Women Leaders at Progressive Think Tanks
Here's a trend worth noting on International Women's Day: In just the past year, women leaders have taken the helm at four national think tanks -- changing the gender landscape of what has been, traditionally, a male-dominated sector.
Linda Tarr-Whelan was among the first female presidents of a national think tank, founding and leading the Center for Policy Alternatives from 1986 to 2001. More recently, though, Jessica Tuchman Matthews -- who has been president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace since 1997 -- was virtually alone among women leaders of national think tanks (not focused on women's issues).
So it was a big deal last summer when Janice Nittoli, a program officer at the Rockefeller Foundation, was named as the new president of the Century Foundation, one of the oldest think tanks in America. And it was an even bigger deal when, last October, Neera Tanden was named president of the Center for American Progress, now among the largest think tanks in the country. Tanden, a former aide to Hillary Clinton, had previously been chief operating officer at CAP, under founding president John Podesta.
The trend continued last December when Felicia Wong was named president of the Roosevelt Institute. Wong started her job this week and comes to Roosevelt from the Democracy Alliance, the progressive funders group.