January 30, 2006 — RAINN announced Susan Molinari as the first chairwoman of its newly formed National Leadership Council. RAINN's National Leadership Council is a group of leaders from across the country who have demonstrated a strong commitment to RAINN's mission of educating the public about sexual assault, supporting victims and ensuring that rapists are brought to justice.
Molinari, currently chairman & CEO of The Washington Group, was a top leader in the fight against sexual violence during her years as a member of Congress. In her role as chair of the National Leadership Council, Molinari will help guide the fundraising and communications goals of the organization and leverage strategic partnerships to support RAINN's growth.
"Susan has already done so much to fight sexual assault, from her days in Congress to her longtime involvement with RAINN," said Scott Berkowitz, president and founder of RAINN. "As the head of our National Leadership Council, her expertise and experience will help tremendously as RAINN gears up to launch the nation's first online hotline and grow its prevention and public policy programs." Ninety-two percent of women consider reducing sexual violence a public policy priority, higher than for health care, childcare or any other issue.
Of her new role, Molinari said, "When I was in Congress I became involved with RAINN because it was, and more than a decade later remains, an important resource for victims of sexual assault. It is a national leader on sexual assault prevention and prosecution. I look forward to chairing RAINN's National Leadership Council and working with them to turn victims into survivors and predators into convicts."
As a Member of Congress from 1990 to 1997, Molinari quickly became "one of the most distinctive Members of the House" and "one of the most visible voices for her party," according to the Almanac of American Politics. During her Congressional tenure, she was an effective leader in the fight for crime victims, passing judicial reforms to toughen laws on repeat rapists and child molesters and increasing funding for the Violence Against Women Act. In 1994, Susan Molinari was elected to the Republican Majority Leadership, making her the highest-ranking woman in Congress.
In 1997, she left Congress to co-anchor the CBS News program "Saturday Morning" and later hosted the CBS political affairs program "The Flipside with Susan Molinari." Coauthor of the book Representative Mom: Balancing Budgets, Bill and Baby in the U.S. Congress, she was Glamour Magazine's Woman of the Year in 1996 and was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the most influential people in the country under age 40. She holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Communications from the State University of New York at Albany.