William Attwood Lecturer: Sheryl WuDunn

Category: Speakers & Lecture Series
Location: Adrian Lamb Room

Sheryl Wudunn is a best-selling author, business executive, and lecturer, who appears around the United States and abroad, covering economic, political and social topics related to women in the developing world, the global economy, as well as China and its growing global role. She is also the first Asian-American reporter to win a Pulitzer Prize.

Ms. Wudunn is co-author of the best-seller Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Written with her Pulitzer-Prize-winning husband Nicholas D. Kristof, Half the Sky is a passionate exploration of the devastating obstacles and challenges women face around the globe, and the amazing transformations that can occur with a relatively small amount of support from outside sources. WuDunn makes the point that for women, entering the economic market can be the key to rising above oppression.

Currently Ms. WuDunn is a Senior Managing Director at Mid-Market Securities, an investment banking boutique, serving growth companies in the middle market, including companies founded and run by women. She is also Senior Lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, for the year 2011. Previously, Ms. WuDunn has been vice president in the investment management division at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and a commercial loan officer at Bankers Trust. At the New York Times she worked as both an executive and journalist: in management roles in Strategic Planning and as editor for international markets, energy and industry, and as foreign correspondent in Tokyo and Beijing.

With her husband she has co-authored two other best-selling books about Asia: Thunder from the East and China Wakes. Ms. WuDunn won a Pulitzer Prize with her husband for covering China, and also the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Lifetime Achievement.

Other journalism prizes include the George Polk Award and Overseas Press Club awards. Ms. WuDunn has also won a White House Project EPIC award, and she is a judge for the State Department “Secretary’s Innovation Award for Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment.”  

A graduate of Cornell University, she is a member of its Board of Trustees, the Board’s Finance Committee, a former co-chair of the Board’s Academic Affairs Committee and former member of the Board’s Investment Committee. Ms. Wudunn earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and an M.P.A. from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, where she was a member of its Advisory Council.

Ms. WuDunn, who speaks Chinese and some Japanese, has discussed Chinese economic issues on television and radio programs, such as Fox Business News, The Colbert Report, Charlie Rose and NPR, and she has discussed philanthropic issues on programs such as NBC’s Dateline.