SAIS Women Lead

Marching into an Equal Future
SAIS Women Lead Practicum
Finding Her Voice
Women Who Inspire
Stopping a Global Epidemic

Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy speaks about leadership at the Global Women in Leadership conference in D.C.
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Signature professional development program completed first year with groundbreaking research.
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SAIS Alumni Magazine features SAIS Women Lead students and their research projects.
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Award-winning singer, songwriter Gloria Estefan shares her story.
Watch the Interview

In Bologna, the Global Women in Leadership student organization held a panel on ending violence against women.

Overview
Curriculum and Professional Development
SAIS Women Lead Practicum Program
Women, Peace, and Security Course
Study Treks
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Women of Promise Fellowship Program
Women Who Inspire Lecture Series
Events
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About SAIS Women Lead

SAIS Women Lead is a global women’s leadership development program that partners the school's faculty, students, alumni, and public and private organizations to raise the political and economic status of communities through the empowerment of women. By fostering scholarship and cross-cultural exchange, SAIS Women Lead raises awareness of gap areas in research and advocacy to create more inclusive, compassionate, and service-oriented societies.

Its mission is to increase and amplify women’s leadership around the world to inspire balanced, sound policy decision-making. Our interdisciplinary courses and practicum program, Global Women in Leadership (GWL) (student-led organization), and SAIS Women’s Alumni Network (SWAN) provide opportunities for students and alumni to develop their leadership skills and collaborate on action-oriented projects that advance women. The Women Who Inspire lecture series showcases dialogue with women leaders. The Women of Promise fellowship program enables women underrepresented in the field of diplomacy to study at Johns Hopkins SAIS on two-year fellowships.

These programs, courses, and networks support students, faculty and alumni to integrate the study of women’s contributions to the field of international relations and promote the understanding that women’s empowerment is central to sustainable peace, economic growth, and transformational leadership.

Recent Events and Publications

SAIS Women Lead

Students can follow a curricular path that focuses on inclusive leadership and women's contributions to international relations by enrolling in classes, the SWL Practicum course (full-year commitment), and additional cross-disciplinary courses from a comprehensive list. One of these courses, Women, Peace and Security: Moving Beyond the Myth includes a study trip to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women study trip.


Other course choices may include:

  • Gender Politics in Africa
  • Gender Inequality and Development
  • Multiculturalism and the Human Rights of Women
  • Microeconomics of Development


SAIS Women Lead Practicum Program

“The SAIS Women Lead Practicum Program was the highlight of our experience at SAIS"
- 2018 Practicum Team

““I am convinced more than ever that more research and studies such as this

one must continue if we hope to facilitate long-term meaningful change.”
- Leland Kruvant, President of Creative Associates International

Students collaborate with partner organizations on research that advances women. They participate in a series of leadership and professional development master classes curated by alumni and associates.

This year, students traveled to Bangladesh, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates to produce research with impact.

    Empowering Female Learning Facilitators in Northeast Nigeria



    Students provide Creative Associates International solutions for increasing the number of female learning facilitators in Nigeria after traveling to rural northeast areas of the country. Photo Journal

    “Nigeria continues to face an education crisis in its northern states. Already home to the world’s largest out-of-school population, most of whom are girls, states in Northeast Nigeria have had to contend with massive flows of internally displaced populations (IDPs) caused by the Boko Haram insurgency...” Read more

    Power of Gender Parity in Diplomacy: Four Pillars of Change


    In Abu Dhabi, students present to 130 diplomats at the Emirates Diplomatic Academy four common indicators that contribute to increasing women in diplomacy. They carried out their research in the Kingdom of Bahrain in collaboration with the Supreme Council for Women.

    “This study addresses the gap in the global literature regarding progress and challenges facing female participation and power in foreign diplomacy... ” Read more

    Tipping Points and the Law


    As part of the power of womenomics study trek, students analyze how culture and law have fostered movements for gender equality in India, Bangladesh, and the United States for the Equal Means Equal film company and UN Women.

