National Security
and Women's Insecurity

Why Women Matter in Foreign Policy

September 11, 2015

Annenberg Presidential Conference Center
1002 George Bush Drive West
College Station, Texas 77843

This video features dinner remarks from September 10, 2015, from Alissa J. Rubin of the New York Times.

Welcome to the Conference: Speaker: Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Dean, The Bush School of Government and Public Service and Karan Watson, Provost, Texas A&M University

Setting the Stage: Valerie Hudson, George H.W. Bush Chair, The Bush School of Government and Public Service

Conversation with Michèle Flournoy (Valerie Hudson as host), Michèle Flournoy, CEO and Co-Founder of the Center for a New American Security

Panel #1: What Does State Foreign Policy That Take Women Seriously Look Like?
Moderator: Charlotte Ponticelli, Catholic University
Robin Morgan, Women’s Media Center
Anne-Marie Goetz, New York University
Lauren Wolfe, WMC Women Under Siege and Foreign Policy Columnist (remarks delivered by Author Patricia Leidl)

Panel #2: US Foreign Policy and the Women of Afghanistan
Moderator: Alissa J. Rubin, New York Times
C. Christine Fair, Associate Professor, Georgetown University
Sima Samar, Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission
Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Dean, The Bush School of Government and Public Service

Keynote #2 with Q&A- Speaker: Ambassador Swanee Hunt, Institute for Inclusive Security

Panel #3: Policy Recommendations for the Next US President
Moderator: Kristen Cordell, USAID
Kathleen Kuehnast, United States Institute of Peace
Donald Steinberg, World Learning
Micah Zenko, Council on Foreign Relations

Concluding Remarks
Speaker:Gloria Steinem, US Presidential Medal of Freedom Honoree

Farewell: Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Dean, The Bush School of Government and Public Service

Conference Program
Presenter Biographies
Social Media Information


In the twenty-first century, it has become clearer than ever that the situation and status of women are crucial elements of any effort to bring peace, stability, and prosperity to our world. This conference aims to address that proposition both within the international system of states and within the United States. More specifically, the conference will include several keynote speakers as well as three panel discussions, addressing topics such as what a state foreign policy that takes women seriously might look like, US foreign policy and the women of Afghanistan, and policy recommendations for the next US president with regard to global women’s empowerment. The conference will draw from the ranks of current and former policymakers, nongovernmental activists, and academic scholars.

Conference Program

Friday, September 11
9:00 – 9:20 AM Welcome to the Conference

Speaker: Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Dean, The Bush School of Government and Public Service
Speaker: Karan Watson, Provost, Texas A&M University

9:20 – 10:00 AM Setting the Stage: Women and National Security

Speaker: Valerie Hudson, George H. W. Bush Chair, The Bush School of Government and Public Service

10:00 – 10:35 AM Women and US Foreign Policy: Challenges and Opportunities

Michèle Flournoy, CEO and Co-Founder, Center for a New American Security
Host: Valerie Hudson, George H. W. Bush Chair, The Bush School of Government and Public Service

10:35 – 10:45 AM Break

10:45 AM – 12:00 PM Panel #1: What Does State Foreign Policy That Takes Women Seriously Look Like?

Moderator: Charlotte Ponticelli, Catholic University

Panelists: Robin Morgan, Women’s Media Center
Anne-Marie Goetz, New York University
Lauren Wolfe, WMC Women Under Siege and Foreign Policy columnist

12:00 – 12:30 PM Lunch Break

12:30 – 1:45 PM Panel #2: US Foreign Policy and the Women of Afghanistan

Moderator: Alissa J. Rubin, New York Times

Panelists: Sima Samar, Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission
Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Dean, The Bush School of Government and Public Service
C. Christine Fair, Associate Professor, Georgetown University

