About Us

Our History

Executive Women in Government was founded in 1973 by the Honorable Barbara Franklin and other high-ranking government Women.

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Our Mission

Prepare, promote, support and mentor women for senior leadership positions in the Federal Government.

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Our Objective

Advocate for the advancement of women in senior leadership positions in the Federal Government...

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Who Makes Up EWG

EWG members represent all branches of the federal government, including current employees, those retired from the federal service, current and former political appointees, and former federal employees who are now in the non-profit and corporate sectors.

Contacts and Insights

EWG means new professional contacts, new friends, and new insights helpful to your professional growth and business.

Ideas and Opportunities

Through EWG, professional women are reaching beyond, learning anew, and finding the ideas and opportunities they need to grow and advance in the new millennium.

EWG Officers

Rhonda C. ShafferPresident

Rhonda C. Shaffer is currently a Federal Senior Executive. Since January 2021, Rhonda has been serving at the Department of Transportation as the Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Chief Budget Officer with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) overseeing billions of federal funds in support of our Nation’s infrastructure.

Rhonda has also served in federal leadership roles with the U.S. Department of Army in the areas of Logistics and executive level oversight of quality-of-life programs to over 13,000 military members, Department of Defense Civilians, Retirees, and Contractors assigned to the Pentagon and its annexes. Before her work in the Army, she served as the Regional Chief Financial Officer for the U.S. Marine Corps in the Indo-Asia Pacific area. She has also served in senior staff positions with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Coast Guard leading enterprise-level initiatives. Before joining the federal service, Rhonda held executive level positions in the private sector serving as a Chief Audit Executive for a global manufacturing firm, a Chief Financial Officer for a Midwestern plastics manufacturing firm, and a Chief Executive Officer for a multi-national financial management consulting firm.

Rhonda also serves as an Adjunct Professor with George Mason University. She spends her free time with family and friends, riding her bike, being outdoors, and volunteering. She has served in Board Service on the Board of Directors for Kansas Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children and for Executive Women in Government in leadership with some amazing Past Presidents as Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary. During her terms, she was instrumental in bringing together federal executives and agency heads for the memorable 12th Annual Summit with over 350 participants. She led in raising awareness of our prestigious EWG mission and helping solidify EWG as an OPM Infinity Group. She exercised her leadership skills by helping improving EWG’s business processes, strengthening fiscal practices, and rebranding the website to help women leaders better promote, advocate, and network in the federal community. She is a Lifetime Member of EWG.

Rhonda C. ShafferPresident

Rhonda C. Shaffer is currently a Federal Senior Executive. Since January 2021, Rhonda has been serving at the Department of Transportation as the Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Chief Budget Officer with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) overseeing billions of federal funds in support of our Nation’s infrastructure.

Rhonda has also served in federal leadership roles with the U.S. Department of Army in the areas of Logistics and executive level oversight of quality-of-life programs to over 13,000 military members, Department of Defense Civilians, Retirees, and Contractors assigned to the Pentagon and its annexes. Before her work in the Army, she served as the Regional Chief Financial Officer for the U.S. Marine Corps in the Indo-Asia Pacific area. She has also served in senior staff positions with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Coast Guard leading enterprise-level initiatives. Before joining the federal service, Rhonda held executive level positions in the private sector serving as a Chief Audit Executive for a global manufacturing firm, a Chief Financial Officer for a Midwestern plastics manufacturing firm, and a Chief Executive Officer for a multi-national financial management consulting firm.

Rhonda also serves as an Adjunct Professor with George Mason University. She spends her free time with family and friends, riding her bike, being outdoors, and volunteering. She has served in Board Service on the Board of Directors for Kansas Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children and for Executive Women in Government in leadership with some amazing Past Presidents as Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary. During her terms, she was instrumental in bringing together federal executives and agency heads for the memorable 12th Annual Summit with over 350 participants. She led in raising awareness of our prestigious EWG mission and helping solidify EWG as an OPM Infinity Group. She exercised her leadership skills by helping improving EWG’s business processes, strengthening fiscal practices, and rebranding the website to help women leaders better promote, advocate, and network in the federal community. She is a Lifetime Member of EWG.

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Deborah A. LebenVice President

Deborah Leben began her 32-year career with the U.S. Secret Service as a fingerprint specialist. She advanced to senior leadership positions, including Director of the Secret Service Crime Laboratory, Office of Investigations, and Strategic Advisor to the Chief, Office of Human Resources, and achieved OPM SES certification. She established the Agency’s first national biometric program and interoperability with federal partners. As Laboratory Director, achieved international laboratory accreditation and oversaw forensic services, global evidence operations, multimillion-dollar program budgets, and created workforce initiatives to foster coaching and mentoring, diversity, equity and inclusion programs, and leadership development. Deborah was also responsible for financial statements and audits of counterfeit evidence, research and development, congressional briefings, and biometric matters for the Agency.

