Susan McGee Bailey ’63 is a world-renowned scholar on gender and public policy. In 2010, she retired from her positions as Executive Director of the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) and Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Education. Bailey guided the WCW for 25 years from its original mission and organizational structure to its current pre-eminence as the largest gender-focused research and action organization in the U.S. Her commitment to equitable education is evidenced by her work as principal author of How Schools Shortchange Girls , the groundbreaking 1992 report that raised national consciousness on issues of gender equity in education. It led to the development of new policies and programs across the country, promoting the advancement of girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) coursework and fields. In 2001, WCW received NGO (non-governmental organization) in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. As a result, with Bailey’s leadership, WCW has worked with several UN agencies, the U.S. Department of State and numerous NGOs to build actionable programs across Asia and the Middle East.
Bailey is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Activist/Policy Award from the Women Educators of the American Educational Research Association, and has been active in organizations that address the needs of disabled children. She served as President of the Board of the National Council for Research on Women.
Bailey is currently working on a project concerning girls’ education in Cambodia and continues to write and lecture on gender equitable K-12 education and women and public policy issues. She is a member of the Board of the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World at Lebanese American University in Beirut, Lebanon.
Bailey was a History major at Wellesley and then received an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.