CHARLOTTE – Jan. 6, 2014 - Former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe will be the keynote speaker for the 2014 summit of the Women + Girls Research Alliance scheduled for Friday, April 11.
Snowe, a Maine Republican, served three terms in the U.S. Senate, from 1995-2013. She also served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1979 to 1995. The fourth woman in American history elected to both houses of Congress, Snow was the first woman to serve in both houses of a state legislator and both houses of Congress.
The April 2014 summit is entitled “Convergence: Mapping Success, Well-being and Empowerment.” It will feature Women + Girls Research Alliance (formerly Charlotte-Mecklenburg Women’s Summit) findings and experts on topics such as gender, race and entrepreneurship, domestic violence education and policy in the workplace and the ever-changing economic landscape of the greater Charlotte community.
Tickets for the all-day summit will go on sale Saturday, Feb. 1.
“It is an honor to present Olympia Snowe to the greater Charlotte area at the summit next spring,” said Alisa McDonald of Duke Energy, chair of the Alliance’s Advisory Council. “While her message is uniquely her own, we know Sen. Snowe will bring the same excitement and inspiration to the 2014 summit that former presidential press secretary Dee Dee Myers brought to the 2012 Summit and nationally syndicated columnist Ellen Goodman brought to the first Women’s Summit in 2008.”
First elected to Congress at the age of 31, Snowe was the youngest Republican woman and the first Greek-American woman ever elected to Congress. She co-chaired the Congressional Caucus on Women’s Issues with then-U.S. Rep. Pat Schroeder (D-Colo.) for more than 10 years.
Snowe’s work in the U.S. Senate garnered her nationwide recognition as a leading policymaker in Washington. In 2005, she was named the 54th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine. In 2006, Time magazine named her one of the top 10 U.S. senators, the only woman in the exclusive group.
Deciding against seeking reelection in 2012, citing hyper-partisanship leading to a dysfunctional Congress, Snowe authored the book “Fighting for Common Ground: How We Can Fix the Stalemate in Congress,” which was published in May.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Women’s Summit began in 2006 as a volunteer, community-based initiative. It was the first organization to undertake a data-driven analysis of the social and economic well-being of women and girls in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region. Integrated into the UNC Charlotte Office of Metropolitan Studies and Academic Programs in 2010, the Women’s Summit rebranded itself as the Women + Girls Research Alliance in 2013.
UNC Charlotte media relations contact: Buffie Stephens, 704-687-5830, BuffieStephens@uncc.edu