Learn more about the NeW movement.

The NeW Story

In the fall of 2004, Karin Agness Lips returned to the University of Virginia after an internship in Washington, DC and sought out an organization in which college women could talk about public policy, including conservative ideas. She decided to approach the campus Women’s Center and asked a staff woman if the center might be interested in co-sponsoring a new group for conservative university women. Her response? She laughed and said “not here.”

Despite the ridicule, Karin founded a book club for conservative college women and called it the Network of enlightened Women, known as NeW. Within a year, women on other campuses heard about NeW and wanted to start their own chapters. NeW began expanding nationally, growing one chapter at a time.

The message was clear: conservative women on campuses across the country needed NeW.

Chapters began meeting to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing women today, as well as current national issues. NeW was originally started as a book club, so that members could read about ideas that were often left off college syllabi and forgotten on college campuses. As NeW has expanded, many NeW chapters also seek to educate their campus communities by hosting speakers, holding debates, participating in philanthropic efforts, and writing articles. Today, NeW is present on more than 40 college campuses. As former NeW members graduate, they wanted to stay involved, so we have formed young professional and alumnae chapters.

In addition to campus programs, NeW hosts national events including an annual National Conference in June in Washington, DC, a contest honoring upstanding gentlemen called The Gentlemen Showcase, a Young Women’s Leadership Retreat, and multiple professional development trainings. NeW has been covered by TIME, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, the Associated Press, POLITICO, and many other publications. Join the NeW movement today by starting a chapter, attending an event, or donating.

Learn more about our Statement of Principles.

Our Mission

The Network of Enlightened Women educates, equips, and empowers women to be principled leaders for a free society.

Educate– NeW educates women on campus and early in their careers on the principles of freedom and opportunity by hosting speakers, holding debates, and providing intellectual resources. In its education work, NeW serves as a thought leader, promoting independent thinking and providing intellectual diversity on college campuses and in public discussions on women, policy, and culture.

Equip – NeW trains pro-liberty women to serve as leaders through campus sessions, national conferences, leadership retreats, and professional development programs.

Empower – NeW cultivates a vibrant community of women through campus chapters, professional chapters, and our online presence that emboldens participants to confidently advocate for pro-liberty ideas in their schools, workplaces, homes, and communities. NeW also connects program participants with career-advancing professional opportunities.


Meet the leaders of NeW who are working to create a community of strong conservative values for women on college campuses and in our communities.

Julia Canzano
Campus Program and Events Coordinator

Alexis Flowers

Director of Programs

Kirsten Golinski

Development Manager

Franchetta Groves

Communications Associate

Susan Jenkins

Operations Director

Karin Lips


Peyton Smith

Digital Communications Associate

Chloe Sparwath

Campus Program Coordinator

Adelyn Spikes

Campus Program Coordinator

Board of Directors

Board Member

Board Member

Board Member

Clarice Smith (3)

Board Member

Board Member

Board Member Emeritus

Board Member Emeritus

Advisory Board

Advisory Board Member

Susan Charnaux Headshot

Advisory Board Member


Advisory Board Member

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Advisory Board Member


Advisory Board Member


Advisory Board Member


Advisory Board Member

Nicholson Family

Advisory Board Member

AB-Lou Ann Sabatier

Advisory Board Member


Advisory Board Member


Advisory Board Member


Advisory Board Member


NeW is making a difference on campus. Why should you start a chapter? Here is what some leaders from across the country say about their NeW experience:

“NeW is important because it provides an alternative for young, university women on college campuses to learn both sides of the political spectrum and discuss them in a safe and encouraging space. These women are beginning to explore themselves for the first time, and they should be able to explore all beliefs and discuss their feelings without judgment or ridicule. NeW provides this space, and I love being an agent of kindness and enlightenment.” -Krista Chavez of American University

“NeW helped me to become empowered to speak up about my values. This was important in my college experience as learning about yourself and who you are as a person, is just as important as academics. I learned to be confident in who I am as a conservative woman and to become actively involved in organizations and opportunities that help me express my beliefs and ideas!” -Reagan High of Western Carolina University

“NeW is important because it gives young women the opportunity to cultivate their own thoughts and beliefs in a positive way.” -Sydney Berman of Boston University


“My life would not be the same if I had not gotten involved with NeW earlier this year. The incredible role models and leaders that I’ve been connected with through the Network of enlightened Women have truly inspired me to be politically active by openly and proudly voicing my conservative views in private circles, on social media, in a campus newspaper and, with NeW’s help, national publications. The community of women that I’ve gotten to know from across the country through NeW includes some of the most dedicated, compassionate, and truly gifted people I’ve met, and it’s wonderful to know that there are people throughout the nation who share so many of my views, experiences, and passions.”
-Emily Hall of Harvard University

On November 6, NeW at the Catholic University of America hosted Giovanna Coia Pence from the White House. Pence shared with the women and men in attendance about her journey from college to the White House, relying on her faith and working hard every step of the way. The CUA Tower, the student publication on

How do you measure the impact of an organization? You might start by looking at metrics that are easily quantifiable: membership numbers, how many events the organization hosts, or its number of hits on social media. But that wouldn’t capture the whole picture. To truly know how much an organization has accomplished, you have to

Meet Mairead McArdle, one of the leaders of the NeW New York City Professional Network. Mairead graduated from Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California in 2015. She is a breaking news reporter for National Review Online. She loves to travel for stories whenever the opportunity presents itself. For example, she traveled to Florida to


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