1:45 – 2:30 PM Chaos Cracks Open Culture: Rwanda and Beyond

Speaker: Ambassador Swanee Hunt, Institute for Inclusive Security

2:30 – 2:45 PM Break

2:45 – 4:00 PM Panel #3: Policy Recommendations for the Next US President

Moderator: Kristen Cordell, USAID

Kathleen Kuehnast, United States Institute of Peace
Donald Steinberg, World Learning
Micah Zenko, Council on Foreign Relations

4:00 – 4:50 PM Concluding Remarks

Speaker: Gloria Steinem, US Presidential Medal of Freedom Honoree

4:50 – 5:00 PM Farewell

Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Dean, The Bush School of Government and Public Service

5:00 – 6:00 PM Reception in the Annenberg Open Area/ Book Signing


Kristen Cordell

Kristen Cordell

As Senior Gender Advisor at USAID's Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs, Ms. Cordell has led the design of the $216 million Promote program, USAID's largest single investment in gender equity and women's empowerment. Prior to her work at USAID, she led gender development in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, and Lebanon. She advised on issues related to sexual and gender based violence, gender and security sector reform, and empowerment strategies for women in post conflict contexts. She has authored several reports on the role of gender in post conflict reconstruction including coauthoring: Women and Nation Building (RAND, 2007). She worked on gender evaluation for the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group and in 2012 was seconded to the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Ms. Cordell holds a Masters Public Policy from Pepperdine University. She holds a BA in History and Political Science. In 2015, Ms. Cordell joined the Council on Foreign Relations as a Term Member. She has been featured as a guest blogger for the Guardian Online, Council on Foreign Relations Impact Blog, and Foreign Policy Online.

Ryan Crocker

Ryan Crocker

Ryan Crocker is Dean and Executive Professor at the George Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University where he holds the Edward and Howard Kruse Endowed Chair. He also has an appointment as the James Schlesinger Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia. From 2012- 2013, he served as the first Kissinger Senior Fellow at Yale University.

He retired from the Foreign Service in April 2009 after a career of over 37 years but was recalled to active duty by President Obama to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan in 2011. He has served as U.S. Ambassador six times: Afghanistan (2011-2012), Iraq (2007-2009), Pakistan (2004-2007), Syria (1998-2001), Kuwait (1994-1997), and Lebanon (1990-1993). He has also served as the International Affairs Advisor at the National War College, where he joined the faculty in 2003. From May to August 2003, he was in Baghdad as the first Director of Governance for the Coalition Provisional Authority and was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from August 2001 to May 2003. Since joining the Foreign Service in 1971, he also has had assignments in Iran, Qatar, Iraq and Egypt, as well as Washington. He was assigned to the American Embassy in Beirut during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the bombings of the embassy and the Marine barracks in 1983.

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Born in Spokane, Washington, he grew up in an Air Force family, attending schools in Morocco, Canada and Turkey, as well as the U.S. He received a B.A. in English in 1971 and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2001 from Whitman College (Washington). He also holds an honorary Doctor of National Security Affairs from the National Defense University (2010), honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Gonzaga University (2009) and Seton Hall University (2012), as well as an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the American University of Afghanistan (2013). He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Diplomacy, and the Association of American Ambassadors.

Ambassador Crocker received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, in 2009. His other awards include the Presidential Distinguished and Meritorious Service Awards, the Secretary of State's Distinguished Service Award (2008 and 2012), the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service (1997 and 2008) and for Distinguished Public Service (2012), the Award for Valor and the American Foreign Service Association Rivkin Award for creative dissent. He received the National Clandestine Service's Donovan Award in 2009 and the Director of Central Intelligence's Director's Award in 2012. In 2011, he was awarded the Marshall Medal by the Association of the United States Army. In January 2002, he was sent to Afghanistan to reopen the American Embassy in Kabul. He subsequently received the Robert C. Frasure Memorial Award for "exceptional courage and leadership" in Afghanistan. In September 2004, President Bush conferred on him the personal rank of Career Ambassador, the highest in the Foreign Service. In May 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the establishment of the Ryan C. Crocker Award for Outstanding Achievement in Expeditionary Diplomacy. In July 2012, he was named an Honorary Marine, the 75th civilian so honored in the 237 year history of the Corps.


