IWF - Washington State is a proud, early member of the International Women's Forum organization, and is dedicated to its mission of advancing women's leadership and championing equality worldwide. The Washington State forum was founded by Laurie McDonald Jonsson in 1987 when she invited 11 prominent Seattle women from diverse fields to join her.
In the early years, meetings were generally informal private dinners in members' homes, which fostered much-needed camaraderie and sisterhood. McDonald Jonsson served as the founding president and the glue which held the group together for the first 17 years. Since then, the forum has benefitted from the leadership of many other prominent local women, including Terry Axelrod, whose leadership helped expand the forum to more than 200 leading women in Washington state.
Highlights over the years include:
Despite having fewer than 50 members at the time, IWF-Washington State was honored to host the IWF World Leadership Conference in Seattle in 2006.
In 2017, the forum nominated its first of many successful IWF Leadership Fellows candidates, Nicole Grogan.
In 2020, the forum undertook an initiative to formalize and expand the organization, adding our first board of directors, active committees, and robust programming.
Our current membership includes preeminent women in business, law, government, medicine, academia, the arts and sciences, technology, and philanthropy. The International Women's Forum, headquartered in Washington, DC, is the only nonprofit organization of this scale that builds significant relationships between C-suite-level women across countries and careers.
Membership is by-invitation only. www.iwforum.org