Deborah enjoys supporting nonprofits in forensic science and women in government. She was elected to serve the Executive Women in Government as Vice-President, Committee Chairs for Membership, Communications, and Programs; marketing, bylaws, summit planning committees, and mentor in the mentoring program. She was also elected to the Board of Directors, four Vice-President positions, and President of the International Association for Identification and local chapter (serving over 7,000 members in 76 countries) where she created programs focused on student affairs, strategic and industry partnerships, forensic certifications, and emerging leaders.

She is an advocate for the advancement of women in their careers, and programs to reduce the school-to-prison pipeline. She is part of a Global Youth Initiative with the John C. Maxwell team and volunteers with Women Giving Back and the Centreville Immigration Forum on women's initiatives.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Criminal Justice from John Carroll University, and Master of Forensic Science from George Washington University and Master of Science in Technology Management from George Mason University. She is Adjunct Faculty in the College of Science at George Mason University.

Deborah A. LebenVice President

Deborah Leben began her 32-year career with the U.S. Secret Service as a fingerprint specialist. She advanced to senior leadership positions, including Director of the Secret Service Crime Laboratory, Office of Investigations, and Strategic Advisor to the Chief, Office of Human Resources, and achieved OPM SES certification. She established the Agency’s first national biometric program and interoperability with federal partners. As Laboratory Director, achieved international laboratory accreditation and oversaw forensic services, global evidence operations, multimillion-dollar program budgets, and created workforce initiatives to foster coaching and mentoring, diversity, equity and inclusion programs, and leadership development. Deborah was also responsible for financial statements and audits of counterfeit evidence, research and development, congressional briefings, and biometric matters for the Agency.

Deborah enjoys supporting nonprofits in forensic science and women in government. She was elected to serve the Executive Women in Government as Vice-President, Committee Chairs for Membership, Communications, and Programs; marketing, bylaws, summit planning committees, and mentor in the mentoring program. She was also elected to the Board of Directors, four Vice-President positions, and President of the International Association for Identification and local chapter (serving over 7,000 members in 76 countries) where she created programs focused on student affairs, strategic and industry partnerships, forensic certifications, and emerging leaders.

She is an advocate for the advancement of women in their careers, and programs to reduce the school-to-prison pipeline. She is part of a Global Youth Initiative with the John C. Maxwell team and volunteers with Women Giving Back and the Centreville Immigration Forum on women's initiatives.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Criminal Justice from John Carroll University, and Master of Forensic Science from George Washington University and Master of Science in Technology Management from George Mason University. She is Adjunct Faculty in the College of Science at George Mason University.

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Kristine DavidsonTreasurer
Kristine DavidsonTreasurer
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Carolina CatalanSecretary

Carolina Catalan has over 10 years of executive experience at the United States Postal Service (USPS). She began her career with the postal service 19 years ago as a Professional Specialist Trainee-Industrial Engineer at the New York International Service Center and has held numerous positions in the field and headquarters. The United States Postal Service has a unique status as an independent agency of the
executive branch which is required to operate as a business. The Postal Office Act of 1972 made the postal service a permanent fixture of the federal government.

Carolina is currently the Manager of Integration and Support (Chief of Staff) to
the Chief Commerce and Business Solutions Officer (CCBSO) at USPS. She is responsible for executing the commercial vision across CCBSO priorities, builds relationships and connections across the organization, and drives successful delivery of programmatic initiatives. She has also led efforts at a national level as part of the
Network Operations Industrial Engineering team where she was fundamental as co-lead of the Lean Mail Processing (LMP) initiative which helped streamline, optimize, and improve processing efficiencies across 200 postal facilities.

As an active member of several non-profit organizations, she dedicates her time and serves as a role model to younger generations to strengthen Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. As such she advocates for women in these disciplines and leadership roles.

Carolina earned an MBA, a Masters in Manufacturing Engineering, and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Florida International University. She attained her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute and is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

Carolina CatalanSecretary

Carolina Catalan has over 10 years of executive experience at the United States Postal Service (USPS). She began her career with the postal service 19 years ago as a Professional Specialist Trainee-Industrial Engineer at the New York International Service Center and has held numerous positions in the field and headquarters. The United States Postal Service has a unique status as an independent agency of the
executive branch which is required to operate as a business. The Postal Office Act of 1972 made the postal service a permanent fixture of the federal government.

Carolina is currently the Manager of Integration and Support (Chief of Staff) to
the Chief Commerce and Business Solutions Officer (CCBSO) at USPS. She is responsible for executing the commercial vision across CCBSO priorities, builds relationships and connections across the organization, and drives successful delivery of programmatic initiatives. She has also led efforts at a national level as part of the
Network Operations Industrial Engineering team where she was fundamental as co-lead of the Lean Mail Processing (LMP) initiative which helped streamline, optimize, and improve processing efficiencies across 200 postal facilities.

