Ashley Judd Named Leader in Residence at Chatham Hall

Ashley Judd Named Leader in Residence at Chatham Hall

— by Chatham Hall  |  October 8, 2015

Activist, humanitarian, and actress Ashley Judd has been named the 2015-16 Leader in Residence at Chatham Hall. The Leader in Residence program is endowed by the Polly Wheeler Guth ’44 Leaders in Residence Fund and brings exceptional female leaders to the Chatham Hall campus. Ms. Judd will be in residence at Chatham Hall on January 13 and 14, 2016, with keynote address the evening of January thirteenth.

When not involved in filming movies such as The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Simon Burch, as well as Sundance Film Festival grand jury prize winner, Ruby In Paradise, Judd has traveled the world to do international public health work on all fronts – maternal health, child survival, human rights, HIV prevention, and malaria prevention and treatment.

Judd is also passionate about the environment. An eighth generation Kentuckian, she is an outspoken critic of mountaintop removal coal mining. A proponent of a "green collar" economy, Judd is committed to helping find innovative renewable energy solutions. In May 2010, Judd received her Master's Degree in Public Administration from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government (where she won the Dean's Scholar Award at Harvard Law, for her paper, "Gender Violence, Law & Social Justice” ). She has spoken at many prestigious conferences around the world, including the London School of Economics' Family Planning Summit, sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She also hosted a talk with President Clinton on the work of the Clinton Foundation for the London School of Economics. In 2012, she spoke on the floor of the Democratic National Convention as the delegate from Tennessee asked to cast the ballots for the party's nominee for president and vice president.

Judd’s films -- indie gems and box office blockbusters -- have grossed over two billion dollars worldwide. Working with multiple NGOs, she has traveled to 13 developing countries carrying sacred stories of the disempowered both to grassroots change makers and world leaders.  A regular expert panelist at conferences such as CGI, she has addressed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the National Press Club twice, and gave the keynote on modern slavery to the General Assembly of the United Nations. Judd is also author of the New York Times best seller, All That is Bitter and Sweet.

Ashley Judd’s dedication to the arts as well as her humanitarian efforts make her a wonderful Leader in Residence choice, as both of these pursuits resonate with Chatham Hall students. Ms. Judd’s dedication to  social justice causes as well as to her craft will highlight for students how following one’s passion can lead to a meaningful life – not just for oneself, but for others, too.

Information regarding the keynote address, for which tickets will be necessary and seating is limited, will be made available closer to the day of the event.

The announcement was made by Academic Dean Martha Griswold and met by rapturous applause from the whole school community. “We are so fortunate to welcome someone who is as invested in the arts as well as humanitarian efforts as Ashley Judd for our Leader in Residence. The breadth and depth of her experiences will resonate fully with Chatham Hall students. We are always thankful for the funding, too, that allows this program to continue.” said Griswold.

Rector Suzanne Buck remarked, “It is an honor to welcome Ashley Judd to Chatham Hall. A number of years ago I had the privilege of listening to Miss Judd speak about her interest in world politics, global issues, human rights and social justice. She is an intelligent, informed, and articulate leader.  She is not only a talented contributor to the arts but also an educated activist. Her message will be one of resonance for our community.”

Click here to learn more about Leaders in Residence at Chatham Hall!