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Women In Leadership Seminar


An informal seminar series designed to develop staff and faculty leadership competency and efficacy in women leaders from junior to executive levels. The seminar series features notable speakers and nationally recognized speakers from academic, corporate, healthcare, and non-profit organizations.


To provide participants with:
  • tools and techniques to improve their leadership
  • an opportunity to grow deeper in developing their personal leadership skills
Program Dates:

Speaker: Farah Harris
Thursday, October 19, 2023
11:30AM — 12:30PM
Register for virtual event

Speaker: Traci Duez
Thursday, November 9, 2023
11:30AM — 12:30PM
Register for virtual event

Speaker: Deborah Heiser
Thursday, January 18, 2024
11:30AM — 12:30PM
Register forvirtual event

Featured Speaker on February 24, 2022

Picture of Monica Guidry

Monica Guidry

Monica Guidry is Executive Director at UTHealth Houston Office of Employee Assistance Programs. As Director, she is responsible for the internal EAP counseling services, WorkLife and Wellness program at UTHealth Houston and for the operations of EAP services for external organizations which includes Baylor College of Medicine, UTHealth San Antonio, UTMB and UTHealth Rio Grande Valley. At UTHealth, Monica is also developing a support system for physicians and faculty with professionalism or distressed behavior that impacts the workplace and our affiliated organizations. Monica joined UT Health in 2010 after spending 10 years as the Director of the University of Florida Addiction Treatment Program in Gainesville, FL.

Seminar Recording:

Featured Speaker on January 27, 2022

Picture of Karen Jaw-Madson

Karen Jaw-Madson

The January event features Karen Jaw-Madson, principal of Co.-Design of Work Experience, author of Culture Your Culture: Innovating Experiences @ Work, founder of Future of Work platform A New HR, executive coach, and instructor at Stanford University’s Continuing Studies Program.

A former corporate executive, Karen is known as a versatile leader across multiple industries with experience developing, leading, and implementing numerous organizational initiatives around the globe. She has been featured in Inc., Fast Company, Fortune, Thrive Global, and People+Strategy,,’s HR Strategy & Planning Excellence magazine, and HR Professional magazine.

Seminar Recording:

Featured Speaker on November 8, 2021

Picture of Marcia Reynolds

Marcia Reynolds

The November event features Marcia Reynolds, author, speaker, coach and president of Covisioning, LLC. Marcia Reynolds is the master of teaching others how to engage in powerful conversations that connect, influence, and activate change, even when emotions are strong. Dr. Reynolds has been hired by organizations around the globe, not just because of her highly engaging presentations but because of the ability to change people’s minds. This highly sought-after behavioral scientist is happily obsessed with uncovering the latest discoveries in neuro/behavioral research and putting them into practical applications. With a doctoral degree in Organizational Psychology, two master’s degrees in Education and Communications, Marica’s expertise ranges from holding powerful conversations to activating the emotions of passion and courage at work.

Seminar Recording:

Featured Speaker on October 21, 2021

Picture of Elizabeth McCormick

Elizabeth McCormick

The October event features Elizabeth McCormick, a decorated US Army Black Hawk Helicopter Pilot. Elizabeth flew air assault, command and control, top-secret intelligence missions, and transported high-level government VIP's. Then Elizabeth transitioned from her military service to corporate business as an international contract negotiator and commodity manager in purchasing and supply chain for global corporations. In 2011, Elizabeth was awarded the US Congressional Veteran Commendation for her service to her country and community as a disabled veteran. Now, Elizabeth is an in-demand motivational and inspirational keynote speaker, and leadership specialist: currently #5 on the list of "Leadership Experts to Follow Online.“

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Featured Speaker on September 30, 2021

Denise Hamilton

Denise Hamilton

The September event features Denise Hamilton, a nationally recognized Diversity & Inclusion leader. Denise is Founder and CEO of WatchHerWork, a digital learning platform for professional women. Denise has been featured on Harvard Business Review, MSNBC, Forbes, FOX, CBS, NBC, Newsweek and on many other outlets. She was named one of Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women by Houston Woman Magazine, one of the 41 Most Fascinating People in Houston by the Houston Chronicle and a 2018 Woman Who Means Business by the Houston Business Journal.

