Leadership, Italian Style

Leadership, Italian Style


by Patricia Russo, Director, Women’s Campaign School, Yale University

What do Nancy Pelosi and Nancy DiNardo have in common? They are both leaders who happen to be Italian women! They also are both “firsts.”

Hon. Nancy Pelosi (a member of NOIAW’s distinguished Board) became the first female speaker of the house in the United States Congress, while Nancy DiNardo of Connecticut (whom NOIAW’s Connecticut Region honored at our annual Epiphany celebration in 2012) became the first woman in history to be elected Chair of the Democratic Party of Connecticut, a position she held for ten years.

Connecticut’s own Hon. Rosa DeLauro, another member of NOIAW’s distinguished Board, also holds many “firsts”! Congresswoman from Connecticut’s third congressional district, she is the most senior woman serving in Congress, second only to former Speaker Pelosi. In 1975 DeLauro became the first woman to hold the top administrative post in New Haven City Hall when she served as Executive Assistant to New Haven Mayor Frank Logue. Then, in 1979, DeLauro became the first woman in Connecticut to ever run a statewide political campaign, when she worked with Christopher Dodd for his Senate race. Following her terrific success, she joined him as Chief of Staff for seven years.

As Italian American women, we share a  deep and long history of being leaders of our own lives and of our families. Italian women know how to take care of people. It’s in our blood. Extending these skills into the professional world has created an impressive group of Italian women leaders in our country who lead uniquely…by embracing their Italian heritage, and using it for the greater good.

That’s what I like to call, Leadership, Italian style!

If you want to learn more about the Italian American women leaders we admire in Connecticut, join us next Tuesday, April 7 in Stamford for dinner and networking at Quattro Pazzi. Patricia Russo will speak about Italian American Women Who Rock Our World, some of whom you’ll get to meet in person! Spaces are limited and advance registration is required so click here to register now!

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