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Keene State Dean is NH Delegate for National Women's Leadership Initiative

The spirited group at the Vision 2020 conference. Photo courtesy of Irene Herold.
The spirited group at the Vision 2020 conference. Photo courtesy of Irene Herold.

Keene NH, December 12, 2010 - Irene Herold, Dean of Library at Keene State College, was one of 116 women who gathered in Philadelphia in October for “Vision 2020: An American Conversation about Women and Leadership.” This national initiative seeks to advance women’s equality by 2020, the centennial celebration of the 19th Amendment.

Following the model of the Continental Congress, which met in Philadelphia 234 years ago, the delegates (two from each of the 50 states, plus Washington, D.C.) spent three days in discussion and debate, generating hundreds of ideas on how to support women’s leadership. Each woman signed the “Declaration of Equality” before leaving, and pledged to create action projects designed to give more women a voice in government, media, education, and business in their home states. The delegates will gather again in 2011 to share ideas and successes in their advocacy.

According to the White House Project Report: Benchmarking Women’s Leadership, only 3% of Fortune 500 companies’ CEOs are women. In addition, only 18% of our top leaders are women, and they make 78.7 cents to every dollar a man earns. The delegates at Vision 2020, who represent all of the areas of society (business, law, and finance; health; education; media and communications; engineering, science, and technology; philanthropy, faith, and volunteerism; arts and culture; and politics and government), will work to energize dialogue about women and leadership in their communities.

Herold was one of 1000 women nominated for 116 positions. She and fellow NH delegate Alison Stebbins will be planning a statewide action plan and meeting with other New England delegates throughout the year to create regional events and programs as well.

An active member of the Keene Branch of the American Association of University Women, Herold has served as the diversity chair, promoting an undergraduate scholarship for a woman of diversity pursuing a degree in the sciences. She is the immediate past chair of the College Libraries Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association. She was a recent attendee at the 2009 Women’s Leadership Institute produced by ACRL, ACPA, ACUHO-I, ACUI, APPA, NACUBO, NAEP, and NASPA, and has attended several New Hampshire and New England Women in Higher Education Leadership (WHEL) events. Her thesis for completion of a Master of Arts degree in history was on Josephine Garis Cochrane, an inventor and entrepreneur.

Herold has a B.A. from the University of Washington in English, an MLS from the University of Washington, an M.A. from Western Illinois University, and is a PhD candidate in managerial leadership in the information professions from Simmons College. She is currently working on her dissertation.

Vision 2020 is a national project of the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership at Drexel University College of Medicine focused on ensuring gender equality by energizing the dialogue about women and leadership.

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