The City College of New York

The series of lectures, conversations, film showings, exhibitions, and courses brings together faculty, students, and staff at CCNY and the New York City community to examine human rights through multiple lenses.


"Women and Leadership: How We Do It All," a conversation between Carme Chacón and Jessica Lappin, Moderated by Vince Boudreau, A Breakfast Event 

Monday May 5, 2014
8:30 a.m. Breakfast is served

9:00 - 10:30 a.m. Conversation

Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education of the City College of New York (downtown, near Wall Street, in front of ‘bull statue’)
25 Broadway, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Contact: 212 925 6625, ext 0

SUBWAYS: 4, 5 to Bowling Green; 1,R to Rector Street; J, Z to Broad Street 

In the past few years, conversations about women and work have made headlines, notably in books and articles by Ursula Burns, Sheryl Sandberg, Anne-Marie Slaughter, or Najat Vallaud-Belkacem. Whether it’s about “leaning in,” or “doing it all,” women are without a doubt occupying leadership positions and making personal lives work. This conversation will focus on how leadership, and the role of women in governance, work both in the United States and Europe. Are there cultural differences? How do societal norms structure how a ‘woman’ operates in the workplace? Which lessons might we learn from such a transatlantic dialogue? Carme Chacón is Spain’s first female Minister of Defense and a professor in residence at Miami Dade College. Jessica Lappin is President, Alliance for Downtown New York, former New York City legislator and Lower Manhattan business leader.


Carme Chacón Piqueras is the former Minister of Defense of Spain (April 2008-Dec.2011). She has also been Minister of Housing (July 2007-April 2008), Vice-president of the Spanish Parliament (March 2004-July 2007) and she has been a Member of Parliament since March 2000 through August 2013. She also was Vice-Mayor of the Municipality of Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain (1999-2004). She is Professor of Constitutional Law in Spain and currently she is teaching as Professor in Residence at the Miami Dade College. She obtained the Degree in Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Barcelona, and also has pursued post-degree studies at the Faculty of Law at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, at the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations in Kingston, at the Osgoode Hall Law School in Ontario, at the Université de Montreal, at Université Laval, and at The Victoria University of Manchester (Great Britain). She has worked as Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Girona (Spain) and as Professor of Public Law at The Police School of Catalonia (Spain). She has also served as Practicing Attorney at the Law Firm “Medina and Associates” in Barcelona. She has been International Observer for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania. She is married and she has a five-year-old child.


Jessica Lappin is the President of the Alliance for Downtown New York. The organization manages New York City’s largest Business Improvement District (BID) and provides service, advocacy, research and information to advance Lower Manhattan as a global model of a 21st century Central Business District for businesses, residents and visitors. Lappin joined the Downtown Alliance in February and also serves as the President of its sister organization, the Downtown Lower Manhattan Association. A lifelong New Yorker, Ms. Lappin has a distinguished record in civic life and public service. A New York City Council Member representing Manhattan’s fifth district from 2006 to 2013, she earned a reputation as a committed advocate for her constituents and a champion of common-sense, practical solutions. She played a key role in bringing the Cornell-Technion Applied Science and Engineering Campus to Roosevelt Island and worked with a wide variety of stakeholders to mitigate negative impacts stemming from construction of the 2nd Avenue subway. As Co-Chair of the City Council Women’s Caucus, she authored a nationally recognized, landmark bill to protect women’s health and reproductive rights. As the former Chair of the Council’s Land Use Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses, she made significant contributions to the protection of the city’s waterfront and helped lead the fight for a greener New York. She authored laws creating the city’s textile recycling and street corner recycling programs. She was instrumental in reclaiming waterfront areas that had been inaccessible and in making them available to the public. By securing $15.5 million in funding, she helped spur the development of four new waterfront parks. They include FDR Four Freedoms Park and Southpoint Park on Roosevelt Island, Andrew Haswell Green Park on Manhattan’s east side waterfront, and a soon-to-be-built park behind One Sutton Place. Bringing jobs to New York City has always been a top priority for Ms. Lappin. She authored a biotech tax credit that has encouraged small biotech companies to create and keep jobs in the city. The establishment of the Cornell-Technion Applied Science and Engineering Campus on Roosevelt Island, for which she was an influential proponent, is expected to generate 30,000 jobs in the next three decades. Another issue of great importance to Ms. Lappin is the quality of education in New York City. A parent of two public school students, she has strived to improve educational excellence and opportunities throughout the city; she oversaw the approval of 20,000 new class seats city wide and provided crucial support for the opening of six new schools in Manhattan. Before holding public office, Ms. Lappin was a senior advisor to Council Speaker Gifford Miller, who also represented Manhattan’s fifth district on the New York City Council. In 2013, she was a Democratic candidate for Manhattan Borough President. In 2011, the Aspen Institute, a renowned international think tank, selected her as a Rodel Fellow. The program is focused on transcending political partisanship and addressing overarching questions of leadership and effective governance. Alumni include Congresswomen Gabby Giffords and Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Ms. Lappin lives in Manhattan with her husband and two sons. She graduated from Georgetown University with high honors and Stuyvesant High School, where she was in the first class to graduate from its Lower Manhattan location


Photo: Joshua Kristal

Photo: Joshua Kristal

As of January 2013, Vincent Boudreau is the first permanent dean of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York. Previously he served as the director of the Colin Powell Center since 2002. Dr. Boudreau is a professor of political science at the City College of New York and a member of the City University of New York graduate faculty. A specialist in the politics of social movements, particularly in Southeast Asia, his latest book is Resisting Dictatorship: Repression and Protest in Southeast Asia (Cambridge University Press). He also conducts research and writes on repression, government transitions to democracy, and collective violence. Dr. Boudreau's current research, supported in part by a grant from the Fulbright program, investigates the relationship between civil society, social movements, and democratization processes in Indonesia and the Philippines. He is the academic adviser to the International Development Program at the City University of Hong Kong. At City College, Dr. Boudreau has served as the director of the M.A. Program in International Relations, the chair of the Department of Political Science, the director of the International Studies Program, and the deputy dean of the Division of Social Science. In addition to his academic work, he has undertaken projects with ActionAid Asia, Jubilee South Asia, and The Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement, and has consulted for Oxfam Asia, Action of Economic Reform (Philippines), and Freedom House. Dr. Boudreau received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1991.

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