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Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Senior Fellow for Women and Foreign Policy

Expertise

Economic growth and development; development and the role of women; Afghanistan; women in Afghanistan; entrepreneurship and role of business environment; women and nation-building; military and economic development; economics and fiscal policy; maternal and reproductive health; role of international institutions in women's empowerment.

Programs

Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative , Women and Foreign Policy , U.S. Foreign Policy Program

Featured Publications

All Publications

Article

Giving Birth to Progress

Authors: Isobel Coleman and Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Ms. Magazine

Isobel Coleman and Gayle Tzemach Lemmon argue that U.S. investments in midwifery programs in Afghanistan promote sustainable development in Afghanistan and allow the United States to keep its promise to bring a responsible end of the war.

Current Projects

Entrepreneurs and Market Linkages in Conflict and Post-Conflict Environments

Director: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Senior Fellow for Women and Foreign Policy
October 1, 2011—Present

Despite myriad challenges, entrepreneurs in conflict and post-conflict environments have succeeded in building viable businesses that stabilize families and communities and foster economic growth on a national level. While the importance of entrepreneurship has been widely discussed, little is known and has been written about what works in terms of linking entrepreneurs with markets in these environments.

This project seeks to fill that gap by investigating efforts underway in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Liberia, among others, and exploring ways to improve market linkages for entrepreneurs. It will focus on new and growing firms, as well as examine firms that have developed into large-scale enterprises. It will also analyze the unique barriers facing female entrepreneurs and suggest ways the international community can best focus its efforts to address challenges seen by entrepreneurs in conflict and post-conflict environments.

It is directed by U.S. Foreign Policy Fellow and Deputy Director of the Women and Foreign Policy program Gayle Tzemach Lemmon.

This project is made possible by the generous support of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Women and Foreign Policy Advisory Council

Director: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Senior Fellow for Women and Foreign Policy
January 1, 2006—Present

The advisory council has been instrumental in establishing the endowed chair for Women and Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Founded by Jewelle Bickford, senior managing director at Rothschild North America Inc., its members include leaders from the business, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors throughout the country who have a keen interest in issues related to U.S. foreign policy toward women in developing countries. If you would like more information about the advisory council, please contact Dr. Coleman at icoleman@cfr.org or Ms. Ashley Harden, at aharden@cfr.org.

Past Projects

Maternal Health in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Director: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Senior Fellow for Women and Foreign Policy
May 1, 2011—September 30, 2011

U.S. officials have spoken of the need to promote the “3 Ds”—defense, diplomacy, and development—in recognition of the fact that success in places like Afghanistan cannot come through military action alone. One area where the United States has committed to helping that country is public health, especially for women and children. A central element of the U.S. strategy is improving maternal health, which is crucial given that Afghanistan has some of the worst maternal mortality statistics in the world. With the generous support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, this project seeks to improve understanding of how the United States and international organizations can promote better maternal health in Afghanistan, and what larger benefits could result from such improvements in terms of defense, diplomacy, and development.

Strengthening U.S. Leadership on International Reproductive Health and Family Planning

Director: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Senior Fellow for Women and Foreign Policy
September 1, 2010—July 1, 2011

The goal of this project is to strengthen the role of family planning and reproductive health in U.S. foreign policy, with attention to the relationship between family planning and critical foreign policy issues such as economic development, security and stability, the environment, health, and women's empowerment. With the generous support of the UN Foundation, this project convened a study group comprising not only reproductive health experts, but also demographers, business people, former government and military officials, and others who bring a fresh perspective to the field. The project resulted in a report authored by Isobel Coleman and Gayle Lemmon, published in Spring 2011.

CFR Events

Roundtable Meeting ⁄ New York

Disrupting Poverty: The Search for Innovative Solutions

Presider:

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Senior Fellow for Women and Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations

Speakers:

Shaifali Puri, Executive Director of Global Innovation, Nike Foundation, Suzanne Petroni, Senior Director for Gender, Population, and Development, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)
May 20, 2014

This meeting is on the record.

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Roundtable Meeting ⁄ New York

Consensus Building for the Most Vulnerable: Eliminating Child Marriage Globally

Presider:

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Senior Fellow for Women and Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations

Speakers:

Giovanna Lauro, Deputy Director, Promundo-U.S., Alaka Basu, Senior Fellow, United Nations Foundation; Professor of Development Sociology, Cornell University
February 18, 2014

This meeting is on the record.

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Roundtable Meeting ⁄ New York

Child Brides in Conflict Zones and Fragile States

Speakers:

Liesl Gerntholtz, Director of Women's Rights Division, Human Rights Watch, Annie Bunting, Director of the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migration of African Peoples, York University

Presider:

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Senior Fellow for Women and Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations
December 10, 2013

This meeting is on the record.

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Roundtable Meeting

Prevention, Protection, and Prosecution: An Assessment of Anti-Trafficking Efforts

Speakers:

Holly J. Burkhalter, Vice President of Government Relations and Advocacy, International Justice Mission, E. Benjamin Skinner, Senior Vice President, Tau Investment Management

Presider:

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Fellow and Deputy Director, Women and Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations
May 15, 2013

This meeting is on the record.