    “An election. An act of violence. A moving narrative. There are a number of tipping points that spark action among a populace, rallying that country’s civil society ecosystem to act...” Read more

    Faces of Change: Women Entrepreneurs in Mexico


    Students recommend to the Inter-American Development Bank ways to enable indigenous women entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative industries (CCI) in Mexico.

    “While women play a central role in CCI in Latin America, … little research has been done to explore the impact of indigenous women’s involvement in the informal creative industries...” Read more

    A Seat at the Table: Equity for Women of Color in the U.S.

    SAIS students provide Ashoka Changemakers a strategy for identifying and supporting social entrepreneurship led by women of color, enabling the organization to more effectively bring about positive social change in the United States.

    “Social entrepreneurship is creating avenues for innovation and rapid change in the social sector. With greater flexibility of funding models and organizational structure, changemakers have the freedom to tackle long-standing problems in new ways and to take risks in order to achieve results. However, the American social sector is overwhelmingly white…” Read more
     

    Women, Peace and Security Course

    Professor Kent Davis-Packard

    Spring Semester at SAIS

     

    “I failed to find a course that connected with me on a deeper level until I took the Women, Peace, and Security class during my final semester at SAIS.”

    - MA ‘18 Global Theory and History student in WPS course

    “As a Strategic Studies student, I had no idea how negatively impacted women

    are by most decisions made in my field. I’m thankful that I now have the

    knowledge to consider the fate of women as I move into a career that too often

    overlooks them.”

    - MA ‘18 Strategic Studies student in WPS course

     

    Students engage Ambassadors Lana Nusseibeh and Melanne Verveer on women and countering violent extremism at the 61st United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York in 2017

    This course includes a two-day study trip to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York City during SAIS spring break in March as part of the SAIS Women Lead Program. Course and study trip are open to SAIS women and men.

    Students explore the relationship between women’s status and the political and economic security of nations and the international system. Through gender based analysis (GBA), they develop a theoretical and historical understanding of the mechanisms by which women have been excluded from political and economic power structures and the contributions they have made to the transformation of the international order despite this exclusion.

    Guest speakers in the security sector, case studies, and analyses of the historical and cultural framework of the global women’s movement give students the tools to articulate to policy-makers best practices for creating more peaceful, secure societies and nations.

    Highlights

    Dr. Julia Nesheiwat, Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, describes the important role women play in diplomacy.

     


    Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Africa Amanda Dory discusses women's roles in warfare, stabilization, and peace processes in Africa.
     

    Dr. Jacqueline Ogega from Creative Associates International discusses the impact of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda on NGOs working in development in conflict zones.

    Bronagh Hinds, Former Deputy Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and founder of the Women's Coalition, a cross-community party formed in 1996 by local working and middle class women, tells the story of how the Good Friday Agreement came about in Ireland to SAIS students.

    Student Publications from the Women, Peace, and Security Course

    Sarah Abdella-Kallassy MA ‘18 in The Next Decade: Amplifying the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, U.S. Naval War College (p. 109-114)

    “Gender inequality is inextricably linked to violent extremism in the MENA region, therefore, countering violent extremism (CVE) efforts must have a preceding or concurrent, comprehensive gender equality plan…”














     

    Anush Avetisyan MA ‘19 in Women’s Media Center

    “How can Russia be a peaceful player in the world arena while treating women as second-class citizens, while permitting women to be beaten in their own homes, while opposing women’s empowerment?”

    Jody Barth MA ‘18 in Small Wars Journal

    “The Department of Defense must take proactive efforts to build women’s capacities to help prevent war and promote stability.  It will alleviate the need for intervention in low intensity conflicts…”

    Amanda Lawrence MA ‘18/9 in Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism

    “It is necessary to re‐evaluate the history of women in America and the many ways in which Non‐white women shape the Feminist dialogue...”

    Amanda Stzein MA ‘18/9 in Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism

    “The nation is most often imagined as a women, and in fact born of a woman, whereas the state is almost always male…”

    Ao Yin MA ‘19 in Women’s Media Center

    “Engaging more Asian women on the international stage and launching more Asian voices is a crucial part of achieving an international feminist movement…”


    Power of Womenomics

    A recent study of a community in South Asia revealed that 51% of families had killed a baby girl after birth. Among the rural poor in India, infanticide results in the death of over 16 million female babies each year. The majority of the world’s poorest billion people are women and girls, with the share of women employed outside of agriculture remaining as low as 20% in South Asia. Meanwhile, the McKinsey Global Institute reported that economic parity for women could add as much as 60% to the Indian economy in 2025.