C. Christine Fair

Christine Fair

C. Christine Fair is an associate professor in the Security Studies Program within Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She previously served as a senior political scientist with the RAND Corporation, a political officer with the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan in Kabul, and a senior research associate at USIP’s Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention. Her research focuses on political and military affairs in South Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka). Her most recent book is Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War (Oxford University Press).

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Additionally, she has authored, co-authored, and co-edited several books, including Pakistan’s Enduring Challenges (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015), Policing Insurgencies: Cops as Counterinsurgents (Oxford University Press, 2014), Political Islam and Governance in Bangladesh (Routledge, 2010), Treading on Hallowed Ground: Counterinsurgency Operations in Sacred Spaces (Oxford University Press, 2008), The Madrassah Challenge: Militancy and Religious Education in Pakistan (USIP, 2008), Fortifying Pakistan: The Role of U.S. Internal Security Assistance (USIP, 2006), and The Cuisines of the Axis of Evil and Other Irritating States (Globe Pequot, 2008), among others. Dr. Fair is a frequent commentator in print (New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and the National Review) as well as on television and radio programs, including CBS, BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN, Voice of America, Fox, Reuters, and NPR.

Dr. Fair is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Women in International Security, International Studies Association, American Political Science Association, and the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, and serves on the editorial board of numerous scholarly and policy-analytic journals. She has a PhD from the University of Chicago, Department of South Asian Languages and Civilization, and an MA from the Harris School of Public Policy, also at the University of Chicago.


Michèle Flournoy

Michèle Flournoy

Michèle Flournoy is co-founder and chief executive officer of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS).

She served as the under secretary of defense for policy from February 2009 to February 2012. She was the principal adviser to the secretary of defense in the formulation of national security and defense policy, oversight of military plans and operations, and National Security Council deliberations. She led the development of the 2012 Strategic Guidance for the Department of Defense (DoD) and represented the department in dozens of foreign engagements, in the media, and before Congress.

Prior to confirmation, Ms. Flournoy co-led President Obama’s transition team at DoD.

In January 2007, Ms. Flournoy co-founded CNAS, a nonpartisan think tank dedicated to developing strong, pragmatic, and principled national security policies. She served as CNAS president until 2009.

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Previously, she was senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies for several years and, prior to that, a distinguished research professor at the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University.

In the mid-1990s, she served as principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and threat reduction and deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy. She has received several awards from the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Ms. Flournoy is a member of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, the Defense Policy Board, the DCIA’s External Advisory Board, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Aspen Strategy Group, and is a senior fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. She serves on the boards of The Mitre Corporation, Rolls Royce North America, Amida Technology Solutions, The Mission Continues, and CARE, and is a senior advisor at the Boston Consulting Group.

Ms. Flournoy earned a bachelor's degree in social studies from Harvard University and a master's degree in international relations from Balliol College, Oxford University, where she was a Newton-Tatum scholar.


Anne Marie Goetz

Anne Marie GoetzDr. Anne Marie Goetz joined New York University in 2014, where she teaches international relations. Prior to this, she was the chief advisor on peace, security and governance to the United Nations agencies UNIFEM (since 2005) and UN Women (since 2011). While working with the United Nations, Dr. Goetz spearheaded initiatives to promote women’s empowerment in fragile states and post-conflict situations. She also co-founded UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict, a cross-UN coordination initiative, and was instrumental in the development of key Security Council resolutions on sexual violence (resolution 1820), women’s participation in peacebuilding (resolution 1889), and women’s leadership in conflict resolution (resolution 2122). From 1991 to 2005, she was a professor of political science at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. Professor Goetz is the author of eight books on the subjects of gender, politics, and policy in developing countries, most recently Governing Women: Women’s Political Effectiveness in Contexts of Democratization and Governance Reform.

