Women’s Leadership Conference

Women’s Leadership Conference

Adelphi’s annual Women’s Leadership Conference is a powerful day of learning and networking, where exceptional alumni and community members across industries share experiences and advice on how to thrive in today’s ever-changing world.

Dare to Be Extraordinary with us on Saturday, March 9, 2024.

At Adelphi University’s premier Women’s Leadership Conference, more than 350 professionals, industry leaders, alumni, students, and community members will come together for a day of influential connections, compelling discussions and development opportunities. This year’s evening keynote speaker will be Jennifer Hyman, Co-founder and CEO of Rent the Runway.
Adelphi University New York | Women's Leadership Conference 2024: The Era of Embracing Change: Dare to be Extraordinary

Conference Schedule

Time Activity
10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Conference Check In
11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Kickoff Session and Lunch
12:30 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. Networking Break
12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Breakout Session I

  • Leading Inclusively: Building Diverse and Equitable Workplaces
  • The Power of Women in Philanthropy: Leading for Impact
  • Roundtable Discussions: Financial Literacy, Mentoring and Worklife Balance
1:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Networking Break
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Breakout Session II

  • Tech Trailblazers: Leading in the AI Age
  • Breaking Barriers: Success Stories of Women of Color
  • Roundtable Discussions: Financial Literacy, Mentoring and Worklife Balance
3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Networking Break
3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Breakout Session III

  • Career Revolution: Embracing Your Path
  • Empowering Leadership: Building Allies and Mentors
4:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Networking Cocktails
5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Awards Celebration & Keynote Dinner

There is an additional fee for the dinner portion of the event for non-student participants.

Session Details

Moderator: Cassandra Alvarez: Chief of Staff & Chief Diversity Officer, NYC Department of Veterans’ Services


Moderator: Marian Conway PhD: Executive Director, New York Community Bank Foundation


  • Alissa Desmarais: Executive Director of Financial Women’s Association
  • Carrie Wen ‘17: Financial Restructuring Practice Manager, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
  • Mari Eva Mendes: Chief Development & Communications Officer, Girls for Gender Equality

Moderator: Anita D’Amico PhD ‘84: President, Cotopaxi Consulting LLC


Moderator: Humera Qazi ‘93: Managing Director, Morgan Stanley


Moderator: Arianna Savoca ‘13, MBA ‘14: Human Resource Manager, Grassi


Moderator: To be announced


  1. EuNice McCoy ‘14: Director, Event Marketing, National Urban League
  2. June Collison ‘81, MBA ‘84: President, Dignity Health Comm. Hospital San Bernardino
  3. Sharon Cunningham ‘90: Managing Director, Morgan Stanley
Jennifer Hyman standing in front of red background

This year’s evening keynote speaker will be Jennifer Hyman, Co-founder and CEO of Rent the Runway.

2024 Keynote Speakers

Jennifer Hyman

Co-founder and CEO, Rent the Runway

Jennifer Hyman is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Rent the Runway, a company that is disrupting the trillion-dollar fashion industry and changing the way women get dressed through the Closet in the Cloud, the world’s first and largest shared designer closet. Jennifer co-founded Rent the Runway in 2009 and its mission has been the same ever since: to power women to feel their best every day. The brand offers women the ability to subscribe, rent items a-la-carte and shop resale from over hundreds of designer partners, driven by a two-sided discovery engine that connects deeply engaged customers and differentiated brand partners on a powerful platform built around its brand, data, logistics and technology. Under Jennifer’s leadership, RTR made history as the first company to go public with a female founder/CEO, COO, and CFO.

Jennifer serves on the Board of Directors of The Estée Lauder Companies and Zalando, and also is a Founding Member of the NYSE Board Advisory Council, a Member of the Women.nyc Advisory Board and a Member of the Launch with GS Advisory Council for Goldman Sachs. She received her BA from Harvard University cum laude and MBA from Harvard Business School and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughters Aurora and Selene.

Kendra Bracken-Ferguson

Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, Founder and Ceo of Brain Trust

Author, Founder and CEO, Brain Trust

Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, author of The Beauty of Success: Start, Grow and Accelerate Your Brand and the founder and CEO of BrainTrust, will be this year’s lunchtime keynote speaker. BrainTrust is an award-winning consultancy that includes BrainTrust Founders Studio, the largest membership-based platform dedicated to Black founders of beauty and wellness companies that has not only changed the face of beauty but also empowered Black business owners through community, mentorship, education and capital, and the adjacent BrainTrust Fund, dedicated to investing in breakthrough Black-founded beauty and wellness brands. A transformative brand builder, Bracken-Ferguson is the secret ingredient in guiding and monetizing more than 200 influencer-driven brands that have collectively generated more than $100 million in revenue. Among her firsts, she has the distinction of being one of the first 200 Black women to have raised more than $1 million in investment for her first company

Professional Headshots

Throughout the Conference, there will be an opportunity to participate in ongoing Professional Headshots from 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Registration is not required.

Career Support Hub

New this year, during the Conference there will be an opportunity to consult with counselors and career professionals who will review resumes, assess LinkedIn profiles, conduct mock interviews, and provide general career and professional development guidance. The Career Support Hub team will be available from 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Career Closet

Adelphi has started its very own Career Closet. The Career Closet is a new initiative that will be available for students who need professional work attire for interviews, conferences, and other professional opportunities. At this year’s conference, we will be accepting donations for items still in need. For more information on what items are still needed and any requirements for donations please view the flyer.

Students who need to utilize the Career Closet can contact engage@adelphi.edu for the most up-to-date information.


As part of your registration for the Women’s Leadership Conference, you have access to the TypeFocus Assessment. The TypeFocus will help you understand your unique behavior profile, identify areas of strength, and know your personal values. Access instructions on how to complete the TypeFocus Assessment.

As someone who’s interested in English, business and computer science and the STEM fields, seeing how women have worked in all of those fields has been especially fruitful for me to learn about, especially as I’m graduating and about to start my own career…I feel inspired and determined.

Augustina Gentile ’23 English major

Overall, what I took away from the Women’s Leadership Conference was to not let fear hold me back.

Joanna Reid Junior, political science and creative writing, news editor for The Delphian
$100,000+* * as of March 2023
raised by our donors this year for the Women’s Leadership Fund—ensuring robust programming and underwriting the cost of attendance for Adelphi students
as of March 2023

I was really enjoying [Curaleaf Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility] Khadijah Tribble’s comments, especially about authenticity and the balance between personal and professional social media and allowing yourself to be a fun person who also shows up as a professional.

Norah Curran junior, interdisciplinary studies major

The conference, co-hosted by Adelphi’s Advancement and External Relations and Office of Student Affairs, is open to the public as well as members of the Adelphi community including students, alumni, faculty, staff, parents and friends of the University.

The Women's Leadership Conference is part of the Leadership Certificate Program for current Adelphi students.

Empower Future Women Leaders

The newly established Women’s Leadership Fund will support the annual Women’s Leadership Conference, ensuring robust programming and underwriting the cost of attendance for Adelphi students, as well as providing leadership activities, professional development, and other opportunities that support the growth and empowerment of Adelphi women.
Women’s Leadership Conference
Special Events
Phone Number
Ruth S. Harley University Center
Search Menu