San Diego's Formidable Female Leaders
San Diego enjoys a diverse legacy of formidable female leaders. Ellen Browning Scripps financed and established the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. In 1927, Belle Benchley became the nation's first female zoo director and for nearly thirty years pioneered new forms of exhibition and developed the world-class San Diego Zoo. Ruth Alexander set new altitude records for light planes at the peak of the city's aviation boom. Bertha Pendleton became the first female and first African-American San Diego school superintendent in 1993.
Dr. Gloria Harris, co-author of Remarkable Women of San Diego (the History Press, 2016) will share the stories of these and many other extraordinary local women.
Dr. Harris began her career as a clinical psychologist in the early seventies after receiving her doctorate from the University of Washington. She co-authored the groundbreaking book, Assertive Training for Women (1975), and edited a textbook, The Group Treatment of Human Problems (1977). She also co-authored Surviving Infidelity (2005); Women Trailblazers of California (2012), and Remarkable Women of San Diego (2016).
Dr. Harris has been appointed to numerous boards and commissions and previously was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to serve on the San Diego County Commission on the Status of Women (Chair: 2000) and the County Mental Health Board (Chair: 2009). She has been nominated by Mental Health America as Volunteer of the Year (2010) and inducted into the San Diego Women’s Hall of Fame (2010).