Dr Melanne Verveer

HONORARY DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF LAW

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Ambassador Melanne Verveer is the Executive Director of the Georgetown University Institute for Women, Peace & Security. The institute focuses on the role of women in peace and security through cutting-edge research, global symposia and strategic partnerships.

In 2009 President Obama nominated her to be the first U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues. In the role she coordinated foreign policy issues and activities relating to the political, economic and social advancement of women, travelling to nearly 60 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 U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.

President Obama also appointed her to serve as the U.S. Representative to the UN Commission on the Status of Women. From 2000-2008, she was the chair and co-CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international Non-Government Organisation 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 is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and the World Bank Advisory Council on Gender and Development. She is a trustee of the National Endowment for Democracy, and is a co-founder of Seneca Women, a global leadership forum centred on the principle that advancing women and girls can fast forward us to a better world. She is a founding partner of Seneca Point Global, the global women strategy firm.

Ambassador Verveer is the recipient of numerous awards. In 2008, the President of Ukraine awarded her the Order of Princess Olga, a civil decoration bestowed to women for “personal merits in state, production, scientific, educational, cultural, charity and other spheres of social activities, for upbringing children in families”.

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