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Notable Alums

Notable Alumnae

Famous chefs, Pulitzer Prize winners, political columnists, environmental researchers, film directors, venture capitalists, physicists, poets, playwrights, CEOs—Smith women apply their learning throughout their lives in thousands of professions and communities.

You may have heard of our famous graduates, such as Julia Child, Gloria Steinem and Sylvia Plath. But there are many more stories of leadership and success that demonstrate where the Smith experience can take you.

She Went to Smith

If you’re still not sure where a Smith education can take you, consider the outstanding record of achievement by Smith alums. These are just a few examples among a host of accomplishments that have pushed the world forward.

  • Tracie Benally ’19, Navajo teacher
  • Kimberley Drew ’12, writer and American art influencer
  • Margaret Nyamumbo ’11, founder and CEO of Kahawa 1893
  • Shaharzad Akbar ’09, director for Open Society Afghanistan
  • Garrett Bradley ’07, artist and Oscar-nominated filmmaker
  • Jessie Banhazl ’06, entrepreneur and founder of Green City Growers
  • Emily Robichaux ’05, director of finance and product development at Groundswell
  • Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy ’02, investigative television reporter and Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker
  • Luma Mufleh ’97, activist and founder of the Fugees Family
  • Devin Alexander ’93, chef, cookbook author and chef of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser”
  • Debra Archer ’93, civil rights leader and president of the American Civil Liberties Union
  • Simran Sethi ’92, environmental journalist and educator
  • Claudia San Pedro ’91, CEO of Sonic Corp.
  • Farah Pandith ’90, adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations; senior fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government
  • S. Mona Ghosh Sinha ’88, advocate for gender equality
  • Thelma Golden ’87, director and chief curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem
  • Jane Nielsen ’86, CFO of Ralph Lauren Corporation
  • Maria Maggenti ’86, film and television screenwriter and director (The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love)
  • Sherry Rehman ’85, founding chair of the Jinnah Institute and vice president of the Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians 
  • Kathleen Marshall ’85, Tony Award-winning Broadway choreographer and director
  • Tammy Baldwin ’84, U.S. Senator from Wisconsin
  • Margaret Edson ’83, teacher and author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning play Wit
  • Lauren Lazin ’82, award-winning independent filmmaker (Tupac: Resurrection) and producer
  • Pamela Craig ’79, partner in Accenture, the world’s largest management information consulting firm
  • Christine McCarthy ’77, chief financial officer of the Walt Disney Company
  • Yolanda King ’76, actress, producer, lecturer
  • Marilynn Davis ’73, assistant secretary for administration at the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Clinton administration
  • Julie Nixon Eisenhower ’70, author of Special People and Pat Nixon: The Untold Story
  • Shelley Hack ’70, actress (Annie Hall, Charlie’s Angels)
  • Pearl Yau Toy ’69, physician and professor of laboratory medicine at the University of California in San Francisco
  • Laura Tyson ’69, professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley; former head of the National Economic Council
  • Sandy Skoglund ’68, installation artist, photographer and sculptor
  • Rochelle Braff Lazarus ’68, chairman emeritus of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide
  • Juliet Taylor ’67, casting director for more than 100 movies, including Taxi Driver and Woody Allen’s films
  • Jane Harman ’66, director, president and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson Center and former nine-term U.S. representative from California
  • Molly Ivins ’66, political columnist and commentator
  • Victoria Chan Palay ’65, neurobiologist and former Olympic athlete
  • Sally Quinn ’63, author and commentator
  • Marilyn Carlson Nelson ’61, former chairman and CEO of the Carlson Companies and former chair of the National Women’s Business Council
  • Jane Yolen ’60, award-winning children’s book author
  • Gloria Steinem ’56, founder of Ms. magazine and noted feminist writer
  • Sylvia Plath ’55, poet; author of The Bell Jar and Ariel
  • Xie Xide ’49, physicist and former president of Fudan University in China
  • Barbara Bush ’47, former First Lady of the United States
  • Marylin Bender Altschul ’44, author and former editor of Business World and the New York Times’ business and finance section
  • Nancy Reagan ’43, former First Lady of the United States
  • Betty Friedan ’42, author of The Feminine Mystique
  • Madeleine L’Engle ’41, award-winning author of A Wrinkle in Time
  • Julia Child ’34, cookbook author and star of TV’s“The French Chef”
  • Anne Morrow Lindbergh ’28, aviator and author of Gift from the Sea
  • Margaret Mitchell ’22, author of Gone With the Wind
  • Otelia Cromwell 1900, educator, author; first African American woman to receive a doctorate from Yale