Babineaux-Fontenot speaker for UL Lafayette’s Women’s Leadership Conference


University of Louisiana at Lafayette alum Claire Babineaux-Fontenot will be keynote speaker for the 2024 Women’s Leadership Conference. She is chief executive officer of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization and second-largest U.S. charity.
The conference will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, at the Cajundome Convention Center. Registration is underway.
UL Lafayette’s Women’s Leadership Conference, which is in its 17th year, is held in conjunction with national Women’s History Month. The conference is structured to foster personal and professional development, and includes breakout sessions and networking opportunities.
It also recognizes leadership and success with its Sarah Brabant Trailblazer, Rising Leader and Emerging Leader awards. Nominations for accomplished women leaders are being accepted. The deadline for nominations, which can be made by the public, is Friday, Feb. 16.
The theme of this year’s conference, which will be hosted by UL Lafayette’s Office for Campus Diversity, is “The Future of Work – The Role of Women in a Changing Landscape.”
As featured speaker, Babineaux-Fontenot, who was among Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2020, has plenty of experience and success from which to draw.
Feeding America – through a network of more than 200 food banks, 21 statewide food bank associations, and more than 60,000 partner agencies, food pantries and meal programs – helps to provide meals for tens of millions of people facing food insecurity each year.
“Beyond Claire’s significant career success and achievements, her influence exemplifies characteristics that all great leaders share – an ability to not only influence those around them, but to make the lives of large numbers of people better,” said Kiwana McClung, the University’s chief diversity officer.
Prior to her role at Feeding America, Babineaux-Fontenot was the executive vice president and global treasurer at Walmart; partner-in-charge of the Baton Rouge office and tax practice leader for Adams and Reese LLP; dispute resolution practice leader for the southwest region at PwC; and assistant secretary for the Louisiana Office of Legal Affairs.
Babineaux-Fontenot, who is from Opelousas, La., holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University. She was recognized with the 2023 Outstanding Alumni Award from the Alumni Association, the highest award the University bestows on its graduates.
Babineaux-Fontenot also holds a law degree from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge and a master of laws in taxation from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in Dallas.
She has served on boards for the Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, National Urban League and National Association of Black Accountants.
Learn more about the 2024 Women's Leadership Conference. Email questions to
Photo caption: Claire Babineaux-Fontenot will be keynote speaker for UL Lafayette’s 2024 Women’s Leadership Conference. It will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, at the Cajundome Convention Center. Registration is underway and award nominations are being accepted. Submitted photo