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University of Nebraska–Lincoln


Women Lead

Leading Through Change

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Women Lead 2022

Women Lead: Leading Through Change

This conference, a partnership between the College of Business and College of Law at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, features women in law, business, government and philanthropy. Women judges, mayors, CEOs, entrepreneurs, professors and more from across the country will share insights about advancing their professions.


Friday, March 4, 2022
Nebraska Innovation Campus, 2021 Transformation Drive, Lincoln, NE
Registration is full. Please contact Laura at to be added to the wait list.


Opening Keynote
connie Collingsworth
Connie Collingsworth
Chief Operating Officer | Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Connie Collingsworth is chief operating officer for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Her responsibilities include leading a significant portion of the foundation’s operational needs, including information technology, human resources, legal, global security, grants and contracts services, and overall business design. In this role, she oversees much of the foundation’s daily operations, providing guidance and leading strategic planning for each division to drive operational efficiency and effectiveness in support of the foundation’s missions. She is also the foundation’s chief legal officer.

Prior to joining the foundation in 2002, she was a partner and member of the executive committee of Preston Gates & Ellis (now known as K&L Gates), where her practice focused on corporate securities law and private equity investments.

Collingsworth has extensive nonprofit governance experience including serving as co-chair of the board of Women’s World Banking, board chair of Social Venture Partners, and board chair of the French American School of Puget Sound, of which she was also a founder. She serves on the board of directors of Premera Blue Cross and Banner Corporation.

She earned a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in international business legal studies from the University of Exeter, England. Additionally, she earned her juris doctor from the University of Nebraska School of Law, and a bachelor’s degree in English from Andrews University.

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Closing Keynote
Ria Tabacco Mar
Ria Tabacco Mar
Director | ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project

Ria Tabacco Mar (@RiaTabaccoMar) is the Director of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project, where she oversees the ACLU’s women’s rights litigation.

Previously, she was a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & HIV Project, where she fought gender stereotypes, sex segregation, and attempts to use religion to discriminate in schools, at work, and in public places. Tabacco Mar was part of the ACLU’s litigation team representing Aimee Stephens and Don Zarda, whose cases were decided as part of the recent Supreme Court ruling recognizing that federal employment law protections apply to LGBTQ people. She also led the ACLU’s team in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the case in which a same-sex couple was refused a wedding cake because they are gay.

Tabacco Mar is a frequent commentator on gender justice issues, appearing on television programs including All In with Chris Hayes, Politics Nation with Al Sharpton, and PBS’s Firing Line with Margaret Hoover, and has authored opinion pieces for the New York Times, Washington Post, and other outlets.

She has been recognized on The Root 100 annual list of the most influential African Americans ages 25 to 45 and as one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association.

Prior to joining the ACLU, Tabacco Mar served as assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, an associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, and as a judicial law clerk to Judge Julia Smith Gibbons of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and to Judge Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She graduated from New York University School of Law and Harvard College.

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Conference Schedule

Women Lead 2022
8 a.m. Registration and Breakfast Networking Roundtables
Sponsored by McGrath North
9 a.m. Welcome
Dean Kathy Farrell, College of Business
Dean Richard Moberly, College of Law

Introduction of Keynote Speaker
Molly Brummond, Assistant Dean for External Relations and Strategic Initiatives, College of Law
9:15 a.m. Opening Keynote: Leading Through Change
Connie Collingsworth, Chief Operating Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Keynote Support from Cline Williams
10 a.m. My Leadership Moment
Amy Ostermeyer, Executive Vice President of Development, Monolith Materials
10:15 a.m. Break
Beverage Stations Sponsors by Baylor Evnen
10:30 a.m. Breakout Sessions
  • Create Energy and Leverage Feminine Strengths: Tools to Help Your Best Self – Karla Corona, Health and Behavior Coach Specialist, Creator of The Corona Method
  • Harness the Power of Emotions When Leading Others - Dr. Amy Bartels, Assistant Professor of Management, College of Business
  • Leadership Lessons Taught Through Code – Aakriti Agrawal, Data Governance/Advocacy Analyst, Ameritas
  • Why Women Lawyers Thrive in Nebraska - Molly Brummond, Assistant Dean for External Relations and Strategic Initiatives, College of Law, and Dr. Ashley Votruba, Assistant Professor of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
11:30 a.m. Break
11:45 a.m. Fireside Chat
Hon. Christine Gregoire, CEO, Challenge Seattle, and Former Governor of Washington
DeLee Shoemaker, GM, US State & Government Affairs

Moderated by Deb Gilg, Former U.S. Attorney for the District of Nebraska
12:30 p.m. Lunch and Networking
Sponsored by Husch Blackwell
1:15 p.m. My Leadership Moment
Dr. Helen Fagan, Assistant Professor of Practice in Agricultural Leadership, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources
1:30 p.m. My Leadership Moment
Teresa Ewins, Police Chief, City of Lincoln
1:45 p.m. Break
2 p.m. Breakouts Sessions
  • A is for Ally: ABCs of Allyship from a General Counsel Perspective – Dana Washington, General Counsel, Boystown
  • Avoiding BurnoutDr. Lindsay Thomsen, Assistant Professor or Practice in Management and Director of Business Development, College of Business; Co-Owner & Managing Partner of Franchise Peer Performance Groups
  • Embracing Workplace Diversity and Inclusion: Empowerment and Success for Women Dr. Gwendolyn Combs, Associate Professor of Management, College of Business
  • Reflective Practice: Leading from the Inside Out - Jamie Bahm, project manager, Center on Children, Families and the Law, and Michelle Paxton, Director, Children's Justice Clinic
3 p.m. Break
3:15 p.m. My Leadership Moment
Jennifer Bear Eagle, Senior Associate Attorney, Big Fire Law & Policy Group LLP
3:30 p.m. Closing Keynote
Ria Tabacco Mar, Director, ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project
Keynote Support from ACLU of Nebraska
4:30 p.m. Closing Remarks
4:45 p.m. Networking Reception
Sponsored by Nebraska Governance and Technology Center

Marketplace Vendors

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Baird Holm
Baylor Evnen
Cline Williams
Husch Blackwell
McGrath North
Nebraska Governance and Technology Center

Conference Location

Innovation Campus
Innovation Campus

2021 Transformation Drive
Lincoln, NE 68508

Parking Information


Sheri Irwin-Gish
Sheri Irwin-Gish
College of Business
Molly Brummond
Molly Brummond
College of Law