Radcliffe Day

CANCELED: Radcliffe Day 2020

Radcliffe Day 2020

Due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, we have regrettably decided to cancel this public program. We do not take these decisions lightly, but the health and well-being of our community must come first and we are acting in accordance with the most recent Harvard University guidance.

On Radcliffe Day 2020, our program will honor Radcliffe’s ongoing commitment to women, gender, and society.

This year, we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Institute’s founding. 2020 is also the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment—which gave American women the vote, although many remained sadly disenfranchised until the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965—and a major election year likely to include a record number of women candidates.

Our expert panel will explore how best to achieve the still-elusive promise of full enfranchisement and empowerment for all women in the United States.

Our 2020 Radcliffe Medalist, Melinda Gates, is a powerful advocate for this cause. She has already achieved remarkable impact around the world by putting women and girls at the center of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s work. In the decade ahead, Gates has committed her energy and resources to investments in expanding women’s power and influence here in the United States.

Melinda Gates. Photo by Jason BellMelinda Gates. Photo by Jason Bell


8:30 AM
Coffee in the sunken garden

10 AM
Panel discussion, moderated by Drew Gilpin Faust, followed by a break and lunch

“Elevating Women: Achieving Gender Equity in the United States”

It is widely agreed that gender equity remains elusive in the United States—even a century after landmark gains like the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Inequality persists not only in women’s political representation and participation but also across most sectors. Women of color and women in other marginalized groups face even greater obstacles to achieving equity. Which approaches will help us close the gender gap for all American women? Should we focus on economic empowerment, educational access, corporate policy and structural changes, political engagement and representation, activism and social pressure, or legal and legislative reform? Our panelists will grapple with these questions, each offering her own perspective and expertise informed by experience as “the woman in the arena”—to subvert Theodore Roosevelt’s iconic phrase.

12:30 PM
Testimonial, keynote conversation, and Radcliffe Medal ceremony

Featuring a testimonial by Patty Stonesifer, a keynote conversation between 2020 Radcliffe Medalist Melinda Gates and David M. Rubenstein, and the formal award presentation by Dean Tomiko Brown-Nagin.

Moderator, testimonial speaker, and panelists

Courtesy of Iris BohnetCourtesy of Iris Bohnet Iris Bohnet is the Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government, academic dean, and codirector of the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard Kennedy School. She is a behavioral economist and author of the award-winning book What Works: Gender Equality by Design. Bohnet has been named one of Apolitical’s Gender Equality Top 100 and advises governments and companies on how to achieve gender equity.



Courtesy of Thasunda Brown DuckettCourtesy of Thasunda Brown DuckettThasunda Brown Duckett is CEO of Chase Consumer Banking, which serves more than 24 million households. She is a trailblazing corporate leader: in 2019, she was included in a Fortune list of 10 powerful women to watch, and in 2015, she was one of Black Enterprise’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Corporate America. Duckett is a powerful voice for financial access and inclusion.




Courtesy of Drew Gilpin FaustCourtesy of Drew Gilpin FaustDrew Gilpin Faust is president emerita of Harvard—the first woman to hold that role—and the Arthur Kingsley Porter University Professor. She was the founding dean of the Radcliffe Institute. Before coming to Harvard, she was the Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of six books, including This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War, named one of “The 10 Best Books of 2008” by the New York Times.



Courtesy of Amanda NguyenCourtesy of Amanda Nguyen Amanda Nguyen ’13 is CEO and founder of Rise, a social movement accelerator. She played an instrumental role in securing the passage of the Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act of 2016—only the 21st bill in modern US history to pass unanimously on the record. Nguyen was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30, 2017 and to Foreign Policy’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2016.




Courtesy of Gina RaimondoCourtesy of Gina Raimondo Gina Raimondo ’93 is the governor of Rhode Island—the first woman elected to that office—and was the second-ever woman to chair the Democratic Governors Association. Before entering politics, she cofounded an investment company that was involved in dozens of successful start-ups. In 2016, Fortune named Raimondo as one of “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.”




Courtesy of David M. RubensteinCourtesy of David M. Rubenstein David M. Rubenstein is a financier, lawyer, and philanthropist. He is a cofounder and co–executive chairman of the Carlyle Group, a global private investment firm. Rubenstein is chairman of the boards of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Council on Foreign Relations, a fellow of the Harvard Corporation, and a regent of the Smithsonian Institution.




Courtesy of Patty StonesiferCourtesy of Patty Stonesifer Patty Stonesifer was founding CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2019, she retired as CEO of Martha’s Table, a nonprofit organization supporting strong children, families, and communities. Before leading the Gates Foundation, Stonesifer was a senior vice president at Microsoft. She was a founding member of the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s advisory council and was chair of the Smithsonian Institution’s board of regents.


Please join us for our second annual Marketplace of Ideas

Drop by anytime between 8:30 and 10 AM for coffee in the sunken garden before settling into your seat. Continue the conversation during our programming break from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM.

A recent addition to our Radcliffe Day celebration, our “marketplace” will not involve commerce but ideas. We will assemble a number of organizations grappling both with how to eliminate gender disparities in our institutions and how to make investments and changes that foster greater equity.

They will share their work, including ideas about how we might all take steps to overcome the remaining barriers to women’s empowerment. The marketplace provides an informal opportunity to learn more about these issues and some of the unique solutions being incubated at Harvard and in our communities.