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Institute for Women's Health and Leadership Woman One

Eileen C. McDonnell, 2019 Woman One Honoree, and Lynn Yeakel

The Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership of Drexel University College of Medicine is pleased to announce the selection of Eileen C. McDonnell as Woman One 2019. She was honored with the 17th annual Woman One Award at a special ceremony and reception at The Rittenhouse on Monday, April 29, 2019, at 5:30 p.m.

The Woman One Award and Scholarship Fund annually honors an exceptional leader and raises tuition funds for underrepresented students studying medicine at Drexel University.

See photos from the event

Eileen McDonnell is the chairman and chief executive officer of The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company. She is an energetic ambassador of “shared leadership” – a belief that women and men can and should share equally in decision-making in business. The Woman One Award will recognize her example of leadership and advancing women’s professional careers. Read more about Eileen McDonnell [PDF].

Funds raised from the annual Woman One Award event support medical school scholarships for talented underrepresented students in Drexel’s medical school. Since the program began in 2003, 25 Woman One Scholars have graduated and are working as physicians across the United States and seven Scholars are currently in all four classes at Drexel’s medical school.

The Woman One program has created the D. Walter Cohen Shared Leadership Scholarship, which will be awarded in 2020, to honor Dr. Cohen's role in founding Woman One and his commitment to shared leadership among women and men, while also addressing the problem of declining applications from underrepresented populations in medicine. Learn more.

2019 Woman One Award Ceremony

For information about Woman One, contact Janine Barber at 215.991.8194 or

Past Woman One Honorees

Since the Woman One program was initiated by the IWHL in 2003, honorees have been:

  • Trailblazing scientist and community leader Gloria Twine Chisum (2018) | Learn more
  • Women's leadership development advocate Molly Shepard (2017) | Learn more
  • Community leader and innovator Renee Amoore (2016) | Learn more
  • Philanthropist and civic activist Lynne Honickman (2015) | Learn more
  • Founder of the Russell Byers Charter School Laurada Byers (2014) | Learn more
  • Journalist Lisa Thomas-Laury (2013) | Learn more
  • Community leader Dianne Semingson (2012) | Learn more
  • Director of the Women's Bureau at the U.S. Department of Labor Sara Manzano-Díaz (2011) | Learn more
  • Former first lady of Drexel University Eliana Papadakis (2010)
  • Former president of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Jane Pepper (2009)
  • City representative and director of commerce Stephanie Naidoff (2008)
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation president and CEO Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey (2007)
  • Philanthropist and television personality Suzanne Roberts (2006)
  • Olympic gold medalist Dawn Staley (2005)
  • Attorney and community leader Leslie Anne Miller (2004)
  • Pennsylvania secretary of public welfare Estelle Richman (2003)

Woman One continues to connect Drexel University College of Medicine to the greater Philadelphia community by engaging businesses and foundations in supporting Drexel's diversity initiatives.

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