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Sally J. Pederson

2004 Iowa Women's Hall of Fame Honoree:  Sally J. Pederson

"As Lt. Governor, as a mother, as a wife, and as a citizen of Iowa, Sally Pederson has made it her life's mission to improve the lives of those around her." 
- Senator Tom Harkin

Sally J Pederson

Sally J. Pederson has made it her life's work to advocate for people who cannot advocate for themselves. From the time she graduated from Iowa State University and entered the business world at Meredith Corporation until now, she has made volunteer community and political involvement a staple in her daily life. As the parent of a child with a disability, she emerged as a forceful social advocate, not only for people with disabilities but also for children generally, for minorities, and for gays and lesbians. As president of the Autism Society of Iowa, she traveled the state working with parents and educators to assure that children with autism were being served appropriately. Her leadership in those years is widely credited in the creation of the Autism Services Program, a statewide resource in schools. She was founding president of The Homestead Living and Learning Center for Adults with Autism. Pederson's work and influence have not been limited to Iowa. She was a special guest at the first White House Conference on Mental Health and served as a trustee for the National Alliance for Autism Research. In 2004, she was an invited delegate to the Global Women's Action Network for Children where she worked with women leaders from around the world to create strategies that will try to build the political will to globally address women and children's issues. As Lieutenant Governor of Iowa, Pederson works side by side with the Governor, who often refers to her as the "conscience of this administration." She has served on the Executive Committee of the National Lieutenant Governors Association and as national chair of the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association. Pederson was born January 13, 1951, in Muscatine and grew up in Vinton. Pederson was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 2004.