Glamour Names First Lady Michelle Obama, Stella McCartney and Rihanna Among 2009 Women of the Year

Glamour magazine announces its annual Women of the Year tribute with 11 extraordinary and inspirational winners and one special-recognition honoree. Glamour’s honorees have made unprecedented contributions to the worlds of entertainment, business, sports, fashion, science and politics. L’Oreal Paris is the title sponsor of the celebration at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The 2009 Women of the Year are profiled in the December issue of Glamour, on newsstands November 10, with a stunning photo portfolio by renowned photographers, including Brigitte Lacombe and Matthias Vriens-McGrath. This evening’s awards ceremony will be held at Carnegie Hall, with a star-studded list of presenters and a special musical performance by Estelle. This year, the Glamour Women of the Year Fund initiative has worked with the Jenzabar Foundation and its cofounder Ling Chai, a 1990 Women of the Year honoree, to create a scholarship that will allow Iranian women to study at universities in the United States. Glamour’s Women of the Year advisory board, made up of past honorees ranging from Jennifer Lopez to Nora Ephron to Katie Couric, helped nominate:

  —  Dr. Maya Angelou – A memoirist, poet, educator and civil rights
      activist, Dr. Angelou holds more than 30 honorary degrees for her many
      published works, including her latest, Letter to My Daughter, a
      collection of wisdom she has gathered throughout her life.
  —  Dr. Jane Aronson – This pediatrician is credited with bringing the
      plight of orphans to the world’s attention. Her Worldwide Orphans
      Foundation has provided life-altering support to more than 20,000
      orphans around the globe; in her private practice, Dr. Aronson works
      with adoptive parents–including Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt–to care
      for their children and reassure them that their new families can work.
  —  Laura Ling & Euna Lee – These journalists made headlines earlier this
      year when they were arrested and imprisoned while reporting on the
      plight of North Korean women who cross into China to escape
      starvation.
  —  Marissa Mayer – She helped make Google the number-one search engine,
      overseeing popular innovations like Gmail, Google Maps and Google
      Earth. Among her current goals as vice president for search and user
      experience is bringing more women into the high-tech field and moving
      them up the ladder.
  —  Stella McCartney – She has become one of the world’s most influential
      designers, thanks to her innate sense of what makes a woman look cool.
      A lifelong vegetarian and animal rights activist, she refuses to work
      in leather or fur, instead using man-made materials to create sexy
      stilettos and jackets that are coveted by the world’s most fashionable
      women.
  —  One Million Signatures Campaign – Started in 2006 by a group of
      Iranian women, the campaign calls for an end to gender inequality in
      Iran. The organizers risk their lives asking women and men to sign a
      petition demanding changes in the laws that make women second-class
      citizens. Their courage has emboldened women across Iran to speak out
      with a newfound voice, one that was heard loud and clear during last
      summer’s post-election demonstrations.
  —  Amy Poehler – A fearless comedian, she is currently the star and
      producer of NBC’s Parks and Recreation. She inspires young girls with
      projects like The Mighty B!, her Nickelodeon cartoon series about a
      feisty Honeybee Scout, and Smart Girls at the Party, her Web-based
      preteen talk show.
  —  Susan Rice – The first female African American U.S. Ambassador to the
      United Nations, she is putting women’s needs at the forefront of the
      American agenda at the U.N.
  —  Rihanna – At just 21, this pop star boasts sales that have wowed even
      music industry veterans–and an incredible self-invented style. She
      started the Believe Foundation, a fund that provides educational and
      medical supplies to needy children; for the first time, she speaks out
      in Glamour about what she calls the “big secret” of domestic violence.
  —  Maria Shriver – California’s First Lady has redefined the role into a
      platform for change and leadership with her annual Women’s Conference,
      multiple books, Emmy-award winning documentary on Alzheimer’s and her
      groundbreaking study on “A Woman’s Nation,” which ignited a national
      conversation on the female role at work and at home.
  —  Serena Williams – The tennis powerhouse has won more career prize
      money than any female athlete in history. Her Serena Williams
      Foundation gives grants to U.S. college students, and she recently
      opened a secondary school in rural Kenya.
  —  Special Recognition: Michelle Obama – America’s First Lady has brought
      the importance of mentoring to the national forefront. She has
      demonstrated a commitment to helping the next generation of girls
      expand their horizons by providing them with the information and
      inspiration to envision themselves as the leaders of tomorrow.

Glamour’s Women of the Year event has had an impact on politics and society that literally saves lives. Glamour continues its Women of the Year Fund initiative, which translates the message of the event into action. The magazine’s 12 million readers can contribute to charities supported by the Women of the Year Fund at glamour.com/woty and watch their contributions make a difference in the pages of Glamour, which will follow the progress of the recipients. The 2009 winners, Iran’s One Million Signatures Campaign, cannot accept donations, so this year’s fund is dedicated to a scholarship program helping Iranian women attend universities in the United States.

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