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Featured Speaker on February 25, 2021

Sally Helgesen

Sally Helgesen

Sally Helgesen, cited in Forbes as the world’s premier expert on women’s leadership, is an internationally best-selling author, speaker, and leadership coach. She is ranked No. 6 among the world’s top 30 leadership thinkers by Global Gurus and was named the No. 1 coach for women leaders in the world by Thinkers-50/100 Coaches.
Sally’s most recent book, “How Women Rise,” co-authored by Marshall Goldsmith, became the best seller in its category within a week of publication and has been translated into 17 languages. Previous books include “The Female Advantage: Women’s Ways of Leadership,” hailed as a classic and continuously in print since 1990; “The Female Vision: Women’s Real Power at Work,” which explores how women’s strategic insights can strengthen their careers; and “The Web of Inclusion,” cited in The Wall Street Journal as one of the best books on leadership of all time and credited with bringing the language of inclusion into business.

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Featured Speaker on November 5, 2020

Sally Helgesen profile

Suzan Deison

CEO/President/Founder of The Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce, which is the fastest growing women's Chamber of Commerce in America. Ms. Deison continues to dedicate her professional life to helping and educating business leaders, especially women, to develop to their fullest potential. It is her mission to open doors through rich connections with leaders and influencers, provide resources to insure success, and develop relationships with other leaders with a similar vision, both internationally and nationally.
For her entire career, Ms. Deison has been dedicated to leading non-profits from foundation to enhancing existing organizational structure to tremendous growth. She is proud to have been recognized by organizations like the Texas Executive Women, MAKERS, Women Who Make America and Forbes for her leadership and accomplishments. Most recently, she was appointed as Co-Chair of the Texas Small Business Task Force.

Featured Speaker on November 20, 2019

Picture of Bonnie St. John

Bonnie St. John

Despite having her right leg amputated at age five, Bonnie St. John became the first African-American ever to win medals in Winter Olympic competition, taking home a silver and two bronze medals in downhill events at the 1984 Paralympics in Innsbruck, Austria.
St. John has achieved the highest levels of success in a variety of endeavors throughout her life. In addition to her success as a Paralympic athlete, she is a best-selling author, a highly sought after keynote speaker, a television and radio personality, a business owner and a Fortune 500 leadership consultant. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University in 1986, and won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, taking a Master of Letters degree in Economics.

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Featured Speaker on October 31, 2019

Picture of Dr. Rebekah Davis Reed

Dr. Rebekah Davis Reed

Dr. Reed has served as Chief of the Space and Occupational Medicine Branch at the NASA Johnson Space Center since November 2015. In this position, she is responsible for the delivery of medical and psychological care to the NASA astronaut corps and the Johnson Space Center population and medical subject matter expertise to human spaceflight programs. From 2012 to 2015, Dr. Reed served in the JSC Office of Chief Counsel, where she was lead counsel for the Human Health and Performance Directorate, the NASA Flight Institutional Review Board, and the Lifetime Study of Astronaut Health. She also provided advice on privacy, constitutional issues, and bioethics. Dr. Reed’s primary research interest is bioethics in the spaceflight environment.

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Featured Speaker on April 18, 2019

Picture of Patricia Bruesch, LaTanya Love, MD, Barbara J. Stoll, MD, Kristi Bradley, and Bela Patel, MD. talking on a Women in Leadership panel

Kristi Bradley

Vice President and Chief Revenue Cycle Officer | McGovern Medical School at UTHealth

Patricia Bruesch, MPA

Associate Dean for Management | MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School

LaTanya Love, MD

Vice President of Diversity and Leadership Development | Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs | Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics | McGovern Medical School at UTHealth

Bela Patel, MD

Graham Distinguished University Chair | Vice Dean for Healthcare Quality | Professor and Director, Division of Critical Care Medicine | McGovern Medical School at UTHealth

