The MWPC introduced the Abigail Adams award in 1988 to recognize outstanding women leaders in Massachusetts who have worked to achieve gender parity for women. Born in Weymouth, MA in 1744, Abigail Adams was one of the earliest women’s advocates with strong beliefs in equal rights for women and was the wife of our nation’s second president, John Adams, and the mother of six children. Recipients of this award are women who have demonstrated through their work and/or their community activism a firm commitment to the realization of equal political, economic, and social rights for women.

PAST HONOREES

1988 – 2018

2018

Senator Harriette L. Chandler
Senate President Emerita

Collette Phillips
Founder & CEO, Louis D. Brown Peace Institute

Dr. Vanessa Calderón-Rosado
Founder & CEO, Louis D. Brown Peace Institute

Geri Denterlein
Founder & CEO, Denterlein

Helen Drinan
President, Simmons University

2017

Rahki Kumar
Senior Managing Director & Head of ESG Investments and Asset Stewardship, State Street Global Advisors

Kristen Lepore
Governor Baker’s Chief of Staff

Niki Tsongas
U.S. Representative, MA 3rd Congressional District

Linda Whitlock
Principal, The Whitlock Group

2016

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito
Lt. Gov, Massachusetts

Sylvia Ferrell-Jones
CEO, YW Boston

Rep. Elizabeth Malia
State Representative, Massachusetts

Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan
President & CEO, The Dimock Center

Marcy Reed
MA President, National Grid

Senator Karen Spilka
State Senator, Massachusetts

2015

Mary Kakas
President & CEO, Edward F. Kakas & Sons

Rep. Kay Khan
State Representative, Massachusetts

Mayor Lisa Wong
Mayor of Fitchburg

Josefina Bonilla
Founder & Publisher, Color Media Group

2014

Bennie Wiley
Principal, The Wiley Group

Ann Murphy
O’Neill & Associates

Marion Colombo
Market President, TD Bank

Susan Tracey
President, The Strategy Group

Susan Servais
Executive Director, Massachusetts Health Council

Gloria Fox
State Representative, 7th Suffolk District

2013

Linda DeMarco
Co-President, InterPride

Valerie Mosley
CEO, Valmo Ventures

Alison A. Quirk
Executive VP, State Street Corporation

Kathi-Anne Reinstein
State Representative, Massachusetts

Elizabeth Scheibel

Laura Sen
President & CEO, BJs

2012

Marge Schiller
Dolores L. Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award

Auditor Suzanne Bump
Auditor, Massachusetts

Rosalin Acosta
Senior VP & Managing Director, Enterprise Bank

Deborah C. Enos
CEO, Neighborhood Health

Dianne Luby
President & CEO, Planned Parenthood MA

Jennifer Nassour​
Chairwoman, MA Republican Party

2011

Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Dolores L. Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award, Senior Fellow, Northeastern University

Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad
Speaker Pro Tempore, Massachusetts

Lauren Baker
First Lady of Masaschusetts, Founder of Wonderfund

Jane C. Edmonds
Senior Fellow, Northeastern University

Ruth Ellen Fitch
President and CEO of Dimock Center

Vicary Graham
Past Chair for Greater Boston Food Bank

2010

Congresswoman Niki Tsongas
Representative MA 5th District

Ruth Bramson
Co-Chair of Diversity Sub-Committee for the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council

Sheriff Andrea Cabral
County Prosecutor

Susan Esper
Deloitte & Touche LLP

Michal Regunberg
Principal, MR Associates

Marita Rivero
Board Member, NPR

Dr. Fran Burke
Professor, Suffolk University

2009

Dolores Mitchell
Executive Director, Group Insurance Commission

Susan Windham-Bannister
President & CEO, MA Life Sciences Center

Marie A. Turley
Senior Policy Analyst for Women & Seniors programs for Suffolk County Sheriff’s Dept.

