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Women Leaders and Policy Makers in the Global C...

March 1, 2017
By: Gretchen J. Van Dyke, Ph.D., political science professor

Since Spring 2016, I have been excited to be a project partner for a Jean Monnet grant to establish the We-Bind Network”, funded by the European Union Commission and currently housed at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) in Washington, D.C. The grant is to study and publicize the importance of women leaders in foreign policy and international relations, utilizing seminars and conferences to highlight new research and to publish findings for academic and professional audiences. The array of specific research projects is focused on women engaged in foreign policy leadership and decision-making in global community. Most of our scholarship has at least some ties to European-related foreign policy questions or individuals connected directly or indirectly to the European foreign policy sphere.

An Italian colleague and friend, Federiga Bindi, spearheads this venture, which builds upon the Women’s Leadership in International Relations project that she and others began in 2013 in Brussels, Belgium. Federiga is the Jean Monnet Chair and Professor of Political Science at the University of Rome Tor Vergata; additionally, she has been a Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at SAIS Johns Hopkins University, and currently holds the Daniel German Distinguished Visiting Chair at Appalachian State University. I met Federiga in 2007 through the European Union Studies Association (EUSA), the foremost scholarly and professional association that focuses on the EU, its integration process, and transatlantic relations.

At the upcoming May 2017 Sixteenth Annual EUSA Biennial Conference, in Miami, FL. I will present a paper, titled "Samantha Power - A European Journalist turned U.S. Diplomat," as part of two conference panels organized under our grant’s auspices. Power, who was born in Ireland and whose mother migrated to the United States during Power’s childhood, recently stepped down as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, a position she held for three years. She is known for her passionate commitment to international human rights and her efforts to build coalitions, including with European partners, to address human rights challenges in the international community. We are at work on a new grant proposal to fund additional research on EU women leaders. For that new effort, I will initiate a new project on Margot Wallstrom, the current Swedish foreign minister, who served in the in the European Commission for two terms in addition to being the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) on Sexual Violence in Conflict. 

Read more from the Spring 2017 LA/W/S newsletter, here

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