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DSS 2024 - Day Two

Madam President – Strategies to Elect our First Woman President

Despite women breaking barriers every year since the beginning of time, some nations, including the United States, still have never had a woman head of state. In the thick of primaries season with the general presidential election approaching, what a perfect time to ask ourselves why that is and how we can change that. Day two is dedicated to hearing from women themselves about what it's like to run for higher office in the United States, what barriers women face, and what solutions could remedy those barriers. We will discuss how ranked choice voting for presidential primaries levels the playing field for women candidates, as well as address the ambition myth, innovations in violence against women in politics, and how legislative pay could greatly reduce barriers for women to serve in higher office.

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Expert Discussion 1: Running for President as a Woman

Time: 3:05 - 3:35pm ET

We kick off the day with an incredibly exciting conversation between Judy Woodruff, senior correspondent and the former anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour, Kimberly Peeler-Allen, Political Strategist and Co-founder of Higher Heights for America, and a soon-to-be-announced former presidential candidate to get real and share, first-hand, what it's like to run for president as a woman in America. What barriers do women face, especially women of color? And what do they see as potential solutions to those barriers?

Expert Discussion 2: Ranked Choice Voting for Presidential Primaries

Time: 3:35 - 4:10pm ET

Then, we move right into a fireside chat all about how ranked choice voting in presidential primaries could remove significant barriers to electing our first woman president. Amber McReynolds, National Elections Expert & USPS Board of Governors, sits down to talk shop with Rina Shah, Strategic Consultant, Media Commentator, and CEO of Rilax Strategies, moderated by Candice Kerestan of FairVote.

Take Action Panel: Addressing the Ambition Myth, Violence Against Women in Politics, and Legislative Pay

Time: 4:10-4:55pm ET

We wrap up the day with a lively conversation between Erin Loos Cutraro, CEO & Founder of She Should Run, Juliana Menasce HorowitizAssociate Director of Research at Pew Research Center, Erin Vilardi, CEO & Founder of Vote Run Lead, and Gowri Ramachandran, Deputy Director of the Brennan Center's Democracy Program, about what we are seeing on the ground, in real-time, regarding building women's political power in higher office. We will squash the ambition myth, share real solutions for violence against women in politics, and discuss the ways legislative pay can remove barriers for women to serve.

Expert Discussion 1: Running for President as a Woman in America

Judy Woodruff

Senior Correspondent and Former Anchor and Managing Editor of the PBS NewsHour

Judy Woodruff is a senior correspondent and the former anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour. She has covered politics and other news for five decades at NBC, CNN and PBS.

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Kimberly Peeler-Allen

Political Strategist

Kimberly Peeler-Allen has been working at the intersection of race, gender and politics for over 20 years. Over the course of her career Kimberly has advised elected officials, candidates and organizations on fundraising, political strategy and coalition building to ensure that there are more diverse voices around decision making tables whether they are in elected bodies or civil society. Peeler-Allen is the Co-founder of Higher Heights, a national organization building the political power and leadership of Black women from the voting booth to elected office.


Expert Discussion 2: Ranked Choice Voting for Presidential Primaries

Amber McReynolds

National Elections Expert and USPS Board of Governors

Amber McReynolds is one of the country’s leading experts on election administration, policy, and innovation. In 2021, Amber was appointed by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as a Governor for the United States Postal Service.

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Rina Shah

Political Consultant & CEO of Rilax Strategies

Rina Shah is a strategic consultant, media commentator, & millennial entrepreneur based in Washington, DC. Prior to launching Rilax Strategies – a government and public affairs firm - Rina served as a senior staffer to Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-5) and Rep. Jeff B. Miller (FL-1).

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Candice Kerestan

Political Consultant

Candice Kerestan is a political consultant focused on making American elections work better for voters both at home and abroad.

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Take Action Panel: Addressing the Ambition Myth, Violence Against Women in Politics, and Legislative Pay

Erin Loos Cutraro

Founder & CEO of She Should Run

Erin Loos Cutraro is the founder and CEO of She Should Run, the trailblazing nonpartisan nonprofit on a mission to revolutionize the landscape of women in American political leadership by shattering barriers and redefining possibilities for women in elected leadership.

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Gowri Ramachandran

Deputy Director of the Brennan Center's Democracy Program

Gowri Ramachandran serves as deputy director in the Brennan Center’s Democracy program. Her work focuses on election security, election administration, and combatting election disinformation. She is the lead author of the Brennan Center's recent study entitled Intimidation of State and Local Officeholders.

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Erin Vilardi

CEO & Founder of Vote Run Lead

Erin Vilardi is the Founder and CEO of Vote Run Lead, the nation’s largest and most diverse training program for women to run for office and win. She first launched the program as Vice President of Program and Communications at The White House Project.

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Juliana Menasce Horowitz

Associate Director of Research at Pew Research Center

Juliana Horowitz is associate director of research at Pew Research Center, where she oversees research on social and demographic trends. She is the lead author of the 2023 Pew study entitled Women and Political Leadership Ahead of the 2024 Election.

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