Women and Social Change
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.
Question: What was the most fun you’ve had working with an initiative?
Lisa Witter: I think the most fun I’ve had working on a social change initiative was it was around Christmas several years ago, in fact 2001 after September 11th and I was working for the American Medical Association, their Public Health Division and the networks had a ban against hard liquor ads and the reason was to protect children and at the sort of the last minute they sent out a press release saying they were gonna go back-- NBC was gonna go back on a voluntary ban and we knew we had to do something. So in the middle of the night we thought okay we better put out a full page ad in the New York Times and say “Look, warning parents, watching NBC maybe hazardous to your children’s health” and like within 72 hours, NBC reversed their decision so and it was the largest advertising deal in the history of television. So in terms of like having fun and having impact, that was probably it.
Question: What was the impact of Hillary Clinton's candidacy?
Lisa Witter: Well Hilary Clinton’s presidency has forever changed the way every woman sees herself, I mean any woman could get up and see herself at least from a gender perspective as being a serious contender for President. You know, several years ago I ran for President in a Showtime reality series called “American Candidate” and I made it my job to go out and shake hands with all these little girls and say “Hey look are you thinking about running for office some day or being President?” and they said “Yes” in droves and I was a fake presidential candidate, so I can’t imagine what she’s done for the future girls of this country.
Lisa Witter discusses the path-breaking Hillary Clinton.