About WREI
WREI Fellows
American Woman Award
Support WREI

Special Fellowship Report


December 2001

• News from WREI's Board of Directors and Advisory Council
• Women in Uniform
• "Sixteen Decisions" -- a documentary
• Former WREI Fellows



Jean Stapleton has just completed a sold-out run of her one-woman show, Eleanor: Her Secret Journey, at the Arena Stage in Washington. Although Jean says that she was astonished by the warm enthusiasm shown by her Washington audiences, it’s no surprise to those who have seen her touching and convincing portrayal of Eleanor Roosevelt.

Barbara Easterling, secretary-treasurer of the Communications Workers of America, has been elected first president of the new World Women’s Committee of the global labor secretariat for telecom, professional and information sector workers of the Union Network International. UNI represents more than 15 million workers.

Lisa Rickard was recently appointed vice president for federal and state government affairs of the Dow Chemical Company.

Priscilla Hill-Ardoin, senior vice president of SBC Telecommunications, Inc., is the newest member of WREI’s board. She holds an MBA from Washington University, an M.A. in communication from Purdue University, and a J.D. from St. Louis University. Named as one of “America’s Best & Brightest Business Professionals” in Dollars & Sense magazine, Priscilla has also worked on telecommunications issues for the International Operations subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs committee.

Stephanie Gray, vice president of global quality strategy and performance at GlaxoSmithKline, recently joined WREI’s Advisory Council. She formerly served as director of the Office of Compliance at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Currently, Stephanie sits on the board of the Parental Drug Association (PDA), an international nonprofit pharmaceutical science and technology organization.



In October, Lory Manning, Director of WREI’s Women in the Military project, lectured on women in the military for Kim Chamberlain's class on gender and power in government at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Kim Chamberlain, as most of you know, was the first woman Prime Minister of Canada.

Since September 11th, Lory has fielded many press inquiries about women’s participation in the war against terrorism. Among them: syndicated columnist, Ellen Goodman, reporters from NBC, CBS, and ABC News, 60 minutes, and The New York Times.

The papers from WREI’s December 2000 Women in Uniform Conference are now available.



Selina, like most Bangladeshi women, was a child laborer, married at 12.
Now, armed with a $60 loan and a social charter of "sixteen decisions,"

Selina and 2.5 million women are profoundly changing their lives. Join us in viewing an award-winning documentary, "Sixteen Decisions", and a unique community discussion:

Tuesday, January 29, 2002 at 7:00p.m. - discussion follows film
Thursday, January 31, 2002 at 7:00p.m.
at the Loews Foundry in Georgetown - 202-333-8613
1055 Thomas Jefferson St. NW - Washington DC

Participating organizations include: Grameen Foundation USA, The Foundation for International Community Assistance, Association for Enterprise Opportunity, Ashoka

For more about "Sixteen Decisions" call 617-670-9174 or visit www.16decisions.com.


FORMER WREI FELLOWS: Where are they now?

Rhea Jezer, Class of 1990-91, is the first alumna of the WREI Fellowship program to run for Congress. As chair of the Democratic Committee for the town of Dewitt, New York, she ran two “almost successful” campaigns against a strongly entrenched Republican incumbent in New York’s 31st District. “I never would have had the self-confidence or knowledge to run for a congressional seat if not for the WREI experience. It was invaluable.”

When Rhea arrived on Capitol Hill to begin her Fellowship, she already possessed a master’s degree in musicology from Columbia University and was well on her way to the doctorate in the cultural foundations of education she earned from Syracuse University. A professional harpsichordist, Rhea had taught music at the high school and college levels.

She was assigned to the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, where she worked closely with the caucus’s then-cochairs, Pat Schroeder (D-CO) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME). Rhea’s assignment? Drafting legislation providing incentives for women and underrepresented minorities to pursue careers in science and math. Rep. Nita Lowey, who succeeded Rep. Schroeder as the Caucus’s Democratic cochair, introduced these amendments as part of the Higher Education Act of 1992 and they passed. “I have watched many programs develop as a result of my work with the Caucus, and it has been really exciting,” Rhea reports.

Following her valiant, if not victorious, congressional campaigns, Rhea has continued to distinguish herself in public service: she has been chair of the New York State Sierra Club and is currently the club’s conservation and legislation chair; she served on Governor Pataki’s state superfund reauthorization working group; she was state environmental coordinator for Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign and is now Senator Clinton’s environmental advisor for New York State; and she is a member of the board of the League of Conservation Voters.

Rhea and her husband recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. Their three children are all happily married and doing well professionally and have provided five grandchildren, who occupy much of Rhea’s spare time.