Chatham News

Governor Christine Todd Whitman to keynote PA Center for Women in Politics and PA 2012 Project’s Western Pennsylvania Inaugural Conference on Sept. 23

By: Amanda Leff Ritchie, Senior Public Relations Specialist
September 7, 2011

PITTSBURGH (September 7, 2011) … In a statewide effort to increase the number of women in politics, the Pennsylvania Center for Women in Politics at Chatham University will be the convener of the Pennsylvania 2012 Project’s Western Pennsylvania Inaugural Conference. The event, to be held Friday, Sept. 23, at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh, will feature a keynote address by Governor Christine Todd Whitman, Elsie Hillman Chair in Women and Politics.

The conference will begin with an expert panel discussion on redistricting, reviewing the process as well as its importance. Following the discussion, delegates will participate in a conversation on strategizing to increase the number of women in elective office in Pennsylvania—in the upcoming 2012 elections and beyond. As a capstone to the program, we invite you to stay for a keynote luncheon that will celebrate women in leadership, featuring the 2011 Elsie Hillman Chair in Women and Politics, Governor Christine Todd Whitman.

For more information, please contact PCWP Director Dana Brown at or 412-365-2725.

About Christine Todd Whitman
Christine Todd Whitman is the President of The Whitman Strategy Group (WSG), a consulting firm that specializes in energy and environmental issues. WSG offers a comprehensive set of solutions to problems facing businesses, organizations, and governments; they have been at the forefront of helping leading companies find innovative solutions to environmental challenges. Governor Whitman served in the cabinet of President George W. Bush as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from January of 2001 until June of 2003. She was the 50th Governor of the State of New Jersey, serving as its first woman governor from 1994 until 2001.

As Governor, Christie Whitman earned praise from both Republicans and Democrats for her commitment to preserve a record amount of New Jersey land as permanent green space. She was also recognized by the Natural Resources Defense Council as having instituted the most comprehensive beach monitoring system in the nation. As EPA Administrator, she promoted common-sense environmental improvements such as watershed-based water protection policies. She championed regulations requiring non-road diesel engines to reduce sulfur emissions by more than 95 percent. Under her tenure, the Agency established the first federal program to promote redevelopment and reuse of “brownfields”, that is, previously contaminated industrial sites.

She is also co-chair of the Republican Leadership Council (RLC), which she founded with Senator John Danforth. The RLC’s mission is to support fiscally conservative, socially tolerant candidates and to reclaim the word Republican. She is the author of a New York Times best seller called “It’s My Party Too”, which was published in January of 2005 and released in paperback in March 2006.

Governor Whitman serves on a number of non-profit organizations including the Board of Trustees’ Executive Committee of the Eisenhower Fellowships and the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations. She co-chairs Clean and Safe Energy (CASE) with Dr. Patrick Moore and is a member of the board of directors of the American Security Project. She is Co-Chair of the Aspen Health Stewardship Project, and a member of the advisory board of Reform New Jersey Now. She was also the Co-Chair for the Council on Foreign Relations’ Task Force, More Than Humanitarianism: A Strategic U.S. Approach Toward Africa.

Governor Whitman also serves on the Board of Directors of S.C. Johnson and Son, Inc., Texas Instruments Inc., and United Technologies Corporation. She holds a Professional Director Certification from the American College of Corporate Directors, and she serves as an advisor to the Aspen Rodel Fellowship program. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Corporate Eco Forum, and she serves as a visiting lecturer at colleges around the country through the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program. She serves on the O’Connor Judicial Selection Advisory Committee at the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System. She is a board member for the 2014 NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee.

Prior to becoming Governor, she was the President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and served on the Somerset County board of Chosen Freeholders.

Governor Whitman holds a BA from Wheaton College in Norton, MA, and is married to John R. Whitman. They have two children and three grandchildren.

About the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics
The Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics was originally established in 1998 as the Center for Women in Politics in Pennsylvania through the generosity of The Hillman Foundation, Inc. and the Maurice Falk Medical Foundation. Reconceived and endowed by The Hillman Foundation Inc. as The Pennsylvania Center for Women, Politics, and Public Policy in 2003, the Center remains the first to focus specifically on women’s political involvement in Pennsylvania. The Center seeks to increase the level of political participation of women in Pennsylvania through its mission of education, public service, and research, and conducts training programs in applied politics, offers a variety of community and educational programs and combines policy analysis with public activism to advance the status of women on the public agenda across the Commonwealth. The Center engages women in experiential learning activities including internships, mentoring programs, advocacy work and volunteer activities, and provides women of all ages with the information and skills to be politically active in society and to be candidates for public office.

About the Elsie Hillman Chair in Women and Politics
The Elsie Hillman Chair in Women and Politics was established by The Hillman Foundation, Inc. in 1997 to honor the Pittsburgh, Pa., native and long-time political native. The chair serves as an inspiration and role model for students, as well as other members of the university community and citizens of the state of Pennsylvania.

The purpose of the chair is to bring nationally renowned political leaders, scholars, and activists to Chatham University to enrich the experiences of students and educate citizens about the role of women in the political process.

About Chatham University
Chatham University prepares students from around the world to help develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham University is also ranked in the top five percent of graduate-intensive institutions nationally and experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region over the past decade. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum and Chatham Eastside facility; and the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit .