National Women’s History Museum Welcomes New Board Members and Senior Staff

For Immediate Release

Contact: [email protected]

Washington, D.C.—Today, the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) announced five new members appointed to its board of directors: Julia Rea Bianchi, Stephanie Mineo, Lee Murphy, Mary Smith and Paula Volent. The board provides leadership for delivering on NWHM’s mission to tell the stories of women who transformed our nation in a future physical museum and through a growing state of the art online presence to provide a complete view of American history.

“We’re thrilled to welcome these extraordinary women to our board of directors,” said NWHM President and CEO Holly Hotchner. “Not only are they leaders in their fields—and bring with them a host of professional accomplishments—their unparalleled expertise and demonstrated commitment to our mission will be invaluable as we begin work on our most exciting chapter yet: building our museum in Washington, D.C.”

  • Julia Rea Bianchi, secretary, NWHM Board of Directors, is a professional marketing, special events and communications consultant and COO of Blue Chip Kids, Inc., a brand focused on promoting financial literacy awareness. Bianchi, a founding and lifetime member of the American Red Cross Tiffany Circle Society of Women Leaders—where she helped raise $110 million in support of the American Red Cross mission since inception in 2007—serves on multiple non-profit boards and has traveled extensively as a speaker promoting the power of women in philanthropy.
  • Stephanie Mineo, vice president, leasing at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, is a nationally recognized retail leasing executive with broad experience in the development, leasing, merchandising and asset management of large shopping center, mixed use, historic and urban projects. She has completed projects in nearly every sector and geographic area of the U.S. and currently manages the leasing and merchandising for the planned $1 billion redevelopment of Westfield Montgomery in Bethesda, Md. She has been instrumental in, and passionate about, historic preservation related to retail/entertainment re-development throughout her career working on iconic, historic properties in Boston, D.C., Baltimore and New York. Mineo is a senior member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and is chairing the 2020 ICSC national restaurant symposium (Food for Thought) as the first female chairperson.
  • Lee Murphy, realtor, Washington Fine Properties, has been consistently ranked in the top 25 Realtors in the greater D.C. area since 2014 by Real Trends and Zillow, as featured in The Wall Street Journal. Washingtonian magazine named her a "Best Real Estate Agent" in 2015 and 2017 and she has been named a "Top Producing Agent" by the Washingtonian since the award's inception, in 2015. Murphy’s firm, Washington Fine Properties, is widely recognized in the Washington region as one of the most successful real estate firms in the United States, with a sales volume of $2.7 billion in 2018. Murphy has conducted numerous real estate seminars and has been asked to speak on various industry panels. Prior to creating her real estate business, Murphy worked for Members of Congress in communications.
  • Mary Smith, partner, VENG Group, and president, Caroline and Ora Smith Foundation, is a national leader on health equity. She has served at the highest levels of government, both at the federal and state level, and recently was the chief executive responsible for the Indian Health Service, serving over 2.2 million persons with a budget of over $6 billion that included 26 hospitals. Earlier in her career, Smith served in the Clinton White House as associate counsel to the president and associate director of policy planning in the Domestic Policy Council. Smith is secretary and a member of the board of directors of the American Bar Association, as well as a founding member of the National Policy and Innovation Council for WellCare (NYSE: WCG). She has completed the Stanford Law School’s Directors’ College as well as Women's Director Development Program at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. She is also an NACD Board Leadership Fellow. Smith is Native American and is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation.
  • Paula Volent is chief investment officer and senior vice president at Bowdoin College, where she has been responsible for the oversight and management of the college’s endowment since 2000. She previously served as a senior associate at the Yale Investments Office and, prior to endowment management, worked as a paper conservator.  Volent serves on the Board of Advisors of the Yale School of Management; as an investment Committee Member of the Pritzker Family Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation; as a member of the Milken Institute’s Global Markets Advisory Council and of the Private Capital Research Institute’s Advisory Board; and is a Trustee of 100 Women in Finance and the Skowhegan School of Art and Painting. Volent also serves on the Advisory Board of Girls Who Invest, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the number of women in portfolio management and the asset management industry.

In addition, two new senior staff members have been hired, both of whom have extensive experience and expertise in their fields: Kymberly Wolff, executive vice president, most recently served as senior vice president, philanthropic strategy for Koch Industries, and Jennifer Herrera, vice president of external affairs, most recently served as director of communications for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).

Founded in 1996, the National Women’s History Museum is the nation’s only women's history museum and the most recognized institution dedicated to uncovering, interpreting, and celebrating women’s diverse contributions to society. A renowned leader in women’s history education, the Museum brings to life the countless untold stories of women throughout history, and serves as a space for all to inspire, experience, collaborate, and amplify women’s impact—past, present, and future. The Museum is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)3Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.