Lisa Witter is the chief operating officer of Fenton Communications, the largest public interest communications firm in the country. She heads the firm's practice in women's issues and global affairs for clients including Women for Women International, MoveOn.org, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, the American Medical Association, the American Lung Association and many others. She is a co-founder of the award-winning website SheSource.org, an online brain trust of women experts to help close the gender gap among commentators in the news media. She was honored as an outstanding activist and expert on women's issues by Oxygen.com for her work on a national campaign against privatizing Social Security during the 2000 presidential election. Lisa is a blogger and political commentator with her work appearing on MSNBC, Fox News, The Huffington Post, AlterNet and Anderson Cooper 360. In 2004, she was a contestant on the Showtime reality show American Candidate. Witter is co-author of The She Spot: Why Women Are the Market for Changing the World and How to Reach Them.
She is on the advisory board for Indianapolis University's Women and Philanthropy Institute, Pop!Tech, Momsrising.org, Women for Women International and Climate Counts.
Topic: How did geography shape you?
Lisa Witter: Well I grew up in a small mill town called Everett, Washington, it’s not small for Washington but compared to major cities it is. My father was born in North Dakota, he’s the oldest boy of seven and they moved out and grew up in the projects and my mother was from a middle class union family, you know, my grandmother had a paper route and my grandfather worked at the mill and my mother and father met at 19 on a blind date and have been together ever since and so I was surrounded by love and I was brought up going to church every Sunday and believing that you should give back to your community and that you should be active and it’s the desire, you know, to work for working people that really, really drives me. I saw my mom get up every day and be a full time mom and be a full time worker, she would work graveyard at night and then come home and take us to school and I saw, you know, my father turn wrenches and have his hand be disabled for the rest of his life because an engine block fell on him. I saw how hard people were working and they just wanted to have more time with their families and so that’s really driven my sense for social justice, just to sort of protect the working class.