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February 6, 2014

WTS announces Cokie Roberts as 2014 conference keynote

Cokie Roberts, best-selling author and award-winning journalist, has been confirmed as the keynote speaker for the 2014 annual conference of WTS International, the association for the professional advancement of women in transportation that will take place May 14 to 16 in Portland, Ore.

“When we plan the conference each year we seek to provide our members and supporters with a keynote presentation that touches on the core of our mission, and Ms. Roberts epitomizes our association’s guiding mission of attracting, retaining, and advancing women in transportation, an industry with very few women in top roles and few young women focused on STEM studies or entering this important industry,” said Margaret Mullins, director of the WTS Annual Conference.

“Cokie Roberts, an icon in the media and a role model herself, will be talking to conference attendees about the drive, determination, creative insight, and passion of the women who raised our nation to illuminate the social issues affecting women today,” she added.

“The transportation field is among the world’s most male-dominated industries,” said Marcia Ferranto, WTS International’s President and CEO. “As WTS members work to help each other develop professionally and climb through the ranks in both the public and private sectors, we can take pride in knowing that we are helping to build the world’s infrastructure through the advancement of women, and shaping future generations of transportation leaders. Ms. Roberts’ remarks will certainly inspire this association further when she addresses them in May in Portland.”

The Annual Conference is WTS International’s flagship event. It attracts corporate and governmental industry leaders worldwide, including executives, CEOs, government administrators, and leading transportation authorities. Attendees at the conference gather to network, discuss the state of the world’s transportation infrastructure, strategize on advancing professionally through glass ceilings, and explore the host city’s municipal and private transportation and transit projects. For the full duration of this year’s Portland conference, private corporations, public agencies and government officials invested in every transportation mode will exhibit, present, learn, and network.

Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News, providing analysis for all network news programming, as well as for NPR. In her more than 40 years in broadcasting, she’s won countless awards, including three Emmys. She’s been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, and was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting.

In addition to her appearances on the airwaves, she’s a contributing editor to USA Weekend Magazine, and she co-authored “From this Day Forward,” an account of her more than 40-year marriage and other marriages in American history. The book immediately went onto The New York Times “best sellers” list, following her number one best seller, “We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters,” an account of women’s roles and relationships throughout American history.

Roberts' histories of women in America’s founding era, “Founding Mothers,” published in 2004, and “Ladies of Liberty,” published in 2008, also became instant best sellers. Roberts holds more than 20 honorary degrees, serves on the boards of several non-profit institutions and on the President’s Commission on Service and Civic Participation. In 2008, the Library of Congress named her a “Living Legend.”

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