Lt. Governor Kerry Healey
Lt. Governor MA

Senator Joan Menard
State Senator

Attorney General Martha Coakley
Attorney General, MA

2008

Senate President Therese Murray
Senate President, MA

Diane Patrick
Senior Counsel at Ropes & Gray

Mary Breslauer
Executive Producer, Co-host, The Agenda

Judy Butler
Professor of Comparative Literature and Critical Theory, UC Berkeley

Carol Fulp
Senior VP, John Hancock Financial

Mona Harrington
Chief Information Officer, US Election Assistance Comission

Ellen Zane
President & CEO, Tufts Medical Center

2007

Jennifer Davis
Sr. VP of Global Communications, DELL

Joanne Grady
Founder and CEO, Abbott Personnel Consulting

Maria Krokidas
Founding Partner, Krokidas and Bluestein LLP

Renee Landers
Professor of Law, Suffolk University

Susana Segat
Founding Chair and Commissioner, Mass Commision on the Status of Women

Meg Vaillancourt
Sr. VP Coporate Relations and Executive Director of Red Sox Foundation

Ambassador Swanee Hunt
Women and Public Policy Program founder, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

2006

Virginia Buckingham
Deputy Editorial Page Editor, Boston Herald

Marian Heard
President and CEO, Oxen Hill Partners

Melissa Kogut
VP of Development, Riverside Community Care

Barbara Lee
Founder, Barbara Lee Family Foundation

Angela Menino
Dress for Success, Rosie’s Place, Women’s Lunch Place

2005

Mary Beth Cahill
Campaign Manager, Kerry-Edwards

Joanne Jaxtimer
Senior VP & Director Public Affairs, BNY Mellon

Nancy Leaming
CEO, Tufts Associated Health Plans

Bonnie Newman
Executive Dean, Harvard University School of Gov’t

Samantha Overton Bussell
Director of Parks & Rec, State Enterprise Solutions for Conduent

Joan Wallace-Benjamin
President & CEO, The Home for Little Wanderers

Margaret D. Xifaras
Attorney, Lang, Xifaras & Bullard

2004

Cheryl Cronin
General Counsel to 2004 Democratic National Convention

Janine Fondon
President and CEO, UnityFirst

Janice Loux
MBTA Pension Board Chair

Lois Pines
Former State Representative in Newton, Candidate for Lt. Gov

Jo Ann Sprague
State Senator

Roni Thaler
Executive Director, Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus

Jane Wallis Gumble
Director of Housing and Community Development

2003

Teri Cavanagh
CEO, COBB Marketing & Communications

Hon. Carol Cleven
State Representative

Teresa Heinz Kerry
Chair, Heinz Endowments & Heinz Family Philanthropies

Hon. Shannon O’Brien
State Treasurer, MA

Sherry Penney
Professor, UMass Boston

Sarah-Ann Shaw
Journalist/TV Reporter, WBZ-TV

2002

Rev. Anne C. Fowler
Rector, St. John’s Episcopal Church

Paula Groves
Partner, Axxon Capital

Nan Langowitz
Founding Director, Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Babson College

Gloria Larson
Partner, Foley Hoag LLP

Sayre Sheldon
National Board Member and Ed Fund Treasurer, Women’s Action for New Directions

Andrea Silbert
Ceo and Co-founder, Center for Women and Enterprise

Mary Toomey
Teacher, Weymouth Schools

2001

Alison Amoroso

Clare Dalton
Founder of Domestic Violence Institute, Northeastern University School of Law

Jody Dow
Republican National Committee Member, Former Sec of State Candidate

Dr. Paula Johnson
Cardiologist

Judith Nitsch
Founding principal of Nitsch Engineering

Gail Snowden
Managing Director, Fleet Bank

2000

Randy Albelda
Phd., Research Director, MA State Senate Taxation Committee

Vicki Donlan
Founder & Publisher, Women’s Business

Justine M. Liff
Boston Parks and Rec Commissioner

Helene Solomon

Nancy Achin Sullivan
Executive Director, Board of Registration in Medicine

Paula Wright

1999

Beth Boland
Partner, Bingham McCutchen LLP

Kathleen Casavant
Treasurer, Massachusetts AFL-CIO

Beverly Droz
Management Development Consultant, Droz Management Consulting

Jean Inman
Chair, Massachusetts Republican Party

Susannah Swihart
CFO, Bank Boston

Rev. Cheng Imm Tan
Founding Director, Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians

1998

Martha Chayet
Owner, Chayett Communications Group, INC.

Hon. Barbara E. Gray
State Representative

Vivien Li
Executive Director, Boston Harbor Association

Fran Rodgers
Chair and founder, WFD Inc.

