November 21, 2014



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Donna Rice Hughes Wins

Women In Advocacy Veteran Practitioner Award



Contact: LeeAnn Petersen at

Professional Women in Advocacy Conference Announces the 
2014 Excellence in Advocacy Awardees

Washington, DC - November 21, 2014 - On Thursday night November 20, the Professional Women in Advocacy Conference hosted the 2nd Annual Excellence in Advocacy Reception and Awards at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC. 

Organizers and leadership of the Bryce Harlow Foundation announced awardees in five categories.

  • In the category of Excellence in Advocacy by a Veteran Practitioner the awardee wasDonna Rice Hughes, CEO & President, Enough Is Enough® for over 20 years of pioneering dedication to making the Internet safer for children and families both in the US and abroad.
The finalists were:

Robin S. Conrad, Partner, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLPFor 30 years guiding the US Chamber of Commerce's in-house public policy law firm into a premier advocacy group recognized nationally as the voice of business in the courts.

Nina Ozlu Tunceli, Chief Counsel of Government & Public Affairs, Americans for the Arts and Executive Director, Americans for the Arts Action Fund For her decades of commitment to arts advocacy in America as exemplified by her efforts to save federal funding, create a grassroots army 150,000 strong, and lead the rebirth of the bipartisan Congressional Arts Caucus.
  • In the category of Excellence in a Campaign for Women Serving Women the awardee is the team of Alexandra Brodsky and Dana Bolger - Founding Co-Directors, Know Your IX ( for educating thousands of college students and working tirelessly to end sexual violence on college campuses.
The finalists were: 
Melanie L. Campbell, President & CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and Black Women's Roundtable Public Policy Network (BWR) For championing just and equitable public policy on behalf of Back women and girls.


Shelley Hendrix, Director of Grassroots Advocacy, Autism Speaks

For applying her personal experience as the mother of a child with autism to create a grassroots network that balances the activists' advocacy role with their family needs.

  • In the category of Excellence in a Federal Issue Campaign the awardee is Virginia Sloan, President, The Constitution Project for organizing a successful effort to protect the rights of indigent defendants by restoring funding for federal public defenders.

The finalists were:
Karen Goldmeier Green, Senior Policy Counsel, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP For leading a multifaceted advocacy campaign on behalf of the Puerto Rico Equality Forum (PREF).

Betsy Laird, Jennifer Platt and Leslie Fox, International Council of Shopping Centers For developing and successfully executing the ISCS Marketplace Fairness, 21st Century Retail Campaign which restored the rights of states to determine online sales tax policy.

  • In the category of Excellence in a State Issue Campaign, the Awardee is Lorri Shealy Unumb  Vice President, State Government Affairs, Autism Speaks for successfully passing landmark "Ryan's Law" legislation in South Carolina and an additional 35 states, requiring insurance companies to provide coverage for the treatment for autism.
The finalists were: 
Tracy Kaufman, Director of State and Local Policy, National Housing Trust For her work to expand the use of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and preserve affordable rental housing for low- and moderate-income families.
Leslie Kroeger, Partner, Cohen Milstein Sellers and Toll PLLC For her unwavering commitment to the passage of Florida legislation requiring that children ages five and under are properly secured in crash-tested, federally approved child passenger safety seats. 
  • In the category of Excellence in Advocacy by an Up and Coming   Practitioner the awardee was Cate McCanless, Senior Policy Advisor, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck for her successful health care policy leadership, effectuating a major policy shift within the Food and Drug Administration regarding anti-obesity medication therapies, and for her commitment to her employer's Women's Leadership Initiative. 
The finalists were:
Carolyn Kemp, Vice President, The Herald GroupFor her stellar work identifying, recruiting and managing third party allies, her commitment to mentoring junior staff, and her exemplary work ethic.
McKinsey Lyon, Gallatin Public AffairsFor demonstrating state advocacy and strategic communications leadership on multiple successful legislative issue campaigns in Idaho.

Professional Women in Advocacy Conference
The organizers of the Professional Women in Advocacy Conference (PWIA) believe that when women are involved at the highest levels of policy making, everyone benefits. Therefore, it is imperative to give women advocates the tools and information they need to competently and confidently represent their 
organization or cause. This conference strives to connect women in our field and promote excellence in their work. Learn more at: