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 Rachel Phillips Belash Speaker Series

The Rachel Phillips Belash Annual Lecture Series was established by our Board of Governors in June 1998 to honour Rachel Phillips Belash, the sixth Principal of Branksome Hall.

Each year, an outstanding female speaker is invited to speak on a topic related to the development and education of girls and young women.

2015 Arianna Huffington
The author of Thrive and President and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, Arianna Huffington was named as number 12 in Forbes's first-ever list of the Most Influential Women In Media.
2014 Irene Rosenfeld
Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO of Mondelēz International, and ranked by Forbes and Fortune as one of the "50 Most Powerful Women in Business" and one of the world's "100 Most Powerful Women."
2012 Dr. Carol Dweck
A Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, Dr. Dweck is a leading researcher in the field of motivation, and the author of the best-selling book Mindset. Her research focuses on why students succeed and how to foster their success. More specifically, her work has demonstrated the role of mindsets in success and has shown how praise for intelligence can affect students' motivation and learning.
2011 Dr. JoAnn Deak
Dr. Deak has devoted more than 30 years to helping children develop into confident and competent adults. She also works with parents and teachers to understand current brain research and their roles as "neurosculptors" for children. Known for her frank, captivating manner, she is acclaimed as a speaker by parent groups, educators and students in North America and abroad.
2010 Senator Nancy RUTH'60
Renowned philanthropist and advocate for social change, founder of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund, the Women's Future Fund and the Charter of Rights Coalition, she was appointed to the Canadian Senate in 2005.
2009 Stephanie Nolen
Canadian journalist and writer, Nolen is currently the South Asia correspondent for the Globe and Mail. Her book: 28: Stories of Aids in Africa was nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award.
2008 Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga
Sixth President of Latvia (1999-2007) and first female President of Latvia and Eastern Europe. She graduated from the University of Toronto in 1958 and was a Residence Don at Branksome Hall.
2007 Laura Liswood
Co-founder and Secretary General of the Council of Women World Leaders, composed of women presidents, prime ministers and heads of government.
2006 Senator Vivienne Poy
First Canadian Senator of Asian ancestry, Poy was appointed to the Senate of Canada in 1998.
2005 Dr. Samantha Nutt
Co-founder and Executive Director of War Child Canada, Nutt is a medical doctor with more than 13 years of experience working in war zones. She was named one of the Top 40 Under 40 by the Globe and Mail.
2004 Karen Stabiner
Best-selling author and journalist, Stabiner tackles family and parenting issues and is a proponent of single-sex education.
2003 Centennial Year
Panel: Love/
2002 Minnijean Brown Trickey
Civil Rights Activist and former Member of Little Rock Nine, a group of African-American teenagers who were the first to attend an integrated high school in Arkansas.
2001 June Callwood
Canadian journalist, author and social activist. Callwood became one of Canada's most famous social justice activists, founding or co-founding over 50 Canadian social action organizations, including youth and women's hostels.
2000 Dr. Meave Leakey
Together with her husband, Richard Leakey, she is one of the most renowned contemporary paleontologists, studying the origin of mankind in Africa.
1999 Naomi Wolf
An American author and political consultant. With the publication of The Beauty Myth, she became a leading spokesperson of what was later described as the "third-wave of the feminist movement."
1998 Carol Gilligan
An American feminist, ethicist and psychologist, best known for her work on girls' learning and development. She worked with Lawrence Kohlberg on ethical relationships.


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