WASHINGTON D.C. – February 27, 2012 – The Meridian International Center’s Council on Women’s Leadership, in partnership with the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative, hosted a roundtable discussion last week on challenges and opportunities for women’s leadership in the Middle East. The event, held in conjunction with the George W. Bush Institute’s Inaugural Women’s Initiative Fellowship Program, featured a group of high level participants including women ambassadors from five countries, senior U.S. government officials, and executives from the fields of media, banking and the non-profit sector along with the 14 Bush Institute Egyptian Fellows. The Bush Institute Fellows represented a cross section of Egyptian society with women leaders from the media, NGO and service leadership fields. Participants explored the timely issue of the role of women within Egypt and the broader region, and how to continue to strengthen understanding of the political, economic, and social factors that advance the empowerment of women worldwide.
Ambassador Stuart W. Holliday, President and CEO of the Meridian International Center, welcomed participants and introduced the moderator for the roundtable, Ambassador Paula Dobriansky, Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government along with commentator Ambassador Donald Steinberg, Deputy Administrator at the U.S. Agency for International Development.
“The Meridian Women’s Council is designed to strengthen international understanding of the political, economic, and social factors that contribute to women’s empowerment in their local communities, nationally and globally,” said Ambassador Holliday. “Events such as this one allow us to connect women leaders across sectors and borders in a lasting and significant way.”
Ambassador Dobriansky moderated three key topics for discussion: promoting small business and entrepreneurship, women’s leadership within their own countries, and promoting women in the media. The group of women leaders offered their support and advice and stressed the importance of networking amongst women leaders. They urged the fellows to make the most of building relationships and connections with contacts and mentors during their fellowship and reminded fellows of the importance of staying connected to one another.
The roundtable was followed by an informal networking reception with members of the diplomatic and U.S. government communities. The Egypt fellows will spend a total of three-weeks in the U.S. learning more about leadership and developing civic capacity in Washington, D.C. and Silicon Valley.
About Meridian: Meridian International Center's mission is to strengthen international understanding and serve as a center of innovation for engaging the public sector, private sector and diplomatic community in an exchange of people, ideas and culture. For more information, visit www.meridian.org
About Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Initiative: 10,000 Women is a $100 million, five-year global initiative to drive economic growth by providing 10,000 women a business and management education. The program has reached more than 5,500 women across 42 countries through a network of more than 80 academic and non-profit partners. To date, 80 percent of surveyed graduates of the program have increased revenues and more than 60% have added new jobs.
About The Bush Institute’s Women’s Initiative Fellowship Program: The Bush Institute’s Women’s Initiative Fellowship Program is a leadership exchange program designed to develop leadership skills; to exchange techniques, ideas, and expertise; to provide effective tools which will empower women in the Middle East to be a force for change; and to create a robust global women’s network.