2013 Women in Public Service Leadership Award

The Women in Public Service Leadership Award recognizes outstanding service and achievements of acknowledged women leaders. Because the Center is committed to activism and social change, the award is for individuals who have made a substantive difference in effecting significant change. By this we mean making the community, the state, the world a better place in the broadest sense. Social change can mean meeting a mission in an exemplary way; responding to an unmet need; starting or greatly strengthening an organization or coalition, and more. Change, of course, can come about through individual effort and leadership, or through organization, government, or systems change.

For the 2013 awards, we have recognized one winner in each of the following categories:

  • Center for Women in Government & Civil Society: Pioneers and Founders who have had direct involvement in founding and growth of the Center
  • State and Local Government: Individuals who have brought about significant change in their area
  • Civil Society: Exemplary volunteer or staff leadership in a nonprofit organization or the community
  • Higher Education: College/University undergraduate or graduate level

Congratulations to the 2013 Women in Public Service Leadership
award winners!

Read the press release

Michelle Anderson CUNYMichelle J. Anderson, Higher Education

Michelle J. Anderson is Dean of CUNY School of Law since 2006, has led CUNY Law through a period of great renewal and transformation in development, facilities, programs, and recognition. Under Dean Anderson's leadership, CUNY Law has strengthened its public interest mission and increased its academic standards. CUNY Law developed its Pipeline to Justice Program to enhance student body diversity and implemented the Incubator and LaunchPad programs, which support recent CUNY Law graduates through CUNY's Community Legal Resource Network. Dean Anderson garnered the support to move the law school to an environmentally friendly, LEED Gold certified building, making CUNY one of the greenest law schools in the country.

Under Anderson's leadership, CUNY Law obtained PreLaw Magazine's ranking as the "Best Public Interest Law School" in the nation, continued its unbroken string of national top ten U.S. News & World Report rankings for "Best Clinical Training," achieved Princeton Review's national top ten rankings for "Best Law Professors" and "Most Diverse Faculty," and earned the National Jurist ranking as the second most diverse law school in the nation.

Dean Anderson is a leading scholar on rape law. Her articles have been published in the Boston University Law Review, George Washington Law Review, Hastings Law Journal, Rutgers Law Review, Southern California Law Review, and University of Illinois Law Review, among others. Her article redefining rape was selected as the core text on rape law in Criminal Law Conversations, published by Oxford University Press in 2009. She is the former Policy Chair for the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence.

Dean Anderson is an honors graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she earned the Chancellor's Award for outstanding academic achievement. She graduated from Yale Law School in 1994, where she was Notes Editor of the Yale Law Journal. At Yale, she also received research fellowships from the Orville H. Schell Center for International Human Rights and the Ford Foundation in Public International Law.

Following law school, Dean Anderson clerked on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for Judge William A. Norris. She then worked at Georgetown University Law Center in the Appellate Litigation Program and the Institute for Public Representation.

Dean Anderson was previously a member of the faculty of Villanova University School of Law. She has also been a visiting scholar at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, a visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and a visiting associate professor at Georgetown University Law Center.

At CUNY, Dean Anderson teaches Criminal Law. She designed and has facilitated monthly Leadership Roundtables with some 20 CUNY college presidents to discuss and develop leadership best practices. Dean Anderson is also a member of the New York City Bar Association's Task Force on New Lawyers in a Changing Profession and is the Chair of its Subcommittee on Unmet Legal Needs.

Michelle Anderson CUNYShai Butler, Civil Society

Shai Butler brings more than a decade of diversity & inclusion experience in higher education. She has spent the past five years advising senior managers on improving organizational climate, developing and evaluating policy, consulting on targeted diversity recruitment, improving employee and student retention, and conflict resolution. Shai has developed and implemented diversity surveys, conducted numerous trainings, had success in recruiting diverse talent and facilitating teambuilding sessions. Prior to her employment at Saint Rose, she served as a student affairs administrator at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Shai is also an alumna of the College, earning a bachelor's degree in English and a Master of Science in Educational Administration and Policy Studies.

Shai currently serves as The College of Saint Rose's first Chief Diversity Officer, responsible for integrating diversity policies and practices into campus operations. She has also served as a women and gender specialist at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts and as Chair of the University at Albany's Commission on Diversity & Affirmative Action. She was previously appointed by the Schenectady County Legislature to serve as a Commissioner for Human Rights and serves as a trained mediator for Mediation Matters in Albany, New York. Shai has worked on global and local human rights issues by serving as past Chair of the United Nations & International Projects Committee/Member of Zonta International, a global organization of executives and professionals working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy and as the past public relations executive board member for African Reflections Foundation, a local not for profit that supports development efforts in Tanzania.

