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Milbry Polk : Making Discoveries While Paving The Way for Women

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Milbry Polk is a modern day explorer; mentor and trendsetter for women. At a young age, Milbry decided that she wanted to be an “explorer.” Influenced both by her father who took her family traveling to the Middle East and Europe and by historical figures such as Alexander the Great, she knew she wanted to see more of the world while making a contribution to it. She accomplished what she set out to do and she learned early on that she was in a profession recognized by men for men. I learned from Milbry that exploring doesn’t mean finding new pieces of land: It means making new discoveries about our land our animals, and improving our knowledge of our vast world. As Milbry stated, “Exploring doesn’t just mean conquering or claiming, it means making new discoveries filling in the blank places of knowledge.”

Milbry also used her knowledge and passion for exploring in authoring the book with Mary Tiegreen, “Women of Discovery.” Milbry realized women have a major contributing role in exploring our planet so with Lela Hadley she created “Wings World Quest” a non-profit organization supporting and celebrating women explorers. Wings went on to become internationally recognized as a support network for women explorers. Women’s work was now being featured through public lectures, educational programs, a Flag program and fellowships and grants to nearly 100 women worldwide.

Making over 20 expeditions, Milbry has traveled to places most of us will only see in pictures. She has written and contributed to over a dozen books, spends frequent amount of time on the speaking circuit, and has been recognized for her work through numerous awards. Stepping down in 2010 as the Executive Director of Wings, Milbry is focusing her time on writing a new book about exploration. She continues to travel, documenting her experiences in her blog


Milbry is a mentor; mentoring many women’s work including mine. Milbry has generously offered her time in supporting the success of “Power of One Woman” serving an advisory board member. From our first conversation, I saw that Milbry connects women, science, and women with science. Milbry expressed her strong desire to help the planet through supporting women’s work for the planet. Scroll through the Wings website at: and you see women across the globe making new discoveries regarding animals, plants, forests, and oceans, contributing to the future of our survival.

Milbry is a pioneer in the true sense of the word; traversing to new places, taking on new challenges, connecting, supporting, and teaching her wisdom. Milbry Polk to me has the spirit of the great pioneers such as Amelia Earhart.

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