Women in Leadership Symposium

Date: October 24, 2012 Time: 4:00 p.m. Location: Young Ballroom, Reid Campus Center

The Annual Women in Leadership Symposium at Whitman College was founded by alumna and emerita trustee Colleen Willoughby '55, noted philanthropist and founder of the Washington Women’s Foundation. For nearly 30 years, she has organized the symposium to bring outstanding women leaders in various professional fields to campus to inspire new generations of Whitman women. This year's panelists include Aya Hamilton, northwest region head for private wealth management at Goldman Sachs, Fidelma McGinn, vice president of philanthropic services at The Seattle Foundation, and Deborah Streeter '85, board president at iLeap and president of The Hans & Elizabeth Wolf Foundation.



Aya Hamilton is the northwest region head for private wealth management at Goldman Sachs. Hamilton has worked with high net worth families for twenty-five years, delivering comprehensive wealth management services. She joined Goldman Sachs as a managing director in 2008. Hamilton began her career at Bank of America Private Banking where she spent ten years before joining Citigroup Private Bank's Seattle office, in 1994, as vice president and private banker. She was subsequently promoted to managing director and global market manager of Citi Private Bank's Pacific Northwest Region, a position she held until 2008.

Hamilton earned a B.A. in political science from the University of Washington and an MBA from Seattle University with a concentration in finance. She is also a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School and became a Certified Financial Planner in 1999. Hamilton serves as chairman of the board of Pacific Northwest Ballet and a trustee of the Seattle Art Museum. Hamilton also served on the Benefactors Circle Committee for the campaign to build McCaw Hall and has been an ambassador for United Way of King County. Previously, Hamilton was a trustee of Evergreen Healthcare Foundation, where she held various officer positions including a two terms as board chair.


Fidelma McGinn joined The Seattle Foundation as vice president of philanthropic services after spending 15 years in the nonprofit field, serving as executive director to three nonprofit organizations: Artist Trust, a Washington statewide agency supporting individual artists; San Francisco’s Film Arts Foundation; and Seattle’s 911 Media Arts Center. Prior to her work in the nonprofit sector, she worked at Microsoft Corporation for seven years, initially in Ireland and then at the company’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash., where she worked on developing localization strategies for the Desktop Applications Division for products sold across the world.

McGinn has a degree in marketing and communications from the College of Commerce in Dublin and is a graduate of Stanford Graduate Business School’s prestigious program for Executive Leadership in the Nonprofit Arts. She has held board positions with several local and national arts organizations, including Grantmakers in Film and Electronic Media, The National Alliance for Media Arts & Culture and Washington State Arts Alliance. In 2010, she was appointed to serve on the Seattle Arts Commission. McGinn has also served as a panelist and nominator for grantmakers such as the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Rasmuson Foundation in Alaska and King County’s 4Culture.


Deborah Streeter '85 currently serves as board president at iLeap as well as president of The Hans & Elizabeth Wolf Foundation. Her expertise is in helping non-profits become more effective by identifying and recognizing their own unique strengths. Her work style is collaborative and nourishes the culture and dynamics of every organization. When working as a consultant or as a board member, she focuses on building structures for effective board development and intelligent growth. She engages the creative side of the mind to enable leaders to discover their full capabilities, and uses communication as a tool to develop and implement strategies to engage donors and increase giving. 

Streeter earned her M.A. in organizational psychology from Antioch University Seattle and her B.A. in psychology from Whitman College. Her service on the board of iLEAP connects her with her personal goal to create and nurture partnerships with local and international organizations that benefit children in need.




Colleen Willoughby ’55 graduated from Whitman with a degree in politics and speech. She is an emerita trustee of Whitman who has made a career of community service and leadership in the Seattle area, most notably as co-founder and board member of CityClub and founder of the Washington Women’s Foundation (WWF), which helps women donors become effective philanthropists. Since its inception, the WWF has touched more than 800 organizations through pooled and individual grants and has been honored by the National Society of Fund Raising Executives and Childhaven.

Willoughby's many honors and contributions as a volunteer leader include the 1966 Gordon Scribner Award for Distinguished Service, presented by the Whitman College Alumni Association; YWCA and Junior League awards for community service; and similar awards from The Puget Sound Business Journal, the Seattle Storm and the Women’s University Club of Seattle. In 2009, she received the highest honor presented by the Association of Junior Leagues International: the Mary Harriman Community Leadership Award.  

Willoughby established an annual symposium called "Women’s Education: For Living and Leadership," nearly 30 years ago to bring women leaders to Whitman to share their life stories as inspiration to future generations of students and alumni. Willoughby also enjoys keeping family traditions, like the annual Christmas Swedish smorgasbord, with her husband, two children and six grandchildren.