More than 200 women leaders from across the country convened in Anchorage from June 3 through June 5 at the 2010 National Women's Leadership Summit (NWLS) to discuss energy and environmental policy issues. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) served as Honorary Co-Chairs while Lisa Ling, host of National Geographic's Explorer and special correspondent for CNN, gave the keynote address.
"I applaud the National Women's Leadership Summit participants for their thoughtful, balanced exchange of ideas about how to solve our nation's serious energy challenges," said Cantwell. "Diversifying our nation's energy sources will make us less dependent on foreign imports, provide more affordable electricity to remote rural communities, and ensure America can profit from the largest economic opportunity of the 21st century. Putting a price on carbon that is simple, predictable, and protects family incomes is key to achieving these goals. I am inspired by the energy, enthusiasm, and experience women leaders are able to bring to bare to find the common-sense, family-friendly solutions that America needs right now."
"It is an honor to host, in my home state of Alaska, such a high caliber group of women who are leading the way in the energy and environmental fields," said Murkowski . "This forum is a unique opportunity for us to address the serious challenges confronting our nation and develop sound, sustainable policies that also safeguard our security and strengthen the economy. I can think of no better place to hold the summit than our nation's last frontier, a place critical to America's path forward on energy and the environment."
The Louisiana Center for Women and Government at Nicholls State University established the NWLS in 2009 to strengthen women's visibility and credibility as leaders and broaden their influence in public policy.
Summit panels explored a variety of timely topics including the hurdles faced by the energy industry in going green and how to better educate the public about those challenges. Additional discussions focused on the costs of implementing environmentally-friendly practices for consumers, local and state governments and businesses and the pros and cons of nuclear energy. Breakout sessions focused on the future of traditional energy sources and what role innovation and entrepreneurship will play in the years to come.
"It is important to maintain a sense of social responsibility both at work and at home, and it is crucial to highlight the leading role women are playing in the energy and environment debate," said Ling. "The National Women's Leadership Summit, by engaging a diverse set of speakers and keeping open hearts and open minds to the variety of solutions to our energy challenges ensures women's voices not only remain, but lead the national discussion."
"The discussions at the Anchorage Summit about balancing our energy needs while protecting the environment truly have been outstanding," said Dr. Laura Badeaux, Executive Director of the Louisiana Center for Women and Government. "The Summit produced a thoughtful and productive exchange of ideas between the panelists, speakers and attendees. By bringing a range of perspectives to the dialogue, we hope this Summit has provided participants with valuable insight about how to formulate strategies and move policy agendas forward at home."
For a complete list of panelists and speakers who participated in the Anchorage Summit, please visit www.nationalwomensleadershipsummit.com.