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President Bendapudi Named No. 4 Most Influential Woman In Pennsylvania By City & State

Penn State President Neeli Bendapudi landed at No. 4 in City & State’s “Women 100” rankings of the most influential women in Pennsylvania.

The list of 100 women includes public servants, business executives, nonprofit leaders, advocates, academics, and more, as researched by City & State staff.

Bendapudi landed behind Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward, State Representative Joanna McClinton, and UPMC President and CEO Leslie C. Davis, respectively.

“Penn State’s first woman president is Neeli Bendapudi, who came to State College last spring from the University of Louisville,” the description read. “The Indian American marketing and consumer behavior scholar, known for her prodigious fundraising and financial acumen, now leads one of the nation’s largest universities and an academic powerhouse – Penn State spent a record $1 billion in research last year.”

“Bendapudi is expected to keep the momentum going, drawing on her experience in Louisville, where she presided over rising recruitment, enrollment, diversity, and graduation rates,” the description continued.

Notably, Bendapudi ranked above No. 10 University of Pennsylvania President Elizabeth Magill. Deborah Addo, executive vice president and COO of Penn State Health, was ranked No. 41.

Penn Stater Summer Lee is also featured on the list at No. 81. Lee was recently elected to Congress in Pennslyvania as the first Black woman to hold that level of office.

President and CEO of the Centre Foundation Molly Kunkel also landed at No. 83. Kunkel “oversees a $70 million charitable organization that cultivates grassroots donors and philanthropic partners, funds key community projects, supports local nonprofits and spearheads training and research aimed at growing local philanthropy” in Centre County.

You can check out the complete rankings here.

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About the Author

Colleen Nersten

Colleen is a senior biology major from York, Pa, and is one of Onward State's associate editors. She overuses the ~tilde~ and aspires to be no other than the great Guy Fieri. You can find Colleen filling up her gas tank at Rutter’s, the ~superior~ Pennsylvania gas station. Please direct any questions or concerns to [email protected] For the hijinks, always.

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