Here is your first sneak peak of our 2013 Women to Watch Awards honorees. This year we are thrilled to honor four inspirational women who are making a tremendous impact in politics, media, philanthropy, and activism. These women are not only exceptional in their fields, but are also inspiring role models for young women around the world.
Political Rising Star: Representative Tulsi Gabbard
Tulsi Gabbard was born in Leloaloa, American Samoa in 1981, the fourth of five children. At the age of two, Tulsi and her family settled in Hawai’i where as a teenager, she co-founded the Healthy Hawai’i Coalition, a non-profit teaching children to take care of themselves and the environment. Tulsi is a graduate of Hawaii Pacific University, where she earned a BS in International Business. An advocate for environmental policy, Tulsi ran for the Hawai’i State Legislature in 2002 and became the youngest person ever elected. A year later, Tulsi joined the Hawai’i National Guard to serve Hawaii’s citizens and our country.
In 2004, Tulsi voluntarily deployed to Iraq with her fellow Soldiers of the 29th Brigade eventually serving two tours of combat duty in the Middle East. Tulsi was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal during Operation Iraqi Freedom, was the first female Distinguished Honor Graduate at Fort McClellan’s Officer Candidate School, and was the first woman to ever receive an award of appreciation from the Kuwaiti military on her second overseas tour. Tulsi continues to serve as a Captain in the Hawai’i National Guard’s 29th Brigade Combat Team. In between her two tours, Tulsi worked in the U.S. Senate as a legislative aide to Senator Daniel Akaka, where she advised the senator on energy independence, homeland security, the environment, and veterans’ affairs.
In 2010, Tulsi ran for the Honolulu City Council and served as Chair of the Safety, Economic Development, and Government Affairs committee and Vice Chair of the Budget committee. Representing Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, Tulsi is one of the first two female combat veterans, first Hindu and first female of Samoan ancestry to ever serve as a member of the U.S. Congress. She has been a crusader for health and safety, the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), energy, and economic growth.
For her selflessness, poise, and humility we are privileged to honor Congresswoman Gabbard and share her story!
Introduced by: Nancy Cordes
Nancy Cordes is a congressional correspondent for CBS News. This native Hawaiian began her broadcast journalism career as a reporter for KHNL-TV in Honolulu. She then went on to report for Washington D.C.’s WJLA-TV, covering major news stories such as the September 11th terrorist attacks on the Pentagon, the D.C. sniper, and the 2000 Presidential election. In 2005, Nancy became a correspondent for ABC News. During her tenure, she covered the war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, and the 2004 Presidential election. While at CBS News, Nancy has covered numerous major events such as the 2012 presidential election and the congressional hearing on the U.S. Embassy Benghazi, Libya attacks and the 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona.
We are honored to have Nancy Cordes, a Woman to Watch in her own right, presenting Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard with this year’s Political Rising Start award.
Photo of Ms. Cordes courtesy of CBS News.
Stay tuned for more weekly spotlights on our Women to Watch honorees!
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