Susan Scanlan, President
In 1977, Susan Scanlan helped found the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues and its policy arm, the Women’s Research & Education Institute (WREI). At that time, there were 18 women in the House of Representative and one woman in the Senate. Today, the Caucus has grown to 71 Congresswomen and 16 Senators—from 4 percent to 16 percent of Congress. Ms. Scanlan served as director of the Caucus for five years before becoming director of WREI's Congressional Fellowships on Women & Public Policy. Since 1980, this program has placed over 300 talented scholars on Capitol Hill to learn how public policy is really made. Alums of the program have gone on to leadership positions in business, law, academia, medicine, non-profit work, and lobbying. Alums of the program also serve in several state legislators and many hold positions of power in the legislative branch.
Ms. Scanlan began her career on Capitol Hill as legislative director for Rep. Charles Wilson, where she helped author legislation that admitted women to the U. S. military academies and established Women’s History Month in March. After 12 years with the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues and WREI, she accepted a legislative liaison position with a private defense contracting firm, where she also handled training and development. For seven years, from 1991-1998, Ms. Scanlan pursued career opportunities in Asia with her husband, Jared Cameron. These included editing, teaching, and writing a monthly magazine column in Taiwan. She returned to the WREI staff in January 1999 and became president of the organization in 2000. Because of WREI’s one-of-a-kind Women in the Military project, Ms. Scanlan was named by President Bill Clinton to the Advisory Committee on Employment and Training for Veterans at the Department of Labor. In 2003, she received the Women’s Leadership Award from the International Women’s Democracy Center along with Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts.
In November 2005, Ms. Scanlan became chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations, a coalition of over 200 progressive women's groups representing more than 11 million American women. A frequent speaker on issues affecting women and their families, Ms. Scanlan has appeared on ABC, CNN, and PBS as well as in The Washington Post, New York Times, and other major media outlets to talk about healthcare, Title IX, and women in combat. During the recent uproar over sexist/racist remarks by Don Imus, she debated his defenders on television and radio and led the effort to have him fired.
Ms. Scanlan is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Sweet Briar College and holds a master's degree in modern languages from Tulane University.
Manning, Director, Women in the Military Project
Before joining the WREI staff, Captain Manning served for more than 25 years in the US Navy. During her tenure in the Navy, she served tours in telecommunications in Iceland, Panama, and the British Indian Ocean Territory where she commanded Naval Telecommunications Station, Diego Garcia. She also served on the staffs of the Chief of Legislative Affairs, Chief of Naval Personnel, Commander, US Naval Forces, Europe and Chief of Naval Operations. She is a member of the Secretary of Veterans' Affairs Advisory Committee on Women Veterans.
Sandler, Senior Fellow
Lightman, Senior Fellow
Dr. Lightman has published and lectured extensively in the fields of history, human rights, and education, especially as they relate to women. She served as executive director of the International League for Human Rights, the nation’s oldest human rights organization based in New York; consulted forthe Network of East/West Women in Washington, DC; helped organize the National Council for Research on Women; and participated in many United Nations conferences, co-founding the DC Women’s Working Group on Human Rights in preparation for the United Nations 1995 Beijing World Conference on Women.
Her most recent publications include Since 1951: 160 Years of Scholarship and Achievement in the Nation’s Capital, Ellis Island and the Peopling of America, A Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Greek and Roman Women, Without Precedent: The Life and Career of Eleanor Roosevelt, and the northern Africa volume of Women Writing Africa (editor). Her work for WREI includes “Connecting the Dots,” a project on women, religion, and public policy, and “Crossing Borders,” which explored public policy alternatives for U.S. immigration law and practices.
A founder and principal of QED Associates, Dr. Lightman is an expert on non-profit management. She received a Ph.D. in history at Rutgers University.
Stone, Senior Research Associate