A message from President Katherine Coffman

Dear members of the Executive Women in Government,

Following the tradition that the Honorable Barbara Franklin and other high-ranking government women established in 1973, annually we elect trusted leaders to the nonpartisan nonprofit organization of Executive Women in Government. Our mission is to “prepare, promote, support, and mentor women for senior leadership positions in the Federal Government.”  This is an important mission, and one that all past and future officers of EWG take very seriously.

Please join me in congratulating and welcoming our 2021-2022 EWG Officers:

Cynthia Whittenburg, President

Patricia Cogswell, Vice President

Rhonda Shaffer, Secretary

Michelle Bryan, Treasurer

As the Immediate Past President, I want to thank you, the members of EWG, for being a part of this strong professional network, where you bring value by sharing and exchanging your experiences and ideas with each other. We learn important lessons about leadership from one another, and receive encouragement from role models, which helps us to thrive in all we do (no matter the circumstances).

EWG provides an important venue for you to develop your professional network and advance your career. During this past year, EWG held a variety of events to meet this goal for its membership.

I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to have worked this year with a dedicated and committed team of leaders. Thank you to the 2021 EWG Officers and Board Members who dedicated their time to create multiple venues to hear from role models across the Federal government, sharing their experiences, and encouraging others to take action and risks.

EWG 2021 Programs and Accomplishments

Our major programs and accomplishments over the past year consist of a wide variety of virtual events, enabled by a talented board of directors, member volunteers, our sponsors, and our partners, including the Senior Executive Association, the African American Federal Executive Association, the American University Key Executive Leadership Programs, and the Office of Personnel Management. Below are the highlights of these events and accomplishments this year:

EWG Speaker Series

The Honorable Commissioner Rebecca F. Dye spoke on Resilience and Leading Through Change: Innovation in Times of Stress on December 10, 2020

EWG Annual Holiday Tea, January 14, 2021

SES to CEO: Tips for Business Startups, February 9, 2021

It Starts with Us: Forging the Future of Federal Leadership, February 23, 2021

Key Executive Women in Leadership Forum: Future of Excellence in Leadership & Public Service Session #1 – Women Leadership: A Panel  Discussion with Executive Women in Government,  March 10, 2021

White House Leadership Development Program, March 30, 2021

The Inaugural Spring 2021 Federal Women’s Leadership Passport Seminar Series

  • Great Expectations: What Goes on in the Life of a Senior Leader, April 14, 2021
  • Barriers to Female Leadership: How to Overcome Them and Thrive, May 12, 2021

EWG Communications

Published several EWG Leadership Spotlights of federal women leaders who shared important lessons learned, and encouraged others to pursue their aspirations for senior leadership roles, and highlighted a veteran for a special Veteran’s Day edition.

Historic Preservation of EWG records

Preserved 15 years of EWG historical records which included 343 unique documents totaling thousands of pages, ranging from 1983 to 2002.  One interesting find:  Our archives have an invitation to an EWG event hosting the first American woman in space, Dr. Sally Ride, and the fellow astronauts of Challenger STS-7.

EWG Strategic Organizational Management Enhancements

From May 24th to June 4th, we invited you to contribute your experience and knowledge, and share your ideas and suggestions for EWG’s focus for the next year, three years, and five years. We will provide you a summary of the results by July 11th.  We have also had members volunteer for as Committee members.

The Board of Directors have focused on building the strength and health of the EWG infrastructure by expanding the knowledge-based system of policies, procedures, and creating the EWG Onboarding Guide to introduce new board members to EWG operations.

EWG Mentoring Program

The EWG Mentoring Program, co-hosted by Carla Gammon and Debbie Lehrke, with support from Kathy Drahosz and her team at The Mentoring Connection, is recognized by OPM as official training.  There are 21 mentors and 19 protégés in this year’s EWG Mentoring Program.  The mentoring events occur approximately every four weeks from December 2, 2020 to June 30, 2021.  The graduation event will occur on June 30 with an inspirational speaker to celebrate the hard work, dedication, and success of the protégés and thank all those involved in the program.

EWG Financial Stewardship

My deepest appreciation to Anna Calcagno, Emily Anderson, Stephanie Brinley, and Ellen McClain for their unique and vital contribution for their financial stewardship of EWG. This has been a unique year, and financially like no other. This elite “financial committee” has overcome incredible challenges that will provide the incoming Officers a strong foundation from which to build.

And very importantly, I want to thank our sponsors who provide a valuable service to you. Our sponsors are committed to keeping you informed about their services and our events. Our sponsors provide critical support to EWG, as we are a nonprofit organization. Without the contributions of key sponsors, the EWG risks being unable to raise the money needed to achieve our mission: prepare, promote, support and mentor women for senior leadership positions in the Federal Government, and to build a powerful network to share experiences, to enhance professional relationships, and to increase understanding among women executives in the Federal Government.

Thank you EWG Board members. Thank you , partners. Thank you, EWG membership. Thank you, EWG sponsors!

It has been my honor and pleasure to have served as your 2021 EWG President.

Best wishes to the 2021-2022 EWG Officers.

Katherine Coffman
EWG Immediate Past President

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