5 March 2024 • Alums Celebrating International Women’s Day By Andrew Wickenden '09

HWS welcomed independent political strategist Lisa D. T. Rice and recent graduates to discuss women’s leadership in domestic politics and international peace and conflict.

Political strategist and Vice Chair of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship Lisa D. T. Rice kicked off a full day of the HWS International Women’s Day celebration on Friday, March 8.

Rice, who also serves on the board of directors at Unite America, delivered the day’s opening talk during a PLEN Breakfast in the Adams Intercultural Center. The breakfast was open to the entire HWS community.

"We are delighted to have a wonderful collaboration of colleagues joining together to host a special celebration of International Women's Day at Hobart and William Smith this year," said William Smith Dean Lisa Kaenzig prior to the talk.

In the afternoon, Professor of International Relations Stacey Philbrick Yadav moderated a panel discussion, “All Hands on Deck: Women and Peacebuilding Outside Government,” highlighting the ways in which private-sector, non-government, and activist strategies also build pressure for peace and provide resources that support conflict mitigation in transformative ways.

International Women's Day Panel

The event featured a panel discussion and Q&A with Colleen Moore ’16, director of Peace with Justice at the General Board of Church and Society; Carling Landeche ’21, a grants compliance and finance specialist at Vital Voices Global Partnership; and Katherine Mahoney ’24.

The panel began at 2:30 p.m., also in the Adams Intercultural Center, followed by a reception.

"There is such power in women joining together to share different perspectives, life experiences and professional journeys," Kaenzig said. "In this special day of events, we heard from women, including two of our own alumnae, making an important difference in our world today. I am grateful to all who joined together to make this such a special day for our community."

The International Women’s Day celebration was cosponsored by the William Smith Dean’s Office, the Adams Intercultural Center, the Department of International Relations, the Department of Gender, Sexuality and Intersectional Justice, and the Office of International Student Success, and with funding support from the Young Memorial Trust for International Peace and Understanding.

About the participants

Lisa D. T. Rice is a political strategist active in bringing productive change to U.S. politics. An independent, she advocates for a stronger American democracy rooted in active participation by a plurality of citizens and loosening the grip of the two-party duopoly. She is a board member of Unite America, a philanthropic venture fund that invests in nonpartisan election reform to foster a more representative and functional government.  A federal campaign finance expert, Rice has an extensive background in political management, advocacy and mentorship.

She is a graduate of all-women’s Newcomb College, where she is the immediate past president of the Newcomb Alumnae Association board of directors. She holds a master’s degree in management from the MIT Sloan School and a B.A. from the Newcomb College of Tulane University.

Carling Landeche ’21 serves as a grants compliance and finance specialist at Vital Voices Global Partnership, a nonprofit investing in women leaders solving the world’s greatest challenges. She previously held positions as a legislative assistant for a government firm in Washington D.C. and a grants assistant for Africa portfolio at the National Endowment for Democracy. At HWS, she majored in economics and international relations, with a minor in Latin American studies. As a student, she interned for the U.S. House of Representatives, the non-profit Education for the Children and the Chile-based consulting firm REDEG through a virtual internship. She studied abroad in Mendoza, Argentina during her sophomore year and on campus, held leadership positions at the Office of Admissions, the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, and William Smith Congress. She was also involved in PLEN, HWS Votes, America Reads, the Laurel Society and Hai Timiai.

Colleen Moore ’16 is the director of Peace With Justice at the General Board of Church and Society, a general agency of the United Methodist Church. In her position, she is responsible for developing and managing the agency’s legislative and policy advocacy in support of peacebuilding, conflict resolution, nonproliferation and disarmament. She previously held roles at Women Cross DMZ, Global Zero, and Beyond the Bomb. She graduated from William Smith in 2016 with B.A. degrees in international relations and political science, and went on to receive her M.A. in international relations from American University’s School of International Service.

Katherine Mahoney ’24 is a double-major in international relations and Gender, Sexuality and Intersectional Justice. She serves as a Teaching Fellow for the Department of International Relations and has held three internships focused on international public health, nongovernmental organizations in the global south, and voting rights in the U.S. 

In the photo above, PLEN leaders Kimberly Saavedra-Mendez ’25, Zoe Aracena ’25 and Genesis Rosario ’24 join Vice Chair of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship Lisa D. T. Rice and William Smith Dean Lisa Kaenzig.