Remarkable Women of Oak Hammock
In honor of National Women's History Month 2021
As we reflect during National Women’s History Month, Oak Hammock celebrates all of the incredible women that matriculate in this vibrant community. Three Oak Hammock residents stand out: Mary Kilgour, Edna Hindson and June Girard. Growing up in a period of rapid change, they showed their ability to thrive in the face of male-dominated socio-political standards. They found opportunity where walls still stood and defied the limited expectations society set for them. These three women were among many who paved the way for change. Stay tuned this week as we feature their individual stories. Here’s Mary’s story:
Growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, Mary helped redefine traditional female roles while leading a life of dedicated service. She repeatedly competed successfully for promotions previously received mainly by men, and her extensive resume boasts a catalogue of professional successes and achievements, in addition to various book and journal publications. Mary’s ability to thrive in foreign cultures and in large organizations helped her successfully manage development programs thousands of people around the world.
After graduating from the University of Connecticut, Mary began her career in foreign service by volunteering for the United States Peace Corps. Over the course of her two-year assignment in a small village in the Philippines, she developed an interest international relations and American diplomacy. Upon returning stateside, Mary went back to school to study for a master’s degree in political science. Thereafter, she began her long career with the United States Agency for International Development, or USAID. After serving in Washington, Pakistan and Colombia, she earned a second master’s degree, this one in public administration and a doctorate in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University. Her career was spent working all over the world in the Philippines, Liberia and Bangladesh, in addition to Pakistan, Colombia and Washington, D.C.
After retiring in the 90s, Mary has continued to dedicate her life to serving others. She’s lectured at Georgetown and the University of Florida. She has volunteers for several organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, Guardian ad Litem and her church in Gainesville.
Mary has spent more than seven decades breaking down barriers faced by women and supporting the empowerment of people around the globe. She has been an exemplary role model for younger women.