Ambassadors Paula Dobriansky and Melanne Verveer stress women’s political leadership essential to foreign diplomacy

From left, Ambassador Melanne Verveer and Ambassador Paula Dobriansky discuss pathways to advance women's leadership.
Ambassador Melanne Verveer (left) and Ambassador Paula Dobriansky discuss pathways to advance women's leadership.

On April 30, 2018, Meridian’s Rising Leaders Council joined the Embassy of Ukraine for an intimate dialogue with Ambassadors Paula Dobriansky and Melanne Verveer on how to advance women’s foreign policy leadership. Welcoming the featured speakers and distinguished guests, Ukrainian Ambassador Valerie Chaly emphasized the Embassy’s close connection to Ambassadors Dobriansky and Verveer, who both served diplomatic posts in Ukraine, along with the important role of Ambassadorial spouses and women who help advance diplomacy and the soft power of a nation.

Rising Leaders Council member Sheryl Shum, Deputy Chief of Mission to the Embassy of Singapore, led the fireside chat with Ambassadors Dobriansky and Verveer. The discussion began with a deep dive into the speakers’ personal connections to Ukraine, followed by anecdotes of their rise to Ambassadorial postings, largely championed by the male mentors who helped advocate and actively create avenues for their leadership growth. The Ambassadors also shared their optimism for future female leaders around the world, noting important tools like cultural diplomacy and public-private partnerships that already are moving the needle for women’s political leadership.

Among the gathered group of guests included female Ambassadors and ambassadorial spouses, along with rising leaders across the U.S. government, foreign embassies, business, media and NGOs, all of whom engaged in the dialogue and offered timely questions on everything from the U.S. gender agenda to international cooperation that will accelerate the vision.

The Rising Leaders Council is a dynamic network of mid-career professionals from the foreign diplomatic community, public and private sectors, and diverse disciplines, who support Meridian’s mission to advance global leadership and non-partisan public diplomacy through the exchange of people, ideas and culture.

Project summary

Ambassadors Paula Dobriansky and Melanne Verveer stress women’s political leadership essential to foreign diplomacy | April 2018
Number of Attendees: 73
Regions: East Asia and Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, Western Hemisphere
Countries: Ukraine, Singapore
Impact Areas: Empowering Women and Girls, Foreign Policy, Public Diplomacy
Program Areas: Convening
Partners: Diplomatic Corps, NGOs, Private Sector, Public Sector