Speaker Pro Tempore Pam Byrnes of the Michigan House and Rep. Kathy Hawken of the North Dakota House shared their experiences in public service during the first installment of the Women in Civic Leadership Lecture Series. The event was held Feb. 18, 2010.
|Rep. Pam Byrnes (Michigan), alumna|
|Rep. Kathy Hawken (North Dakota), alumna|
Speaker Pro Tempore Byrnes is serving her third term in the Michigan House of Representatives. As Chair of the House Transportation Committee, Byrnes focuses on the development of Michigan's mass transit systems and improvement of the state’s infrastructure. She is Chair of the Midwest Education Compact of which Missouri, North Dakota and Michigan are members. As a member of the House Committee on New Economy and Quality of Life, Byrnes is also working to attract high-tech businesses to Michigan. She was recently appointed to the Biosciences Subcommittee, which will focus on helping grow the bioscience industry in the state, and she also is a member of the Regulatory Reform and the Military and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security committees. Byrnes recently announced her candidacy for Michigan's 18th senate district.
Rep. Hawken was elected to the North Dakota House of Representatives in 1996 and currently serves on the Appropriations Committee. She also is on the Budget Section and Higher Education interim committees. She was appointed by the North Dakota Chief Justice to serve as the legislative member of the Judicial Standards Committee and was just named chair of the Women in Government 501(c)(4) Board. Her legislative focus has been on education, childcare and human/women’s rights. A lifelong Fargo, N.D., resident, Hawken was elected to four terms on the Fargo Board of Education. She is the founder of the Fargo Public Schools Development Foundation and a state director of the Women’s Legislative Lobby. She sits on the board of directors of several organizations, including Women in Government, Union State Bank and the YMCA of North Dakota State University. Hawken also serves as a member of the advisory boards of several organizations, including Child Care Resource & Referral, ND Gaming, and ND KidsCount. Rep. Hawken credits the influence of former Stephens professor Gene Schmidtlein for her interest in politics and her commitment to public service.