Valerie Hudson

Valerie Hudson

Dr. Valerie Hudson joined the faculty of the Bush School in 2012 as the George Bush Chair. An expert on international security and foreign policy analysis, she received her PhD in political science at The Ohio State University and comes to Texas A&M University from a senior faculty position at Brigham Young University.

In 2009, Foreign Policy named her one of the top 100 Most Influential Global Thinkers. Her co-authored book, Bare Branches: Security Implications of Asia’s Surplus Male Population, and the research it presents, received major attention from the media with coverage in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, Washington Post, BBC, CNN, and numerous other outlets. The book also received two national book awards. Her latest co-authored book is Sex and World Peace, published by Columbia University Press and named by Gloria Steinem as one of the top three books on her reading list. Her current book project, with Patricia Leidl, is The Hillary Doctrine: Sex and American Foreign Policy, to be released in June 2015. Hudson was also recently named a Distinguished Scholar of Foreign Policy Analysis by the International Studies Association.

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Dr. Hudson has developed a nation-by-nation database on women ( that triggered both academic and policy interest (the latter includes its use by both the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and various agencies of the United Nations). Using this data, Hudson and her co-principal investigators from The WomanStats Project have published a wide variety of empirical work linking the security of women to the security of states, with research appearing in International Security, the Journal of Peace Research, Political Psychology, and Politics and Gender.

Dr. Hudson offers core courses on research methods for national security and defense students, adding important new seminars on women and nations as well as foreign policy analysis. Throughout her career, Dr. Hudson has demonstrated a strong commitment to collaboration with other scholars both in her own field and in other disciplines, and received significant research grants, including grants from the US Department of Defense’s Minerva Initiative and the National Science Foundation, to support her work in international affairs. Her research and teaching experience is also complemented by three major teaching awards and numerous research awards, and she has recently been awarded an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship.

Hudson served as vice president of the International Studies Association for 2011-2012. She is a founding editorial board member of Foreign Policy Analysis, and also serves on the editorial boards of Politics and Gender and International Studies Review. More information can be found on her professional website,


Swanee Hunt

Swanee Hunt

Dallas native Swanee Hunt founded and chairs the Washington-based Institute for Inclusive Security, whose bold goal is to change the international security paradigm. Through government consultation, research, leadership development, and advocacy, Inclusive Security increases the participation of all stakeholders—particularly women—in preventing, resolving, and rebuilding after deadly conflicts.

Her seminal work in this area began when, as the US ambassador to Austria from 1993 to 1997, she hosted negotiations and international symposia focused on stabilizing the neighboring Balkan states. With proficiency in domestic and foreign policy, Ambassador Hunt built on her extensive work with US nongovernmental organizations to become a specialist in the role of women in post-communist Europe. In 1997, she launched the conference “Vital Voices: Women in Democracy,” convening women experts in business, law, and politics from thirty-nine countries, East and West. The conference spawned a US State Department initiative and a separate NGO, co-chaired by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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Inclusive Security is part of Hunt Alternatives, a private foundation created in 1981, which also combats the demand for the illegal purchase of sex (including trafficking) in the United States, advocates political parity for US women in the highest-level elected positions, supports scores of leaders of domestic social movements, and disseminates strategies to strengthen youth arts organizations as a vehicle out of poverty.

At Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Dr. Hunt is the Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer in Public Policy, founder of the Women and Public Policy Program, core faculty at the Center for Public Leadership, and senior adviser to the Working Group on Modern-Day Slavery at the Carr Center for Human Rights. She holds two masters degrees, a doctorate in theology, and six honorary degrees.

Ambassador Hunt’s work spans more than sixty countries. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and long-time board member of Crisis Group and USA for UNHCR. A two-time syndicated columnist, she has authored articles for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy Magazine, New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, Global Post, Christian Science Monitor, and others. Her first book, This Was Not Our War: Bosnian Women Reclaiming the Peace, won the 2005 PEN/New England Award for non-fiction. Her memoir, Half-Life of a Zealot was published in 2006. Worlds Aparts: Bosnian Lessons for Global Security was released in September 2011, and she is currently finishing Rwandan Women Rising.

