Future Fund

“PLEN introduced me to the areas of public policy where women were making all the difference.”

Laurie Halverson, Minnesota Legislator

Laurie Halverson, elected to the Minnesota Legislature, attended PLEN’s Women and Public Policy Seminar in 2000. Laurie credits her PLEN experience for providing her with a vision of what women can do as leaders. Deeply impressed by powerful women change-makers like Donna Shalala, then Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Vivian Pinn, then Director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health, Laurie recalls that both women “stressed the need for more women’s voices” in public decision-making. 

PLEN has been offering seminars to women college students like Laurie since 1983 and hundreds of them are making a difference as policy leaders in their communities, state, and nation. To mark its thirtieth year of offering programs to women students in Washington, D.C., PLEN established a Future Fund aimed at increasing the number of women’s voices in the public policy arena by offering increased opportunities to young women like Laurie. This fund expands PLEN programs to strengthen students’ prospects in pursuing a public policy career, and it provides them with the latest tools and knowledge needed to make their voices heard in today’s policy arena.

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 Future Fund Founding Supporters

Barbara A. Shailor & The Samuel H. Kress Foundation • Frances “Sissy” Farenthold • Lisa Kaenzig (PLEN Alumna) • Sally S. McDaniel • Vivian Pinn • Ellie Shaw & The American Express Company • Heidi Schoenberger-Cobert • Yvonne Maddox • Amy Conroy (PLEN Alumna) • Betsy Crone