    With this in mind, in January 2018, a small group of students traveled to Bangladesh and India to meet with those working to put into practice the power of womenomics. ‘Womenomics,’ a term coined by SAIS alumna and Chief Japan Equity Strategist at Goldman Sachs Kathy Matsui, demonstrates that empowering women in the labor force leads to a nation’s overall economic growth and prosperity.



    Students are hosted by the Dean of Asian University for Women (AUW) in Chittagong, Bangladesh in January 2018. The university offers full four-year scholarships to the majority of its students from 15 countries across Asia. It graduates women who will be skilled and innovative professionals, service-oriented leaders in the businesses and communities in which they will work and live, and promoters of intercultural understanding and sustainable human and economic development in Asia and throughout the world. SAIS will offer two full scholarships to AUW students to complete their masters degrees beginning in the fall of 2018 as part of SAIS Women Lead’s new Women of Promise Fellowship Program.

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    Asian University for Women students from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Burma, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Indonesia, express their hopes for their future careers and share their experiences in their home countries with SAIS students.002.png















     





    Students enjoy traditional Bangladeshi luncheons hosted by the Dean and Faculty of the Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Ba003.pngngladesh.





















    International Political Economy student Sophie Seidner MA ‘18 describes life for women graduate students at SAIS in the United States to students at the Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Bangladesh.

    004.png
    International Political Economy students tour Chittagong, Bangladesh, and interviewed lenders at the Shakti Foundation. Through micro-credit and other programs, the foundation “makes poor women decision-makers, entrepreneurs, and leaders.”005.png




















    Students meet with Priya Varadarajan, Founder of Durga, a not-for-profit citizen-sector organization built to equip women with the essentials required to detect and deter sexual harassment in Bangalore, India.
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    Dr. Corinne Kumar, Co-Founder of the World Courts of Women and Vimochana Forum for Women’s Rights describes her local women’s collective with her staff member to SAIS students in Bangalore, India.

    007.png
    International Political Economy student Sophie Seidner MA ’18, discusses recent progress for women in India and the United States with Dr. Corinne Kumar, Founder of the World Courts of Women in Bangalore, India.

    008.png

     

    009.pngRepresentatives from the NS Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, which is the hub of entrepreneurial activity at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore, as well as women entrepreneurs from the program share their business building and development stories with SAIS students.

    010.pngInternational Political Economy student Zhao Liu MA ’18 interviews women business leaders in Bangalore, India.

    011.png

    SAIS student Yi Ren interviews Dr. Sarasu Esther Thomas of the National Law School of India University and coordinator of the Centre for Women and the Law and the Human Rights Lawyering Programme in Bangalore, India. Dr. Sarasu coordinates research projects on human rights, reproductive rights and sex selection, water law, trafficking and rights-based lawyering.

    013.png

    SAIS students interview the owner of Naturalement Café in Auroville, which employs 35 village women whose lives it has transformed through job opportunities.

    014.png

    In Auroville, SAIS students visited the handicrafts market and “Wellpaper.” The primary goal of Wellpaper is to empower local village women with skills to build, manage and maintain self-sustaining units. The women receive training, guidance and support in product development, market and team management, and personal development.

    015

    In Auroville, SAIS students visit a local women’s community center that develops women-owned businesses and provides vocational training and micro-credit for women.

    016.png

    Students are greeted with jasmine and roses by the directors of Sharana, a local development and micro-credit organization serving the local villages of Pondicherry, India.

    017.png

    Students interview local village women about micro-credit programs with Rajkala Partha, Founder of Sharana, the “Social and Development Organization.” Sharana was established in July 2000 by Rajkala Partha, a Chennai-trained social worker with a post graduate degree in Rural Development from Madras Christian College.

