CORPORATE WOMEN DIRECTORS INTERNATIONAL
CHAIR

Irene Natividad

Irene Natividad, a recognized leader for women in the United States, wears many hats.  Ms. Natividad is President of the Global Summit of Women, an annual international gathering of women leaders from around the world, and co-chairs Corporate Women Directors International, which promotes the increased participation of women on corporate boards globally.  In addition, Ms. Natividad is Executive Director of the Philippine American Foundation. Most important, she runs her own public affairs firm, Globewomen, Inc., based in Washington, D.C.

A sought-after commentator, her views are aired nationally on PBS' 'To The Contrary', an all-women news analysis series in which she serves as a regular panelist.  She also appears on CNN news shows, Crossfire, the Today show, Good Morning America, Fox News, MSNBC, etc.  Her editorials have appeared in USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Des Moines Register, Chicago Tribune, to name a few.

Ms. Natividad’s commitment to promoting women, nationally and internationally, stems from her decade-long involvement with the National Women's Political Caucus, a 30-year-old bipartisan organization dedicated to electing and appointing more women to public office.  Widely recognized for her outstanding leadership of the Caucus, she was elected President in 1985 and re-elected in 1987, the first Asian American ever to head a national political organization.

During the nineties, she assumed the chairmanship of the National Commission on Working Women, which works on economy equity issues affecting women through groundbreaking research and training programs.  Her commitment to women’s economic empowerment has extended to the global arena, where she has provided a forum through the Global Summit of Women to exchange best practices in accelerating women’s  economic progress.

Long known for her coalition work, Ms. Natividad serves on the boards of numerous organizations, from nonprofits such as the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the National Association of Corporate Directors to corporate advisory boards for Cigna and Wyndham International.  She brings to each of these groups her policy expertise, skills in network building and creative program development.  In 1994, she was appointed to the Board of Directors of Sallie Mae, a Fortune 100 company, by President Clinton.

A native of the Philippines, Ms. Natividad is also a leader in the Asian American community, where she has focused her energies in politically empowering a group frequently referred to as “the invisible minority.”  She served as Deputy Vice Chair of the Democratic Party's Asian Caucus from 1982 to 1984, and has continued to organize numerous Asian American groups at all levels. She was the Executive Editor of the first-ever Asian American Almanac that was published by Gale Research in 1995.

Ms. Natividad’s work has been honored by numerous media organizations. In 2004, she was selected by Women’s eNews as one of the “21 Leaders for the 21st Century.” She was named in 1997 as one of “25 Most Influential Working Mothers” by Working Mother Magazine; in 1993 as one of the “74 Women Changing American Politics” by Campaigns & Elections Magazine; and recognized by A. Magazine as one of the top 25 influential Asian Americans.  Ms. Natividad was also named in 1988 as one of the “100 Most Powerful Women in America” by Ladies Home Journal

She has received numerous organizational awards ranging from the 2001 “Women of Genius” by Trinity College (Wash., D.C.) to the 1995 "Magnificent 7" award from Business & Professional Women/USA to the 1985 Women Making History Award presented by the Women's Congressional Caucus. She has been awarded a Doctorate in Humane Letters by Long Island University, from where she graduated valedictorian in 1971; and by Marymount College (New York) in 1994 for her global work on behalf of women.

Ms. Natividad resides outside of Washington, DC with her husband Andrea Cortese.  They have one son in college, Carlo Natividad Cortese.  February 2004

 

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