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Arianna Huffington & Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel to Receive Elly Awards May 18


The Women's Forum of New York will present the 2nd Annual Elly Awards Luncheon benefitting The Education Fund of The Women's Forum on Friday, May 18 at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. The awards, named for The Women's Forum founder Elinor Guggenheimer, will honor outstanding women leaders. Arianna Huffington & Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel will be the honorees.

Throughout her lengthy career, Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel has served as a leading voice on some of the defining urban issues of our time, including the preservation of the historic built environment of our country. She has brought unparalleled involvement to the arts, architecture, design and public policy through roles that have brought her from the writer's desk to The White House, and serves as a model for civic and cultural involvement. As the first Director of Cultural Affairs for NYC, she was responsible for bringing the Metropolitan Opera to Central Park and the first outdoor sculpture exhibition to Bryant Park. The first woman to serve as Vice Chair of the US Commission of Fine Arts in its 109 year history, where she served for more than a decade, she is currently the Vice Chair of the New York State Council on the Arts. Other noted positions include Commissioner of the American Battle Monuments Commission, a founding director of the Trust for the National Mall, a founding director of the Highline, and an appointment to the board of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum Commission. Recently named Advisor to the Port Authority for Public Art and Architecture at the World Trade Center, she is the author of 20 books on art, architecture and public policy, and the curator of eight traveling museum exhibits. As Chair of the Historic Landmarks Preservation Center, she created, had approved and underwrote the distinctive Historic District Street Signs that are installed in 107 Historic Districts in NYC, and was the founder/creator of the Cultural Medallion program that is installed in all 5 boroughs--both programs have been adopted throughout the U.S. She has produced and interviewed eight series for the A&E network; her work has also been viewed on programs with CBS/NBC/PBS. Diamonstein-Spielvogel has been a powerful force in shaping the direction of preservation, arts and cultural policy, not only in NYC, where her involvement is found in every corner of the city, but on the national and international scene, as well.

Arianna Huffington is president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group as well as a nationally syndicated columnist, frequent television commentator and author of thirteen books. In May 2006, she changed the media landscape in far-reaching, lasting ways when she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely read, linked to and frequently cited media brands on the Internet. Earlier this year, she further extended the brand's reach by launching Le Huffington Post in France. Twice, in both 2005 and 2011, she has been named to the Time 100, the magazine's annual list of the world's most influential people. She serves on several not-for-profit boards, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Center for Public Integrity and EL PAIS. Originally from Greece, she moved to England as a teenager and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics, having served as president of the Cambridge Union, the school's famed debating club.

The Women's Forum of New York is New York's premier organization of women leaders comprised of the highest women achievers across all professional sectors from finance to fine arts.

They advance women's leadership three ways:

? through core programing which provides personal and professional enrichment to their members
? through the Education Fund which provides education awards to high potential women whose careers have been derailed by adversity
? through their Board Initiative which expands and extends the contribution of women leaders through participation on corporate and civic boards.

The Education Fund is an educational and charitable arm of The Women's Forum of New York, established under a separate corporate governance as a 501(c)3 tax deductible organization.

Since 1987, the Fund has helped mature women pursue educational goals and enhance their capacities to provide productive and supportive service to their communities. The Award recognizes extraordinary and often heroic effort in overcoming adversity and the most daunting of odds in restructuring lives for success.

Grants are awarded to women over the age of 35 who, after suffering great adversity and an interruption in their education, are now pursuing undergraduate college degrees. Students in this population are often single parents, economically disadvantaged and struggling with the rising costs of a college education. Over the past 25 years, 130 women have been honored by The Education Fund.

Katie Couric is an award-winning journalist and TV personality, well-known cancer advocate, and New York Times best-selling author of The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons From Extraordinary Lives. Beginning in September 2012, she will host a new syndicated daytime daily talk show. She joined the Disney/ABC Television Group in summer 2011 and serves as special correspondent for ABC News, contributing to ABC World News, Nightline, 20/20, Good Morning America, This Week, and primetime news specials. In September 2006, Couric joined CBS News and became the first female solo anchor of an evening news broadcast. On May 31, 2006, Couric completed a 15-year run as co-anchor of NBC News' Today Show. Couric is a co-founder of Stand up To Cancer (SU2C), co-founder of the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA) with the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) and Lilly Tartikoff, and co-founder of the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health.

Emily Rafferty is President of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the largest art museum in the United States, where she supervises an administrative staff of some 2,000 full- and part-time employees and serves ex officio on its Board of Trustees. She joined the Met more 35 years ago, working her way up through the ranks in the Development Department, and later serving as a vice president and senior vice president before her election to the presidency in 2005. Emily serves as Chairwoman of NYC & Company, the City's tourism and marketing agency, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. In 2010 she began a three-year term on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Long affiliated with a number of educational, arts, and inter-museum organizations, she is a frequent speaker on topics relating to the non-profit sector.

Gayle King is co-host of "CBS This Morning" as well as editor-at-large of O, The Oprah Magazine. She began her career as a journalist in television, most notably spending 18 years as a news anchor at WFSB-TV in Hartford. Prior to joining "CBS This Morning," she hosted "The Gayle King Show" on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network; the program also was broadcast on XM Satellite Radio. The recipient of three Emmy's, Ms. King has twice been honored by American Women in Radio & Television, and in 2010 was named one of New York Women in Communications' Matrix Award honorees.

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