Statement on the Passing of Susan Scanlan by Susan Whiting, Chair of the National Women’s History Museum Board of Directors

For Immediate Release


With heavy hearts, we share the sad news that our dear friend, steadfast supporter, and brilliant colleague, Susan Scanlan, passed away on July 16, 2021.

Susan dedicated her personal and professional life to championing women.  As legislative director for Rep. Charles Wilson, Susan helped author legislation that admitted women to the U. S. military academies, as well as legislation that established Women's History Month in March. In 1977, she helped found the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues and its policy arm, the Women's Research & Education Institute (WREI).

Among her many other accomplishments, Susan was named by President Bill Clinton to the Advisory Committee on Employment and Training for Veterans at the Department of Labor; she received the Women's Leadership Award from the International Women's Democracy Center (2009); and, in recent years, Susan traveled to Swaziland, Kuwait, and Uzbekistan as a Visiting Scholar for the U.S. State Department, collaborating with women in and around national parliaments to encourage them to run for office, and to advocate for legislation that promotes gender equality, particularly in education.

In 2009, Susan joined our Board of Directors, working to help us ensure that women’s voices, stories, and accomplishments are not only uncovered, shared, and celebrated, but that they are accessible to educators and learners of all ages across the globe.

It was a privilege to do this important work with Susan, an honor to know her, and a gift to call her our friend.  The world is a better, kinder, and more equitable place because of her, and she will be deeply missed.