Thank you for your feedback!

Brava! Awards

Meet the Brava Recipients

Each year we identify “Women of Excellence” in our state who have made an impact by their service to others and celebrate them at our annual Brava! Award Banquet. Following are this year’s honorees:




Dr. Sheila Edwards Lange
Chancellor, University of Washington Tacoma

Dr. Sheila Edwards Lange was appointed to serve as Chancellor of the University of Washington Tacoma in September 2021. As the chief executive officer of the campus, she provides leadership on all campus matters. She has a wide range of experience in higher education administration and has been a leading advocate for diversity and inclusion throughout her career.  Prior to her position at UW Tacoma, Dr. Lange served as President of Seattle Central College (SCC). From 2007 to 2015, Dr. Lange served as Vice President and Vice Provost for Minority Affairs & Diversity at UW in Seattle. 

She was born in the small town of Pachuta, Miss., and, as a first-generation college student, received a bachelor’s degree in social ecology from the University of California, Irvine. She earned a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington in Seattle.


Sally Jewell
Affiliate Professor, UW Foster School of Business, Former U.S. Secretary of the Interior

Sally Jewell served as U.S. Secretary of the Interior from 2013-17, following 40+ years in business, including eight years as CEO of REI.  In government, she advocated for balanced protection of public lands and waters, leveraged science to shape a landscape-level understanding of our resources, nurtured a respectful nation-to-nation relationship with Native American tribes, and engaged youth in opportunities to experience and care for the natural world.

Her volunteer service over the course of her career in environmental, educational, social service, and business organizations, has given her an appreciation of the inner workings of our democracy and civil society, earning her multiple awards along the way.  Sally’s current focus is helping students and faculty at the UW and beyond work across disciplines, and in partnership with communities, understand how their diverse skills and life experiences are essential to shaping a future that is equitable, economically successful, and environmentally sustainable for all.


Dr. Mary-Claire King
American Cancer Society Professor of Medicine and Genome Sciences, University of Washington

Mary-Claire King is American Cancer Society Professor at the University of Washington in Seattle. She was the first to show that breast cancer is inherited in some families, as the result of mutations in the gene that she discovered and named BRCA1. Her other research interests include the genetic bases of severe mental illness, the genetic causes of birth disorders in children, and human genetic diversity and evolution. She pioneered the use of DNA sequencing for human rights investigations, applying mitochondrial DNA sequencing to the identification of kidnapped children in Argentina and subsequently to cases of human rights violations on six continents.

Dr. King grew up in Chicago. She received her BA cum laude in Mathematics from Carleton College in Minnesota; her PhD in Genetics from the University of California at Berkeley; and her postdoctoral training at UC San Francisco.  Her PhD dissertation was the demonstration that protein-coding DNA sequences of humans and chimpanzees are 99% identical.  She was professor at UC Berkeley from 1976-1995 and at the University of Washington since 1995.  

Dr. King's awards include election to the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine, and in 2016, the US National Medal of Science. 



Following are our previous years’ Brava! honorees:


  • Monica Alexander, Captain of Washington State Patrol (Retired)
  • Dr. Kristie Ebi, UW Global Health Professor, Co-Author of United Nations IP Report, Global Climate Change
  • Christine Gregoire, Former Governor of Washington State, CEO of Challenge Seattle

2020 - 2021

(Coronavirus restrictions; no awards given)


  • Colleen Echohawk, Director of Chief Seattle Club
  • Marty Hartman, Director of Mary's Place
  • Georgia Gerber, Sculptor and Advocate for the Arts


WUC Community Civic Leaders

  • Catherine Gibson
  • Frances Heaverlo
  • Karen Lane
  • Pearl Noreen
  • Carolyn Quatier
  • Karen Wong


  • Leslie Jackson Chihuly, President Chihuly Studios and Advocate for the Arts
  • Janet JonesPreston, Global Humanitarian and Community Leader
  • Megan Karch, CEO, FareStart


  • Sara Boos, Artistic Director, Northwest Girlchoir
  • Barbara Earl Thomas, Noted Artist, Writer and Former Director of the African American Museum
  • Trina Westerlund, Founder, Children’s Institute for Learning Differences


  • Sheila Capestany, Founder, Open Arms Perinatal Services
  • Margaret Larson, Broadcast Journalist and Host, KING 5 TV’s New Day Northwest
  • Mary Yu, Washington State Supreme Court Justice


Women of the Century

  • Dorothy C Bullitt
  • Dorothy Stimson Bullitt
  • Harriet Overton Bullitt
  • Katharine “Kay” Muller Bullitt
  • Priscilla “Patsy” Bullitt Collins


  • Janis Avery, CEO, Treehouse for Kids
  • The Honorable Bobbe J Bridge, Founder and CEO, Children & Youth Justice
  • Maureen Browning, Founder, Friendship Adventures


(Ten-year reunion celebration; no awards given)


  • Maggie Walker, Civic Leader and Philanthropist
  • Luly Yang, Fashion Designer and Entrepreneur
  • Sister Kathleen Ross and Martha Yallup, Founders, Heritage College in Yakima


  • Kathy Johanson and Stacy Lill, Founders and Owners, O Wines Winery
  • Lisa Brummel and Ginny Gilder, Ownership Team Seattle Storm
  • Anne Levinson and Dawn Trudeau, Ownership Team Seattle Storm


  • Jennifer James, Urban Cultural Anthropologist
  • Jane Jones, Founder, Book-It-Theatre
  • Jean Walkinshaw, Producer


  • Jane Hastings, Architect
  • Deborah Jacobs, Seattle City Librarian
  • Patrinell “Pat” Wright, Founder, Total Experience Gospel Choir


  • Barbara Bennett, Founder, First Place School
  • Anne Gould Hauberg, Arts & Education Activist
  • Karen Moyer, Co-founder, The Moyer Foundation for Children in Distress


  • Marja Brandon, Founder and Executive Director, Seattle Girls’ School
  • Katharine “Kay” Bullitt, Noted Seattle Civic Leader and Community Activist
  • Dr. Bonnie J Dunbar, President and CEO, Seattle’s Museum of Flight


  • Dr. Linda Buck, 2004 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine
  • Assunta Ng, Publisher, NW Asian Weekly
  • Colleen Willoughby, President and Founder, Washington Women’s Foundation


  • Jeanne Ehrlichman Bluechel, Music Education Activist
  • Linda Hartzell, Artistic Director, Seattle Children’s Theatre
  • Nancy Pearl, Director, Washington Center for the Book


  • Virginia Anderson, Director, Seattle Center
  • Francia Russell, Co-Artistic Director, Pacific NW Ballet
  • Rita Ryder, Director, Snohomish and King County YWCA