Notable University of Chicago Alumnae

Grace Abbott

Ph.M 1909
Was a social worker who advanced the causes of child welfare and immigrant and labor rights.
Headed the U.S. Children's Bureau, helped to draft the Social Security Act, and served as a professor at the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration.

Grace Abbott

Marguerite Ross Barnett

AM '66, PhD '72,
first African-American, female President of the University of Houston (1990-92)
first African-American Chancellor of the University of Missouri (1986-90)

Marguerite Ross Barnett

Barbara Bowman

AM '52
President and founder of Chicago's Erickson Institute for Advanced Study in Child Development (1966)
President of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (1980-82)

Barbara Bowman

Carol Moseley Braun

JD'72
first African American woman elected to U.S. Senate (Illinois), (1992–1998)
U.S. Ambassador, (1999–2001)

Carol Moseley Braun

Anna Chlumsky

AB'02
Actress

Anna Chlumsky

Katherine Dunham

Ph.B.'36,
dancer and choreographer

Katherine Dunham

Katharine Graham

AB'38
Chairman of the executive committee of the Washington Post
Pulitzer Prize winner for her memoir Personal History.

Katharine Graham

Helen Kotas Hirsch

AB'36
played principal French horn in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1941 - 1947, the first woman to hold that position in a major American orchestra.

Helen Kotas Hirsch

Michelle Howard-Vital

AB'74, MAT'75
President, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania
former Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of North Carolina
former associate provost and vice chancellor for public service and continuing studies at UNC Wilmington

Dr. Michelle Howard-Vital

Ann Dibble Jordan

AM'61
Director, Revlon

Ann Dibble Jordan

Karen Katen

AB'70, MBA'74
Senior advisor to Essex Woodlands Health Ventures
former Executive Vice President of Pfizer, Inc.
former President of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Group
University trustee

Karen L. Katen

Lady Patricia Lucy Kabbah Lady Patricia Lucy Kabbah

MA'63
Former first lady of Sierra Leone

Lady Patricia Lucy Kabbah

Jewel Lafontant

JD'46
First African American woman to receive a degree from the University of Chicago Law School
United Nations delegate
director of Jewel grocery chain

Jewel Lafontant

Sherry Lansing

LAB'62
Former actress and film studio executive
first female Chairman and CEO of a major film studio (Paramount Pictures)
first woman studio head to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Sherry Lansing

Deborah Mack

BA'76
Chief scientific consultant for Terranova Pictures
Project Director for Chicago Field Museum's Africa exhibition
Manager of Exhibits and Education Programs at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Deborah L. Mack

Lynn Margulis

AB'57
National Medal of Science winner, 2000

Lynn Margulis

Patsy Takemoto Mink

JD'51
First woman of color in Congress. She co-authored the Title IX Amendment of the Higher Education Act which gives women equal access to higher education.

Patsy Takemoto Mink

Kimberly Ng

AB'90
Senior Vice-President for Baseball Operations with Major League Baseball

Kimberly Ng

Sara Paretsky

AM'69, MBA'77, PhD'77
Author of V.I. Warshawski detective novels

Sara Paretsky

Kimberly Peirce

AB'90
Director of Boys Don't Cry (1999) and Stop-Loss (2008)

Kimberly Peirce

Myrtle Potter

AB'80
President, Commercial Operations of Genentech Inc.
University Trustee

Myrtle Potter

Mina S. Rees

PhD'31
First woman president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the founding president of the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York.

Mina S. Rees

Janet Rowley, M.D.

AB'44, SB'46, MD'48
National Medal of Science, 1998;
Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2009

Janet Rowley, M.D.

Susan Sontag

AB'51
Critic and author

Susan Sontag

Eileen Jackson Southern

AB'40, AM'41
A scholar of Renaissance and African American music.
First black woman appointed a tenured professor at Harvard University.

Eileen Jackson Southern

Ava Youngblood

MBA'85
President/CEO of Youngblood Executive Search, Inc.;
Strategic Planning Consultant, developed Competitive Intelligence program for Amoco Corporation (BP)

Ava Youngblood

Kateryna Yushchenko

MBA'86
First lady of Ukraine, 2005–present

Kateryna Yushchenko