What are the specific features that characterize women leadership in international relations? Do women really make the difference when they are at the helm of foreign policy? What are the specific difficulties that women leaders have to face in negotiating internationally and making their way through in international relations?

On December 15, 2011, former U.S. Secretary Hillary Clinton announced the historic launch of the Women in Public Service Project (WPSP) in partnership with the Seven Sisters Colleges (Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mt. Holyoke, Smith and Wellesley Colleges) and the State Department. The WPSP is now housed at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and has grown to include Mills, Mount St. Mary’s, Scripps, City College of New York and other colleges and universities around the world.

For the first time, a Women in Public Service Project (WPSP) affiliated program will focus on Women Leadership in International Relations. Women Leaders in International Relations. Comparing EU and U.S. Experiences will take place in Brussels, from the 8 to 12 July 2013.

The Italian Cultural Institute in Brussels and the Jean Monnet Center of Excellence at the University of Rome Tor Vergata are delighted to join forces with WPSP for an week-long program that will serve as an incubator for transformative and inclusive global leadership for women engaged or willing to work in foreign policy and will inspire future generations of women leaders. The project benefits from the financial support of the European Commission, Verona Fiere VinItaly and the University Association of Contemporary European Studies (UACES). Other partners include: Women’s Campaign International (WCI); the Global Women in Leadership Initiative at SAIS-Johns Hopkins; the Italian Society for International Organization (SIOI); Business and Professional Women International (BPW); Collegio Nuovo– Pavia and a number of others.

The Brussels based week-long program will analyze, discuss and train women leadership in International Relations with a rich, interactive and variegated program. In line with the rigorous WPSP curriculum and guidelines, we have designed an very intensive week focused on how to successfully tackle and overcome the specific difficulties embedded in negotiating internationally as a woman leader: communication skills; building self-confidence and mutual trust in a often male-dominated and foreign environment; building partnerships and effective networking and the difficult management of work-family balance (often at a distance), etc.

The program will be structured in three parts and has a threefold objective.

Learn from those who did it: renowned scholars will analyze the role of women leaders in foreign policy in the EU and the US. We often claim that with more women at the helm, the world would be a better place. But nobody has actually ever analyzed this claim in a thoughtful scholarly and comparative way to prove it right: with the help of renowned scholars we will explore the role of women leaders in shaping international relations.

 Intensive training sessions will include such topics as leadership, communication, advocacy, negotiating techniques, building trust, networking, dress code, managing work-family balance etc. as women in an international and often multinational and multicultural arena. The cultural barriers to effectiveness when women negotiate in international settings will be addressed. Women’s Campaign International (WCI), an NGO dedicated to the empowerment of women, will lead the trainings with a spectacular group of experienced trainers, among whom are Marjorie Margolies, WCI founder and former United States Congresswoman, communications expert Valerie Biden-Owens and Cathleen Zurbach, WCI’s Vice-President. The training sessions will be highly interactive, with practical exercises and the possibility for participants to see their presentations on video and receive feedback from the experts.

International conferences open to the public in the evenings to discuss with current international women leaders in the beautiful setting of the theater of the Italian Cultural Institute, followed by a international networking cocktails.

Prof. Anne-Marie Slaughter, the former Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State and the author of the highly influential article on the role of women in the twenty-first century published on The Atlantic last year, will offer the opening keynote address. She will be joined by a spectacular group of speakers from both Europe and the US.

Participation is open to emerging women leaders from the public sector (national and international) interested in international relations or to women aspiring to such roles in government currently working in other fields. To apply please send a CV and a motivation letter including names and contacts for 2 referees, to ufficio.europeo@uniroma2.it. The application process will open until June 30th, 2013.

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