The Katherine Delmar Burke School Distinguished Alumna Award is given each year to an alumna who embodies the values at the heart of the school’s mission to educate, encourage, and empower girls. The recipient exemplifies a life of learning, service to community, individuality, and the ability to make a difference in the world.

Our 2022 Distinguished Alumna: Lisa McKnight ’82

Lisa McKnight ’82 is Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie and Dolls for Mattel. Lisa oversees the entire Dolls portfolio for Mattel, leading a global team in brand strategy, product development, and marketing execution.

Lisa has been instrumental in evolving the iconic Barbie brand into the most diverse doll line on the market that is reflective of the world kids see around them. With tenets rooted in the power of purpose, empowerment, inclusivity, culture, and role models, the Barbie brand continues to inspire the limitless potential in every girl and has never been more relevant than it is today.

Lisa has led the charge in defining the brand’s global social mission with the launch of the Barbie Dream Gap Project – a multi-year initiative dedicated to leveling the playing field for every girl. Since launching in 2018, Lisa has overseen the celebration more of than sixty global role models and raised more than a million dollars for nonprofit organizations that have powerful vehicles in place to reach girls at a global scale.

Lisa is the 2016 recipient of AdWeek’s Brand Genius Award and serves on the boards of MAKERS Women and the Toy Industry Foundation, with a focus on the DE&I committee. Lisa is also the executive sponsor of Women of Mattel and and a member Women In Toys, through which she serves a mentor to women in the toy, licensing and entertainment industries. In 2020, she was a finalist for WFA’s Marketer of the Year title and in 2021, named to Business Insider’s most innovative CMOs list. Lisa is a frequent guest speaker at conferences such as the Cannes International Advertising Festival, Fast Company Innovation Festival, WFA Global Marketer Conference, Most Contagious Summit, Brand Innovators and The Gathering Summit, which welcomed Barbie as a cult brand in 2021.
 

Nominate a Distinguished Alumna

We are currently accepting nominations for the 2023 Distinguished Alumna. Nominations will close in mid-November 2022, and we look forward to announcing the recipient in 2023!

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  • Burke's Distinguished Alumna Award Recipients

     
    2022
    Lisa McKnight ’82

    2021 
    Shafia Zaloom '85

    2020 
    Blair Rosenblatt Shane '85

    2019
    Ebony Frelix Beckwith '91

    2018
    Mary Shen O'Carroll '90

    2017
    Zoe Duskin '97

    2016
    Robin Hauser '78e

    2015
    Erica Howson Fortescue '89

    2014
    Lareina Yee '87

    2013
    Nancy Bibbero Cherney '70

    2012 
    Pauline Moffit Watts '66

    2011  
    Rachel Skiffer '88

    2010
    Vendela Vida '85

    2009  
    Jean Afterman ’75

    2008 
    Ann Blumlein Lazarus ’67

    2007 
    Dr. Mary Maillard Piel ’73

    2006 
    Mary Lowrey Gregory ’71

    2005 
    Dr. Bella Shen Garnett ’89

    2004 
    Nancy Hellman Bechtle ’55

    2003 
    Heather Martinez Zona ’81

    2002 
    Elisa "Bambi" Escamilla Schwartz ’56 
Burke's mission is to educate, encourage and empower girls. Our school combines academic excellence with an appreciation for childhood so that students thrive as learners, develop a strong sense of self, contribute to community, and fulfill their potential, now and throughout life.

Burke’s

An independent K–8 school for girls
7070 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94121
Phone: 415.751.0177 Fax: 415.666.0535
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