Barbara Stoll, MD

H. Wayne Hightower Distinguished Professor in the Medical Sciences | Professor and Dean, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth

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Featured Speaker on January 17, 2019

Picture of Dr. Eden King

Dr. Eden King

Dr. Eden King is an Associate Professor of Industrial- Organizational (IO) Psychology at Rice University and the President-Elect for the Society for IO Psychology. Dr. King is pursuing a program of research that seeks to guide the equitable and effective management of diverse organizations. This research has yielded over 100 scholarly publications and has been featured in the New York Times, Good Morning America, and the Harvard Business Review. In addition to her scholarship, Dr. King has consulted on applied projects related to climate initiatives, selection systems, and diversity training programs. She also published a book entitled, "How Women Can Make it Work: The Science of Success.".

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Featured Speaker on November 15, 2018

Picture of Dr. Karen Remley

Karen Remley

Karen Remley, MD, MBA, MPH, FAAP, joined the Foundation in August 2018 as a Senior Fellow. Dr. Remley, who has more than 30 years of experience in public health and healthcare, previously served as CEO of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which represents 67,000 practitioners dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. In her role as Senior Fellow, Dr. Remley serves an advisory and leadership role in the Foundation’s efforts to create practical solutions to build healthier communities. In addition to leading the AAP, Dr. Remley has had a prestigious and diverse career as a commissioner of health for the Commonwealth of Virginia, a pediatric emergency physician, and the chief medical director of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Virginia. Learn more about Dr. Remley here.

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Featured Speaker on October 25, 2018

Picture of Julianne Robbins Cenac

Julianne Robbins Cenac

Julianne Robbins Cenac, PhD, serves as the director of learning and development at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and program director for The Leadership Institutes at UTHealth. Dr. Cenac previously served as assistant vice president at Regent University where she led the university’s Professional and Continuing Education Division and oversaw international affairs. Prior to that role, Dr. Cenac served as a senior management consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. in McLean, Virginia. There she led and managed projects in strategy and performance for clients including the National Institutes of Health, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs among others. Dr. Cenac’s research interests include leadership complexity, leader behavioral repertoire and emergence.

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Featured Speaker on February 15, 2018

Picture of Joy Weaver

Joy Weaver

Joy Weaver is a high-energy speaker, author and corporate, international, and social protocol & etiquette expert. She is certified by the Protocol School of Washington DC and as well as certification from Letitia Baldrige’s Business Etiquette Program. Ms. Weaver specializes in corporate and social etiquette & customer service training. She knows first hand that we are expected to carry ourselves in a five-star manner, while many times we only receive one-star training. Her clients range from the world’s largest construction firm to the Dallas Symphony Debutante program. In addition to segments on ABC’s Good Morning Texas and the CBS/11 Early Show, Ms. Weaver is the etiquette expert for the award-winning French Room, she writes monthly articles for three national magazines, and is also the spokesperson for clothing designer Joseph Ribkoff. Learn more about Joy at

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Featured Speaker on January 18, 2018

Picture of April Powers

April Powers

April Powers is the Managing Director of First Impression Rx, a full service consulting firm that helps companies manage differences through training and diversity and inclusion strategy. She is a highly-rated trainer for Fortune 50, government and non-profit companies. She has consulted for and trained at Amgen since 2010, most recently project managing a cultural dexterity roll-out and delivering certified training in the areas of Generational Diversity, Communication, Emotional Intelligence and Cultural Competence.

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Featured Speaker on October 12, 2017

Picture of Haben Girma

Haben Girma, Esq.

The first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School, Haben Girma advocates for equal opportunities for people with disabilities. President Obama named her a White House Champion of Change, and Forbes recognized her in Forbes 30 Under 30. Haben travels the world consulting and public speaking, teaching clients the benefits of fully accessible products and services. Haben is a talented storyteller who helps people frame difference as an asset. She resisted society’s low expectations, choosing to create her own pioneering story. Because of her disability rights advocacy she has been honored by President Obama, President Clinton, and many others. Haben is also writing a memoir that will be published by Grand Central Publishing in 2019. Learn more about Haben at

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