Women of Washington

Women of Washington 2013

October 11, 2013
Washington, DC

Now in its fourth consecutive year, The Atlantic’s Women of Washington event series, underwritten by Exxon Mobil Corporation, brings together eminent women leaders for one-on-one conversations. The 2013 series featured: White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett in conversation with Atlantic Media's Linda Douglass; Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano with Linda Douglass; Chief of Staff to the First Lady and Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls Tina Tchen with Linda Douglass; Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) in conversation with MSNBC's Karen Finney; and Barbara Bush, Vanessa Kerry, and Catherine Connor with moderator Susan Dentzer, analyst on health policy for PBS and others. Select photos from the series can be viewed on our Facebook page.


On October 11, the final session of the 2013 series convened a special panel of women working to make a difference in the field of global health. Barbara Bush, Vanessa Kerry, Catherine Connor, and Susan Dentzer joined The Atlantic for a discussion on each of their individual initiatives to improve global public health.The women shared their experiences working to ensure people everywhere have access to basic health care and to save the millions who are susceptible to treatable diseases in the developing world, and reflected on their personal decisions to pursue their respective paths.


On September 25, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) joined The Atlantic in the fourth installment of the 2013 Women of Washington event series for a conversation on the budget, the future of the economy, and her experiences as a Hill power player, wife, and mother in Washington. As the first female chair of the Senate Budget Committee, Senator Patty Murray is at the forefront of the issues surrounding the current sequester and post-recession economic growth. The Senator discussed life on and off Capitol Hill and shared her insights on what needs to be done to build a sustainable, healthy American economy. The conversation was moderated by MSNBC's Karen Finney, host of Disrupt with Karen Finney





On July 31, The Atlantic and Exxon Mobil convened for the third session in the 2013 Women of Washington event series, featuring a conversation with Tina Tchen, Chief of Staff to the First Lady and Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls. Atlantic Media Senior Advisor Linda Douglass moderated the discussion which covered Tchen's career as a Chicago litigator before joining the Obama administration as the Director for the White House Office of Public Engagement in 2009. Tchen recalled her experiences building her career both in Chicago and in Washington, sharing personal anecdotes as well as personal advice on building a fulfilling career. 




As the first female chair of the National Governors Association, the first female Attorney General of Arizona, and most recently, as the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano has set a precedent for women in Washington and across the country. In the second  installment of the Women of Washington series, Secretary Napolitano shared her experiences heading the Department of Homeland Security through some of America’s most trying times. In conjunction with the tenth anniversary of DHS, the conversation explored the future of Homeland Security and Secretary Napolitano’s plans for building a more effective “DHS 3.0” to address the rapidly evolving national security landscape.



From the campaign trail to the halls of the West Wing, Valerie Jarrett has played a significant role in the administration’s biggest decisions. The first gathering of the 2013 series took an inside look at Valerie’s personal life and various roles, from her work as an advocate for women as Chair to the White House Council on Women and Girls to her experiences as one of the select few with the ear of the world’s most powerful leader. 

Presented by

Atlantic Live



Presenting Level

Also in This Series

  • Politics

    Women of Washington

    We continued our Women of Washington series with Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Deb Fischer (R-NE).

  • Politics

    Women of Washington

    We continued our Women of Washington series with an interview hosted by Mary Louise Kelly, featuring political strategists Katie Packer and Stephanie Cutter.

  • Women of Washington

    The Atlantic’s series of interviews with eminent women leaders in Washington continued with Cecilia Muñoz, Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.

Upcoming Events

  • Culture

    The Future of Work Summit

    The Atlantic will delve into strategies for America to fully address the opportunities and rising challenges we face in an era of increased automation and globalization.

  • Technology

    Atlantic Exchange featuring
    General (Ret.) Keith Alexander

    The Atlantic will hold a high-stakes conversation on the state of the threat and what governments and businesses can do to keep digital data safe and secure.

  • Politics

    Reforming Criminal Justice

    In this Next America forum, The Atlantic will engage with state and local leaders, law enforcement officials and community activists for a conversation on how emerging policies will affect safety and justice in St. Louis and in the country at large.