The Asia Foundation Announces New Trustee Ambassador Melanne Verveer
“The Foundation is very pleased to welcome Ambassador Verveer to our Board of Trustees,” said Asia Foundation President David D. Arnold. “We are impressed by Ambassador Verveer’s relentless commitment to the idea that the advancement of women is a central component of thriving societies. Her perseverance, enthusiasm, and a proven track record on promoting the rights of women and girls globally will undoubtedly strengthen the Foundation’s work on critical issues, including its Women’s Empowerment Program, across a dynamic and developing Asia.”
“I am honored to join the distinguished Board of Trustees of The Asia Foundation, an organization I have long admired,” said Ambassador Verveer. “Two decades ago, recognizing that no country can get ahead if it leaves half of its citizens behind, The Asia Foundation launched a dedicated program to unleash the potential of girls and women to be full participants in social, political, and economic life so that they and their societies can prosper. I welcome this opportunity to serve as a trustee of one of the world’s premier international development organizations and support its efforts to empower women and strengthen communities across Asia.”
Ambassador Verveer is Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. She previously served as the first U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, a position to which she was nominated by President Obama in 2009. In that role, she coordinated foreign policy issues and activities relating to the political, economic and social advancement of women, traveling to nearly sixty countries. She worked to ensure that women’s participation and rights are fully integrated into U.S. foreign policy, and she played a leadership role in the Administration’s development of the US National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. President Obama also appointed her to serve as the U.S. Representative to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
From 2000-2008, Ambassador Verveer was the Chair and Co-CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international NGO that she co-founded to invest in emerging women leaders. During the Clinton administration, she served as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady. She also led the effort to establish the President’s Interagency Council on Women and was instrumental in the adoption of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.
Ambassador Verveer has a B.S. and M.S. from Georgetown University. In 2013, she was the Humanitas Visiting professor at Cambridge University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the World Bank Advisory Council on Gender and Development. She holds several honorary degrees and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the US Secretary of State’s Award for Distinguished Service.
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