News Service


Dianne Bystrom, Catt Center, (515) 294-3181
Steve Sullivan, News Service, (515) 294-3720


AMES, Iowa - Ann F. Lewis, White House communications director, will be among the featured speakers at the 6th conference of Iowa State University's Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, Oct. 2-3.

Political leaders, journalists and scholars from a variety of academic disciplines will examine political discourse in the United States and abroad during the conference, titled "Civic Discourse in a Global Community: Creating Cross-Cultural Connections."

The conference, which will be in Scheman Building, is free, except for dinner and lunch, and open to the public. Registration information and a complete schedule of events are available from the Catt Center at (515) 294-3181, or

In addition to Lewis, the conference will feature a keynote presentation by Robin Wright, an award-winning journalist who covers foreign affairs for the "Los Angeles Times."

Lewis, who also co-chairs the President's Commission on the Celebration of Women in American History, will speak on "Women and Political Discourse" on Friday, Oct. 2, at 8 p.m.

Lewis is a long-time Democrat political activist and consultant. She served as chief of staff for former Congresswoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) from 1978-81, as political director for the Democratic National Committee from 1981-85, and as national director of Americans for Democratic Action from 1985-1987.

She served as deputy campaign manager and director of communication for the Clinton/Gore Re-Election Campaign in 1996. Her appointment to the White House began in January 1997 as deputy communications director; she assumed her present position in May 1997. A regular guest on television and radio public affairs programs, Lewis has published articles on public policy in a variety of newspapers and magazines.

Wright, who has been nominated for five Pulitzer Prizes for both national and international reporting, will discuss "Women of the World: Achievements and Challenges" at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3.

Wright has covered nine wars and six revolutions working as a foreign correspondent for leading print and broadcast media. She won the National Magazine Award in 1989 for her reports on Iran for "The New Yorker." Wright is the author of "Sacred Rage: The Wrath of Militant Islam" and "In the Name of God: The Khomeini Decade."

Other conference speakers and panelists include Sally Pederson and Almo Hawkins, the Democratic and Republican candidates for Iowa lieutenant governor; Sheila McGuire Riggs, former Democratic candidate for the U.S. Congress; Kappie Spencer, founder/director of the National Gender Balance Project; Iowa Rep. Janet Metcalf (R- Urbandale); and more than 20 scholars from a variety of academic disciplines.

In addition to speakers, the conference will feature a reception celebrating the 150th anniversary of the women's rights movement in the United States, workshops on gender communication in the workplace and effective campaign communication strategies, and the presentation of the 1998 Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for Research on Women and Politics.


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