Victoria Budson '93 Works to Close Gender Gaps

April 2, 2014

Victoria Budson ’93 was named one of CNN’s Ten Visionary Women of 2014, alongside entrepreneurs, activists, and other leaders. The honor was given to women of diverse interests, backgrounds, and accomplishments, who share a “clear vision for a better future.”

Budson strives to create more opportunities for women everywhere by working to erode gender gaps in her position as the founding Executive Director of the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School. In addition to that role, Budson serves on the State Department steering committee of the Women in Public Service Project, advises the Obama administration on policies designed to close gender gaps, and chairs the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women.

Budson was a student at Haverford when she had a life-changing back injury. While recovering on mandated bedrest, Budson had an epiphany, which she described in her profile in CNN. She realized that “it was about how to build a life with what you have instead of waiting for the life you wish you had.” That epiphany led her to transfer to Wellesley where Budson found an education that she credits for giving her the training and empowerment that has helped her on her journey.

"Wellesley raised my benchmark of aspiration, enabling me to envision myself as a leader in a way I had not before,” Budson told us. “In addition, it gave me the skills, the network, and the self-belief to effectuate change for women and girls across the globe."

Learn more about Budson’s story and those of her fellow honorees on a recent Google Hangout with CNN’s Kelly Wallace.