2015 Bush Fellows return to Meridian for Speed Mentoring Sessions with U.S. Women Leaders

2015 Bush Fellows return to Meridian for Speed Mentoring Sessions with U.S. Women Leaders
2015 Bush Fellows return to Meridian for Speed Mentoring Sessions with U.S. Women Leaders

On March 17, 2015, The Council on Women’s Leadership (CWL) at Meridian hosted speed mentoring sessions and a networking reception for the George W. Bush Institute’s 2015 Women’s Initiative Fellows from Tunisia.

The program featured small-group mentoring sessions focused on networking and leadership development led by high-level U.S.-based women leaders from the business, non-profit, and government communities. During the dynamic, 25-minute speed mentoring sessions, the mentors shared tips and tools that have led to their own successes, including public speaking, messaging, marketing, and personal development tools for improving self-esteem and confidence.

The George W. Bush Institute’s Women’s Initiative Fellowship is a four-week program designed to enhance the leadership skills of women around the world, with an initial focus on women in the Middle East and North Africa. The 2015 Fellowship cohort of 14 Tunisian women are active leaders in their communities and represent the six most influential sectors of society: business, education, health, law, media, and politics.

Following a short film highlighting this year’s Fellows, Michele Manatt, CWL Chair and Meridian Trustee, shared welcoming remarks and acknowledged Meridian’s fruitful partnership with the George W. Bush Institute in hosting the Fellows over the past four years. Ms. Manatt introduced Ambassador Wendy Chamberlain, President of the Middle East Institute and former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, for keynote remarks. Ambassador Chamberlain highlighted the importance of women’s leadership in all aspects of society to keep families together, move communities forward, and drive national development.

Charity Wallace, Director of the Women’s Initiative at the Bush Institute, offered brief remarks about the mission and goals of the Fellowship before launching the “speed mentoring.” Monique McSween, Meridian’s Vice President for Communications, chaired one of the mentoring tables and offered valuable advice to the Fellows, stating: “Women need to move away from the traditional expectations that they must be timid, quiet, and behind-the-scenes. The days of “good girls must be seen and not heard” are over. We must stand up to be counted and confidently ask for what we want.”

After the sessions concluded, guests moved into a networking reception where Kais Darragi, Chargé d’Affairs, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Embassy of Tunisia, delivered remarks. Mr. Darragi commended the 2015 Bush Fellows on their commitment to the betterment of themselves and their country and the great strides they are making. The reception brought together members of the diplomatic, corporate and non-profit sectors to provide an opportunity for the Fellows to further discuss their career objectives, opportunities, and challenges.

Project summary

2015 Bush Fellows return to Meridian for Speed Mentoring Sessions with U.S. Women Leaders
Number of Visitors: 14
Regions: Near East and North Africa
Countries: Tunisia
Impact Areas: Empowering Women and Girls, Entrepreneurship
Program Areas: Forums, Exchanges
Partners: Private Sector, Public Sector