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Mount Holyoke College
Weissman Center for Leadership

Women and the 2012 Elections: A Strategy for Closing the Political Leadership Gap

Mary V. Hughes '74

Public Lecture
Thursday, September 27, 4:30 PM
New York Room, Mary Woolley Hall
Free and open to the public

According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the United States ranks 79th among the nations of the world for the percentage of women in its federal legislature. They hold 23% of statewide offices and just 12% of Governorships. Progress is slow. In 2012, the number of open and competitive Congressional and state legislative seats, combined with a Presidential year voter turnout, makes this a year of maximum opportunity. Mary Hughes '74, Founder and Director of The 2012 Project, will discuss the national campaign to increase the number of elected women by taking advantage of these rare circumstances, and explain how women legislators impact the political discourse and outcome of policy debates. Co-sponsored by The 175th Anniversary and the President's Office.


Mary V. Hughes '74 is the founder of The 2012 Project, a national, non-partisan campaign to increase the number of women in Congress and state legislators. Hughes has advised candidates for President, Congress, state and legislative office. Her writing on American politics has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Huffington Post. This year, she was named one of "21 leaders for the 21st Century" by Women's eNews. Hughes is a graduate of the University of Virgina School of Law and Mount Holyoke College and lives with her husband in Palo Alto, California. View full bio of Mary Hughes.