Women In Leadership Awards Announces Lara Logan As Keynote Speaker
She covered the war in Afghanistan while pregnant with her son. The then chief of foreign affairs correspondent for CBS News returned to the country one year later—on two occasions—while pregnant with her daughter.
“That’s how crazy I was,” says Lara Logan, an award-winning broadcast journalist who will deliver the keynote address at the Executive Women of the Palm Beaches Foundation’s annual luncheon.
Logan has a powerful story to tell. When her son was 4 and her daughter was 3, she was in Tahrir Square reporting on the collapse of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime. On the night of Feb. 11, 2011, she was raped and beaten by a mob of men who left her for dead. She survived, only to learn in 2012 she had stage-two breast cancer, leading to surgery and radiation. Frequent hospitalizations from the long-term effects of both traumas—she recently was admitted six times in eight months—prompted her to re-evaluate life.
“I grew up thinking that women can do anything they want, and they can have it all,” says the 48-year-old South African native. “You can have it all, but having it all at once is a near-impossible task. I had compromised so much on my health, and I think the message was clear to me that I couldn’t do this anymore. I knew I had to make a change.”
Logan relocated to Fredericksburg, Texas. She appears on “60 Minutes” occasionally, opting to spend more time raising her children.
“I don’t really separate work from who I am as a person and what I believe in and what is important to me,” she says. “I wasn’t prepared for how much that would mean for my family.”
Logan has made her mark as a public speaker, as well, boldly opening up to audiences about her experiences.
“I love to speak to women because, for me, it’s kind of like home,” she says, referring to her four sisters. “I’m a strong woman who loves other strong women, so I enjoy doing these kinds of events. It has profound echoes for me.”
The Women In Leadership Awards takes place April 17 at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.
Logan would be lucky to stay in the area for a few days.“I never spend an enormous amount of time anywhere, now, because of my children,” she says. “That’s my challenge. I probably will only spend a night or two, which is a shame because I really love that part of the world. I am an ocean-and-sunshine girl. The beach is my favorite place.”
Luncheon chairwoman Amy Brand says Logan topped the foundation’s list of potential guests this year.
“We had discussed Lara being an internationally known correspondent, and for that, we greatly respect that she’s kind of broken ground,” Brand says. “We want it to be a very positive, upbeat message and certainly an inspirational message when people leave our luncheon.”
Co-chairwoman Cecilia Hudnet agrees.
“We want people to think about it, talk about it and have it open up conversations for the future,” Hudnet says. “It’s really great to have her as our speaker.”