A widely-exhibited photographer and a composer, Swanee Hunt was married for twenty-five years to international conductor and impresario Charles Ansbacher. Her world includes their three children and a menagerie of cat, parrot, horses, bison, and grandchildren.


Kathleen Kuehnast

Kathleen Kuehnast

Dr. Kathleen Kuehnast is Senior Advisor at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), where she has led the gender-related programming work since 2009. In this capacity, Dr. Kuehnast has directed a number of major gender initiatives, including the Women Preventing Extremist Violence pilot project in Kenya and Nigeria, as well as the Missing Peace on Preventing Wartime Sexual Violence. Overall, her work has been focused on the U.N. Resolution 1325 and the critical role women play in all aspects of peacebuilding. In this capacity, Kuehnast co-edited the volume, “Women and War: Power and Protection in the 21st Century” (2011). She has been a part of the vanguard of introducing the concept of Men, Peace and Security as an integrated approach of engaging men in gender and peacebuilding.

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In addition to her expertise on gender and conflict, Kuehnast worked 15 years in the international development field, primarily for the World Bank, where her role as a senior social scientist included studies and project management on community driven development in fragile and post-conflict societies. Dr. Kuehnast is a recipient of the post-doctorate Mellon Foreign Fellowship at the Library of Congress, and also a former post-doctorate fellow at the Wilson Center. Her regional expertise is Central Asia, where she lived for several years in the post-Soviet country of Kyrgyzstan completing her doctoral dissertation research, which resulted in a number of publications on the impact of post-Soviet transition on Muslim women, including the co-edited volume, “Post-Soviet Women Encountering Transition: Nation Building, Economic Survival, and Civic Activism” (2004). Kuehnast holds a doctorate in socio-cultural anthropology from the University of Minnesota (1997). She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


Robin Morgan

Robin Morgan

An award-winning author, feminist leader, political analyst, journalist, and editor, Robin Morgan has published more than twenty books, including six of poetry; four of fiction; and the now-classic anthologies Sisterhood Is Powerful, Sisterhood Is Global, and Sisterhood Is Forever. Her work has been translated into thirteen languages. A founder of contemporary US feminism, she has also been a leader in the international women’s movement for twenty-five years. Recent books include A Hot January: Poems, her best-selling The Demon Lover: The Roots of Terrorism, and Fighting Words: A Tool Kit for Combating the Religious Right. She has founded or co-founded numerous feminist organizations, including The Sisterhood Is Global Institute and The Women’s Media Center; and she hosts “Women’s Media Center Live with Robin Morgan,” a nationally syndicated radio show, also available on iTunes as a podcast. In 1990, as editor-in-chief of Ms., she relaunched the magazine as an advertising-free, international, award-winning bimonthly, resigning in 1993 to become consulting global editor. A recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Prize (poetry), the Front Page Award for Distinguished Journalism, the Feminist Majority Foundation Award, and a host of other honors, she lives in New York City and has just completed a new novel.

Charlotte M. Ponticelli

Charlotte M. PonticelliCharlotte M. (Charlie) Ponticelli is an adjunct professor at the Catholic University of America, where she lectures on global community development policies. She is also program director and advisor for the American Committees on Foreign Relations, a national confederation of fourteen committees located throughout the United States.

Ms. Ponticelli has twenty-three years of US government experience, serving most recently as deputy undersecretary for international affairs at the US Department of Labor and senior coordinator for International Women’s Issues at the US Department of State.

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Previously, Ms. Ponticelli was senior advisor for the State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration; director of human rights and women's affairs in the State Department's Bureau for International Organization Affairs; congressional liaison for Latin America and the Caribbean at the US Agency for International Development; and director of congressional correspondence in the Legislative Affairs Office of the White House. She has also served as commissioner assistant at the US Commission on Civil Rights.

