This month, a group of 19 women leaders on climate change from 17 countries on a State Department International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) had the rare honor of being personally welcomed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Secretary Clinton met the group whose program was organized by Meridian, in the elegant Treaty Room, where she delivered brief remarks on the key role women play in addressing climate change and on the impact of such exchange programs.
Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues (GWI), Ms. Melanne Verveer, who had met with the group earlier in the week, also greeted the group and expressed her pride in women leaders. She joined the group in wishing Secretary Clinton safe travels to the Rio+20 Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil later that evening.
Meridian International Center works closely with the U.S. Department of State to administer more than 1,500 visitor programs annually. The visitors traveling on the program entitled, “Women Climate Leaders” represent biologists, ecologists, sociologists, and educators from around the world. The group spent nearly a week in Washington and divided the remaining 2 weeks in the U.S. between San Francisco, California; Boulder and Denver, Colorado; Orlando, Florida; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Portland, Maine; Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In each city, participants are engaging in discussion with NGO leaders, government representatives, and panelists to discuss climate change, urban sustainability, clean, green, and new technologies, as well as women empowerment. The group will enjoy Independence Day and also an official closing program in Philadelphia.