TIAW To Honor Former US Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer
June 10, 2013 -- TIAW announced today that Melanne Verveer, Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, and former U.S. Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues in the Obama administration is the recipient of the 2013 TIAW World of Difference Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was presented to Ms. Verveer at the TIAW Awards gala on October 7, 2013 held in conjunction with the TIAW Annual Global Forum in Miami, Florida.
"Melanne Verveer exemplifies what it means to be truly committed to the empowerment of women,” said TIAW Past President and Awards Chair Stephanie MacKendrick. "She has contributed so enormously to the economic advancement of women throughout the world over decades, as a co-founder of Vital Voices, as the first U.S. Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues, as a principal at Seneca Point Global and now as Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. Women have been at the forefront of everything she has done throughout her highly distinguished career and TIAW is honored to bestow this award upon her,” said Ms. MacKendrick.
The TIAW World of Difference Lifetime Achievement Award was created in 2003 and is presented each year to one woman who has, over an extended period of time, made a significant positive impact internationally on the economic empowerment of women. Past winners include former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson; European satellite and telecommunications pioneer and co-founder of Global Board Ready Women initiative, Candace Johnson; former World Bank executive and New Zealand’s Permanent Representative to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva, Amanda Ellis, among others.
Prior to her present role at the Georgetown Institute, which she took in early 2013, Ms. Verveer worked closely with former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, serving as her chief of staff during the Clinton White House years. When appointing Ms. Verveer as Ambassador, Ms. Clinton told the online newsletter The Daily Beast, "Melanne brings unwavering passion to any cause she adopts. For the last 15 years that cause has been the world’s women and girls – their rights, their opportunities, their central importance to our future progress and prosperity.”
In 2009 shortly after being appointed Ambassador, Ms. Verveer said "Investing in women is one of the most powerful forces we have for improving standards of living and developing vibrant civil societies, but it’s a resource that’s still significantly untapped. We’re working to change that dynamic and to unleash the power of women’s global participation--it’s hard to imagine a more exciting enterprise.”
Out of the Beijing Conference in 1995, the Vital Voices Global Partnership was co-founded by Ms. Verveer, Ms. Clinton and Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to invest in emerging female leaders in 126 countries and working to expand women’s roles in generating economic opportunities, promoting political participation and, above all, safeguarding human rights.
Of her tenure at Vital Voices, Ms. Albright has said, "Melanne has proved to be a voice for the voiceless, a true champion for women…The impact of her work can be seen in the thousands of women who have benefited from the tools, information, and leadership provided by Vital Voices, a remarkable organization whose success can be largely attributed to Melanne.”
Vital Voices CEO Alyse Nelson says of Ms. Verveer "She seeks power to empower others. She really gets it and knows how to work with people across the divide.” She further said that "Melanne is a rising tide lifting all boats—she can bring change way beyond Vital Voices.”
Ms. Verveer has also been a champion of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, or CEDAW, a document which aims to "ensure the full development and advancement of women” and extends its anti-discriminatory provision to all areas of economic and social life.
She is also a founding partner of Seneca Point Global, a global women’s business strategy firm that designs, implements and measures strategies that focus on women and girls to drive sustainable results, whether social, economic or both.
The TIAW World of Difference Awards gala dinner was held October 7, 2013, in Miami, Florida in conjunction with the TIAW Annual Global Forum, a gathering of women from around the world that offers a comprehensive program of round tables on topics relevant to the personal and professional development of women, hosting world-class experts, representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations, top executives from global corporations and the media on October 7thand 8th, 2013.