Enterprising Women Vol 10, No 2, 2009

news 18 enterprising Women WIPP Sees Victory With Congressional Directive W omen Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), a national bi-partisan public policy orga- nization representing more than a half million women and minority business owners, celebrated a hard-won victory in March when legislation was passed into law restricting further funding of the proposed women’s procurement rule. “From the beginning, WIPP members have worked tirelessly to stop this ill-con- ceived rule and advocated for its withdrawal. We look forward to working with the new SBA leadership and Congress on a meaningful women’s procurement program which reflects Congress’ original intent,” WIPP President Barbara Kasoff, said. “In these times of economic crisis, an effective contracting program for women business owners is more important than ever. We appreciate the efforts of all members of Congress who strongly support that effort, particularly the leadership of the House and Senate Appropriations and Small Business Committees,” Kasoff added. Vital Voices’ Melanne Verveer Tapped to be Clinton’s Global Women’s Issues Chief M elanne Verveer has been named Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. State Department. President Obama nominated Verveer for the post in early March. According to the White House Office of the Press Secretary, the nomination is “unprecedented and reflects the elevated importance of global women’s issues to the President and his entire Administration.” Verveer is co-founder, chair and co-CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international nonprofit that invests in emerging women leaders—pioneers of eco- nomic, political and social progress in their countries. Prior to founding Vital Voices, Verveer served as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady in the Clinton Administration and was chief assistant to then First Lady Hillary Clinton in her international activities. Verveer also took the lead in establishing the President’s Interagency Council on Women, which serves as a model for governments to address issues of concern to women. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Women’s Foreign Policy Group, the Washington Institute on Foreign Affairs, and Women in International Security. CWBR Commends White House on Creating Council on Women and Girls T he Center for Women’s Business Research (www.womensbusinessresearch.org) says the country still has “miles to go” to reach gender equality and applauded the Obama Administration in March for creating The White House Council on Women and Girls. The Council will be charged with providing a coordinated federal response to the challenges confronting women and girls and to ensure that all Cabinet and Cabinet- level agencies consider how their policies and programs impact women and families. The White House said the Council will be comprised of the heads (or their senior- level designees) of the Cabinet agencies, certain other non-Cabinet agencies, and other Executive branch departments and agencies. Obama’s senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, will chair the Council, and Tina Tchen, director of the White House Office of Public Liaison, will serve as executive director. Commenting on the Council, Beverly A. Holmes, chair of the Center for Women’s Business Research, notes: “It is validating to see an early focus on women made by this Administration, and the Center is committed to assisting in whatever way possi- ble. With our deep and vast research on success factors for women entrepreneurs, we are confident that we can provide some critical answers to pressing problems in our nation.” President Obama names Karen Gordon Mills New SBA Administrator I n early April, the U.S. Senate unan- imously consented to the nomina- tion by President Barack Obama of Karen Gordon Mills as the 23rd Administrator of the U.S. Small Busin- ess Administration. As Administrator of the SBA, Mills will direct a federal agency with more than 2,000 full time employees, with a lead- ing role in helping small business own- ers and entrepreneurs secure financing, technical assistance and training, and federal contracts. SBA also plays a leading role in disaster recovery by mak- ing low interest loans. Mills of Brunswick, Maine, was presi- dent of MMP Group and has a 25 year career of investing in small businesses. In 2007, she was appointed by Maine Gov. John Baldacci as chair of the state’s Council on Competitiveness and the Economy, where she focused on attracting investment in rural and region- al development initiatives. She also co- authored a Brookings Institute paper on competitive clusters. Mills is a member of the Council on Foreign Relation and has served as vice chairman of the Harvard Overseers. She holds a degree in economics from Harvard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was a Baker Scholar. She and her hus- band, Barry Mills, president of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, have three sons. Karen Gordon Mills