Women Leaders

Household names, experts, advocates, award winners—Wellesley women.

If you go to Wellesley, you immediately share something in common with these women.

Alumnae Dating Back to 1880

Madeleine Korbel Albright 1959: Former U.S. Secretary of State; former U.S. ambassador; Wellesley's 2007 commencement speaker; founded Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs

Katharine Lee Bates - 1880: Author of the anthem “America the Beautiful”

JudyAnn Bigby - 1973: Senior Fellow at Mathematica Policy Research; former Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services, Director of Harvard Medical School Center of Excellence in Women's Health, and President's Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health

Marian Burros - 1954: New York Times food columnist and cookbook author

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera - 1991: CNBC host and anchor; named one of the "100 Most Influential Hispanic Women in America"

Robin Chase - 1980: Cofounder and former CEO of Zipcar

Madame Chiang Kai-shek (Soong Mei-ling) - 1917: Former first lady of the Republic of China

Hillary Rodham Clinton - 1969: 2016 presidential candidate; former U.S. Secretary of State; former U.S. senator from New York; Wellesley's first student commencement speaker

Kathryn Wasserman Davis - 1928: Russian scholar, philanthropist

Alecia DeCoudreaux - 1976: Vice President and General Counsel, Lilly USA at Eli Lilly and Company; former President, Mills College

Marjory Stoneman Douglas - 1912: Champion of the Everglades and founder of Florida's environmental movement

Persis S. Drell - 1977: Physicist best known for her expertise in the field of particle physics; former director of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; named one of the "50 Most Important Women in Science" by Discover Magazine

Nora Ephron - 1962: Film director, producer, screenwriter, novelist, and blogger

Heidi Howkins - 1989: Professional mountain climber/expedition leader

Rosemary Jordano - 1984: Founder of Children First, provider of backup childcare for corporations

Lois Juliber - 1971: Retired vice chairman and former COO, Colgate-Palmolive Company; named one of the “Top 25 Managers in the U.S.” by BusinessWeek magazine

Amalya L. Kearse - 1959: Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, New York; first African American woman to serve on the Second Circuit Court

Nannerl Overholser Keohane - 1961: Former president, Duke University and Wellesley College; professor of political science, focusing on political philosophy, feminism, and education

In Ho Lee - 1960: First female ambassador in Korean history (in Finland and Russia); president of the Korea Foundation; renowned foreign affairs expert

Ellen Jacobson Levine 1964: Editorial consultant, Hearst Magazines; former editorial director, Hearst Magazines; former editor-in-chief, Good Housekeeping magazine

Ali MacGraw - 1960: Academy Award–nominated actress

Judith Pearlman Martin - 1959: Journalist, author, and syndicated columnist and author “Miss Manners”

Nergis Mavalvala - 1990: Quantum astrophysicist; MacArthur "genius award" recipient

Pamela Melroy - 1983: Former astronaut/NASA Space Shuttle pilot and commander; currently serves on the Wellesley College Board of Trustees

Chirlane McCray - 1976: Writer, poet, editor, communications professional, political figure, and activist

Geneva Overholser - 1970: Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist

Anne Patterson - 1973: American diplomat and career Foreign Service Officer, former US ambassador to El Salvador, Columbia, Pakistan, Egypt

Vivian Pinn, M.D. - 1962: Physician, scientist, and pathologist known for her advocacy of women's health issues and concerns; former director of National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women's Health; first African American woman to chair an academic pathology department in the US, at Howard University College of Medicine

Jennifer Eplett Reilly 1985: Trustee and Co-Founder, City Year Inc.

Sonya Rhee - 1998: Studio Senior Manager, Technology, Deloitte Digital; documentary filmmaker (shown on PBS and in film festivals)

Cokie Roberts - 1964: ABC News correspondent; National Public Radio senior news analyst; Edward R. Murrow Award winner

Desiree Rogers - 1981: CEO at Fashion Fair Cosmetics, former CEO of Johnson Publishing; named one of the 50 most powerful African-American women in business by Black Enterprise and one of the "Top 25 Women to Watch" by Crain's Chicago Business

Diane Sawyer - 1967: Television broadcast journalist (ABC and CBS)

Susan Sheehan - 1958: Pulitzer Prize–winning author; staff writer for The New Yorker

Lynn Sherr - 1963: Emmy Award–winning ABC 20/20 news correspondent; serves on the Wellesley College Board of Trustees

Cathy Simon - 1965: Design Principal at Perkins + Will; founder and principal of an all-women architectural firm, SMWM, which later joined Perkins + Will

Susan L. Wagner - 1982: Co-founder and director of BlackRock, the largest asset management firm in the world; elected to Apple's Board of Directors

Joan Wallace-Benjamin - 1975: CEO of The Home for Little Wanderers

Lori Wallach - 1986: Director, Public Citizens’ Global Trade Watch

Lulu Chow Wang - 1966: Founder of Tupelo Capital Management

Linda Wertheimer - 1965: Award–winning National Public Radio (NPR) senior national correspondent; former host of NPR’s All Things Considered, currently on the Wellesley College Board of Trustees

Bing Xin - 1926 (master's degree): Chinese poet, essayist, short-story writer