Speakers

Susan Molinari is Chair of Bracewell Giuliani's Strategic Communications practice and a Senior Principal in the Government Relations practice in Washington, D.C.

A former Member of Congress from New York, Ms. Molinari helps develop and implement legislative, regulatory and public affairs strategies in the complex federal environment. Known for her determination and bipartisan spirit, she brings to bear nearly two decades of experience in Washington on behalf of her clients.

A U.S. Representative for eight years, Ms. Molinari quickly became “one of the most distinctive Members of the House” and “one of the most visible voices for her party” according to the authoritative Almanac of American Politics. As a result, after just four years in Washington, and just weeks after the election of the first GOP House majority in 40 years, Ms. Molinari was elected by her colleagues to the eight-person Republican Majority Leadership, making her the highest-ranking woman in the Congress at the time.

Jill Miller Zimon is a freelance writer, blogger and, since 2010, a City Council Member in Pepper Pike, Ohio. Jill received New Media Strategies first Campaign Innovator Award for Candidates in 2011 for using technology in an open, interactive way to inform and engage voters. Outlets that have featured her work include Newsweek.com, Campaigns & Elections, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Plain Dealer, CNN, CSPAN, the BBC, Ohio News Network, WCPN and Feagler & Friends.  She speaks regularly on women, politics and media. Jill has a joint degree in law and social work from Case Western Reserve University and a double degree in government and sociology from Georgetown. She’s been married 20 years and has three teenage children.

Erin Vilardi is the Vice President of Program and Communiciations at The White House Project. Vilardi oversees the award-winning Vote, Run, Lead training program which provides women across the US with the skills and confidence to run for office. Vilardi help launch this political leadership training at WHP in 2004, and has since trained over 10,000 women to lead a political life. In 2008, in partnership with O, The Oprah Magazine, Vilardi led WHPs first cross-sector training program, Women Rule! – which worked to develop the leadership of 80 contest winners from across the country with innovative ideas for change. In 2007, she was the managing director for WHP on the groundbreaking International Women Leaders Global Security Summit, convening 75 of the highest-ranking women leaders from around the globe on the issues of international security. A frequent speaker on college campuses and at conferences, she has also appeared on CNN, the BBC, and was featured on "Spotlight 25," a Lifetime Television special on young women and the quarter-life crisis. Vilardi was a part of Global Youth Connect's first delegation to Bosnia to study human rights and post-conflict resolution in 2005. She is a member of the Younger Women's Task Force and has been recognized as an emerging progressive leader. A resident of New York City, Vilardi graduated from New York University with a BA in Politics and Gender Studies.

An advocate of women’s leadership for more than 30 years, Marie Wilson is founder and President of The White House Project, creator of Take Our Daughters to Work ® Day and author of Closing the Leadership Gap: Why Women Can and Must Help Run the World (Viking 2004). In 1998, Wilson founded The White House Project in order to build a richly diverse, genuinely representative democracy.

Since its inception, The White House Project has been a pioneer in advancing women’s leadership in every sphere—political and social, cultural and economic. Under Wilson’s stewardship, innovative research and programming initiatives have been hallmarks of The White House Project. Highlights of the last decade include groundbreaking research, including the November 2009 of , “The White House Project Report: Benchmarking Women’s Leadership”, the creation of SheSource.org, a database with over 330 women experts, two national leadership summits, and “Vote, Run, Lead,” a training program that has given more than 9,000 women the tools they need to run for office.

An innovator and change-maker, Wilson’s ultimate goal is to transform American culture so that the number of women leaders in all sectors achieves a critical mass. Marie Wilson is a mother of five and a grandmother of seven. She is a regular blogger for The Huffington Post and contributor to The Washington Post’s “On Leadership” Forum. Marie has been profiled in The New York Times “Public Lives” column, and has appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, National Public Radio and other national programs.