The Seleni Institute, dedicated to providing the care, information, and research funding critical to supporting mothers and families, hosted a congressional luncheon in honour of the recipients of the Winnifred Mason Huck Leadership Award, Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell and Congresswoman Ileana RosLehtinen, chair of the House Middle East Subcommittee.
he Huck Leadership Award celebrates Winnifred Mason Huck, the first person in American history elected to the U.S. House of Representatives who managed the rigours of the political world while also bearing the tremendous responsibility of motherhood.
“Women in public service embody Seleni’s belief that when women are supported, they are able to best care for themselves, their children and their families,” said Nitzia Logothetis, founder and executive chairwoman of the Seleni Institute. “Through their exemplary service to our country, both of these awardees provide a model for parenthood and service to women leaders who are preparing to support the nation’s next generation.”
This year’s Huck Leadership Award was presented at a festive luncheon in the historic Cannon Caucus room on Capitol Hill. It was attended by numerous senior administration officials (current and former), senators, members of the House of Representatives, and those in the private sector who are leading efforts to support women’s maternal health.
“With this luncheon, the Seleni Institute continues its commitment to excellence, and its recognition of the strength of working mothers,” said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. “I am proud this year’s Winnifred Mason Huck Awards honour the extraordinary leadership of two mothers in the political world, Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. With the engagement of mothers in leadership throughout our democracy, we must continue to insist on greater respect for the needs of working mothers — in government, in business and across our society.
” Sylvia Mathews Burwell became the 22nd secretary of Health and Human Services on June 9, 2014. Previously, she served as the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (from 2013 to 2014); president of the Walmart Foundation (from 2012 to 2013); and at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as president of the Global Development Programme, first chief operating officer, and executive director (from 2001 through 2012). During the Clinton Administration, Burwell served as deputy director of OMB, deputy chief of staff to the President, chief of staff to the Secretary of the Treasury and staff director of the National Economic Council.
“It’s an honour to receive this award, and I want to recognize Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen and the many women and mothers in this Congress and across the administration who balance work and families every day,” said Burwell. “Becoming a mom has made me better at my work and delivering for the people I serve. I am committed to supporting the next generation of women and mothers in government and executive leadership roles so they can bring their experience and perspectives to the table.”
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the U.S. Representative for Florida’s 27th congressional district, is chair of the House Middle East Subcommittee and the most senior Republican woman in the U.S. House of Representatives. She served as chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee from 2011 to 2013. She was the first Cuban American and Latina elected to the United States Congress, in 1989.
“Being a mom is a tough job, but the rewards that come with it are endless,” said Ros-Lehtinen. “I’ve been able to successfully balance that part of my life while being a public servant, thanks to the incredible support of my husband, children and late parents. I’m proud to receive the Winnifred Mason Huck Award because it is a testament that women can juggle two important goals.”
Julia Kay Goodman
Kay Media LLC