WASHINGTON D.C., August 13, 2019 - The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission today announced the election of Susan Combs as Chairwoman and Colleen Shogan as Vice Chairwoman of the federal organization charged with commemorating the centennial anniversary of women’s voting rights. Combs succeeds Kay Coles James, President of the Heritage Foundation and Colleen Shogan follows former Senator Barbara Mikulski. James and Mikulksi nominated their replacements and will remain members of the commission.
“The amazing accomplishments of this outstanding commission are proof that people with diverse points of view can work together for the common good,” said James. “It has been one of the highest honors of my professional career to work alongside Senator Barbara Mikulski.”
“We are tremendously proud of the work that all of us have done to get the commission off to a great start with the milestones we have celebrated and we continue to be committed and believe in the mission of the commission,” James added.
Sen. Mikulski (Ret.) echoed the sentiments, saying, “After kicking off our commemorative efforts on Capitol Hill and at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, the Library of Congress, and the National Archives, Kay and I are excited to hand over leadership of the Commission to two exceptional women, Susan Combs of Interior and Colleen Shogan of the Library of Congress. Both women are ideally positioned for the next phase of the Commission’s work, which will focus on commemorations across this great nation mirroring the race to ratification 100 years ago. I have been honored to serve as Vice Chairwoman of this bi-partisan Commission and look forward to continue serving alongside my fellow Commissioners as we commemorate Women’s Suffrage in America.”
Susan Combs and Colleen Shogan bring a wealth of knowledge from their respective fields to the commission leadership ranks. Combs serves as the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget for the U. S. Department of the Interior. Shogan serves as Assistant Deputy Librarian for Collections and Services at the Library of Congress.
“Kay Coles James has been a tremendous leader, and I am thankful to my fellow commissioners for choosing me to succeed her,” Combs said. “The accomplishments of the suffragists we honor with our work, and the legacy of the 19th Amendment must echo in the halls and households of America this year and every year. We take our responsibility very seriously to ensure a suitable commemoration for this historic moment.”
Shogan added, “I’m deeply honored and humbled to succeed Senator Barbara Mikulski as the Vice Chair of this commission. I look forward to sharing the inspirational, diverse stories of the women’s suffrage movement with the American public as we enter the centennial year of the 19th Amendment’s enactment.”
Created in 2017 through the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission Act, the commission will continue to lead the nationwide efforts to educate Americans and commemorate the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote. The commission includes 14 dynamic leaders spanning a diverse professional and ideological landscape.
Chairwoman Susan Combs - Susan Combs is the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget, U.S. Department of the Interior where she works on policy development, management reforms to align efforts among the bureaus and stewardship of Interior’s fiscal resources. Combs previously served in two Texas statewide offices as the state’s first female Agriculture Commission and then as the Texas comptroller of public accounts/treasurer and chief financial officer. Combs is also a small business owner and operates a ranch in Texas.
Vice Chairwoman Colleen Shogan - Colleen Shogan is the Assistant Deputy Librarian for Collections and Services Library of Congress and an adjunct professor of government at Georgetown University. Shogan previously served as the deputy director at the Congressional Research Service and as a policy staffer in the U.S. Senate. A political scientist by training, Shogan has published numerous research articles, essays and four books. She has taught American politics at numerous universities.
Jovita Carranza - Treasurer, United States of America
Kay Coles James - President The Heritage Foundation
Marjorie Dannenfelser - President, Susan B. Anthony List
Heather Higgins - CEO, Independent Women's Voice
Karen Hill - President and CEO, Harriet Tubman Home
Julissa Marenco - Assistant Secretary for Communications and External Affairs, Smithsonian
Barbara Mikulski - Former Senator
Nicola Miner - Philanthropist and Professor, College of San Mateo
Cleta Mitchell - Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP
Penny Nance - President, Concerned Women for America
Jennifer Siebel Newsom - Documentary Filmmaker and First Partner of California
Debra Steidel Wall - Deputy Archivist, The National Archives
For more information about the commission, its mission and those serving on the commission, visit womensvote100.org