Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to search Skip to section navigation

Awards & Honorees

The Women’s Summit will include the presentation of Penn Law’s Carrie Burnham Kilgore Award, Summit Award, and Rising Star Award, with remarks from inaugural awardees.

Carrie Burnham Kilgore Awards

Honoring trailblazing women leaders whose exemplary careers and/or advocacy have served as catalysts for change.

The Carrie Burnham Kilgore Awards will be presented at the Summit by Ted Ruger, Dean, University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Hillary R. Clinton U.S. Secretary of State, 2008-2012 (New York, NY)
Accepting via video message

Hillary Clinton  has served as Secretary of State, Senator from New York, First Lady of the United States, and First Lady of Arkansas.  She has also worked as a lawyer, law professor and lifetime activist. 

Following law school, she joined the Children’s Defense Fund and worked as a member of the Congressional Committee staff assisting the House Judiciary Committee with its investigation of the Nixon administration. She later co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families and served on the faculty of the University of Arkansas Law School before joining the Rose Law firm in1976 and becoming the firm’s first female partner in 1979.

As the United States’s First Lady in 1993, she chaired the Task Force on Health Care Reform, and in 1995 she led the U.S. delegation to Beijing for the U.N. 4th World Conference on Women, giving the now-famous speech declaring that “women’s rights are human rights.”

She was elected Senator from the state of New York in 2000 (as the first woman Senator from New York and the first First Lady to be elected to the U.S. Senate), and after winning re-election in 2006, she served in this role through 2009. 

She was nominated by President-elect Obama to the position of Secretary of State, and sworn in as the 67th Secretary of State of the United States on January 21, 2009. 

Secretary Clinton graduated from Wellesley College in 1969, and received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1974.

Safra Catz W’83 L’86 Co-CEO, Oracle Corporation (Redwood City, CA)
Accepting in person and presenting dinner keynote on 3/23

Safra A. Catz is Chief Executive Officer of Oracle Corporation where she is responsible for global operations.  She has been a member of the company’s Board of Directors since 2001 and currently serves on Oracle Corporation’s Executive Management Committee.

She previously served as Oracle’s President and as the company’s Chief Financial Officer. Catz first served as Oracle’s Chief Financial Officer from 2005 to 2008, as Executive Vice President from 1999 to 2004, and as Senior Vice President from April to October 1999.

She has served on the Board of Directors for HSBC Holdings, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations, since 2008, and she also lectures as an adjunct faculty member at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where she teaches a course on Mergers & Acquisitions.

Prior to joining Oracle Corporation, Ms. Catz was at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, a global investment banking group (since 1986) where she was a Managing Director from February 1997 to March 1999. 

Ms. Catz graduated with a B.S. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and is a 1986 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Summit Awards

Honoring outstanding women leaders whose careers and advocacy at the highest levels inspire and enable the continuing advancement of women.

The Summit Awards will be presented at the Summit by Dr. Amy Gutmann, President, University of Pennsylvania.

Pamela Daley L’79 Senior Vice President, GE, Retired, Senior Advisor to the Chairman, Corporate Business Development
Accepting in person at lunch on 3/23

Miss Daley received her A.B. degree with highest honors from Princeton University in 1974 in Romance Languages and Literatures.  In 1979, she graduated first in her class from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review.  Prior to joining GE, Miss Daley was a tax partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, a large global law firm headquartered in Philadelphia.  She was an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School from 1982 through 1989, teaching Federal Income Taxation of Partners and Partnerships. 

 Miss Daley joined GE in 1989 as Tax Counsel and was Vice President and Senior Counsel for Transactions from 1991 to 2004.  In July 2004 Miss Daley became Vice President – Corporate Business Development and was promoted to Senior Vice President in 2005.  In this position, Miss Daley was responsible for GE’s mergers, acquisitions, and divestiture activities worldwide (acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, alliances, and other business development arrangements).  Miss Daley became Senior Vice President, Senior Advisor to the Chairman in April, 2013.  Miss Daley retired from GE on January 1, 2014. 

 Miss Daley serves on the Boards of BlackRock, Inc. [NYSE:  BLK], a global asset management company, BG Group plc [LSE:  BG.L], a global gas and oil company, the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and The Juilliard School.  She is a past director of Genworth Financial, Inc. [NYSE:  GNW] (2004-2006), General Electric Capital Corporation (2004-2013), the GE Foundation (1999-2013), and the University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees (2007-2012).  She is also a past director of the World Wildlife Fund (2004-2010) and currently is a member of WWF’s National Council.  


Hon. Phyllis Kravitch L’44 Senior Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit (Atlanta, GA)

Phyllis Kravitch is a Senior Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and sits in Atlanta, Georgia.  