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Conference Panel Session

Women, War, and Peace: Lessons from the Field

Speaker:

Ryan Crocker, Kissinger Senior Fellow, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University

Presider:

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Fellow and Deputy Director, Women and Foreign Policy Program, Council on Foreign Relations
December 17, 2012 12:30-2:00 p.m.

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Roundtable Meeting

Catalyzing Economic Growth: The Power of Entrepreneurship

Introductory Speaker:

Elizabeth Littlefield, President and Chief Executive Officer, Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Speakers:

Mildred Callear, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Small Enterprise Assistance Funds, Richard Shumann, Senior Technical Specialist, CHF International

Presider:

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Fellow and Deputy Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program, Council on Foreign Relations
May 17, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

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Roundtable Meeting

Building Small Business Amid Great Challenge: Entrepreneurship in Fragile States

Speaker:

Shari Berenbach, Director, Microenterprise Development Office, USAID

Presider:

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Deputy Director, Women and Foreign Policy Program, Council on Foreign Relations
April 17, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

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Roundtable Meeting

Strengthening Entrepreneurship in Fragile States: The Role of Entrepreneurship in Development

Speakers:

Eileen Hoffman, Senior Technical Specialist, Economic Development, CHF International, Simon Winter, Senior Vice President of Development, TechnoServe

Presider:

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Deputy Director, Women and Foreign Policy Program, Council on Foreign Relations
April 4, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Roundtable Meeting

The Battle for Justice in Afghanistan

Speakers:

Kimberley Motley, Founder and Partner, Motley Legal Services, Tanaz Eshaghian, Documentary Filmmaker

Presider:

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy and Deputy Director, Women and Foreign Policy Program, Council on Foreign Relations
February 27, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

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Roundtable Meeting

Building Markets for Peace

Speaker:

Scott Gilmore, Founder and Executive Director, Peace Dividend Trust

Presider:

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy and Deputy Director, Women and Foreign Policy Program, Council on Foreign Relations
February 8, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

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Roundtable Meeting

Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls

Speaker:

Mara Hvistendahl, Correspondent, Science Magazine

Presiders:

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Fellow and Deputy Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program, Council on Foreign Relations, Joshua Kurlantzick, Fellow for Southeast Asia, Council on Foreign Relations
February 6, 2012

This meeting is not for attribution.

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Roundtable Meeting

21st Century Warfare: Female Engagement Teams

Speakers:

Zoe Bedell, Analyst, Foros LLC and Former Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, Claire Russo, CFR International Affairs Fellow, Institute for Inclusive Security, Civilian Adviser to the U.S. Army, and Former Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps

Presiders:

Colonel Kathryn Burba, USA, Military Fellow, U.S. Army, Council on Foreign Relations, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy and Deputy Director, Women and Foreign Policy Program, Council on Foreign Relations
December 14, 2011

This meeting is not for attribution.

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Roundtable Meeting

Unlocking Potential: The Fight to Eradicate Child Marriage

Speakers:

Yasmeen Hassan, Global Director, Equality Now, Anju Malhotra, Vice President of Research, Innovation, and Impact, International Center for Research on Women

Presider:

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy and Deputy Director, Women and Foreign Policy Program, Council on Foreign Relations
December 12, 2011

This meeting is not for attribution.

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Academic Conference Call

Female Entrepreneurship in Afghanistan

Speaker:

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Fellow and Deputy Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program, Council on Foreign Relations
November 30, 2011 12:00-1:00 p.m. - (ET)

This meeting is not for attribution.

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Roundtable Meeting

Why Women Matter in Peacebuilding

Speakers:

Michelle Bachelet, Undersecretary General and Executive Director, UN Women, Carla Koppell, Senior Coordinator, Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment, USAID, Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, Standby Team of Senior Mediation Advisers, United Nations (2011-2012) and Cofounder, International Civil Society Action Network, Rosa Brooks, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, and Former Special Coordinator for Rule of Law and Humanitarian Policy, U.S. Department of Defense

Presiders:

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Fellow and Deputy Director of Women and Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations, Stewart M. Patrick, Senior Fellow and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program, Council on Foreign Relations
November 14, 2011

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Roundtable Meeting

Taking Stock of Conflicts in Colombia, Liberia, Bosnia, and Afghanistan: Women, War & Peace

Speaker:

Abigail E. Disney, Cocreator, Women, War & Peace and Founder, Daphne Foundation

Presiders:

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy and Deputy Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program, Council on Foreign Relations, Stewart M. Patrick, Senior Fellow and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program, Council on Foreign Relations
November 14, 2011

This meeting is on the record.

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Roundtable Meeting

Human Trafficking: A Conversation with Civil Courage Prize Winners Lydia Cacho Ribeiro and Triveni Acharya

Speakers:

Lydia Cacho Ribeiro, Founder and Director, Refuge Center for Abused Women; Author of Slaves of Power: A Journey to the Heart of World Sex Trafficking of Women, Triveni Acharya, President, Rescue Foundation

Presider:

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy and Deputy Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program, Council on Foreign Relations
October 19, 2011

This meeting is not for attribution.

