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Former Vermont Governor Kunin to Speak

Former Vermont Governor Kunin to Speak at JSC

March 3, 2009

Former Vermont governor Madeleine Kunin will speak at Johnson State College’s Stearns Performance Space Tuesday, March 3, at 7 p.m.

The event marks Women’s History Month celebrations at the college, and is free and open to the public.

Kunin’s talk is titled “Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin: What Impact Have They Had on Women in Leadership?”

Kunin will also discuss her book, “Pearls, Politics and Power: How Women Can Win and Lead” (Chelsea Green Publishing Company), which has received wide critical acclaim.

“Pearls, Politics, and Power” is a call to action for new political engagement and leadership from the women of America. Informed by conversations with elected women leaders from all levels, the former three-term Vermont governor and ambassador to Switzerland asks: “What difference do women make? What is the worst part of politics, and what is the best part? What inspired these women to run, and how did they prepare themselves for public life? How did they raise money, protect their families’ privacy, deal with criticism and attack ads, and work with the good old boys?”

Kunin interviews Hillary Rodham Clinton, analyzes her campaign, and addresses the question: “Is the country ready?” Others interviewed include U.S. Representatives Loretta Sanchez, Linda Sanchez, Deborah Pryce, and Tammy Baldwin; U.S. Senators Susan Collins, Amy Klobuchar, and Carol Moseley Braun; and Governors Kathleen Sibelius and Janet Napolitano.

Kunin’s core message is that America needs an infusion of new leadership to better address the major problems of our time. To see how women can achieve that goal, she combines her personal experience in politics; the lessons of past women’s movements; the stories of young women today who have new ideas about their role in society; and interviews with a wide range of women in positions of power, looking for clues to their leadership, as well as the effects of gender stereotyping.

About the Speaker: Madeleine M. Kunin was the first woman governor of Vermont, and served as the Deputy Secretary of Education and Ambassador to Switzerland under President Bill Clinton. During her tenure as governor she substantially increased funding for education and concentrated on improving the quality of education. Gov. Kunin served on the President’s Interagency Council on Women, and was a member of the US delegation to the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. She is the author of “Living a Political Life” and is currently a Marsh Scholar Professor-at-Large at the University of Vermont and lectures on history and women’s studies. She also serves as president of the board of the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC), a nongovernmental organization that she founded in 1991. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a regular commentator on Vermont Public Radio. She lives in Burlington, Vermont.