Judge Kravitch worked in private practice from 1944 to 1976, as one of the first woman trial lawyers in the South.  She was the first woman president of the Savannah Bar Association (in 1973), and served from 1977 to 1979 as a judge on the Superior Court of the Eastern Judicial Circuit of Georgia.  In 1979, she was the first woman judge on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and in 1979, she was nominated, and ultimately appointed, to the federal bench (to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals) by President Jimmy Carter.

In 1981, when the Fifth Circuit was split into the Fifth and Eleventh Circuit, Kravitch became a judge on the Eleventh Circuit, where she still sits as of 2015. Kravitch took senior status on December 31, 1996.

Judge Kravitch attended Armstrong Junior College in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia, receiving an A.A. in1939, and she later obtained her B.A. from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland in 1941.  As a law student, she served on the Law Review Board of Editors at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she received her LL.B. in 1944.


Ambassador Melanne Verveer Executive Director, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security, and Former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues (Washington, DC)
Accepting in person at lunch on 3/23

Melanne Verveer is currently the Executive Director of Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace, and Security.  Prior to this role, she served as the first U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, a position to which she was nominated by President Obama in 2009.  In that capacity, she coordinated foreign policy issues and  activities relating to the political, economic and social advancement of women, traveling to nearly sixty countries. She worked to ensure that women’s participation and rights are fully integrated into U.S. foreign policy, and she played a leadership role in the Administration’s development of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. In addition to her work as a U.S. Ambassador, President Obama also appointed her to serve as the U.S. Representative to the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

From 2000-2008, she was the Chair and Co-CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international NGO that she co-founded to invest in emerging women leaders. During the Clinton administration, she served as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady, where she led the effort to establish the President’s Interagency Council on Women and was instrumental in the adoption of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. In 2013, she was the Humanitas Visiting professor at Cambridge University.  

She is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and the World Bank Advisory Council on Gender and Development, and she is also the co-author of Fast Forward: How Women Can Achieve Power and Purpose (2015).

Ambassador Verveer has a B.S. and M.S. from Georgetown University.


Patricia Viseur Sellers L’79 Special Advisor for Prosecution Strategies to the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court (Brussels, Belgium)
Accepting in person at lunch on 3/23

Patricia Viseur Sellers is Special Advisor for Prosecution Strategies to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague and a Visiting Fellow at Kellogg College of Oxford University, where she teaches International Criminal Law on the Masters of Human Rights faculty.  She has served as the Special Advisor to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and to the Secretary General’s Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict, as well as advised governments, international organizations, and civil society groups.

From 1994-2007,  Ms. Sellers was the Legal Advisor for Gender Related Crimes and Senior Acting Trial Attorney in the Office of the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia  and Rwanda. In that capacity, she advised on the prosecution of sex based crimes under the tribunals’ statues and pertinent doctrines of humanitarian law. She has litigated and advised on the leading international criminal law cases regarding wartime sexual violence, sexual violence and genocide, and sexual violence and enslavement as crimes against humanity. She has lectured widely, testified as an expert witness, and authored numerous articles on international criminal law.

Prior to her work as an international prosecutor, she served at the Directorate General for External Relations at the European Commission, worked with the Ford Foundation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and practiced as an attorney with the Philadelphia Defender Association.

Ms. Sellers earned her B.A. from Rutgers University in 1976, and her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1979.


Mary Jo White Chair, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (Washington, DC)
Accepting in person at lunch on 3/23

Mary Jo White was sworn in as the 31st Chair of the SEC in April 2013, upon nomination by President President Barack Obama and confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

She arrived at the SEC with decades of experience as a federal prosecutor and securities lawyer. As the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1993 to 2002, she specialized in prosecuting complex securities and financial institution frauds and international terrorism cases. Under her leadership, the office earned convictions against the terrorists responsible for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and the bombings of American embassies in Africa. She is the only woman to hold the top position in the 200-year-plus history of that office.

Prior to becoming the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, she served as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney and later Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York from 1990 to 1993. She previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1978 to 1981 and later Chief Appellate Attorney of the Criminal Division.

After leaving her U.S. Attorney post, Chair White became chair of the litigation department at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York, where she led a team of more than 200 lawyers. Chair White previously was a litigation partner at the firm from 1983 to 1990 and worked as an associate from 1976 to 1978.  Following law school she also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Marvin E. Frankel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

She has served as a director of the NASDAQ Stock Exchange and on its executive, audit, and policy committees, and she is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Chair White earned her undergraduate degree, Phi Beta Kappa, from William & Mary in 1970, her master’s degree in psychology from The New School for Social Research in 1971, and her J.D. in 1974 at Columbia Law School, where she was an officer of the Law Review.


Rising Star Awards

Honoring established and future women leaders showing great promise and professional achievements in their first ten years post-graduation.

