Three “Kansas Trailblazers” honored during Women’s History Month
TOPEKA – As part of a ‘Women’s History Month’ celebration, Governor Laura Kelly has honored three women who have made significant contributions to Kansas.
They are Dr. DeAngela Burns-Wallace, former Secretary of Administration; Julie Lorenz, former Secretary of Transportation; and Dr. Tiffany Anderson, Superintendent of Topeka Public Schools. Governor Kelly also presented each honoree with letters of recognition and formally proclaimed March ‘Women’s History Month.’
“Too often, we think of ‘women’s history’ as being in the distant past, failing to recognize that there are women making Kansas history right now,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Today, during Women’s History Month, I want to shine a light on three of my favorite current history-makers, strong women leaders who are paving the way for the next generation.”
As Secretary of Administration, Chief Information Technology Officer, and director of the Office of Recovery, Dr. DeAngela Burns-Wallace played a critical role in strengthening state operations at all levels and broke barriers in state government for women. She departed the Kelly administration in January 2023 after over three years of service.
Dr. Burns-Wallace has been recognized nationally for her achievements, including receiving the Orbie Award for the 2022 Outstanding CIO of the Year in Government. She was also elected to the Stanford University Board of Trustees in 2020 and became a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in 2022.
“The 2023 National Women’s History Month theme is Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories,” Dr. Burns-Wallace said. “I am honored and humbled today to stand with these two amazing women as our stories, our journeys, our triumphs and even our failures reflect the richness, diversity, and the depth and breadth of women leaders across our great state and nation.”
As Secretary of Transportation and chair of the Kansas Infrastructure Hub, Julie Lorenz navigated the passage of the 10-year bipartisan infrastructure program and repaired KDOT’s relationships with stakeholders across the state. She departed the Kelly administration in December 2022 after four years of service. She now serves as Principal Consultant for 1898 & Co., the business and technology consulting arm of Burns & McDonnell.
Like Dr. Burns-Wallace, Lorenz has been recognized across the country for her leadership, including with the prestigious George S. Bartlett Award.
“Throughout our history, Kansans have benefitted from strong women leaders in businesses, schools, government, and at home – and our work is not done,” Lorenz said. “We know poverty disproportionately affects women and children. Today’s celebration of women also underscores the need for us to work harder together to make the future brighter for those who follow us. I like to say Ad Astra Simul – to the stars, together!”
Dr. Tiffany Anderson is the first African American female superintendent of Topeka Public schools. She has been a passionate public school educator for 28 years, working to transform the lives of students and prepare them for life after graduation. In addition to her role as superintendent, Dr. Anderson serves on the Postsecondary Technical Education Authority (TEA), and as Co-Chair of the Governor’s Kansas Commission on Racial Equity and Justice.
Her dedication has been recognized by President Obama and at the Academy Awards. She recently received the 2023 Woman Superintendent in School Leadership award from the American Association of School Administrators.
“Women have changed the world and continue to lead the way to a better, more prosperous future of hope which can be seen in our woman leaders in politics, healthcare, and in the public education system which supports all other careers,” Dr. Anderson said. “It is a privilege to join Governor Kelly and the many women across Kansas in celebrating the countless contributions of women.”