Ms. Ponticelli is a member of several boards and organizations assisting Afghanistan, including the US-Afghan Women’s Council, the Bayat Foundation, and the Initiative to Educate Afghan Women. She is a recipient of the State Department’s Superior Honor Award, the “Loyalty Award” from the American Women for International Understanding, the “Inspiration Award” from the Foreign Investment Network and Global Trusted Alliances, and the “Afghan & American Sisterhood Award” from Ariana Outreach.

Ms. Ponticelli received her BA (Spanish literature) from Hood College and her MA through New York University’s program in Madrid, Spain. She also completed two years of doctoral studies in Spanish literature at the Catholic University of America.


Alissa Johannsen Rubin

Alissa Johannsen RubinAlissa Johannsen Rubin is the Paris bureau chief for the New York Times. Prior to that, she spent four years as the Afghanistan bureau chief. Ms. Rubin joined the New York Times in 2007 as Baghdad bureau correspondent and went on to become the Baghdad bureau chief, a position she held until July 2009. Before that, Ms. Rubin worked at the Los Angeles Times for nearly ten years. Her first assignment for the LA Times was in Washington, DC, covering health policy and managed care. She then moved overseas, covering the Balkans, while helping out in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In 2003, she joined the Baghdad bureau, where she became co-bureau chief. Before joining the LA Times, Ms. Rubin served as a staff writer for The Congressional Quarterly in Washington, DC, focusing first on agriculture; then on health care policy; and then, for more than two years, on tax policy.

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From 1986 to 1990, Ms. Rubin, who is a native of New York City, had what she considers her first foreign assignment when she went to work as a staff writer at The Wichita Eagle of Kansas, covering agriculture, business, and local and state government. She has written freelance pieces for The New Republic, The Washington Post and Washington Post Magazine, Women’s Health, and Glamour Magazine. Ms. Rubin has a BA degree in Renaissance studies from Brown University, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She was awarded a Mellon Fellowship in the humanities to pursue graduate work and earned an MA degree in history from Columbia University, with a concentration in modern Europe.

She was the recipient of the 2009 Overseas Press Club’s Ed Cunningham Award for best magazine reporting for “How Baida Wanted to Die.” She received the Los Angeles Times Editor’s Prize in 2003. In 1992, she won an Alicia Patterson Fellowship and received The Washington Monthly Journalism Award for her writing on the abortion controversy. In 1989, Ms. Rubin was awarded the Public Service Award for Kansas Journalists for her coverage of Kansas’ property tax system overhaul.

In her spare time she hikes, reads, and collects antique maps.


Sima Samar

Sima SamarA renowned advocate of human and women's rights, Dr. Sima Samar was appointed as the inaugural chair of the AIHRC in June 2002. Prior to her appointment as the chair of AIHRC, she was elected as the vice chair of the Emergency Loya Jirga and also served as the deputy chair and Minister of Women's Affairs in the post-Taliban Interim Administration of Afghanistan IAA. She also served as UN's Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Sudan between 2005 and 2009. Dr. Samar has participated in many international forums on human rights, democracy and transitional justice. Her contributions to the same have been widely recognized and she is the recipient of several prestigious awards.

Donald Steinberg

Donald SteinbergDonald Steinberg is president and CEO of World Learning, an international nonprofit organization that provides education, exchange, and development programs in more than sixty countries. For more than eighty years, World Learning programs have helped empower new generations of global leaders to create a more peaceful, democratic, and prosperous world.

Steinberg brings more than thirty-five years of experience in government and nongovernmental organizations as well as expertise in the fields of international relations and development.

Prior to his position at World Learning, Steinberg served as deputy administrator at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), where he focused on the Middle East and Africa; organizational reforms under the USAID Forward agenda; the inclusion of women, people with disabilities, LGBT persons, and other marginalized groups in the development arena; and expanded dialogue with development partners.

