About the Lipman Chair

The Lipman Chair was created to honor the legacy of the late state senator Wynona Lipman, the first African American woman in the New Jersey State Senate (full biography). The Chair was established in 2000 when Governor Christine Todd Whitman signed legislation that had been sponsored by the legislative leaders in both parties and passed in both houses without opposition. The Legislature has generously continued its support for the Lipman Chair.

The Chair is intended to celebrate Senator Lipman, remind people of her achievements, and encourage others to follow in the footsteps of this path-breaking African American woman leader. An advisory committee, including members of Senator Lipman's family, members of the New Jersey legislature, and former members of the Senator's staff, has worked with CAWP to make the chair a success. CAWP is grateful to the Governor, the legislature, and advisory committee members for their commitment to honoring Senator Lipman's memory and advancing women's leadership.

Consistent with the Senator’s legacy, CAWP uses the generous support provided by the state legislature to:

  • inspire a broad public audience with prominent speakers whose work reflects Senator Lipman's interests and values;
  • educate college women at CAWP’s NEW Leadership New Jersey program about how and why they should become engaged in the political process and take on leadership roles;
  • train women considering running for office or working on campaigns in New Jersey at CAWP’s Ready to Run® program and its associated diversity programs.

Lipman Chair funds are applied in ways that reflect Senator Lipman's interests: for Essex County women attending Ready to Run® and community college students in NEW Leadership.

Lipman Chairholders

Joy Ann Reid (2017)
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Nia-Malika Henderson (2016)
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Michel Martin (2015)
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Donna Edwards Congresswoman Donna Edwards (2014)
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Melody Barnes Melody C. Barnes (2013)
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Valerie Jarrett Valerie B. Jarrett (2011)
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Michele Norris Michele Norris (2008-09)
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Gwen Ifill Gwen Ifill (2007)
View her bio
Eleanor Holmes Norton Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (2006)
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Donna Brazile Donna Brazile (2005)
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Carol Moseley-Braun Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun (2004)
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Patricia Williams Professor Patricia Williams (2002-03)
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Alexis Herman Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman (2001-02)
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The Honorable Gertrude Fester (2001)
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Shirley Chisholm Former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm (2000)
View her bio