Fact Sheet
Bureau of Public Affairs
December 16, 2011

“Together we will seek to promote the next generation of women leaders who will invest in their countries and communities, provide leadership for their governments and societies, and help change the way global solutions are developed.” – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton launched The Women in Public Service Project, an initiative to advance women’s worldwide leadership in governance, politics and policy, in December 2011.

State Department—Seven Sisters College Partnership

The Project, a partnership between the U.S. Department of State and several of the U.S. Seven Sisters colleges—Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Smith and Wellesley—is building training, mentoring and networking opportunities for emerging and aspiring women leaders in public service. The initiative is fueled by the partners’ history of educating women leaders across the globe and linking them to each other through powerful intergenerational networks.

The partnership will soon grow to include other academic institutions and related organizations and individuals worldwide who are committed to increasing the number of women leaders in public service.

Project Objectives

  • To challenge the world community to identify and advance a new generation of women committed to public service.
  • To bring together international educators, public servants, thought leaders and private and non-profit sector representatives to accelerate the education and training of a new generation of women for public service.
  • To identify and address obstacles that prevent women from pursuing careers in public service and governance.
  • To explore creative ways to increase the number of young women aspiring to careers in public service.
  • To share best practices for bringing more women into public service throughout the world.

Women in Public Service Colloquium, December 15, 2011

Over 600 policymakers, academics, public officials, and innovators from around the world met at the Department of State to highlight the need for women in public service and to assess the resources required to bring more women into positions of leadership and influence. They formed a new global network to promote women in public service, create partnerships to advance the Project’s goals, and envision and develop paths forward.

Future Plans and Programs

  • A non-profit organization and foundation established by the Sister colleges to fund and manage the Project.
  • Summer training institutes for emerging women public service leaders at Seven Sister campuses and other institutions around the world. The first will take place in Summer 2012 at Wellesley College, and include women from the Middle East and North Africa.
  • Leadership training for women from Latin America hosted by Scripps, Mills, and Mount Saint Mary’s colleges.
  • Leadership training for 30 emerging women leaders from South Asia at the Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Bangladesh.
  • Spelman College will convene emerging women leaders and veteran public servants for a conference on global public service.
  • Academic residencies on a U.S. campus for international undergraduate women students.
  • Research on the impact of women in public service.
  • Partnership with Dell to provide hardware, web support and training for the Summer Institutes and the Initiative.
  • A website, interactive portal and clearing house for information related to women in public service; to include webinar hosting, blogs and an alumni directory.