WFPG Board of Directors and Executive Director Shaz Akram at the 2021 Celebrating Women Leaders Benefit Luncheon

A Note from our Executive Director

Volunteers, interns and staff at our 2021 Celebrating Women Leaders Luncheon

From compelling programming to new mentoring initiatives to our year-end Celebrating Women's Leadership Luncheon, we are grateful you’ve chosen to spend this second challenging yet inspiring year with us.

For the first time in two years, we were delighted to see all of you in person. Thank you sincerely for all the precautions we took together to ensure a safe and fun event. We were 290 strong, with dozens of ambassadors, federal officials, and many loyal members. Sens Deb Fischer and Jeanne Shaheen discussed the important issues confronting women globally today and how we all can be a voice for change.

Next year our ongoing partnerships with the United Nations Foundation and Embassy of UAE promise more exciting programs.   We have many special events planned for 2022, so stay tuned.

As always, none of this is possible without the generous support and patronage of our members and donors. Your investment in our mission helps us create a world where women continue to push the needle on gender equality on the foreign policy arena. Help us end the year strong by donating or becoming a member of WFPG. Donations are fully tax-deductible and appreciate all you can contribute, whether $50 or $5,000. Your gift will help us continue to provide a strong platform through our programming for women globally. We are grateful to you for your continued support. 

Happy holidays from the WFPG family!
Shaz Akram, Executive Director

Recent Highlights


H.E. Jahjaga discussing gender-based violence with Ambassador Kathleen Doherty. Photo courtesy of @atifetejahjaga on Instagram.

WFPG hosted Her Excellency Atifete Jahjaga, Former President of Kosovo, for a conversation moderated by WFPG Board Member Ambassador Kathleen Doherty on gender-based violence. H.E. Jahjaga shared her extensive insights from the post-war Kosovo context on best practices for supporting survivors of gender-based violence during the pandemic and beyond. H.E. Jahjaga answered attendees' questions about combating the stigmatization of survivors, ensuring those most vulnerable can access support services and preventing the use of gender-based violence as a weapon of war.

Looking Ahead: Spring 2022 Events

Stay tuned for more information regarding our spring programming!

WFPG Network Spotlight

Congratulating WFPG Former Board Co-Chair, Ambassador Cathy Russell

Secretary-General appoints Ms. Catherine M. Russell of the United States as Executive Director, United Nations Children’s Fund

We are thrilled to announce that former WFPG board co-chair Ambassador Catherine M. Russell  has been appointed the next Executive Director, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)  She will succeed Henrietta H. Fore. Ambassador Russell currently serves as director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office, responsible for filling roughly 4,000 political appointment positions. She co-chaired WFPG from 2018 to 2020.

During the Obama Administration, she was Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues from August 2013 to January 2017. In this position, Russell led the State Department's efforts to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls around the world. Prior to assuming this position, she served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to Second Lady Jill Biden focusing on military families and higher education. During her tenure at the White House, Russell coordinated the development of the Administration's strategy to prevent and respond to gender-based violence globally. Russell previously served as a Senior Advisor to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on international women's issues. During the Clinton Administration, she served as Associate Deputy Attorney General. Russell also served as Staff Director of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senior Counsel to Senator Patrick Leahy. She received a BA in Philosophy from Boston College and a JD from George Washington University.

We wish her much success in this very important post.

What We're Watching

As part of our mission to amplify the voices of women in foreign policy and to highlight their work, the WFPG will share foreign policy focused discussions, podcasts and articles by or featuring women. If you have an event or article you'd like us to highlight, email us at [email protected].

Articles to Check Out

Why is China Freaking out over Biden's Democracy Summit?

Mareike Ohlberg, Bonnie S. Glaser | Foreign Policy | 10 December 2021

Why the Stalemate in Eastern Ukraine Will Likely Hold

Katharine Quinn-Judge | Foreign Affairs | 15 December 2021

What Kind of Feminist Foreign Policy Should we Expect From Germany’s New Government?

Rachel Tausendfeund | German Marshall Fund | 30 November 2021


Connect with us

 Not a WFPG member? Join us today to connect with a network of dynamic women working in international affairs and  participate in our timely and substantive conversations throughout the year.

Support like yours is critical to enabling us to continue our work to   highlight women leaders and support women at every stage of their careers.