Here you will find members of the BWHT board — the women who work together to “Remember the Ladies.”
Among the ladies we remember is our past president and longtime board member Sylvia McDowell, who passed away peacefully on March 11, 2010.
Click any member’s name to learn more
Michelle Lamarre Jenney, President
Katherine Dibble, Vice-president
Linda Stern, Secretary
Mary Howland Smoyer, Treasurer
Tania Del Rio
Tania Del Rio is Executive Director for the Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement. In a previous role at the City of Boston, Del Rio worked as the Diversity Outreach Officer for the Mayor’s Office.
Before joining the City of Boston, Tania was the Head of the Protection and Community Affairs Departments at the Consulate of Mexico in Boston. In that role, she worked to protect the rights of immigrants in New England and collaborated with community leaders to amplify their advocacy efforts. This work put her in contact with people from a broad range of experiences, including prison populations, children and youth, faith-based and cultural organizations, as well as private sector partners in five New England states.
She previously worked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico on using data to identify barriers for female diplomats in the Foreign Service. Her work was presented with the Outstanding Policy Analysis Exercise and the Jane Mansbridge Research Awards for research on women and gender at the Harvard Kennedy School. Her experience also includes political advising and press relations.
She holds a Master in Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from New York University.
Polly Welts Kaufman
Marie A. Turley
Sylvia McDowell, past president and longtime board member, passed away peacefully on March 11, 2010. Sylvia was an outstanding scholar of the history of women and African Americans, and a very gracious lady. She received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Simmons College. She got her first professional job as a medical librarian at Boston University and remained a Boston resident for the rest of her life, going on to work as a librarian at MIT and Harvard.
In retirement, she continued to purse her interest in historical research. In addition to serving on the BWHT board and as its president, she was a member of the Massachusetts Black Librarians Network, the American Library Association, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and the Association of Black Women Historians. In 1996, she received the Crystal Stair Award granted by the Simmons College African American Alumnae Association for “her dedication to community service via her sorority and her professional affiliations.” She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and was also a member of several other community and educational organizations in the hope of making the world better.