Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno to Host Conversation with "Glass-Ceiling Breakers" during the 2011 NJ Governor's Conference for Women

Session Will Feature Former NJ Governor Christine Todd Whitman and Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman


TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lori Grifa today announced that Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno will host a conversation with women who have broken through the glass ceiling to become leading executives in business, academia and government. The session will feature former New Jersey Governor and former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman and Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman. The Lt. Governor will also be the breakfast keynote speaker at the 2011 New Jersey Governor's Conference for Women, which is slated to take place Tuesday, May 3 in Atlantic City.

"This frank conversation with a group of women who have been trailblazers and glass-ceiling breakers is just another reason why this year's Governor's Conference for Women is a must-attend event for Garden State women," Commissioner Grifa said. "Women who attend this panel will hear what it takes to break through the proverbial glass ceiling to get to the top. It is a session that is sure to be fascinating and motivating."

The session, "Glass-Ceiling Breakers: Women in the New Millennium," will address how women can navigate their paths to executive positions while facing adverse circumstances that often are more complicated and uncertain than those of male counterparts. Each panelist will share their experience of how they reached the executive level, the unique challenges they face, and how they approach leadership. This panel is one of 15 educational sessions the conference will offer on May 3.

As she did last year, Lieutenant Governor Guadagno will also kick-off the conference by providing the breakfast keynote address.

"Throughout her life and work, Lt. Governor Guadagno has faced challenges head on to accomplish great things," Commissioner Grifa said. "She exemplifies the success that can come as a result of determination, commitment and hard work. An excellent role model, we look forward to the insight and inspiration she will provide conference attendees."

"As New Jersey's first Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, mother and wife, I understand the competing responsibilities that today's women face. The pressure can be intense for women in leadership and executive positions or for those who aspire to such roles," Lt. Governor Guadagno said. "The purpose of the conference in general and the "Glass-Ceiling Breakers" conversation in particular is to show women that it can be done."  

The theme of this year's conference is "Read All About It." Features include:

  • A networking reception on Monday, May 2, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Crown Ballroom of the Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel;

  • Diverse educational panels that cover such areas as career development, personal finance, healthy living, business startups, and leadership;

  • A health fair offering giveaways and free health services such as blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, exercise demonstrations, nutritional guidance and skin care assessments; and

  • Dozens of exhibit tables offering products and services.

The Governor's Conference for Women is hosted by the DCA's Division on Women and the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, a DCA affiliate, and is funded entirely through participant registrations and sponsorships.

Learn more about the Conference at


"Glass-Ceiling Breakers: Women in the New Millennium" Panelists Include:

Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno was elected New Jersey's first Lieutenant Governor in November 2009. As Governor Chris Christie's running mate, she was sworn into office on January 19, 2010. As Lt. Governor, she has led the Christie Administration's efforts to improve New Jersey's economic vitality, to streamline government, and to make business feel welcome again in New Jersey. The Lt. Governor chairs the Red Tape Review Commission and operates the Business Action Center, which is a one-stop shop for business retention, attraction and expansion. She concurrently serves as New Jersey's 33rd Secretary of State. As Secretary of State, Guadagno is the State's chief election official, oversees promotion of New Jersey's $38 billion tourism industry, and administers programs related to the arts, culture and history. She began her career in public service as a federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, New York, and then became an Assistant United States Attorney in Newark, where she received professional acclaim for her prosecutions of corrupt public officials. In 2007, she was elected the 75th Sheriff of Monmouth County, the first woman to hold the position in that county's history. She is married with three kids.

Governor Christine Todd Whitman served as the first female governor of New Jersey from 1994 until 2001 and served in President George W. Bush's cabinet as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from January of 2001 until June of 2003. Prior to becoming Governor, she was the President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and served on the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller It's My Party Too, which was published in January of 2005. Governor Whitman serves on the Board of Directors of S.C. Johnson and Son, Inc., Texas Instruments Inc., and United Technologies Corporation. She is currently President of The Whitman Strategy Group, a consulting firm that specializes in energy and environmental issues.

President Shirley M. Tilghman was elected Princeton University's 19th president on May 5, 2001. An exceptional teacher, world-renowned scholar and leader in the field of molecular biology, she served on the Princeton faculty for 15 years before being named president. During postdoctoral studies at the National Institutes of Health, she made a number of groundbreaking discoveries while participating in cloning the first mammalian gene, and then continued to make scientific breakthroughs as an independent investigator at the Institute for Cancer Research in Philadelphia and an adjunct associate professor of human genetics and biochemistry and biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania. President Tilghman is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the Royal Society of London. She serves as a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, and as a director of Google Inc. She is known for her national leadership on behalf of women in science.