A specialist in intergroup dialogue, conflict resolution, coaching, and mentoring on topics that pertain to race, ethnicity, class and gender, Shai is regarded as a diversity expert. She is respected for her ability to be a bridge and consensus builder who uses tact and diplomacy to initiate innovative programs and problem solve. Her passion for transforming work and learning environments is derived from her commitment to personal development as evidenced by participation as a 2003 fellow of the National African American Women’s Leadership Institute where she received training at Gallup University and Bennett College in the model of servant-leadership.

Shai is in the final year of graduate study at Northeastern University where she will earn a doctorate in Law & Policy from the College of Professional Studies. She presently resides in Schenectady, New York with her husband Odo and their two sons, Koa (8) and Nori (7). Their daughter, Chantelle is a graduate of the University at Buffalo-SUNY and is professionally employed as a Development Associate at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.

Sue Faerman UAlbanySue Faerman, Ph.D., Center for Women in Government & Civil Society

Dr. Sue Faerman is Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Public Administration and Policy in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany – SUNY. In addition, she currently serves as the Academic Chair of the University’s Center for Women in Government & Civil Society's Women's Leadership Academy.

Dr. Faerman's teaching and research interests have focused on the paradoxical nature of managerial and organizational performance, and she has authored or co-authored several books, articles, and book chapters that develop the notion of paradox in managerial or organizational performance, most notably Becoming a Master Manager: A Competency Framework (5th edition) (John Wiley & Sons, 2011) and "The Paradoxical Nature of Collaboration," which appears in Big Ideas in Collaborative Public Management (M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 2008).

More recently, she has begun focusing her research on issues related to women and leadership and to how organizational culture influences women's opportunities to achieve work-life balance. In 2000, Dr. Faerman received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, and in 2003, she received the Leslie A. Whittington Excellence in Teaching Award from the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. She received her B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Statistics from Stony Brook University, her M.S. in Applied Mathematics from George Washington University, and her Ph.D. in Public Administration from the University at Albany – SUNY.

Justice Karen PetersJustice Karen Peters, State and Local Government

Justice Karen K. Peters received her BS from George Washington University (cum laude) and her JD from New York University (cum laude, Order of the Coif). From 1972 to 1979 she was engaged in the private practice of law in Ulster County, served as an Assistant District Attorney in Dutchess County and worked as an assistant professor at the State University at New Paltz, where she developed curricula and taught courses in the areas of criminal law, gender discrimination and the law, and civil rights and civil liberties.

In 1979, Justice Peters was selected as the first counsel for the newly created New York State Division of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse and served in that capacity under Governors Hugh Carey and Mario M. Cuomo. In 1983, she became the director of the State Assembly Government Operations Committee. Elected to the bench in 1983, she remained Family Court Judge for the County of Ulster until 1992, when she was elected the first woman Supreme Court Justice in the Third Department.

Justice Peters was appointed to the Appellate Division, Third Department by Governor Mario M. Cuomo on February 3, 1994 and was appointed Presiding Justice of that Court by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on April 5, 2012, the first woman appointed to that position in that court. Justice Peters serves on the New York State Task Force on Wrongful Convictions.

First appointed a member of the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct by Chief Judge Judith Kaye in 2000, and later reappointed to that position by Governor David Paterson, Justice Peters served until 2012. Justice Peters has also served as Chairperson of the Gender Bias Committee in the Third Judicial District and on numerous state bar committees, including the New York State Bar Association Special Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, the New York State Bar Association Special Committee on Procedures for Judicial Discipline, and the President's Committee on Access to Justice. She is also a member of the American Bar Association, the Ulster County Bar Association, the Albany County Bar Association and both the Mid-Hudson and Capital District Women's Bar Associations.

Throughout her career, Justice Peters has taught and lectured extensively in the areas of Family Law, Judicial Education and Administration, Criminal Law, Appellate Practice and Alcohol and the Law. She resides in Woodstock, New York. An avid supporter of the arts, Justice Peters serves on the Board of Directors of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild. She is also a member of the Mohonk Preserve and the NAACP.


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