USA TODAY Announces the 2024 Women of the Year in Honor of Women’s History Month


National Honorees Include Eva Longoria, Paulina Porizkova, Aly Raisman and

55 extraordinary local honorees from across the country

, part of (NYSE: GCI), announced the 2024 Women of the Year honorees who are using their influence to empower women to lead the next generation. Throughout the year, USA TODAY seeks candidates from various industries and diverse walks of life who accomplish the unimaginable – personally and professionally. USA TODAY’s lead and fight for equity while providing hope and inspiration to others.

This year’s list includes 55 local representatives from each state, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, as well as five national honorees who positively impact their communities.

The 2024 USA TODAY Women of the Year national honorees include:

  • Melissa Gilliam – Distinguished educator, scholar, research scientist, physician, champion of diversity and inclusion and Boston University’s first female president and person of color to lead the 184-year-old research institution, inspiring women to see what is possible.
  • Eva Longoria – Award-winning actor, director and activist who uplifts women and girls around the globe through her ventures, including the Eva Longoria Foundation and Eva’s Heroes. She also serves as CEO of UnbeliEVAble Entertainment, a production company focused on telling the stories of underrepresented communities.
  • Paulina Porizkova – Czechoslovak-born writer, actor and supermodel who spotlights the complexities of womanhood at every stage. She is redefining what it means to age and helping to shift the narrative for maturing women.
  • Aly Raisman – Author, entrepreneur and the third most decorated American gymnast of all-time with six Olympic medals who uses her platform to shine light on sexual abuse against women. She also champions the importance of prioritizing well-being and practicing self-care to normalize the conversation around mental health.
  • Toni Townes-Whitley – Newly appointed CEO of SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation), an award-winning global tech leader and remarkable mentor whose proven track record in the technology and engineering sectors is leading the future generation of innovators.

“I am proud to shine a light on these courageous women, from their extraordinary accomplishments to their lasting legacies on the next generation,” said USA TODAY Editor-in-Chief Terence Samuel. “We are committed to spotlighting women who drive social change, break barriers and excel in their respective field.”

USA TODAY Network journalists sought women from around the country who make a difference locally and embody Gannett’s mission to empower and enrich communities.

New York honoree Lachi is a blind singer-songwriter pushing the recording industry to open doors to the disabled. Massachusetts honoree Madhavi Venkatesan is executive director of Sustainable Practices, fighting to ban plastic bottles and encourage critical engagement surrounding sustainability; and Washington honoree is 19-year-old Merrill Keating, whose advocacy and organization are inspiring the next generation of women in STEM.

Interviews with each state’s honoree appear on today and in print in their respective USA TODAY Network local publication the first week of March as a tribute to Women’s History Month. National honorees will be featured in USA TODAY’s Weekend edition every Friday throughout the month. Additionally, the will feature a special streaming program highlighting select honorees and diving deeper into the lives of the extraordinary women. The show debuts this evening on Roku, Tubi, Amazon and most smart televisions.

The 2024 USA TODAY Women of the Year program is sponsored by , a leading human resources solutions and workforce management company.

To read the stories of the 2024 distinguished local and national honorees, visit .


Search open positions and contribute to life-changing, career-defining work.


Learn more about our network and brands.

Media Room

Access Gannett’s Media Kit and other media resources.