former financial columnist, delights in debunking the idea that personal finance experts always have their clients’ best interests in mind. She is the author of the book, Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry.
  • Clara Shih, a technology innovator, Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and celebrated author, is co-founder and CEO of Hearsay Social, providing market-leading social media management software to Fortune 500 companies.
  • Susan Vinnicombe is the Deloitte Ellen Gabriel Chair for Women and Leadership at the Simmons School of Management, and an internationally renowned researcher on gender diversity on corporate boards.
  • Renée White is dean of the Simmons College School of Arts and Sciences. A leading expert on issues of gender, race, and reproductive health, she is the author of Putting Risk in Perspective: Black Teenage Lives in the Era of AIDS.

Three pre-conference seminars, which require separate registration, kick off the conference on Tuesday, April 22. Topics include “Play a Bigger Game,” “Strategically Leveraging Your Network,” and “Executive Presence.” A pre-conference reception that evening is complimentary for registered conference attendees.

About the Conference

Held continuously for 35 years, the Simmons Leadership Conference is one of the best-known women’s leadership events in the country. The conference has featured such notable speakers as Madeleine Albright, Christiane Amanpour, Carly Fiorina, Billie Jean King, Toni Morrison, Anne Mulcahy, Queen Noor, Jehan Sadat, Oprah Winfrey, and the late Benazir Bhutto.

Conference proceeds help further the development and advancement of future corporate, organizational, and civic leaders through Simmons graduate scholarships.