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Roundtable Meeting

Women, War & Peace

Speakers:

Abigail E. Disney, Co-creator, Women, War & Peace, Pamela Hogan, Co-creator, Women, War & Peace, Gini Reticker, Co-creator, Women, War & Peace, Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Executive Director, Women Peace and Security Network–Africa (WIPSEN)

Presider:

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy and Deputy Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program, Council on Foreign Relations
October 18, 2011

This meeting is not for attribution.

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Roundtable Meeting

Conflict, Gender, and Civic Participation in Afghanistan

Speaker:

Samantha Leader, Former Regional Program Manager and Chief Technical Adviser, United Nations Centre for Human Settlement (UN-HABITAT)

Presider:

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy and Deputy Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program, Council on Foreign Relations
October 17, 2011

This meeting is not for attribution.

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Press/Panels

Video Interview

Child Marriage, the Lives of Girls, and the Policies to Protect Them

On NPR's Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane, Lemmon and the International Center for Research on Women's Ann Warner discuss how child marriage not only leaves young girls vulnerable to physical and psychological health problems, but also has serious implications for community and global development goals.

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Video Interview

U.S. Builds Case to Link Russia to Plane Crash

Lemmon joins Luke Russert to discuss the latest in the MH17 plane crash over Ukraine and the international reaction to the tragedy. She notes that Germany's economic relationship with Russia complicates the EU response.

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Video Interview

Death of American Diplomat in Afghanistan

On the death of American diplomat Anne Smedinghoff in Afghanistan, Lemmon says to Andrea Mitchell on MSN that Smedinghoff's death is a blow to those fighting for Afghanistan to join the rest of the world and not slide back into civil war.

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Video Interview

Women in the Workforce

Speaking with Andrea Mitchell on MSN, Lemmon says that a growing number of people think that the way work is structured does not match the way America lives, and that recent decisions by major companies to rescind the right to work from home is tone deaf.

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Video Interview

Four Star Rockstars of the U.S. Military

Lemmon argues on Rock Center with Brian Williams that "We're getting farther and farther from the war actually being waged in Afghanistan. And to make ourselves okay with this we make celebrities out of the men asked to lead these wars".

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Video Interview

Lemmon on U.S. Election and Foreign Policy

In an interview for Bloomberg, Lemmon discusses the most recent U.S. presidential debate and the role that foreign policy will play as election day looms near.

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Video Interview

The Struggle for Girls' Education

The battle for girls' education in Afghanistan is everyone's fight because "there is no better correlation to predicting violence than education levels" argues Lemmon in an interview on CBS This Morning.

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Video Interview

The "War on Women" and Afghan Women's Rights

Lemmon speaks with Andrea Mitchell about the fight for women's votes in the upcoming U.S. presidential election and the need to engage Afghan women in peace negotiations as international forces drawdown.

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Video Interview

Protecting Afghan Women

Protecting Afghan women's rights "isn't about American altruism, but about leaving behind a state that is stable so that America doesn't have to go back in" argues CFR Fellow Gayle Tzemach Lemmon on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports."

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Video Interview

Equality for Afghan Women a "Must Have"

In an interview with news anchor Christiane Amanpour, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon argues that the struggle to protect Afghan women's rights "is not about special treatment, it is about the basic right to contribute to your family—to go to school and go to work, and Afghan women have fought for those rights for a long time."

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Video Interview

Entrepreneurs Defying the Odds

On The Early Show, Lemmon discusses how Afghan entrepreneurs (and especially women) shape the future of peace in Afghanistan.

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Video Interview

Resilience Amid Recession

Lemmon calls on the world to move beyond "micro hopes" and "micro ambitions" for women who are creating jobs against daunting obstacles.

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Bio

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is the New York Times best-selling author of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana and the deputy director of the Council on Foreign Relations' Women and Foreign Policy program. Prior to joining the Council, Ms. Lemmon covered public policy and emerging markets for the global investment firm PIMCO, after working for nearly a decade as a journalist with the ABC News Political Unit and "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." Gayle has reported on entrepreneurs in conflict and post-conflict regions for the Financial Times, New York Times, International Herald Tribune, the Daily Beast, and Christian Science Monitor, along with Ms. Magazine, Bloomberg, Politico and the HuffingtonPost. She is also the author of the Newsweek March 2011 story "The Hillary Doctrine" and the September 2011 profile on U.N. Women's Michelle Bachelet. Gayle has appeared on NBC News, National Public Radio and PBS, and on cable outlets including MSNBC and FOX. Gayle's opening talk at TedxWomen in New York City, in December 2011, focused on why investing in women can make the difference for the global economy. She has published papers on women and business for the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, Harvard Business School, and the Center for International Private Enterprise. Gayle earned a BA in journalism summa cum laude from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she received the 2006 Dean's Award for her work on women's entrepreneurship. She speaks Spanish, German, and French and is conversant in Dari. A former Fulbright scholar and Robert Bosch Foundation fellow, she serves on the board of the International Center for Research on Women.