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Rebecca Sive      

Public Affairs Strategist; Nationally Recognized Expert on Women's Issues

Rebecca Sive is the author of three books on American women’s politics and power; a motivational speaker, experienced media analyst, and admired women’s leadership strategist; as well as a past faculty member of the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and statewide governmental official. Sive co-produces and co-hosts the podcast, #VoteHerIn, with Two Broads Talking Politics, a “best political podcast,” according to Parade magazine. About Sive, Hillary Clinton has written: “I am grateful to you for adding your voice to the essential conversation about women’s leadership that we need to have as a country.”

Sive’s books include the Fall 2021 Make Herstory Your Story: A Guided Journal to Justice for Every Woman Every Day (It will motivate and inspire you…” Jill Wine-Banks, author, The Watergate Girl); Vote Her In: Your Guide to Electing Our First Woman President (“inspiring, savvy, and persuasive…” Jessica Yellin, host, News Not Noise); and Every Day Is Election Day: A Woman’s Guide to Winning Any Office, from the PTA to the White House (Cosmopolitan magazine says: a “must read.”). Sive’s articles and op-eds have appeared in The Huffington Post, Crain’s Chicago Business, The Hill, at MSNBC, and in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and elsewhere.

Sive’s audiences call her “a visionary, deeply thoughtful speaker on women’s leadership” and “profoundly radiant; delightful; lively; brilliant.” Sive has spoken at: Starbucks HQ, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, University of Washington Law School, the Women's Funding Network, National Council of State Boards of Nursing, The Ohio State University, University of Texas, and the Association for Women Journalists, among many others.

Founder of one of the nation’s first women’s centers; a leader of the campaign to elect Chicago’s first African American mayor (Harold Washington) and advisor to him, Sive was among the national decisionmakers who developed women’s issues agendas for presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Sive holds an M.A. in American History and is the recipient of many awards for her public leadership. About her, Cecile Richards, best-selling author and co-founder of Supermajority has said: “Advocates like you, Rebecca–dedicated to educating and empowering the next generation of women leaders –make me so confident in our country’s future. I applaud the important work you are doing.”

Speech Topics

The New Progressive Era: A View from the Barricades

The 2008 presidential election brought new attention to the world of community organizing and the lessons of its founder, Saul Alinsky. Trained as a community organizer by Alinsky’s students, Rebecca applies her understanding of the power of community organizing to analyzing the new federal era and the ways in which public interest advocates are approaching the opportunities it presents for victories on matters uppermost in the public’s mind: health care and economic opportunity.

Life Lessons for the Woman on the Move

Wishful thinking won’t get you where you want to go. And wishful thinking won’t create the change you and your sisters can believe in. Taking these lessons to heart will: Sisterhood is powerful; the personal is the political; leave no stone unturned; confront and co-opt when you have to; slay the dragons in your path; and many more.

To illustrate the power of sisterhood in advancing women’s careers and realizing their dreams, Rebecca draws on her experience shaping campaigns for women’s equality and justice, on behalf of leading national advocacy groups, such as Women Employed, the YWCA, the National Women’s Political Caucus, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the Women’s Business Development Center. She also draws on her writings, as well as on her leadership in philanthropy, government and business as one of the earliest women officers of Playboy Enterprises.

Women in the U.S. Healthcare Marketplace: Caregivers, Decisionmakers and Gatekeepers

As our new and tech-savvy President takes charge, and as mega-trends like digitizing medical records for patients and their families gain wider currency, women hold the key to a healthy America. Why? Because women comprise a rapidly increasing percentage of health care professionals. In addition, they are America’s primary family caregivers and health-care decision makers at all income levels. Governments are providing billions to spread the scope of health IT. Business is creating new health IT products. Providers are developing new strategies for patient care. Women’s voices must be heard to make those efforts successful and to assure that we reach the so-far elusive goals of reducing costs while improving outcomes.

For this presentation, Rebecca draws on her thirty years of experience developing women’s health programs, including counsel to the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois. That experience includes Rebecca’s findings for the City of Chicago, published in the Urban Women’s Health Agenda, marking one of the earliest efforts by a major American city to identify the issues and create new approaches to effective women’s and girls’ health care for America’s cities. Rebecca also draws on her recent counsel to a health IT firm, launching a personal health record product for girls and women.

Every day really is Election Day: Proven strategies for success for women seeking political power and influence in American public life


'It's time for a century of women': The argument for electing a female ...

Chicago author Rebecca Sive's "Vote Her In" makes the case that only a woman president will make the economic and social progress women need.

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