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Beyond The Big Dig
About this project

What happens to the ribbon of land being created by the depression of the Central Artery may be the most important development decision to face Boston in a generation.

Jill Ker Conway (Globe File Photo)

* Jill Ker Conway oped column

Jill Ker Conway

Conway was born in Hillston, New South Wales, Australia. The story of her early life on a huge and remote sheep farm is known to many who have read her best-selling memoirs "The Road from Coorain," and "True North."

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In 1975 she became the first woman president of Smith College and served ten years in that post. Since 1985 she has been a visiting scholar and professor in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's program in Science, Technology and Society.

Earlier in her career she taught 19th- and 20th-century American history at the University of Toronto, where she also became one of five university vice presidents.

Conway is chairman of Lend Lease Corporation and has served as a director of a number of American companies, including Nike, Merrill Lynch, and Colgate-Palmolive. She has also served as a trustee on several foundations and university boards, including the Kresge and Knight foundations.

She graduated from the University of Sydney in 1958 with a degree in history, and received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1969. She has received more than 30 honorary degrees from colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada.

Her research as a historian has focused on the role of feminism in American history, resulting in such books as "The Female Experience in 18th- and 19th-Century America," and "Women Reformers and American Culture."

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