Marie Wilson is a feminist leader and social entrepreneur who has created and led women's organizations for the past 40 years. She is founder and president emerita of both The White House Project and the Ms. Foundation for Women, a pioneer in micro-enterprise for low-income women, and author of Closing the Leadership Gap: Why Women Can and Must Help Run the World. She currently is exploring how the issue of inequality is dividing us by race and class and undermining our democracy.
Wilson's career began in Iowa, where she raised a family of five. In 1984, she left Iowa to run the New York-based Ms. Foundation for Women. At Ms., she helped create partnerships with large foundations like Ford, MacArthur, and others to explore best practices in micro-enterprise through collaborative funding. Her best-known work during almost two decades at Ms. was Take Our Daughters to Work Day, which changed the lives of millions of girls across the country. In 1998, while still at the Ms. Foundation, Wilson founded The White House Project to build a truly representative democracy where women lead alongside men in all sectors, up to and including the presidency. The project's creative programs and use of research and popular culture have trained more than 11,000 women in the past decade.
Wilson has received four honorary doctorates and has been profiled in The New York Times "Public Lives" column and in O Magazine. She has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, and BBC, and she has spoken on National Public Radio. In 2002, the Council on Foundations awarded her the Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking. She lives in New York City.