Leaders & Writers in Residence

The Polly Wheeler Guth ’44 Leaders in Residence program provides an exceptional opportunity to learn from women who shape the world - culturally, socially, artistically, and politically. Hearing their stories, their ideas, and their voices provides a remarkable window through which you can begin to envision your own future.

We're thrilled to announce that WNBA superstar and Olympian Lisa Leslie will serve as our 2022-2023 Leader in Residence! Learn more about her career and upcoming visit on Oct. 18 & 19 here.

Past Leaders in Residence

List of 18 items.

  • 2021-2022

    Tiffany Shlain
    Filmmaker, Author
  • 2019-2020

    Doris Kearns Goodwin
    Author, Historian
  • 2018-2019

    Ann C. Phillips
    Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy
  • 2017-2018

    Sallie Krawcheck
    Founder & CEO of Ellevest

  • 2016-2017

    Reshma Saujani
    Founder & CEO of Girls Who Code
  • 2015-2016

    Ashley Judd
    Actress & Political Activist

  • 2014-2015

    Katty Kay
    Lead Anchor of the BBC World News America
  • 2013-2014

    Sherry Lansing
    Former Movie Industry Executive & Philanthropist
  • 2012-2013

    Venus Williams
    Professional Tennis Player

  • 2011-2012

    Gloria Steinem
    Feminist, Writer, & Activist

  • 2010-2011

    Judith Jamison
    Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
  • 2009-2010

    Zainab Salbi
    President of Women for Women International

  • 2008-2009

    Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga
    Former President of Sri Lanka

  • 2007-2008

    Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
    President of Liberia

  • 2006-2007

    Benazir Bhutto
    Former Prime Minister of Pakistan

  • 2005-2006

    Nancy Brinker
    Founder of Susan G. Komen Foundation

  • 2004-2005

    Jane Goodall

  • 2003-2004

    Mary Robinson
    Former President of Ireland & U. N. High Commissioner for Human Rights

Reshma Saujani, Founder & CEO of Girls Who Code

These girls are just incredibly compassionate, and they’re leaders. They are thoughtful and they are smart. I hope to vote for them one day - or invest in their companies, donate to their nonprofits...because I think you have just trained a generation of leaders.

Beyond Speeches

Leaders in Residence don't simply stand behind a podium and deliver prepared remarks when they visit our School; their time with us is much more intimate. In addition to in the lecture hall, they meet and converse with students in class, in small-group discussions, and over meals.

Writers in Residence

The Writer in Residence Program is a highlight of the Chatham Hall curriculum. Stewarded through the English Department, each year a noted writer visits campus to share their profound work and meet with students for conversation over lunch or dinner. This program allows the Chatham Hall community to open our eyes and hearts to experiences with which we may or may not be familiar.

Past Writers in Residence

2021-2022: Phil Kaye, spoken-word poet, author
Gish Jen, author
2019–2020: Elizabeth Acevedo, author
2018–2019: Madeline Miller, author
2017–2018: Rhiannon Giddens, songwriter
2016–2017: Lee Smith, author
2015–2016: Gloria Bond Clunie ’71, playwright
2014–2015: Joy Harjo, Mvskoke poet, musician, author
2013–2014: Amber Dermont, author
Tracy Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet
2011–2012: Danzy Senna, author
2010–2011: Li-Young Lee, poet
2009–2010: Taylor Mali, poet
2008–2009: Claudia Emerson ’75, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet
2007–2008: Carolyn Forché, poet
2006–2007: Tobias Wolff, author
2005–2006: David Baker, Kenyon Review editor, poet
2005–2006: Anthony Abbott, author
2004–2005: Phillip Shabazz, poet
2004–2005: Nancy Peacock, author
2003–2004: Nikki Giovanni, poet
2003–2003: Claudia Emerson ’75, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet
2006–2007: Mark Mathabane, author

800 Chatham Hall Circle  •  Chatham, VA 24531
+1 434.432.2941  •
Day and boarding school for girls grades 9 -12 in the Episcopal tradition.

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