Nermeen Arastu L’08 Clinical Law Professor and Supervising Attorney, City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law’s Immigrant & Non-Citizen Rights Clinic (New York, NY)
Accepting in person at dinner on 3/22

Nermeen Arastu is a Clinical Law Professor and Supervising Attorney in the Immigrant & Non-Citizen Rights Clinic at the City University of New York’s School of Law. Prior to joining CUNY’s faculty, Ms. Arastu was a litigation associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, LLP and a staff attorney at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF). At AALDEF, she led the Immigrant Rights Program and Post-9/11 Civil Liberties Project.  Through the course of her pro bono work at Simpson Thacher and tenure at AALDEF, she managed an immigration docket which included deportation defense, suppression, asylum, citizenship and green card interviews, and various other immigration processes. Additionally, while at AALDEF, she oversaw monthly immigration clinics in conjunction with various community-based organizations, litigated matters relating to zoning and houses of worship, addressed anti-Muslim bias in the immigration system, and advocated against racial and religious profiling and law enforcement surveillance. She has also worked at the Legal Assistance Centre of Namibia and in the Immigrant Women Program at Legal Momentum (formerly NOW Legal Defense) where she focused on policy relating to gender-based violence.

Ms. Arastu received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2008.


Sheila Bapat L’07 Author, Part of the Family? Nannies, Housekeepers, Caregivers, and the  Battle for Domestic Workers’ Rights (San Francisco, CA)
Accepting in person at dinner on 3/22

Sheila Bapat is an author and freelance writer focusing on economic and gender justice. Her first book, Part of the Family?: Nannies, Housekeepers, Caregivers, and the Battle for Domestic Workers’ Rights was published by Ig Publishing in June 2014. Part of the Family has been adopted by several university professors in their teaching, and was featured in U.S. News and World Report and Ms. Magazine. Her recent multi-city book tour included collaborations with the National Domestic Workers’ Alliance, the Institute for Policy Studies, and the University of Illinois-Chicago. Her work has appeared in Jacobin, Salon, Reuters, Slate, Alternet, Truthout, the University of Pennsylvania’s Journal of Labor and Employment Law, PolicyMatters, and the Center for Women Policy Studies’ series, “Reproductive Laws for the 21st Century.”

Ms. Bapat also works full time as a Program Director for the California Bar Foundation where she has launched the California Public Interest Legal Fellowship Program.  This new program funds diverse 3Ls and attorneys to provide legal aid to under-served California regions that Sheila has so often championed through her writing.  Inspired by New York City’s Immigrant Justice Corps, this California fellowship program seeks to ignite the public interest careers of diverse California attorneys while also improving access to justice for middle and low income California communities. 

Ms. Bapat received her her B.A. from the University of Arizona and she received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2007.


Linda Shi L’09 General Counsel, 50onRed (Philadelphia, PA)
Accepting in person at dinner on 3/22

Linda Shi is the General Counsel for 50onRed, a Philadelphia-based digital media and technology company.  In this role, she serves as chief legal counsel and head of compliance for the organization, with her practice focusing on technology, privacy, and intellectual property law issues and their real life applications to early stage startups as well as international corporations.  She was recently recognized by the Philadelphia Business Journal with the 2015 Top Corporate Counsel Award for her advisory work.

An engineer as well as a lawyer by training, she is also the co-founder of Likuma Laboratories, an industrial design and product engineering firm based in Philadelphia.

Prior to joining 50onRed, she served as Assistant General Counsel, Intellectual Property, to Synygy, an international business software and services company, and prior to that, as an intellectual property associate with Volpe & Koenig, PC. 

 Ms. Shi received dual degrees in Mechanical Engineering (B.S.) and English (B.A.) from Rutgers University, and she graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2009.


Meredith Slawe L’05 Partner, Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP (Philadelphia, PA)
Accepting in person at dinner on 3/22

Meredith Slawe is a partner in Drinker, Biddle, & Reath LLP’s Litigation Group. She has a broad litigation practice with an emphasis on consumer class actions, business disputes, and internal investigations. She has an outstanding record of defeating cases on the merits and challenging class certification.

Ms. Slawe is also a key member of Drinker Biddle’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) Team and publishes regularly on TCPA-related topics. She has extensive experience representing leading companies in putative class actions and individual actions brought under this statute, and she also counsels clients on TCPA compliance measures.

Ms. Slawe is a member of the Corporate Executive Board of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division of the White Collar Crime Committee, the Board of Managers of the Penn Law Alumni Society, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Louis D. Brandeis Law Society. She is a member of Drinker Biddle’s Women’s Leadership Committee, an active participant in the firm’s recruiting efforts and mentoring program, and a frequent speaker on career management and work/life balance issues at programs for women lawyers and law students.

Ms. Slawe received her A.B. in Government from Dartmouth College and she received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2005.