Pennsylvania Commission for Women

Hannah Penn Leadership Awards



As William Penn’s second wife, Hannah Callowhill Penn played a critical role in Pennsylvania’s history

Hannah Callowhill Penn
Hannah Callowhill Penn
Living in England and working through agents in Pennsylvania, she governed the colony for six years after her husband was incapacitated by a stroke in 1712 and for an additional eight years following his death in 1718. No other woman in Britain, except Queen Mary II and Queen Anne, had held direct political power of this kind.

Hannah Penn prevailed over challenges to her authority to govern and is remembered for her strong civic leadership and governance, especially her ability to lead, direct and delegate decision making, build political consensus and make sound judgments benefitting the colony.

The legacy of this important female leader is recognized annually through the Hannah Penn Leadership Awards, which honor Pennsylvania women who have been outstanding mentors and role models through their leadership, service and commitment to empowering women and girls in the commonwealth.


Nominations are now being accepted for the 2015 Hannah Penn Leadership Awards.



• 2015 Hannah Penn Leadership Awards Brochure
• 2015 Nomination Form

Congratulations to the 2014 recipients of the Hannah Penn Leadership Awards!



Hannah Kirby, Erie
2014 Rising Star Award


Lorraine Marchand, Yardley
2014 Business Leadership Award



Pat Halpin-Murphy, Ambler

2014 Civic and Volunteer
Leadership Award


Ann Wilson, Johnstown
2014 Hannah Penn Leadership Award

 for Distinguished Service
 (Posthumously presented to the Wilson Family)