As an active member of several non-profit organizations, she dedicates her time and serves as a role model to younger generations to strengthen Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. As such she advocates for women in these disciplines and leadership roles.

Carolina earned an MBA, a Masters in Manufacturing Engineering, and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Florida International University. She attained her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute and is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

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VACANT
Program Committee Chair

KRISTA KLEIN
Communications and Marketing Chair

CONNIE DOYLE
Chair of Status of Women and Mentorship Program

TERESA HASS
Bylaws Chair

LYNDA KASONDE
Membership Chair

VACANT
Nominating Chair

PAM SESSOMS AND  PATRICIA WADDELL
Transition Committee Chair

DEBORAH LEBEN
Annual Summit Committee Chair

MARILYN ABEL
Sponsorship Chair

Virginia R. Allen

Anne L. Armstrong

Sylvia Bacon

Catherine M. Bedell

Romana A. Banuelos

Col. Billie M. Bobbitt

Isabel A. Burgess

Helen J. Burroughs

Barbara M. Burns

Judith A. Cole

Jeanne W. Davis

Ruth M. Davis

Elizabeth Hanford Dole

Nola F. Fowler

Barbara Hackman Franklin

Margaret C. Gaynor

Cynthia H. Hall

Margaret A. Haywood

Carla A. Hills

Vera Hirschberg

Norma Holloway Johnson

Jeanne M. Holm

Virginia H. Knauer

Jewel Lafontant-Mankarious

Marjorie Lynch

Rosemary A. Mazon

Constance Newman

Sallyanne Payton

Charlotte Reid

Jayne B. Spain

Brereton Sturtevant

Paula A. Tennant

Judith M. Trent

Georgiana Sheldon

Gloria A. Toote

Antonina P. Uccello

Ethel B. Walsh

Bennetta Washington

Margita White

Beatrice Willard

Immediate Past President Board Member

Cynthia Whittenburg (2023)

Cynthia Whittenburg (2022)

Katherine M. Coffman (2021)

E. Anne Sandel (2020)

Ellen McClain (2019)

Dr. Patrina M. Clark (2018)

Paige Atkins (2017)

Kim Berns (2016)

Colonel Elizabeth B. Borelli (2015)

Ana B. Hinojosa (2014)

Shoshana Grove (2013)

Reta Jo Lewis (2012)

Betsy Smidinger (2011)

Elizabeth Cotsworth (2010)

Margaret “Peg” Weir (2009)

Katherine C. Gugulis (2008)

The Honorable Lynn Scarlett (2007)

The Honorable Nancy Nord (2006)

Maria Parisi-Vickers (2005)

Lori Santamorena (2004)

Marylouise Uhlig (2003)

Linda Massaro (2002)

Paula Lettice (2001)

Anna Fay Dixon (2000)

Dr. Diane E. Gelburd (1999)

Sandra Schneider (1998)

Judith D. Gibson (1997)

Dr. Donna M. Heivilin (1996)

The Honorable Mary K. Mathews (1995)

The Honorable Jessica L. Parks (1994)

Virginia B. Robinson (1993)

The Honorable Jill Kent (1992)

Shannon Roberts (1991)

Dona Wolf (1990)

The Honorable Joan D. Aikens (1989)

The Honorable Jeanne J. Smoot (1988)

The Honorable Janet D. Steiger (1987)

The Honorable Jean McKee (1986)

The Honorable Donna Pope (1985)

The Honorable Mary Elizabeth Quint (1984)

The Honorable Nancy Harvey Steorts (1983)

The Honorable Helen Holt (1982)

The Honorable Jean F. Dwyer (1981)

Dr. Jeanne S. Mintz (1980)

Esther C. Lawton (1979)

The Honorable Brereton Sturtevant (1978)

The Honorable Joyce Hens Green (1977)

The Honorable Catherine Bedell (1976)

The Honorable Ethel Bent Walsh (1975)

Major General Jeanne M. Holm (1974)

Gwendolyn King

Cindy Gripper

Donna Heivilin

Seena Foster

Brandi Dennis

Rhonda Shaffer

Katherine "KC" Coffman

Ellen McClain

Karen Wolff

Rosemary Byrd

Sheila Burke

Rebecca Dye

Diane Gelburd

Cheryl Prejean Greaux

Shoshana Grove

Reta Jo Lewis

Maria Madocks

Brenda Mendoza

Jessica Parks

Marilyn Ann Quagliotti

Nora Rice

Marylouise Uhlig

Margaret Weir

Carolyn Wong

TESTIMONIALS

FROM OUR MEMBERS

Tracy Murrell
Tracy Murrell

EWG has allowed me to expand my network within the federal government and meet interesting and intelligent women who are doing great things for our country.

Maria Luisa Boyce
Maria Luisa Boyce

Through EWG I’m able to mentor other women in the federal government and give back opportunities that were given to me.

Contact Us

202-600-7671
1629 K Street NW Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006

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