Advancing Women of Color in Transatlantic Leadership
The TLI Department, in collaboration with Congressional Affairs, co-hosted an event on September 29th titled “Advancing Women of Color in Transatlantic Leadership,” which brought together guests and speakers to discuss the development of an inter-generational leadership pipeline to foster support and community among women of color from senior leaders to rising talent. Over 65 women convened to share their experiences and insights related to policymaking, building social capital in the U.S. and abroad, and diversity in transatlantic leadership.
GMF President Dr. Karen Donfried framed the discussion in the unique historic opportunity to move forward the agenda for women’s equity in transatlantic leadership as the 2016 U.S. election presents the possibility that three powerful women may be guiding transatlantic relations soon, in the U.S., U.K., and Germany. She encouraged the group to consider how to seize this historic opportunity and gain momentum.
The program featured Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX); Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, former Ambassador to Malta; Farah Pandith, former Special Representative to Muslim Communities at the U.S. Department of State; and Colonel Dana Nelson, IMA to the Chief in the Air Advisor Branch of the U.S. Air Force, among others. In keeping with the commitment to diversity at the highest levels of the U.S. government—President Obama recently released a memorandum on inclusion in national security—the speakers shared their experiences as women of color who have served in key decision-making roles with international impact.
As several senior leaders observed, at the time they were starting their careers, the opportunities for mentorship and innovation within an inclusive community identities were practically nonexistent. But as a generation of women has forged a path to senior leadership, the next step is to seek out rising talent and secure a place at the table for women of color who bring unique discipline, experience, and perspectives. Though this discussion was only a short introduction to the work that still needs to be done, it was a significant step in building a pipeline for the future.
The event in Washington also served as an important linkage to an upcoming convening in Europe on Women in Leadership from November 30-December 2. The German Marshall Fund, European Women’s Lobby, and the Reflective Democracy Campaign will soon host “ExCHANGE” in Brussels, with the U.S. delegation, led by Reta Jo Lewis from GMF and Brenda Choresi Carter of the Reflective Democracy Campaign.
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