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The District of Columbia is the only jurisdiction in the country where the Executive Director of a housing authority, Chief of Police and Director of Planning are all women. In recognition of Women’s History Month, these three dynamic female leaders, Adrianne Todman, Cathy Lanier, and Harriet Tregoning, respectively, discussed their pathway to success with some of the young women at Eastern Senior High School and also inspired them to hone their leadership skills. 

Barbara Harrison moderated the program. Barbara is a news anchor who has been working with NBC TV 4 for more than 20 years, whose skill and poise has landed her Emmy awards. However, with all her own well-deserved bragging rights, she had the pleasure of helping highlight the personal and professional accomplishments of three of the city’s top female leaders.

Adrianne Todman is one of the youngest women to head a large public housing authority, Cathy Lanier is the first woman to become the Chief of Police of DC, and Harriet Tregoning directs the District’s Office of Planning.

Hard work and hardships were no strangers to any of these women; Ms. Tregoning explained that she worked three jobs in order to pay for college and due to that her social life became nonexistent. Chief Lanier became a mother and wife before the age of sixteen, shortly after dropping out of junior high. She told the group, “I made my mother’s life hard, I made my life hard, and I made my son’s life hard. Don’t do what I did.”

Executive Director Todman encouraged the young ladies, she explained her triumph of proving all of her naysayers, or as she called them “haters,” wrong. She closed by saying, “Many people, who came before you had it harder but they made it through; keep your eyes on the prize and never give up.” 

Director of the Office of Planning Harriet Tregoning, Chief of Police Cathy Lanier, Executive Director Adrianne Todman, and NBC TV 4 News Anchor Barbara Harrison.
Director of the Office of Planning Harriet Tregoning, Chief of Police Cathy Lanier, Executive Director Adrianne Todman, and NBC TV 4 News Anchor Barbara Harrison.
Last modified: 12/30/2014 3:34:23 PM