"Most Prominent Republican Woman in Congress"

(Washington, D.C.) — The Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) seventh Barbara K. Olson Woman of Valor award was presented to the 200th woman sworn in to the House of Representatives, House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington last night at IWF’s annual dinner held at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Among the more than 200 guests in attendance for the evening gala: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, S.E. Cupp, Grover Norquist, Bill Kristol, John Fund, Fmr. Rep. Nan Hayworth, Tim Carney, Christina Hoff Sommers, Donna Wiesner Keene, and a number of other members of the media and Hill representatives, IWF supporters, and luminaries from Washington’s policy and think-tank community.

IWF’s executive director Sabrina Schaffer kicked off the evening welcoming the sold-out ballroom: “Tonight is a celebration. But it’s a celebration only in part, because we know that our mission is to help solve one our most pressing political problems – and our work is far from over… Republicans, conservatives and libertarians – we all have a ‘women’ problem.”  She continued, “The need to educate women on the benefits of freedom and choice has never been more critical.” 

Featured speaker Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, hailed IWF as the leading conservative women’s organization that “advances a serious agenda that addresses the actual concerns of women in the 21st century.”

IWF Chairman Heather Higgins introduced this years Woman of Valor recipient, describing Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wa) as “a woman who is an exemplification of the American Dream that brings a real integrity to Washington that we all value.”

Rep. McMorris Rodgers was particularly pleased to receive an award named after the late Barbara Olson, remembering her as “a fervent voice for conservatism, and a woman of passion, conviction and purpose.”  

Speaking in detail about her road to Washington and family life, she added “It’s been quite the ride, let me tell you, but the Independent Women’s Forum has been instrumental in our efforts to advance the goals of Republican women in Congress – and to help remind us that ALL issues are 'women’s' issues!" 

The award is given to honor the memory of Barbara Olson, an IWF founder, who perished in the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon.  Established to recognize those who, through courage and commitment, are dedicated to advancing the principles we hold dear: economic liberty, personal responsibility and political freedom.  Previous award recipients include Lynne Cheney, Fmr. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, Fmr. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Fmr. Rep. Mary Bono, Nancy Brinker, and R. Gaull (Ricky) Silberman.



Independent Women's Forum is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and educational institution dedicated to expanding the conservative coalition, both by increasing the number of women who understand and value the benefits of limited government, personal liberty, and free markets, and by countering those who seek to ever expand government in the name of protecting women.