A Conversation with
Partner, Buckley Sandler
Leader, Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund
Chief of Staff, Office of First Lady Michelle Obama
Harvard College '78
Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center
Victoria A. Budson (Moderator)
Founder & Executive Director, Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP), Harvard Kennedy School
Chairperson, Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (2011-2016)
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Tina Tchen, a partner with Buckley Sandler, draws on more than 30 years of experience at the highest levels of private practice and government service. She provides corporations, boards, and individuals with unique litigation, counseling, and crisis management skills.
Previously, she served as an Assistant to President Obama, Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, and Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama.
Ms. Tchen is a leader of Buckley Sandler’s Workplace Cultural Compliance Practice, counseling companies on issues related to gender inequity, sexual harassment, and lack of diversity in the workplace. She has been instrumental in spearheading the Time’s Up movement’s Legal Defense Fund, which provides legal support to women and men who have experienced workplace sexual harassment.
Mona Charen, a syndicated columnist and author, is a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
She is a graduate of Columbia University and the George Washington University law school.
Ms. Charen began her career at National Review magazine where she served as editorial assistant.
Ms. Charen served as Nancy Reagan’s speechwriter and later as Associate Director of the Office of Public Liaison. Later in her White House career, she worked in the Public Affairs office helping to craft President Reagan’s communications strategy.
In 1986, Ms. Charen joined the presidential campaign of then-Congressman Jack Kemp.
Ms. Charen launched her syndicated column in 1987. It is featured in more than 150 newspapers and websites. She spent 6 years as a regular commentator on CNN’s Capital Gang and Capital Gang Sunday, and has served as a judge of the Pulitzer Prizes. She is the author of two bestsellers: Useful Idiots (2003); and Do-Gooders (2005). Her newest book, Sex Matters, will be published in June, 2018.
In 2010, she received the Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism.
Ms. Charen is the co-host, with Jay Nordlinger, of the weekly podcast Need to Know, and is a frequent guest on television and radio public affairs programs.
Victoria A. Budson is a founder and the Executive Director of the Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. WAPPP is the preeminent institution for advancing interdisciplinary research on approaches to closing gender gaps, educating students and leaders on gender policy, and implementing policy changes at local, state, and national levels. WAPPP created and hosts one of the field’s most significant research seminars to foster faculty dialogue, promote the exchange of innovative ideas, and disseminate findings.
Budson’s policy advice is regularly drawn upon by leaders across the sectors including: the White House Council on Women and Girls, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Army and Air Force, as well as multinational corporations leading on diversity and inclusion. She served as the Chairperson of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women from 2011-2016 and has served as a board member or advisor to numerous other organizations including the Eisenhower Fellowships, the Boston Mayoral Women’s Workforce Council, the Global Thinkers Forum, Womensphere, Women2Women, the Women and Public Service Project, and the National Council for Research on Women.
She speaks regularly on topics related to closing gender gaps such as gender and public policy, electoral politics and political action. Budson also addresses how diversity and gender equality improve the profitability of corporations and the prosperity of families and society. She focuses on evidence-based methods that are proven to improve diversity and gender equality in the workplace.
Budson is a frequent commentator for news publications, television, and radio programs including CNN, Fox News, The New York Times, C-Span, CNBC, The Boston Globe, New York Times Magazine, US News & World Report, USA Today, and National Public Radio.
She has received numerous awards and honors. She was recognized by CNN as one of Ten Visionary Women from across the globe (2014) and by Boston Magazine, as a member of the “The new Power Class; the visionaries, idealists and thinkers whose insights are transforming the way we live, work, learn and play” (2014).
Budson earned a B.A. from Wellesley College and a master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where she was a recipient of the Lucius N. Littauer Fellow award for academic distinction and leadership.