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Renowned author and scholar Anne-Marie Slaughter to headline launch of Villanova University’s Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership

McNulty Institute launch event takes place Oct. 26, in conjunction with Villanova’s 2017 Leadership Summit, “Women Igniting Change”

Anne-Marie Slaughter, PhD, JD, President and CEO of New America
Anne-Marie Slaughter, PhD, JD, President and CEO of New America

VILLANOVA, Pa.—Villanova University will officially launch the Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership at an Oct. 26 event on the University’s campus. Established with a gift from Villanova alumna Anne Welsh McNulty ’75, the Anne Welsh McNulty Institute will foster women’s advancement through education, advocacy, the collaborative creation of new knowledge and community-building. Highlighting the launch event is a keynote address from Anne-Marie Slaughter, PhD, JD, President and CEO of New America. Open to the public, the event will be held in the Villanova Room of The Connelly Center.

“This is an exciting and important moment for Villanova University,” said University Provost Patrick G. Maggitti, PhD.  “The launch of the McNulty Institute signals Villanova’s steadfast commitment to advancing women as leaders and to creating innovative scholarship and programs. This Institute aims to become a game changer in higher education by fostering and building inclusive environments that help enable women to flourish, reach their highest potential, and lead others toward accomplishments that positively impact our world.”

The keynote speaker, Dr. Slaughter is well-known for her writings on equality. In 2012, she published “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” in The Atlantic, which is one of the most read articles in the history of the magazine and helped spark a renewed national debate on the continued obstacles to genuine gender equality. She has written or edited seven books, including Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family. In addition to her current role at New America, Slaughter is the Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor Emerita of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. From 2009-2011, she served as the director of Policy Planning for the U.S. Department of State, the first woman to hold that position. Prior to her government service, Dr. Slaughter was Dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and before that the J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign, and Comparative Law at Harvard Law School.

“The advancement of women’s leadership is at a critical moment in our world and the McNulty Institute will place Villanova at the fore through its education, scholarship and outreach,” said Teresa (Terri) M. Boyer, EdD, ’95, founding director of the Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership. “We are thrilled to have such a strong program for the launch, as it will spark important discussions about gender equity and the leadership the McNulty Institute hopes to encourage throughout the Villanova community.”

An innovative leader in economic and social equity for women, Boyer comes to Villanova from Rutgers University, where she served as executive director of the Center for Women and Work. As the McNulty Institute’s inaugural director, Dr. Boyer will work to establish it as a premier, nationally recognized organization with groundbreaking scholarship and innovative programs that advance women as leaders.

The launch event for the McNulty Institute coincides with the 2017 Villanova University Leadership Summit, which takes place during the day on Oct. 26. Focused on “Women Igniting Change,” the Leadership Summit includes presentations, discussions and networking led by Villanova alumni, faculty and staff. All sessions will take place on the Villanova campus. Delivering the keynote address for the Leadership Summit will be Val Ackerman, Commissioner of the Big East Conference.

Ackerman was named the fifth Commissioner of the Big East Conference in 2013. She was the founding President of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and a past President of USA Basketball, which oversees the U.S. men's and women's Olympic basketball program. She has had a long and accomplished career in the sports industry and is one of the few sports executives who has held leadership positions in both men’s and women’s sports at the collegiate, professional, national and international levels.

The Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership was established in 2017 with a gift from Anne Welsh McNulty ’75 CLAS. The institute fosters women’s advancement through education, advocacy, community-building and the collaborative creation of new knowledge. In addition to supporting new research and leadership development opportunities, the Institute for Women’s Leadership acts as a centralized resource where students, alumni, faculty and staff can find academic, extracurricular and professional programs that stimulate conversations about women in leadership and develop the skills and experiences that can help women excel in their chosen fields and act as agents of change.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit