Pennsylvania Center for Women & Politics Hosts NEW Leadership Summer Institute 2019

The Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics (PCWP) at Chatham University will hold its annual National Education for Women’s (NEW) Leadership™ Pennsylvania program, a weeklong (June 2-June 7) intensive institute for women college students focused on the role of women in politics and policy making in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. NEW Leadership 2019 will bring 49 students from 25 different colleges and universities across Pennsylvania to the Chatham University campus.

The program cultivates the next generation of young women leaders, and is modeled after a program established by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. The program features such topics as leadership in a diverse society, current and historical approaches to women’s participation in politics, networking with Pennsylvania women leaders, and the development of action skills in advocacy and leadership.

This year’s program is supported in part by a grant from the EQT Foundation, which identifies and supports the efforts of the region to produce an abundant and well-trained workforce, create a diverse and economically viable business climate, and maintain an environmentally safe and stable infrastructure.

“The EQT Foundation is proud to provide continuing support for Chatham’s NEW Leadership Pennsylvania Program,” said Ellen Rossi, EQT Foundation Manager. “Supporting diverse education initiatives in our community is a priority for EQT Corporation and the EQT Foundation.  It is our hope that the young women participating in this program will work to create change and continued economic success by being involved in the political process.”

NEW Leadership 2019 features two Chatham University alumnae as the Practitioners-in-Residence: former State Representative Becky Corbin and the Western PA Director of PennEnvironment, Ashleigh Deemer.

Becky Corbin served three terms in the Pennsylvania General Assembly (2013-2018) representing Chester County’s 155th Legislative District. During her tenure, Corbin served on the following House committees:  Judiciary, Environmental Resources and Energy, Health, Liquor Control, Gaming Oversight, and Urban Affairs.  She was also co-chair of the Nuclear Energy Caucus and the Pennsylvania House Life Sciences Caucus.

Ashleigh Deemer oversees local, statewide and national campaigns to protect clean air and clean water in Pittsburgh and other regions west of the Susquehanna River. She brings 13 years of experience in community organizing and government to her work to win policy change and hold decision-makers, agencies and polluters accountable. Prior to joining PennEnvironment in 2018, Ashleigh served as a chief of staff in Pittsburgh City Council, and organized clean air campaigns for Clean Water Action and the Clean Air Task Force.

The students celebrated women’s leadership with Keynote Addresses by Kathy Boockvar, Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of State and Valerie McDonald Roberts, former Chief Urban Affairs Officer within the Office of Mayor Peduto.

About the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics at Chatham University
The Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics (PCWP) at Chatham University is a non–partisan center devoted to fostering women’s public leadership through education, empowerment, and action. The first to focus on women’s political involvement in Pennsylvania, the PCWP integrates disciplinary knowledge, civic education, and coalition building while examining the intersection of women and public policy. The Center conducts candidate and advocacy trainings, offers educational programs in applied politics, and provides timely analysis on women’s issues. The Center is also home to the University’s membership in Project Pericles – a select group of liberal arts colleges and universities that have made institutional commitments to promoting participatory citizenship and social responsibility.

The Pennsylvania Center for Women, Politics, and Public Policy was established in 1998 through the generosity of the Hillman Foundation, Inc. and the Maurice Falk Medical Foundation. It was then re-launched and endowed in 2003, by the Hillman Foundation. More information is available at

Chatham University