March 3, 2012: The third annual Joanne H. Alter Women in Government Lecture features Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, the first female Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. A member of the House since 1987, she is a Democrat representing California’s Eighth Congressional District, which comprises most of the city and county of San Francisco. The highest-ranking female politician in US history, Pelosi reflects on the challenges and rewards women face in American politics. Cornelia Grumman interviews Leader Pelosi and moderates questions at the program's conclusion.
In the highlight below, Leader Pelosi speaks about the importance of the humanities, quoting poet Percy Bysshe Shelly and the Book of Solomon. She concludes that both imagination and humility are important for the soul of the nation.
This annual lecture honors the late Joanne H. Alter’s pioneering work on behalf of women interested in social action and public service.