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St. Kate's hosts U.S. Department of State’s “100 Women Initiative”

As part of the U.S. Department of State’s “100 Women Initiative: Empowering Women and Girls through International Exchanges,” African women will meet with their American counterparts at St. Catherine University March 15-16 to collaborate and coordinate on ways to empower all members of society, especially women and girls.

The 100 Women Initiative builds on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vision of “smart power diplomacy,” which embraces the use of a full range of diplomatic tools — in this case international exchanges — to bring people together and foster greater understanding among people and cultures.

Women in the “100 Women Initiative” hail from every region of the globe and are leaders in academia, business, civil society, government, law enforcement, media and the private sector. They have displayed a long-term commitment to empowering members of their communities, including women and girls.

This International Visitor Leadership Program marks the historic accomplishments of women and provides opportunities for the participants to network and share insights with their U.S. counterparts and with each other. Before visiting St. Paul, the 100 women will meet with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and senior State Department officials in Washington, D.C., followed by meetings in New York City with UN Women members. The women then split into smaller regional groupings and fanned out across the country. St. Catherine University is hosting the African “Women in Leadership” Group on its St. Paul campus.

Activities at St. Kate's include a Leadership Conversation on Tuesday (March 15) afternoon. During this event, the women will hear a presentation on leadership at St. Kate's and participate in a panel discussion with Dean of the School of Business and Leadership Paula King, Ph.D., and other leaders from St. University, followed by a question and answer session.

A full day of events is scheduled for Wednesday (March 16). St. Catherine University students will be invited to join the women for lunch from noon to 1 p.m. to share their own stories about leadership. The day will conclude with a reception for faculty, administrators and friends of the University on the third floor of the Atrium in Coeur de Catherine from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Following their visit in St. Paul, the African women will rejoin their 100 Women Initiative colleagues in San Francisco for the program’s conclusion, which includes mapping out plans for a legacy project to support empowering future generations of women and girls.

About the State Department's visitor leadership program

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ International Visitors Leadership Program at the U.S. Department of State annually brings approximately 5,200 potential or established leaders to the United States from around the world for professional projects with U.S. peers and for firsthand experience of American society and culture.

More than 320 current and former chiefs of state and heads of government and many other distinguished world leaders in the public and private sectors have participated in the program, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2011.

For more information, visit

March 9, 2011 by Melissa Kaelin

See also: Faculty, Leadership, Social Justice, Students