INDIANAPOLIS — U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks and Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson will be the featured speakers at the Hazelett Women in Leadership Forum Nov. 23 at the Indiana Statehouse.
They will address the topic of women’s leadership in government, discussing what skills women bring to government and what perspectives they offer.
The forum was created by Ambassador Randall L. Tobias, the Randall L. Tobias Foundation, the IU Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the IUPUI Office for Women.
Participants are asked to register for the forum, which is free and open to the public. It begins with a reception at 5 p.m. in the Rotunda, followed by the presentations at 6 p.m. in the North Atrium.
“This program grows out of a desire to honor and hear from individuals who are successful leaders,” said Carol Madison, executive director of the Tobias Center. “Our speakers are individuals who exemplify excellence in leadership and work to support the advancement of women in leadership roles.
“To that end, the IU Tobias Center, the IUPUI Office for Women and IUPUI Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar invite the community, corporate leaders, students and scholars to share in a learning experience focused on women leaders in all walks of life,” Madison said. “Honorees offer insights into knowledge about leadership in the modern workplace, including their reflections on the role of gender, work/life balance and effective communication.”
Brooks represents the 5th District of Indiana, which spans eight counties in Central Indiana. When elected, she became the first Republican congresswoman from Indiana since the 1950s.
Brooks served as deputy mayor of Indianapolis under Mayor Steve Goldsmith and was appointed U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana in 2001 by President George W. Bush. She has also held the position of senior vice president and general counsel for Ivy Tech Community College, with a focus on statewide workforce-development strategies.
On Dec. 31, 2011, Freeman-Wilson became the first woman to lead Gary and the first African-American female mayor in Indiana.
Previously, she was the Indiana attorney general, focusing her efforts on youth, seniors and abused patients in nursing homes. She was one of the first attorneys general in the country to combat gas price-gouging and to ensure that tobacco-settlement dollars were directed toward smoking cessation and health care. Freeman-Wilson has also served as the executive director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission.
The Hazelett Forum was established to honor the late Susie Hazelett, former executive director of the Randall L. Tobias Foundation, who was instrumental in helping to establish the IU Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence.
The Tobias Center focuses on research and programs related to the study of leadership across all sectors, including corporate, public service, education, religion, medicine and nonprofit organizations. Its focus on multiple sectors and on both the practice and theory of leadership distinguish its agenda among leadership programs nationwide.