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News Release

April 6, 2005

Johnson & Johnson Chief Honored for Ushering Women into Business

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—In her post as vice president and chief information officer for Johnson & Johnson, JoAnn Heffernan Heisen has helped pave the path for women seeking careers in business. As president of Smith College from 1975 to 1985, Jill Ker Conway accomplished the same.

Their names will be linked on Friday, April 15, at 4 p.m. in the Alumnae House Conference Room when Heisen is presented with the inaugural Jill Ker Conway Women in Business Leadership Award.

The ceremony will recognize the accomplishments of both Heisen, chair of her corporation’s Women’s Leadership Initiative, and Conway, founder of Smith’s management program.

Following the award ceremony, Heisen will deliver a keynote address titled “Women in Business—the Essential Ingredient,” and then join students and other women in the business field at a reception.

Organized by the Smith Executive Education for Women program, the event kicks off a two-day conference celebrating extraordinary leadership of women. To register for any of the sessions, go to

JoAnn Heffernan Heisen

Heisen was the first woman officer at Johnson & Johnson. After joining the corporation in 1989 as assistant treasurer and investor relations officer, she was promoted several times and is now responsible for the management of information and related systems and investor relations. Heisen chairs Johnson & Johnson Women’s Leadership Initiative, created in 1995 to recruit, develop and retain women leaders.

Among her many community and professional associations, Heisen is a member of the board of directors of the Women’s Research and Education Institute, which provides members of the U.S. Congress with research on key issues for women. She is also a member of the advisory boards of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management and Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

After earning her bachelor’s in economics at Syracuse University, Heisen embarked on her career path at Chase Manhattan Bank as a second vice president and commercial lending officer. She balances work with raising four children.

Jill Ker Conway

In 1975, Jill Ker Conway became the first female president of Smith and founded the management program that preceded the current Executive Education for Women program. Her story is known to readers of her best-selling memoir “The Road from Coorain,” published in 1989.

Conway now serves as a visiting scholar and professor in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s program in Science, Technology and Society. She is a director of a number of major American companies, including Merrill Lynch and Co., Inc.; Colgate-Palmolive Co.; and Nike, Inc.

Born in New South Wales, Conway studied history and English at the University of Sydney and earned her doctorate in history at Harvard. She served as vice president for internal affairs at the University in Toronto before coming to Smith.

Smith College is consistently ranked among the nation’s foremost liberal arts colleges. Enrolling 2,800 students from every state and 60 other countries, Smith is the largest undergraduate women’s college in the country.

Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174


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