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In his previous work with the United States government, Steinberg served as director of the U.S. Department of State’s Joint Policy Council, White House deputy press secretary, National Security Council senior director for African Affairs, special Haiti coordinator, US ambassador to Angola, and the president’s special representative for Humanitarian Demining. He was also deputy president for policy at the International Crisis Group and a Jennings Randolph senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, and has advised the Women's Refugee Commission; the UN Development Fund for Women; the UN Civil Society Advisory Group for Women, Peace and Security; and the Institute for Inclusive Security.

Steinberg has authored more than 100 articles on foreign policy, African development, gender issues, post-conflict reconstruction, children and armed conflict, and disarmament, published in media outlets including Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian, The Nation, International Herald Tribune, Africa Economic Digest, and Yale Global Online. He holds master’s degrees in journalism from Columbia University and political economy from the University of Toronto, and a bachelor's degree from Reed College.

Steinberg's honors include the Presidential Meritorious Honor Award, the Frasure Award for International Peace, the Hunt Award for Women in Policy Formulation, the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship, the State Department and USAID Distinguished Service Awards, and six State Department Superior Honor Awards.


Gloria Steinem

Gloria SteinemGloria Steinem is a writer, lecturer, political activist, and feminist organizer. She travels in this and other countries as an organizer and lecturer and is a frequent media spokeswoman on issues of equality. She is particularly interested in the shared origins of sex and race caste systems, gender roles and child abuse as roots of violence, nonviolent conflict resolution, the cultures of indigenous peoples, and organizing across boundaries for peace and justice. She now lives in New York City and is currently at work on a book about her more than thirty years on the road as a feminist organizer.

In 1972, she co-founded Ms. magazine and remained one of its editors for fifteen years. She continues to serve as a consulting editor for Ms. and was instrumental in the magazine’s move to join and be published by the Feminist Majority Foundation. In 1968, she helped to found New York magazine, where she was a political columnist and wrote feature articles. As a freelance writer, she was published in Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, and women’s magazines, as well as in publications in other countries. She has produced a documentary on child abuse for HBO and a feature film about the death penalty for Lifetime, and has been the subject of profiles on Lifetime and Showtime.

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Her books include the bestsellers Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem; Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions; Moving Beyond Words Marilyn: Norma Jean, on the life of Marilyn Monroe; and, in India, As If Women Matter. Her writing also appears in many anthologies and textbooks, and she was an editor of Houghton Mifflin’s The Reader’s Companion to U.S. Women’s History.

Ms. Steinem helped to found the Women’s Action Alliance, a pioneering national information center that specialized in nonsexist, multiracial children’s education, and the National Women’s Political Caucus, a group that continues to work to advance the numbers of pro-equality women in elected and appointed office at the national and state level. She also co-founded the Women’s Media Center in 2004. She was co-founder and president for twenty-five years of Voters for Choice (VFC), a pro-choice political action committee, and then worked with the Planned Parenthood Action Fund when it merged with VFC for the 2004 elections. She was also co-founder and serves on the board of Choice USA, a national organization that supports young pro-choice leadership and works to preserve comprehensive sex education in schools. She was the founding president of the Ms. Foundation for Women, a national multi-racial, multi-issue fund that supports grassroots projects to empower women and girls, and also a founder of its Take Our Daughters to Work Day, the first national day devoted to girls, which has now become an institution here and in other countries. She was a member of the Beyond Racism Initiative, a three-year effort on the part of activists and experts from South Africa, Brazil, and the United States to compare the racial patterns of those three countries and to learn cross-nationally. She is currently working with the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College on documenting the grassroots origins of the US women’s movement and on a Center for Organizers in tribute to Wilma Mankiller, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. Internationally, she helped found Equality Now, Donor Direct Action, and Direct Impact Africa.

As a writer, Ms. Steinem has received the Penney-Missouri Journalism Award; the Front Page and Clarion awards; National Magazine awards; an Emmy Citation for excellence in television writing; the Women’s Sports Journalism Award; the Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists; the Society of Writers Award from the United Nations; and, most recently, the University of Missouri School of Journalism Award for Distinguished Service in Journalism.

