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The Auburn Women's Leadership Institute (WLI) is a member of the national network of NEW (National Education for Women) Leadership Institutes developed by The Center for American Women and Politics of Rutgers University. WLI contributes to the achievement of a truly representative democracy that will improve the lives of women, men and children in Alabama and beyond. It is a part of the College of Liberal Arts and has been empowering women for a lifetime of leadership since 2004. The WLI is advised by a board made up of some of Auburn’s most successful and influential women graduates, such as Susan Parker and Anita Gentle Newcomb.

The WLI presents the opportunity to women to sharpen their leadership skills. This is part of a proactive step taken by Auburn University to address the under-representation of women in board rooms and legislative assemblies and to close the gender gap in society.

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Every summer, the WLI holds a five-day residential program at Auburn University. The program will be held from May 24 to May 28, 2010, on the Auburn campus. The goal of the program is to prepare a new generation of women leaders with vision and courage. They encourage these women to go on to participate effectively in the decision-making spheres in business, politics and the professions. The highlight of the program will be the first Women’s Leadership Institute Summit.

This year, the Leadership Summit includes women from areas in business, entrepreneurship, health care, education, politics, law and activism. The keynote speaker will be the Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Alabama Sue Bell Cobb. She is the first woman chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

“It’s a great opportunity to meet, network and be educated by these women who will tell you stories about challenges they’ve faced as leaders in their fields,” said Barbara Baker, director of WLI.

The Leadership Summit is open to everyone and is a great opportunity to meet and network with some of the most the most influential women in the region. The Summit takes places on May 27, 2010, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Auburn Hotel and Conference Center. The registration deadline for all participants is May 15, 2010.

The WLI has also begun a new lecture series called “Extraordinary Women.” Lt. General Leslie Kenne spoke this past November as part of the series. Film and disk of this speech are available. This fall, Lilly Ledbetter, known by most because of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, will be the guest speaker.

For more information, please visit the AU Women's Leadership Institute's web site.

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