Women’s Leadership Award

The Women’s Leadership Award acknowledges an exceptional woman who exemplifies leadership in her profession and her community, with Emily Couric herself receiving the first honor in 2001.

The Emily Couric Leadership Forum recognizes the recipient of its Women’s Leadership Award and the student winner of its Emily Couric Leadership Scholarship at its annual spring luncheon. The beneficiary of the Women’s Leadership Award offers the keynote address and presents the Emily Couric Leadership Scholarship to an outstanding female high school senior selected for demonstrated leadership in her school and community.

The 2019 Women’s Leadership
Award Winner

Dr. Deborah McCauley

Dr. McCauley is a wildlife veterinarian and social entrepreneur. She founded VIEW (Veterinary Initiative for Endangered Wildlife) in 2012 in response to a critical, missing piece in wildlife conservation– wildlife health, which is now often a greater threat than poaching and natural habitat encroachment. As a wildlife veterinarian for more than a decade, working with wolverines, bison, bighorn sheep and other threatened species in the Rocky Mountains, as well as with tigers, rhinos and elephants in Nepal, VIEW was established on the realization that without a greater focus on wildlife health, we were taking a band-aid approach to wildlife conservation. 

Within five years of working in Nepal, VIEW has developed a sustainable wildlife health program which includes a disease surveillance program and care for individual critically endangered wildlife. With partners in the field, VIEW has trained over 200 wildlife professionals, saved orphaned rhinos, re-released tigers back to the wild and built a field laboratory and hospital. VIEW has also created the first wildlife health database platform tailored for endangered wildlife which is an essential foundation for monitoring and addressing wildlife health threats.  VIEW is helping countries by providing the tools and training that are necessary for establishing an effective wildlife health system as a cornerstone of the country´s conservation strategy.  With consistent and persistent support on the ground, strong local partnerships and promoting open sharing of ideas, this model is a template to be considered for other countries. 

In 2018, Dr. McCauley was awarded the Ashoka Fellowship for her leadership in building a sustainable wildlife health initiative in Nepal that can be replicated globally.   Under Dr. McCauley’s leadership, VIEW will continue to grow to address wildlife health needs globally. In 2019, VIEW will be expanding wildlife health programs into India´s tiger habitat and initiating projects with bison in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Previous Winners

2019 – Dr. Deborah McCauley
2018 – Emily K. Rafferty
2017 – Val Ackerman
2016 – Nikki Giovanni
2015 – Dr. Sylvia Earle
2014 – Tina Brown
2013 – Senator OIympia Snowe
2012 – Maureen Orth
2011 – Melanne Verveer
2010 – Anna Quindlen
2009 – Kimberly Dozier
2008 – Erin Gruwell
2007 – Lesley Visser
2006 – Donna Brazile
2005 – Caroline Kennedy
2004 – Sandra Day O’Connor
2003 – Rita Dove
2002 – Katie Couric
2001 – Emily Couric