Stem Initiatives





The Virginia  Council on Women is charged with identifying ways in which women can reach their potential and make their full contribution to society and the Commonwealth. Over the past several years, the Council has focused its efforts on engaging and empowering women across Virginia by focusing on STEM, Healthcare, and Convening. 

In 2012, the Council launched their annual STEM Essay Contest. The Council’s intention was to award a $5,000 scholarship, provided through the fundraising efforts of the Council, to a high school junior or senior planning to pursue a STEM career at an institution of higher education. Today, the contest continues and the Council has awarded more than $150,000 in scholarships to Virginia students.

In August 2013, the Council voted to establish a subcommittee to look at the issues of women’s healthcare in Virginia and develop recommendations on what our state government can do to improve access to quality healthcare. Today, the Council continues to examine policies that will best support women and their health, their wellbeing, and their families.

In 2017, the Council hosted Governor McAuliffe’s first-ever Virginia Women’s Summit—bringing together nearly 300 women in business, education, law, , hospitality, healthcare, government, and the military.

The Virginia Council on Women, under Governor Northam continues to identify new and innovative ways to engage Virginia women and help them reach their full potential.




  1. Determine the studies and research to be conducted by the Council;
  2. Collect and disseminate information regarding the status of women in the Commonwealth and the nation;
  3. Advise the Governor, General Assembly and the Governor’s Secretaries on matters pertaining to women in the Commonwealth and the nation;
  4. Establish and award scholarships pursuant to regulations and conditions prescribed by the Council;
  5. Review and comment on all budgets, appropriation requests and grant applications concerning the Council, prior to their submission to the Secretary of Health and Human Resources or the Governor; and
  6. Develop programs and projects on matters pertaining to women in the Commonwealth and the nation through public-private partnerships.


  • Chairwoman, Carol Rick Gibbons, J.D.
    (term expires June 30, 2020)
  • Vice Chairwoman, Devin Pugh Thomas, Ph.D.
  • Amy Bridge
    (term expires June 30, 2020)
  • Ikeita Cantu Hinojosa, J.D.
    (term expires June 30, 2019)
  • Margie Del Castillo
    (term expires June 30, 2021)
  • Erin Evans Bedois, J.D.
    (term expireJune 30, 2019)
  • Caryn Foster Durham
    (term expires June 30, 2020)
  • Jill Gaitens, Ed.D.
    (term expires June 30, 2021)
  • Diana Gates  
    (term expires June 30, 2021)
  • Aisha Johnson  
    (term expires June 30, 2021)
  • Susan Johnston Rowland
    (term expires June 30, 2020)
  • Noor Khalidi
    (term expires June 30, 2019)
  • Crystal Neal, J.D.  
    (term expires June 30, 2021)
  • Ashley Reynolds Marshall, MPP, J.D.  
    (term expires June 30, 2020)
  • Katy Sawyer, MPA  
    (term expires June 30, 2019)
  • Holly Seibold
    (term expires June 30, 2019)
  • Michelle Strucke  
    (term expires June 30, 2019)
  • Katie N. Tyson, M.D.  
    (term expires June 30, 2020)

Upcoming Events

August 9, 2018
Virginia Council on Women (full Council) Meeting
Patrick Henry Building, 1111 E. Broad Street,
West Reading Room,
Richmond, Virginia 23219
1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

August 9, 2018
Virginia Council on Women Healthcare Initiative Subcommittee Meeting

Patrick Henry Building, 1111 E. Broad Street,
Conference Room 1,
Richmond, Virginia 23219
11:00 p.m.-12:30 p.m.

Minutes from Past Meetings


Council Contact

Traci J. DeShazor
Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth
Liaison, Virginia Council on Women
1111 E. Main Street
Richmond, Virginia
(804) 486-2441