The ATHENA Leadership Award® is presented to a woman ---or man--- who is honored for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. Click here for more information on hosting an ATHENA Award in your community.  
The ATHENA Leadership Model®, developed through a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, identifies eight distinct attributes that are reflective of women’s contributions to leadership. Click here to learn more about the ATHENA Leadership Model and programs based upon it.

Join Now! The ATHENA Leadership Circle and ATHENA Founding Lifetime Membership helps ATHENA fulfill its mission and bring us closer to our shared vision of a balance in the faces of leadership worldwide. Click here to learn more about becoming a member of ATHENA International.  
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Celebrate the 35th anniversary of ATHENA International and join us for three days of world-class inspiration, motivation and business networking at Ignite8.
For more information on the Ignite8 Conference click on the logo below

September 25–27, 2016
Lansing, Michigan, USA, where ATHENA was founded.

Hosted by

Work of ATHENA Leadership Model Advocate Recognized at State of the Union Address

For the last 4 years Martha Mertz, founder of ATHENA International, has taught the ATHENA Leadership Model (ALM) to women in Perryville Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. The ALM, published in 1989, was funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and written by a group of national authorities on leadership. The purpose of the ALM was to define how women lead based on feedback from hundreds of ATHENA Award recipients across the country and beyond. The core of the ALM is comprised of eight tenets of leadership common among women leaders: authentic self; relationships; giving back; collaboration; courageous acts; learning; fierce advocacy; and celebration and joy.

This Perryville Prison effort is changing minds and lives and the women participants are not going back to prison once they have been released. The statistics are quite phenomenal!

Martha ended up at Perrysville by way of Sue Ellen Allen, the founder of Gina’s Team. Gina was Sue Ellen’s cellmate who died while incarcerated and it is in her name Gina’s Team delivers programs to provide women a path out of prison, back into the community and out of additional trouble with the law. Sue Ellen Allen will be recognized in person by President Obama at the State of the Union address.

Information about these guests and news about the State of the Union is available at


We thank you for hosting the ATHENA Award® Program and illuminating the exemplary leadership of ATHENA Nominees and Recipients in your community. Since the program’s inception in 1982, nearly 7,000 exemplary leaders in over 500 communities have received the prestigious ATHENA Leadership Award. By honoring exceptional leaders, the ATHENA Leadership Award® Program seeks to inspire others to achieve excellence in their professional and personal lives. Click here to renew your ATHENA Award Program today!

"What is honored in a country will be cultivated there" - Plato
Founded in 1982 by Martha Mayhood Mertz, ATHENA International is a non-profit organization that seeks to support, develop and honor women leaders through programs that we administer in partnership with ‘host organizations’ from local communities.These programs inspire women to reach their full potential and strive to create balance in leadership worldwide.
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