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Heather Wilson, Ph.D

Buffalo Gals proudly presents our fourth of nine speakers for Celebrate Our Legacy, 2016 International Women's Conference.

Heather Wilson, DPhil, became the president of the South Dakota School of Mines in June 2013.

Dr. Wilson served New Mexico in the US Congress from 1998 to 2009, where she was a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and was the chair of the House Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence.  Before being elected to Congress, Wilson was the cabinet secretary of New Mexico's Children, Youth, and Families Department, where she was chief executive of the state agency responsible for foster care, adoption, early childhood education, children’s mental health, and the juvenile justice system. 

In the private sector, Wilson served as a senior advisor to large defense and scientific companies including the Nevada Test Site, Battelle, Sandia, Los Alamos, and Oak Ridge National Laboratories as well as several large defense firms. The company she founded in 1991, Keystone International, Inc., continues to do work with the defense industry.

Wilson earned her bachelor of science degree from the US Air Force Academy in the third class to include women. She completed her master's and doctoral degrees as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in England.  After service in Europe as an Air Force officer during the cold war, Wilson served on the National Security Council Staff at the White House under President George H.W. Bush during the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Warsaw Pact.

Active in national and community affairs, Wilson is a member of the Congressional Panel on the Nuclear Security Enterprise and serves on the Board of the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority, which oversees the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in the former Homestake gold mine in Lead, SD as well as several non-profit and advisory boards. A collegiate rower at Oxford University, Wilson serves on the executive council of the NCAA Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.   Dr. Wilson also serves on the Board of Directors of Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU), the world's largest private sector coal company.  

Wilson is married to Jay Hone, an attorney and retired Air Force Colonel. They have three adult children.

The March 4th International Women’s Day Celebration and Conference, hosted by the Buffalo Gals is a launch pad to initiate and invigorate a community conversation and collaboration with multiple community organizations, corporations, private businesses and dedicated individuals. Participants in this ground-breaking event will be inspired by a slate of speakers, and will be called upon to act as a force for change in our community, tackling the issues identified in breakout sessions. Your generous support in this inaugural event is crucial to build the foundation of this on-going mission of community involvement led by women with guts, grit and grace.

Why March 4th – March 4th is the only verb “march forth” in the calendar. We believe it is time for collaboration and want to make this date an action date!

As we kick off this new year —we are calling on our community to champion women. We are dedicating that mission as one of a top priority in 2016!

Celebrate Our Legacy is a community collaboration with women’s organizations and initiatives through the region.

The Conference will include a ceremony honoring women veterans, Girl Scouts Women of Distinction Award presentation, 9 Dynamic speakers addressing our past, present and future, live entertainment by the renowned internationally acclaimed performer Orgena Rose, lunch, dinner and an evening concert, and a travel and accommodation to support women traveling from rural areas.

When you get 400 women in a room to connect, to share, to be inspired - something magical happens. This is an event you do NOT want to miss!

We hope we can count on you to choose to champion women in 2016

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