About the Women and Foreign Policy Program

About the Program

The Women and Foreign Policy program analyzes how elevating the status of women and girls advances U.S. foreign policy objectives, including prosperity, stability, and security. Major financial institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, have concluded that women’s participation in the economy reduces poverty and grows global GDP, and research demonstrates that investment in women’s health and education improves child survival, educational attainment, and economic growth across generations. Yet at a time when nations struggle to recover from an economic downturn that has roiled markets and sown unrest, leaders continue to overlook the economic potential of women, thereby leaving billions of dollars on the table.

A growing body of evidence also suggests that women offer distinctive contributions to making and keeping peace: inclusion of women in a peace negotiation makes a resulting agreement far less likely to fail, and higher levels of gender equality are associated with a lower propensity for conflict, both between and within states. Despite this evidence, women continue to be marginalized or excluded from peace and security processes from Kabul to Kinshasa, thereby undermining U.S. interests in stability.

In the 21st century, no country can get ahead by leaving half its population behind. Elevating the status of women around the world is not only a human rights issue—it is a strategic imperative that advances U.S. interests in global prosperity and stability. The Women and Foreign Policy program informs policymakers, opinion leaders, and the general public about the relationship between gender equality and U.S. foreign policy objectives, through scholarship, briefings, congressional testimony, meetings, and the Women Around the World blog.

Women and Foreign Policy Program Advisory Council

Founded in 2002 by Jewelle Bickford, the Women and Foreign Policy Advisory Council consists of prominent business, philanthropy, media, and academic leaders from across the United States who have been instrumental in raising funds for the program, and who are an important means of dissemination for the project’s findings. Current members include:

Linda Addison
Jewelle Bickford
Lucy C. Billingsley
Wendy Breck
Laura Breyer
Mayree C. Clark
Linda C. Coughlin
Kathleen Doyle
Connie K. Duckworth
Katie Ford
Barbara Friedman
Linda Gottlieb
Agnes Gund
Paula Hawkins
Marlene Hess
Elizabeth Hochman
Jill Iscol
Diane D. Jacobsen
Lou Anne K. Jensen
Susan Jonas
Ann F. Kaplan
Jane Katcher
Maria E. Lagomasino
Edith Langner
Rose P. Lynch
Jean M. Martin
Bonnie McElveen-Hunter
Janet C. McKinley
Agnes Metzger
Sandy Meyer
Sally Minard
Joyce L. Moss
Susan Nitze
Sarah B. O'Hagan
Susan E. Patricof
Barbara S. Perlmutter
Sarah Perot
Holly Peterson
Marnie S. Pillsbury
Bonnie Potter
Amy Regan
Bonnie Reiss
Rosemary L. Ripley
Diana R. Rockefeller
Lynn Shanahan
Sydney R. Shuman
Anne Stetson
Masuda Sultan
Nicki Tanner
Barbara A. Taylor
Diana L. Taylor
Hutham Olayan
Patricia Weinbach
Marissa C. Wesely
Anita V. Wien 

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