    018.pngStudent Sydney Hulebak greets children in a local village school where teachers and NGO leaders described their micro-credit and other women’s development programs in Pondicherry, India.

    019Local women recipients of Sharana’s micro-credit loans in Pondicherry, India. Among the rural poor, infanticide results in the death of over 16 million girl babies a year in India alone.

    020.png

    SAIS student Zhao Liu and Yi Ren enjoy an exchange with a local village woman recipient of a microcredit loan with the help of a local translator in Pondicherry, India.

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    Indian women in Pondicherry pay homage to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi on the Bay of Bengal. SAIS students interviewed NGO leaders, business owners, and recipients of micro-loans in villages in Pondicherry for the January 2018 SAIS Women Lead ‘Power of Womenomics’ study trek in Bangladesh and India.

    022.pngSAIS students visit Mamalpuram or Seven Pagodas near Chennai, India. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site, its 7th and 8th century temples, sanctuaries, and open air rock reliefs are dedicated to Shiva, Durga, Vishnu, Krishna and others.


     

    SAIS Women Lead Newsletter

    Stay tuned for the Fall 2018 newsletter detailing upcoming speaker events, courses, and other opportunities to get involved. Sign up to receive the newsletter in your email inbox here — and check out our first newsletter below.

     


    SAIS Women Lead: Our First Year (March 8, 2018)

     

    Women of Promise Fellowship Program

    The evidence is clear: women’s advancement brings about a healthier, more prosperous and stable world. Placing more women in leadership also improves the success of businesses and organizations. Despite the understanding of women’s positive influence in economic, political, and social life, there is little formal training in the field of international relations that specializes in the study of how women can advance, how to measure their impact, and what this means for the trajectory of global politics. Men hold the majority of elected and appointed office worldwide, and the United States ranks 72nd in a global ranking of women’s representation in national legislatures and parliaments. Only 15% of corporate board chairs are held by women. The “gender gap” persists in other measures of equity such as wage equality and education.

    To address the demand for women’s leadership, Johns Hopkins SAIS will provide fellowships and a new curricular track for the academic study, practical training, and social capital required to develop women’s leadership potential. Our co-curricular programming offers a wealth of mentoring, networking, and skill-building so that participants gain optimal benefit from the program.

    In 2018, the first cohort of “Women of Promise” fellows will arrive on campus thanks to a new partnership with Asian University for Women (AUW). In future years, the school will recruit Women of Promise from universities around the world.

    Fellows in the program may concentrate in any of the school’s twenty-plus regional and functional areas of study, and also specialize in the women’s leadership track. These young leaders will serve as ambassadors from their countries of origin, and will be invited to speak about issues concerning their experiences and areas of study.

    For more information about how to support our Women of Promise Fellows, click here.

     

     

    Women Who Inspire Lecture Series


    In 2015, SAIS Women Lead launched its flagship Women Who Inspire lectures, a series of conversations using the power of example to motivate students to become pioneers in their chosen occupations. Bringing two to three exceptional high-profile women each year to explore different facets of leadership, the program features conversations with trailblazing women from a variety of career and life paths.

    The series was started and is moderated by Ambassador Shirin Tahir-Kheli, herself an inspirational leader who was appointed as the first Ambassador for women's empowerment by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice among many other accomplished posts throughout her career in government.

    To support the Women Who Inspire Lecture Series, click here.

    Previous Speakers:

     

    Events

    Upcoming at SAIS Washington, D.C.

    • April 4, 2019: Global Women in Leadership Conference

    Recent Highlights
     














    March 2018: International Women's Day with SAIS Women Lead Practicum student Azhin Fuad, featured in the SAIS Alumni Magazine



    November 2017: Abenomics and Womenomics with Kathy Matsui, Vice Chair, Goldman Sachs Japan



    April 2017: UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka speaks with Senior Advisor at the World Bank Dr. Jeni Klugman on barriers in the workplace for women.



    October 2016: Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright shares stories from her long career in government and diplomacy.

