Deborah Slaner Larkin (SHS 1966)

LEADER IN WOMEN’S SPORTS

When Deborah Larkin attacks a problem, she attacks it from a hundred directions at once. So when she was concerned about the treatment and accomplishments of women in sports, she climbed high and founded the White House Project. Of course that organization did not limit itself to sports. Its goal was to advance women’s leadership in all aspects of American life including the presidency.

She served as that organization’s Executive Officer for eight years. At the same time, she was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Larkin lived the precepts of keeping fit and it has served her well—since she has been a champion tennis player.

It is “her commitment to building women’s leadership across all sectors of society” that has marked Larkin’s efforts. Seven years ago she
chaired a national task force that produced a study entitled Physical Activity and Sport in the Lives of Girls. She also created National Girls and Women in Sports Day. This year when President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, calling for equal pay for men and women, guess who was in a front row seat?