In March, Newsweek named Melanne Verveer among the “150 Women Who Shake the World.” On Wednesday, April 13, the U. S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, who has served the nation since April 2009 when she was appointed by President Barack Obama, will offer an address as part of the President’s Forum Series. Her address, “Women Changing the World,” is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library.
As director of the Department of State’s Global Women’s Issues office, Verveer coordinates activities and foreign policy issues concerning the economic, social, and political advancement of women around the world. As part of her duties, Verveer organizes initiatives and programs designed to promote empowerment, support women’s rights, and combat violence against women and girls. Verveer is responsible for ensuring that women’s rights are fully incorporated in all U.S. foreign policy.
Before stepping into the role of U.S. Ambassador, Verveer served as chair and chief executive officer of Vital Voices, a nonprofit organization she co-founded that works to expand the roles of women in politics and as leaders. In addition, Vital Voices works to safeguard human rights. Verveer was an integral member of the Clinton administration, serving as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady. During Hillary Clinton’s efforts to advance the rights of women and promote social development, Verveer was chief assistant to Clinton.
Verveer has a B.A. and M.A. from Georgetown University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Women’s Foreign Policy Group, and numerous other organizations.
Established in the winter of 2000 by President Mark D. Gearan, the President’s Forum Series is designed to bring a variety of speakers to campus to share their knowledge and ideas with students, faculty and staff of the Colleges, as well as with interested community members. Before serving as President of HWS, Gearan was the director of the Peace Corps. He also served in the White House as Assistant to the President and Director of Communications, as well as Deputy Chief of Staff during the Clinton administration.
Chief White House Correspondent and political director of NBC Chuck Todd was the first forum speaker of the 2010-2011 academic year. Past speakers include author, civil rights activist and Princeton University Professor Cornel West, former Governor of Vermont Howard Dean, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr. Wangari Maathai SC.D.’94, P’94, P’96.