     

    Get Involved

    We want to hear from you! SAIS Women Lead is dedicated to realizing the collective advantages of women’s political, social, and economic leadership. Collaboration is innately part of our approach, and we invite your investment, participation, and thought leadership. There are many ways to be involved, including:

    Become a Practicum Partner

    Does your organization require research in a field that advances women? Join our vibrant network of practicum organizational partners. To learn how you can partner with a team of students to research and address a topic of interest at your organization contact Professor Kent Davis-Packard.

    Mentor a Woman of Promise fellow

    Tomorrow’s leaders will be from every corner of the world. They will be globally-minded. And they will be ready to transform the world. Join their journey and contact GWL Alumni Relations Coordinator Stephanie Haven to learn how you can mentor a student to learn how you can mentor a student..

    Donate your Expertise as a Skills Course Instructor

    Johns Hopkins SAIS welcomes senior alumnae to donate their talents as instructors for skills workshops and courses. For more information, contact Marshall Millsap.

    Take Action with the SAIS Women's Alumni Network (SWAN)

    Join an active community of alumni and make an impact in women's leadership and professional development. Sign up to be on the SWAN Speaker Bureau as a panelist, moderator or facilitator for an event or for the SWAN Documentary Film Forum. Take initiative and facilitate a professional skills workshop, speak on a career panel in your city, or get involved with SWAN Action. Connect with alumni on social media or subscribe to our global newsletter for upcoming events. To learn more, visit us or email Dara Iserson (B’08,’09) and Rachel Dunsmoor (B’07, ‘08), Acting Co-Chairs, Global SAIS Women’s Alumni Network.  

    Join the SAIS Women Lead Mailing List

    Receive our newsletter and invitations to program happenings and events. Click here to join our listserve.

    Give to SAIS Women Lead

    To support annual operations, name a practicum, name a Women of Promise Fellowship, support the student-run Global Women in Leadership Conference, or create an endowment, visit us or contact Kenna Barrett, Director of Development. Please note that your tax deductible gift is in support of the SAIS Women Lead.

    Thank you to our SAIS Women Lead Supporters

    Through SAIS Women Lead, the leaders of tomorrow will receive a world-class education together with specific training and mentoring preparing them to remove barriers to women’s advancement. The program has come to fruition thanks to the partnership of individuals and organizations who have made founding investments of $25,000 or more in the initial stages of development. We are grateful to the founders named below, as well as to the many sponsors of the Global Women in Leadership Conference.

    Founders Circle of Johns Hopkins SAIS Women Lead:

    • Henna Babar Ali
    • Marshall H. Millsap
    • Peter and Sarah O’Hagan
    • Kathleen M. Pike
    • Edith Quintrell
    • Starr Foundation “Understanding Asia” Endowment

    Additional supporters:

    • Veronica Baruffati
    • Elizabeth A. Corwin
    • Leanne D. Galati
    • Terri L. McBride
    • Elizabeth Madigan Jost
    • Maureen H. Norton
    • Sara S. O’Rourke
    • Alison von Klemperer



    Kent Davis-Packard

    SAIS Women Lead Coordinator and Practicum Director, Visiting Research Associate, and Adjunct Lecturer of Global Theory and History

    kdavisp1@jhu.edu

    Bernstein Office Building, Room 603

    1717 Massachusetts Ave., NW

    Washington, DC 20036

    SAISWomenLead1@gmail.com



    SAIS Women Lead is housed in the Global Theory and History Program


    Charles Doran

    Andrew W. Mellon Professor of International Relations, Director of the Global Theory and History Program, Director of the Center for Canadian Studies

    cfdoran@jhu.edu

    Nitze 510



    Starr Lee

    Program Coordinator

    starr.lee@jhu.edu

    Nitze 509

    Global Theory and History

    Nitze Building

    1740 Massachusetts Ave., NW

    Washington, DC 20036

    202-663-5714
     

    SAIS Women Lead Practicum Program Faculty Advisors
     

     

    Dr. Chiedo Nwankwor

    Visiting Research Associate and Adjunct Lecturer

    cnwankw3@jhu.edu

    BOB 722

     

    Dr. Bettina Boekle

    Adjunct Lecturer

    bettinaboekle@gmail.com

    Nitze 502