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Status of WNY women, girls to be focus of researchers’ presentation at AU
2/23/11

On Wednesday, March 2 Alfred University’s Women’s Leadership Center continues its Women of Influence series hosting a presentation by Brigid Doherty and Dr. Kathryn Foster focusing on the status of women and girls in Western New York.

Doherty and Foster will talk about their findings included in “Pathways to Progress, ” a regional assessment on the status of WNY women and girls supported by the WNY Women’s Fund and the University of Buffalo (UB).

Their findings show how women are underrepresented in managerial positions, are outnumbered 3:1 among top executives in the region, and how 66 percent of all families in poverty are headed by women. According to their research, Western New York is a hostile environment for girls and women, but they are optimistic the status can change.

Doherty joined the WNY Women’s Fund as executive director in fall 2007, bringing a background in strategy, finance, and education. Her goal is to bring together best practices from the for-profit world with those of the non-profit sector. She has worked in strategy consulting at Bain & Co. in Boston advising Fortune 500 CEOs and private equity firms, and she was an analyst in mergers and acquisitions at Goldman Sachs in New York City.

Doherty first became interested in issues affecting women and girls while attending an all-female high school, Nardin Academy in Buffalo, and has remained involved and passionate about these issues throughout her career. She currently serves on boards at Nardin Academy and The Burchfield Penney Art Center.

She earned an MBA from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Boston College.

Foster is director of the University at Buffalo Regional Institute, a university-based research and policy center. Prior to assuming the directorship in 2005, she was chairman of the UB Department of Urban and Regional Planning, director of research at the Regional Institute, and a visiting fellow at the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at Harvard University.

An expert in regions and governance, she is the author of “The Political Economy of Special-Purpose Government” (Georgetown University Press, 1997), “Regionalism on Purpose” (Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2001), and numerous book chapters, policy reports, and articles.

As a member of the NYS Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness and the World Academy of Art and Science, Foster was selected by Business First (Buffalo) as the 2007 Woman of Influence in Public Policy.

She earned a bachelor of arts degree in geography from Johns Hopkins University, a M.C.P. (city planning) from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in public and international affairs from Princeton University.