Women in Public Service Project

Mission & Vision

Berea WPSP initial contingent

From left to right: Peggy Rivage-Seul, Cheyenne Olson, Kathryn Keon, Peggy Keon, Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Laurie Roelofs.

Mission

The mission of the WPSP is 50 by 50. Working with partners around the world to inspire a new generation of women leaders and to advance the goal of full and equal participation of women in public service, we envision a world in which fifty percent of public service positions are held by women by 2050.

Our network is distinguished by its unparalleled scope and reach and covers the full spectrum of women in public service, including women in local government, the judiciary, law enforcement, foreign service, administrative service, and those in special commissions and parliament. The WPSP’s network offers a premier platform to amplify the voices of women in public service.

The WPSP programs are unique because of our partnerships with academic institutions. As conveners, our academic partners provide a critical platform for women’s leadership and play an important role in nation-building. Our global academic partnerships help sustain and grow our programs. They are committed to integrating our leadership curricula into their university’s central mission. Our contextualized and customized curricula cover critical leadership skills, such as constitutional and legislative drafting, negotiation techniques, conflict resolution, peace building, networking, mentoring, and social media technology.

Vision

The initiative will provide vital momentum to the next generation of women leaders who will invest in their countries and communities, provide leadership for their governments and societies, and help change the way global solutions are developed.

Working in alignment with other leading organizations and institutions in the U.S. and around the world, The Women in Public Service Project creates intensive training and mentoring opportunities for emerging and aspiring women leaders; establishes a vibrant international network of such leaders;  and generate  new, cross-culturally valid insights on women’s political leadership.

WPSP programming has been held around the world, bringing women together from Africa, Latin America, Asia, and beyond. Programming hosted by the WPSP partner schools has included the Inaugural Summer Institute hosted by Wellesley College for emerging women leaders from the MENA region; an Institute at the Asian University for Women; a WPSP Institute on Women’s Leadership in Latin America hosted by Scripps College and Mount St. Mary’s College; a WPSP Institute on Peacebuilding and Development at Bryn Mawr College; a WPSP Institute at China Women’s University; and a Conference on Conflict Resolution through Economic Development and Innovation hosted by UMass-Lowell. Other initiatives have been held in Burma, Belgium, France, Morocco, and Tunisia.

The WPSP’s rapid expansion over the past nine months has created many new opportunities for programs and affiliations. Currently, the WPSP has a number of flagship institutes in the pipeline for 2014 and beyond. Those being planned include: a WPSP Institute on Reconstructing Societies in the Wake of Conflict: Transitional Justice and Economic Development at Smith and Mt. Holyoke Colleges; and a WPSP Institute at Mills College.

Other initiatives include: A WPSP program in India on Defining Violence Against Women as a Regional Security Issue co-hosted by Lady Shri Ram College for Women, the Shaheed Rajguru College of Applied Sciences for Women, and Karakoram International University; the Closing the Leadership Gap WPSP initiative at Brescia University College in Canada; and the WPSP Institute at Pannasastra University and the Harspwell Foundation in Cambodia.

In the spring of 2014, the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Berea College will offer the first undergraduate course for the Women in Public Service Project.

The Women in Public Service Project and their partners and affiliates are committed to the “50 by 50” mission: reaching a minimum of 50 percent representation of women in public service by 2050.

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