Two Trinity graduates were named to Forbes magazine’s list of the “Worlds’ 100 Most Powerful Women”: Speaker of the House Nancy D’Alesandro Pelosi ’62 and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Gilligan Sebelius ’70. The list, which leads with Angela Merkel, the first woman to become chancellor of Germany, was released in August 2009 and includes women leaders in politics, business, nonprofits and philanthropy.
About Sebelius, who appears on the list for the first time, Forbes magazine notes that “the former Kansas governor who called for universal health coverage is pushing for the same coverage on a national level….She was a Kansas House member and served two terms as the state’s elected insurance commissioner before winning the first of her two terms as governor in 2002; last year, she was reported to be on Obama’s short-list for vice president.” Sebelius is ranked the 56th most powerful woman in the world.
Pelosi is ranked the 35th most powerful woman in the world and has been on previous Forbes lists of powerful women. Forbes writes that ”The highest-ranking elected woman leader in the U.S. is seeing President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul through Congress. This follows her efforts on an energy and climate-change bill and the stimulus package. [She is] hailed by fellow power woman German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for overseeing what Merkel called a sea change in U.S. policy on climate change.” Pelosi became Speaker of the House in January 2007.
“For Trinity to have two alumnae among the 100 most powerful women of the world is a great testament to the influence of women’s colleges,” said Ann Pauley, vice president for institutional advancement. “Women’s colleges provide important leadership development opportunities for women. Both Speaker Pelosi and Secretary Sebelius credit their women’s college experience at Trinity as playing an important role in their commitment to public service and their growth as leaders.”