Local Business Owner Named to Advisory Council for Smithsonian’s American Women’s History


A local Annapolis businesswoman has been named to the Advisory Council of the Smithsonian’s American Women’s History Museum. 

Jane Abraham (who with her daughter Betsy owns Scout & Molly’s Boutique at Annapolis Town Center), is one of 19 women from around the country who will help the Smithsonian develop the new museum. 

Others on the panel include Fashion Designer Tory Burch, tennis great Billie Jean King, and former Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. 

Abraham chaired a bipartisan Congressional Commission to Study the Potential of a National Women’s History Museum. The Commission’s work helped lead to the passage of legislation that directed the Smithsonian to begin working toward the establishment of the museum. This follows the Smithsonian’s very successful launching of its African American History Museum and Cultural Center. 

The Arc of Central MarylandThe Arc of Central Maryland

During the pandemic, Abraham opened a pop-up shop at The Annapolis Town Center. With the property’s latest enhancements to curate the best guest experience through a variety of retail, dining, and event offerings, it was easy to understand her local clientele’s demand that she stay. With over 60% of the Annapolis Town Center businesses either owned or managed by women, Abraham has become a very active member of the vibrant Annapolis business community, in addition to supporting non-profit programs to benefit women in business 

The Council to which Abraham has been named advises the Smithsonian’s Regents and makes recommendations on the location, planning, design, and construction of the museum; helps with private fundraising, and provides for the maintenance of the collections. 

“This has been an exciting experience for me. As a female business owner, I have come to appreciate the many contributions that women have made and are making in all fields of endeavor. Now it’s time to memorialize these accomplishments and there is no better way to do so than by establishing a national museum dedicated to this work” Abraham said. 

Liquified Creative AnnapolisLiquified Creative Annapolis

The full list of Advisory Council members includes: 

  • Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian (ex officio) 
  • Former Ambassador Barbara Barrett, member of the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents 
  • Jane Abraham, former chair of the Congressional Commission to Study the Potential of a National Women’s History Museum 
  • Catherine Allgor, president of the Massachusetts Historical Society 
  • Mary Boies, counsel to Boies Schiller Flexner LLP 
  • Tory Burch, executive chairman and chief creative officer of Tory Burch LLC 
  • Lynda Carter, actress, singer, songwriter and producer 
  • Jean Case, chairman of the National Geographic Society and CEO of the Case Impact Network and The Case Foundation 
  • Melissa Fetter, former vice president of JP Morgan 
  • Edna Kane-Williams, chief diversity officer at AARP 
  • Billie Jean King, winner of 39 Grand Slam tennis titles and founder of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative 
  • Singleton McAllister, of counsel at Husch Blackwell LLP 
  • Penny Pritzker, founder and chairman of PSP Partners and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce 
  • Abbe Raven, chairman emeritus of A+E Networks and former chair of the National Museum of American History 
  • Vivian Riefberg, director emeritus with McKinsey 7 Company and David C. Walentas Jefferson Scholars Chair at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia 
  • Martine Rothblatt, founder of United Therapeutics and SiriusXM 
  • S. Mona Sinha, co-founder of Raising Change and founder of the Asian Women’s Leadership University 
  • Cara Sylvester, executive vice president and chief marketing and digital officer for Target Corporation 

The Members of Congress appointed to the council are*: 

  • Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) 
  • Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) 

*Senate members are pending 

We spoke with Jane on a recent podcast episode, have a listen:

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