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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 3, 1999

The President today announced his intention to appoint Ann F. Lewis, Molly Murphy MacGregor and Ruth J. Simmons to the Women's Progress Commemoration Commission.

Ms. Ann F. Lewis, of Chevy Chase, Maryland, is the Counselor to the President at the White House. Before this, she served as the White House Director of Communications. Prior to her work at the White House, Ms. Lewis was Vice President for Public Policy at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and headed two consulting companiesPolitics, Inc., and Ann F. Lewis, Inc. From 1978 to 1981 she was Chief of Staff to then-Congresswoman Barbara Mikulski of Maryland. In 1992, Ms. Lewis led a study group on "Going First: Women as Leaders in Contemporary Politics" for the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government, and in 1998 she participated in the First International Jewish Feminist Conference in Jerusalem. Ms. Lewis was Co-Chair of the recent President's Commission on the Celebration of Women in American History, and has been Chair of the Commission for Women's Equality of the American Jewish Congress and a national officer of the National Women's Political Caucus.

Ms. Molly Murphy MacGregor, of Santa Rosa, California, is Executive Director of the National Women's History Project. She co-founded the National Women's History Project in 1980 and spearheaded the movement for the National Women's History Week, which evolved into National Women's History Month in 1987. Ms. MacGregor works with leaders of national women's organizations to encourage them to celebrate their organization's history as well as to build coalitions to develop programs and events that celebrate the vast array of women's lives. She also works with curriculum and equity specialists in school districts throughout the country to train teachers, and has authored several curriculum units and co-developed video productions, all with the goal of integrating multicultural women's history into the school curriculum. Her efforts have been recognized by awards from the National Education Association, the National Association for Multicultural Education, the Center for Women's Policy Studies and the American Education Research Association. Ms. MacGregor received a BA in History and a Secondary Teaching Credential from California State University at Northridge.

Dr. Ruth J. Simmons, of Northampton, Massachusetts, is President of Smith College. Previously, she was Vice Provost at Princeton University from 1992 to 1995, Provost at Spelman College from 1990 to 1992, and earlier, again at Princeton, had held a number of positions in academic administration from 1983 to 1990. Dr. Simmons serves on numerous boards, including the Clarke School for the Deaf, JSTOR and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, and is a member of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations. She has received a number of prizes and fellowships, including the German DAAD and a Fulbright Fellowship to France. In 1996, Dr. Simmons was named a CBS Woman of the Year, an NBC Nightly News Most Inspiring Woman and a Glamour Magazine Woman of the Year. Dr. Simmons received a bachelors from Dillard University and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. She also holds honorary degrees from a number of colleges and universities, and, in 1997, was awarded the Centennial Medal from Harvard University.

The Women's Progress Commemoration Commission, a bipartisan commission established by an act of Congress and signed into law by the President, was set up in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention, the first national congregation on the conditions and rights of women in the United States. The Commission will be responsible for advising the Secretary of Interior on ensuring the historic preservation of sites that have been instrumental in American women's history, creating a living legacy for generations to come.