Regina Villa
Owner, Chair and President of Regina Villa Asc

Gail M. Leftwith
“Civic Engagement Advisor” for The Voter Participation Center

1997

Elsie Frank

Sandra Henriquez
CEO, Boston Housing Authority

Elizabeth Levin
Senior VP & Principal, Rizzo Associates

Dr. Elizabeth Sherman
Founder & Former Director, Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy, UMass Boston

Rina Spence

Dr. Susan Roosevelt Weld
First Lady of Massachusetts

1996

Mary Maples Dunn
Former President of Smith College, Published Author

Sally Greenberg
Esq., Eastern States Civil Rights Counsel, Anti-Defamation League

Kija Kim
MASSJOBS Council Board Co-Chair & Massachusetts Asian American Commission

Paula Meara
Police Chief, Justice

Barbara Quiroga
Art & Fashion Publicist

Nassrine Farhoody
Director, Rape Crisis Center of Central Mass

1995

Kathleen E. Caron

Sheryl Marshall
VP, Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette

Loretta McLaughlin
Groundbreaking Reporter, Former Globe Editorial Page Editor

Frances K. Moseley
President & CEO, Boys and Girls Club of Boston

Evelyn F. Murphy
Former Lt. Gov of Massachusetts

Helen Chin Schlichte
Co-Founder, South Cove Manor Nursing and Rehab Facility

1994

Priscilla Douglas
Assistant Secretary for Public Safety & Secretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations

Hon. Nancy Gertner
US Federal Judge

Deborah Jackson
CEO, American Red Cross Eastern Mass

Nancy F. Korman
Woman’s Advocate/Campaign Worker for Senator Ed Kennedy

Susan Shaer
Director, Institute of Politics, Kennedy School, Harvard

Cathleen Douglas Stone
Chief of Enviro Sciences, City of Boston

1993

Eleanor Acheson
US Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Policy Development

Sarah Buel
Lawyer and Anti-Domestic Violence Activist

Caroline Chang
Co-Founder, Chinese American Civic Association

Laurie Freida Garcia
Executive Leadership, The Harriet Tubman House, Co-Founder for Committee for Boston Public Housing

Hon. Lucile Hicks
Former State Senator

Dr. Miriam Hirsch
Assoc Prof of Education & Co-Chair of Education Dept., Yeshiva University

1992

Janet Wu
Political & Investigative Reporter

Susan Bailey
Senior Paralegal, Ropes and Gray LLP

Constance H. Buchanan
Associated Dean, Harvard Divinity School

Anna Faith Jones
President & CEO of the Boston Foundation

Mary Lee F. King
Legislative Director, Mass. Department of Fish and Game

Polly E. Logan
Republican Strategist and Women’s Advocate

1991

Margaret Merry

Teresa M. Contrado

Jane Garvey
Director of Logan International Airport

Diana Lam
Retired, Founder and Board Chair Margarita Muniz Academy

Kip Tiernan
Co-Founder, Boston Health Care for the Homeless

Dianne Wilkerson

1990

Mercedes Tompkins
Executive Director, Casa Myrna Vazquez, Inc

Jane Alexander
American Author/Actress

Nicki Nichols Gamble
President & CEO, Planned Parenthood League of Mass

Sister Therese Higgins
President of Regis College

Arline Isaacson
Former Director of Governmental Affairs, City of Boston, Political Consultant, Mass Teachers Association

Barbara Neely
Author and Host of “Commonwealth Journal” on Boston Radio

1989

Helen Spaulding
Co-Founder of New England Aquarium, Chairwoman, Boston Foundation

Ellen Goodman
Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist

Jackie Jenkins-Scott
President and CEO, Dimock Community Health Care

Patricia McGovern
State Senator

Kattie Portis
Retired, ran her own Drug Treatment Center for Women

Bettie Taymor
Founder, Director, Program for Women in Politics and Government, Boston College

1988

Hon. Joyce Alexander
Chairperson, Judicial Council of the National Bar Association

Dawn-Marie Driscoll
Partner, Palmer and Dodge

Mary Jane Gibson
Assistant Majority Whip/State Representative

Leslie Tarr Laurie
Founder, Tapestry Health

Joan F. Sprague
Architect/Author

Helen Spaulding
Political Activist / Affiliated w/ the Boston Foundation and the New England Aquarium