(Montpelier, VT) - The Vermont Commission on Women (VCW), state government’s independent non-partisan commission advancing rights and opportunities for Vermont women and girls, begins work this fall under a new leadership structure, broadening from one to three Chairs. Lisa Senecal was re-elected to the position and is joined by fellow Commissioners Kiah Morris and Kellie B. Campbell.
The change was supported by Commissioners as a way to share decision making and leadership responsibilities. “The need for our work on so many fronts, health and safety, economic security, racial and gender equity, leadership, public life and education, has only become more apparent and urgent over this last year,” said Senecal. “We’re excited, energized and ready to move forward in this new collaborative approach.”
Senecal was appointed by Governor Scott in 2017 and elected VCW Chair in 2019. She is a communications professional whose current energies are dedicated to pro-democracy, and gender and racial equity efforts. An experienced entrepreneur with a background in media relations and marketing, her successful ventures include an award-winning children's entertainment company and a digital media consultancy. She has provided crisis communications, media relations, and digital media strategy for dozens of companies and organizations, gubernatorial and U.S. Senatorial campaigns, and statewide policy initiatives. Senecal writes and speaks with an emphasis on issues of equity, equality, opportunity, and safety for women. Her perspectives and writing appear in a range of media, including as writer and co-host of Lincoln Project Television’s “We’re Speaking,” on NPR's Morning Edition and PBS News Hour, as well as in The Daily Beast, The New York Daily News, and USA Today. She also writes a monthly column for her local newspaper, the Stowe Reporter. In addition to serving as Chair of VCW and serving on the board of The Clarina Howard Nichols Center, Senecal works with businesses, investors, and campaigns to identify and remedy business and cultural practices that increase risk of sexual harassment and other forms of gender discrimination.
Morris was appointed to VCW by the Speaker of the House in 2020. She served in the general assembly as a State Representative from 2014-2016 and 2016-2018 and is the first African-American and person of color elected from Bennington County and the second African-American woman to be elected to the legislature in Vermont history. Her story of success and struggle has been covered internationally over four dozen media outlets including CNN, The Huffington Post, New York Times, Washington Post, The Hill, Essence Magazine, Canadian Broadcasting Company, PBS, BBC Radio and Vice Media. Morris is an award-winning, in-demand trainer, speaker, and presenter, providing consultative services, workshops and presentations on issues of diversity, equity and leadership for organizations across the globe. Morris currently serves as the Movement Politics Director for Rights and Democracy Vermont, co-creating and building the movement-centered governing infrastructure that shifts power into the hands of the people — especially marginalized community members — at every level of government. She serves as Co-Chair of the Just Transitions Sub-Committee, part of the State of Vermont Climate Council. She is a Sisters on the Planet Ambassador for Oxfam America and is on the advisory councils for Emerge Vermont and Black Lives Matter Vermont. Morris also holds an accomplished artistic career as an actress of stage, film, and television, spoken word performance, and as a singer, dancer and arts manager. As an arts advocate with a passion for community-based art, she has produced numerous special events, concerts, and art exhibits during her career. Her work focuses on amplification of voices of the oppressed, issues of human rights and social justice. She is also the author of a recently published book of poetry, Life Lessons and Lyrical Translations of My Soul, and is filming a documentary on race in Vermont titled Colorlines in the Green Mountains with Long Shot Productions.
Campbell was appointed to VCW by the Senate Committee on Committees in 2018. She’s the Chief Information Officer for the Vermont State College system, transitioning to this role from having served as the Chief Technology Officer at Vermont Tech. She has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration, a graduate degree in Business Management and Administration, and is a Doctor of Education, focused in Higher Education Administration. Campbell’s volunteer time reflects her commitment to advancing women. Campbell has served as chair of VCW’s Education and Human Development committee. She also serves on the Executive Board for Vermont Women in Higher Education, a statewide organization providing opportunities for professional development, engaging in an inclusive community of women, and recognizing the successes of women in higher education. She is also a recent member of The Boston Club, one of the largest communities of women executives and professional leaders in the Northeast and focused on the advancement of women to top leadership roles across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors.
The three co-chairs work together to plan and run monthly meetings of the full commission. They also establish subcommittees of the Commission to work on specific issues of interest. Commission meetings are open to the public, and more information is available at women.vermont.gov.
The Vermont Commission on Women (VCW) is an independent non-partisan state commission working to advance rights and opportunities for women and girls. Sixteen volunteer commissioners and representatives from organizations concerned with women's issues guide VCW's public education, coalition building, and advocacy efforts.