Exclusive: Hillary Clinton Launches Public Service Initiative
Working with the nation’s top women’s liberal arts colleges, Secretary of State Clinton hopes to harness the potential of women around the world to strengthen leadership in both government and civil society.
For the world to cope with its full range of problems, women must be agents of change. Unfortunately, historically and globally, women’s voices have been largely missing from positions of power and influence.
To address this issue, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton launched a bold new initiative late last year to increase the number of women in public service at the local, national, and international level. Developed by a founding partnership of the five leading women’s colleges—Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Smith, and Wellesley—and the U.S. Department of State, the Women in Public Service Project (WPSP) will “provide vital momentum to the next generation of women leaders.” The project’s ambitious goal is global political and civil leadership of at least 50 percent women by 2050. On the way, the project plans to build “the infrastructure and conven[e] the conversations necessary to achieve this vision.”
WPSP will offer an annual summer institute in partnership with the women’s colleges, the first to be held this year at Clinton’s alma mater Wellesley. Emerging leaders from all over the globe will gain critical skills in public speaking, coalition building, networking, and mentorship, with State Department sponsorship for 40 participants from Middle Eastern and North African countries in political transition.