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History and Accomplishments

Alumna Christine Spadafor speaks during a 2013 Alumnae Conference panel

Founded in 2007 as a project of the American Bar Association, DirectWomen maintains its 501(c)(3) status through the Tides Center, an umbrella organization for non-profits. Catalyst and the ABA’s Commission on Women in the Profession continue to be important strategic partners for DirectWomen. With the assistance of Catalyst, DirectWomen’s network has grown to include over 150 Board Institute alumnae, 35 Sandra Day O’Connor Board Excellence Award honorees, and a vibrant group of volunteers, including CEOs, directors of large public companies, executive search firm principals and other leaders of the business community.


Twenty-two percent (22%) of the alumnae of our first seven Board Institutes serve on at least one large corporate board. DirectWomen alumnae who currently serve on large corporate boards include:


Success Stories

Elisa D. Garcia

Elisa joined the board of Dollarama, Inc. in 2015. Learn more

Sheri Edison

Sheri joined the board of AK Steel in 2014. Learn more

Mallun Yen

Mallun Yen joined the board of RPX Corporation in 2017. Learn more