In 1956, Ms. Steinem graduated from Smith College, where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, and then spent two years in India on a Chester Bowles Fellowship. She wrote for Indian publications and was influenced by Gandhian activism. She also received the first Doctorate of Human Justice awarded by Simmons College, the Bill of Rights Award from the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, the National Gay Rights Advocates Award, the Liberty Award from the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Ceres Medal from the United Nations, and a number of honorary degrees. Parenting magazine selected her for its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995 for her work in promoting girls’ self-esteem, and Biography Magazine listed her as one of the twenty-five most influential women in America. In 1993, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York. And in 2013, President Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor. Rutgers University is now creating the Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies.

In 1993, her concern with child abuse led her to co-produce and narrate an Emmy Award-winning TV documentary for HBO, “Multiple Personalities: The Search for Deadly Memories.” With Rosilyn Heller, she also co-produced an original 1993 TV movie for Lifetime, “Better Off Dead,” which examined the parallel forces that both oppose abortion and support the death penalty.

Gloria has been the subject of three television documentaries, including HBO’s Gloria: In Her Own Words; and she is among the subjects of the 2013 PBS documentary MAKERS, a continuing project to record the women who made America. She was also the subject of The Education of a Woman, a biography written by Carolyn Heilbrun.Hide

Lauren Wolfe

Lauren WolfeLauren Wolfe is an award-winning journalist, who has written for publications such as The Atlantic and The New York Times. She is currently a columnist at Foreign Policy magazine and the director of Women Under Siege, a journalism project on sexualized violence in conflict at the Women’s Media Center in New York. The project includes a live, crowd-sourced map of sexualized violence in Syria. Wolfe also serves on the advisory committee of the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict led by the Nobel Women’s Initiative.

From the BBC to CNN, Wolfe has spoken about her work on television and radio internationally. In 2012, she testified at the United Nations on her team’s findings on rape in Syria and presented them to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She has conducted field reporting from the Middle East to Central Africa to Central America, interviewing hundreds of women and men suffering from the fallout of war.

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Previously, Wolfe was the senior editor of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), where she focused on journalists and sexualized violence. Her CPJ report “The Silencing Crime,” about which she spoke to dozens of journalists around the world, broke ground in documenting the issue.

Wolfe spent three years at The New York Times, reporting about September 11th in the Times’ books 102 Minutes: The Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers, a 2005 National Book Award finalist by Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn, and City in the Sky: The Rise and Fall of the World Trade Center by James Glanz and Eric Lipton.

She studied at Wesleyan University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and is the recipient of four awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, two from the Fair Media Council, and the 2012 Frank Ochberg Award for Media and Trauma Study. In 2014, she was given a “What Better Looks Like” Award for making a “compassionate and innovative contribution” to improving the world, and the Thomson Reuters Foundation named her a finalist for the Trust Women Journalist Award. She is an inductee of the Ochberg Society for journalists who cover violence and recently taught as an adjunct in Columbia’s Strategic Communications master’s program.

In 2013, Foreign Policy magazine named Wolfe one of its “FP Twitterati 100,” calling her an “authority on gender and conflict.” Action on Armed Violence included her in its list “Top 100: The Most Influential Journalists Covering Armed Violence.” And the UK’s Daily Telegraph named her “an awesome woman you need in your life on Twitter.”


Micah Zenko

Micah ZenkoMicah Zenko is the Douglas Dillon Fellow in the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, he worked at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the State Department’s Office of Policy Planning. He has published on a range of national security issues, with articles in Foreign Affairs, the Journal of Strategic Studies, and Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science and op-eds in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and New York Times. He writes the blog Politics, Power and Preventive Action, which covers US national security policy and conflict prevention, and also has a column on He is the author or coauthor of five Council Special Reports on conflict prevention, nuclear weapons, and armed drones. He is also the author of Between Threats and War: U.S. Discrete Military Operations in the Post-Cold War World, published by Stanford University Press, and Red Team: How to Succeed by Thinking Like the Enemy, which will be published by Basic Books in fall 2015.

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