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Rep. Beyer To Honor Marie Ridder At Annual Women’s Conference

Rep. Don Beyer announced today that Marie Ridder of McLean will receive the Clara Mortenson Beyer Women and Children First Award during his Fifth Annual Women’s Conference and Forum. Ridder started her career in journalism for the Philadelphia Bulletin and covered post-World War II reconstruction in Europe. She has served on the boards of Piedmont Environmental Council, Trust for Public Land, the League of Conservation Voters; and Sasha Bruce House. A retired journalist, Ridder was an editor for Condé Nast, where she served as the Washington editor for Vogue, Mademoiselle and Glamour magazines. Ridder was a Washington correspondent for the Ridder, and later, Knight Ridder newspapers, and wrote for a variety of publications including The Washington Post and The Boston Globe. She also served as deputy to the national director of Project Head Start and liaison to First Lady Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Johnson from 1964 to 1968. Through her tireless career in journalism, environmental protection, and early childhood education, Ridder provides a unique perspective for women in the workforce fighting for equal pay.

The Beyers created the Clara Mortenson Beyer Women and Children First Award while the Congressman was Ambassador to Switzerland in 2011. It is named after his grandmother, who is credited with convincing the Roosevelt Administration to appoint Frances Perkins, the first female Cabinet Secretary in the United States. Clara Beyer served as Secretary Perkins’ right hand, working on child labor issues. She was the first woman appointed as US representative to the International Labor Organization in Geneva. 

The award is given annually to an exceptional woman who made a difference on behalf of women’s empowerment. Alexandria native Naomi Wadler won the award in last year for her advocacy in support of gun violence prevention, particularly regarding young women of color. Other previous awardees include Sasha DiGiulian, the first American woman to free-climb the north face of the 13,462 foot Eiger, Ambassador to the United States U.N. Mission in Geneva and author Betty King, Ruth Gaby Vermot, the founder of "Peace Women," Lisa Feldmann, Editor of Annabelle Magazine in Switzerland, Arlington community activist Portia Clark, and immigration advocate Ofelia Calderón.