Today, the Women’s Suffrage National Monument Foundation announced the inaugural members of its Council of Ambassadors, an honorary body of renowned leaders uniting across industries and political parties to champion the Foundation in its mission to build a monument in Washington, D.C. memorializing the early American movement for women’s equality. The Council of Ambassadors will serve for the duration of the multi-year effort and the Foundation will add members throughout the life of the project.
This announcement follows the recent news from the Women’s Suffrage National Monument Foundation that all of the living First Ladies–Dr. Jill Biden, Mrs. Melania Trump, Mrs. Michelle Obama, Mrs. Laura Bush, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Mrs. Rosalynn Carter–will serve together as Honorary Chairs of the organization. In their role as Honorary Chairs, the First Ladies will spearhead the Foundation’s efforts to ensure that the 36 million people who visit our National Mall each year experience a deeper and more inclusive American story.
“There is something beautifully American about the way our Nation’s leading voices are uniting in support of the Foundation’s mission to elevate women out of the footnotes of history and into their rightful place in our country’s commemorative landscape,” said Anna Laymon, Executive Director of the Women’s Suffrage National Monument Foundation. “We are honored to have these distinguished Ambassadors standing alongside us in this historic work.”
The 23 inaugural appointees to the Council of Ambassadors include: two Pulitzer-Prize winners; one Olympian; four New York Times bestselling authors; the longest-serving woman in congressional history; three former Cabinet members; two Emmy winners; one Grammy winner; one Poet Laureate; one Peabody Award winner; one Eisner Award winner; two winners of the Lincoln Prize; one winner of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award; seven congressionally appointed commissioners of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission; six groundbreaking podcast hosts and producers; and more.
David Blight, Pulitzer Prize Winning Author & Historian
Ken Burns, Filmmaker
Jovita Carranza, 44th U.S. Treasurer & 26th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration
Elaine Chao, 24th U. S. Secretary of Labor & 18th U. S. Secretary of Transportation
Susan Combs, Former Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management, & Budget of the Department of the Interior
Rosario Dawson, Activist, Producer, & Designer
Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times Bestselling Author & host of Revisionist History
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize Winning Author & Presidential Historian
Joy Harjo, 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States
Karen Hill, President & CEO of the Harriet Tubman Home
Kerri Hoffman, CEO of PRX
Kay Coles James, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia
Brad Meltzer, Historian & New York Times Best-Selling Author
Senator Barbara Mikulski (Ret), Longest Serving Woman in Congressional History
Nicola Miner, Philanthropist
Norah O’Donnell, Anchor & Managing Editor of the CBS Evening News
Monica Padman, Co-Host & Producer of the Armchair Expert Podcast
Aly Raisman, Gold Medalist & Advocate
Retta, Actress, Comedienne, & Author
Deborah Rutter, President of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Filmmaker & First Partner of California
Shaina Taub, Songwriter & Performer
Nina Totenberg, NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent
With the support of its Ambassadors, the Foundation will continue to advance the mission as mandated by the U.S. Congress in Public Law 116-217 to bring the Women’s Suffrage National Monument to the heart of the Nation’s Capital.
The Women’s Suffrage National Monument Foundation leads the effort to fund, design, develop, and construct the Women’s Suffrage National Monument, which will serve as a lasting legacy of the longest political movement in American history and honor the generations of women who lobbied, marched, picketed, and protested in their decades-long fight for equality. For more information visit www.womensmonument.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Amongst our most iconic monuments and memorials, American women’s stories are missing. Today, fewer than 5% of statues in our Nation’s Capital depict women. And we need your support. Like most monuments and memorials in Washington, D.C., the Women’s Suffrage National Monument will be funded in its entirety through private donations. Learn more about our movement, donate, and be a part of making history.