Independent Women’s Forum (“IWF”) does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations, including its 2019 Annual Awards Gala (the “Gala”). The Gala is a private event with limited capacity, and IWF reserves the right to refuse ticket sales and/or entry to the Gala, and to remove individuals from the Gala, for any reason.

© 2019 by Independent Women's Forum

WOMAN OF VALOR

Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos serves as the 11th U.S. Secretary of Education. She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on February 7, 2017 after being nominated by President Donald J. Trump.

Secretary DeVos has been involved in education policy for nearly three decades as an advocate for children and a voice for parents. She is especially passionate about reforms that help underserved children gain access to a quality education.

DeVos' interest in education was sparked at an early age by her mother, a public school teacher. It grew when she sent her own children to school and was confronted with the reality that not every child in America is granted an equal opportunity to receive a great education. DeVos saw firsthand the work leaders in her hometown were doing to increase educational opportunities for students and choices for parents, and she has been involved in the fight to provide better educational options across the nation ever since.

For 15 years, DeVos served as an in-school mentor for at-risk children in the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Public Schools. Her interactions there with students, families and teachers, according to DeVos, "changed my life and my perspective about education forever."

A leader in the movement to empower parents, DeVos has worked to support the creation of new educational choices for students in 25 states and the District of Columbia.

As secretary, DeVos will work with President Trump to advance equal opportunities for quality education for all students. DeVos firmly believes that neither the ZIP code in which a child lives nor a child's household income should be the principal determinant of his or her opportunity to receive a world-class education. As secretary, she will advocate for returning control of education to states and localities, giving parents greater power to choose the educational settings that are best for their children and ensuring that higher education puts students on the path to successful careers.

Prior to her confirmation, DeVos served as chairman of The Windquest Group, an enterprise and investment management firm. In addition to her leadership in the education arena, DeVos has also served on the boards of numerous national and local charitable and civic organizations, including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Kids Hope USA, ArtPrize, Mars Hill Bible Church and the Kendall College of Art and Design.

DeVos is a graduate of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. She has been married for 40 years to entrepreneur, philanthropist and community activist Dick DeVos, and together they have four children and eight grandchildren.

 
 

GENTLEMAN OF DISTINCTION

Lawrence A. Kudlow

Lawrence A. Kudlow serves as Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council. He leads the coordination of President Donald J. Trump’s domestic and global economic policy agenda.

 

During President Trump’s campaign, Mr. Kudlow served as a tax and economic advisor.

 

Prior to the White House, Mr. Kudlow was a CNBC Senior Contributor and host of CNBC’s primetime show “The Kudlow Report.” He also served as chief economist and senior managing director of Bear Stearns & Company.

 

During President Reagan’s first term, Mr. Kudlow was associate director for economics and planning at the Office of Management and Budget, where he was engaged in the development of the Administration’s economic and budget policy. 

 

He started his career at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

 

Mr. Kudlow has been a nationally syndicated columnist. He was a senior editor of National Review magazine, as well as a columnist and economics editor for National Review Online. He is also the author of “JFK and the Reagan Revolution: A Secret History of American Prosperity” and “American Abundance: The New Economic and Moral Prosperity.”

 

He previously served as the president of St. Patrick’s Church Parish Council in Redding, Connecticut and on the Fordham University Board of Trustees. Mr. Kudlow has won numerous awards, including the Bishop’s Humanitarian Award from the Catholic Charities of Brooklyn & Queens, the New York Police Department Holy Name Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Ambassadors for Mission Award from the Pontifical Mission Societies of the United States.

 

Mr. Kudlow was educated at the University of Rochester and Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

RESILIENCE AWARD

Kristy Swanson

Kristy has been acting for over 35 years in television, film, and theatre. A few of her many highlights are Ferris Beuller’s Day Off, Pretty in Pink, The Chase, Higher Learning, The Phantom, and so many more iconic films. Most recently, Kristy played Lisa Page in the epic on-stage reading with Dean Cain of original transcripts between Lisa Page and Peter Stroke, in the production called FBI Lovebirds.

 

Kristy spends considerable time lending her name and personality to help with Veterans, First Responders, Police, Firemen and all Military personnel in whatever way she can. This includes traveling to Afghanistan on a USO Tour with Gary Sinise, assisting in the clothing line called Nine Line, and taking part in many charity motorcycle rides to help raise funds for our fallen. 

 

Kristy has appeared on Fox News to discuss Hollywood’s treatment of the President and their condemnation of those who hold and voice different political beliefs.

 

In spite of the risk of industry censure, Kristy is an outspoken advocate for her own political beliefs, employing wit and civility, even when others in Hollywood use far less tact and humility.

 

Kristy is happily married and lives with her husband and son in California.

 

MISTRESS OF CEREMONY

Tammy Bruce

Tammy is the President of Independent Women’s Voice, IWF’s advocacy arm. Tammy is also a Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network Political Contributor, New York Times bestselling author, columnist for the Washington Times, and the host of the “Tammy Bruce Show,” a New Media radio program streaming worldwide focusing on culture and politics through an Independent Conservative prism.

 

A Democrat up until 2008 when she officially became an Independent, Tammy was a ‘community organizer’ through the 1990s as president of the Los Angeles chapter of NOW (she’s sorry), and worked on a number of Democratic campaigns. In the mid-1990s, she saw the light and embraced libertarian and conservative ideals.

 

Her first book, The New Thought Police, which focused on free speech and the rise of left-wing McCarthyism, was published in 2001. Her second book, The Death of Right and Wrong, also for Random House, addresses the rise of moral relativism in society and quickly became a New York Times best seller. Tammy’s latest work, The New American Revolution, was published by Harper Collins/Morrow and is now available in paperback.

 

Tammy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Southern California, from which she graduated cum laude, and is a PhD candidate at Claremont Graduate University.

 

A native of Los Angeles, Tammy now spends most of her time in New York for work, but it’s actually because her dog Sydney loves people, meatballs, and snow.