There are women throughout the world whose actions, efforts and inspiration truly do make a "World of Difference" in supporting the advancement of women. Whether it is a small village project in a developing country that has ripple effects throughout the community, or an event or initiative on a global scale, the TIAW World of Difference Award recognizes the power within every individual to change the world we live in for the betterment of women.
Each year, TIAW bestows the TIAW World of Difference Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual TIAW Global Forum to recognize one woman who has truly made a difference in the lives of women.
The International Alliance for Women (TIAW) is delighted to announce the 2020 World of Difference Lifetime Achievement Award recipient – Ruth A. Davis.
Ruth A. Davis is the chairperson and co-founder of the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) foundation; Career Ambassador (Retired) – US Department of State is the 2020 TIAW World of Difference Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Fittingly, Davis will receive the award at the 2020 virtual forum where TIAW will also celebrate 40 Years of Empowering Women.
Ruth A. Davis is the chairperson and co-founder of the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) foundation. Founded in 2007, IWEC’s mission is to connect and develop a global network of successful women business owners through working with international chambers of commerce and women’s business organizations. IWEC is devoted to promoting women’s economic empowerment by creating an international network of businesswomen.
Ambassador Davis is an internationalist who retired from the U.S. Department of State with the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest rank in the Foreign Service of the United States. Her assignments in the U.S. Department of State include Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources (2001-2003), Director of the Foreign Service Institute (1997-2001), Ambassador to the Republic of Benin (1992-1995), and U.S. Consul General in Barcelona, Spain (1987-1991). She was also posted in Kinshasa, Nairobi, Tokyo and Naples as a Consular Officer. Ambassador Davis was detailed to Howard University in Washington, DC as Distinguished Advisor for International Affairs and she served as Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor in the Bureau of African Affairs from 2005-2008.
She has received two Presidential Distinguished Service Awards, the Arnold L. Raphel Memorial Award for mentoring, the 2005 Department of State Equal Opportunity Award, the Secretary’s Distinguished Award conferred by Colin L. Powell, and the International Career Advancement Program’s Award for visionary leadership and fostering diversity within foreign affairs. In 2015 she was named by the Economist Magazine as one of the ‘Top Diversity Figures in Public life’ and in 2016 she received the American Foreign Service Association’s Award for Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy and the Link’s Co Founder Award for International Service.
Ambassador Davis earned an MSW from the University of California at Berkeley. Her alma mater, Spelman College, and Middlebury College conferred honorary LL.D degrees on her. She has served as President of the Thursday Luncheon Group (TLG); and is presently Chair of the International Mission of Mercy USA; Chairperson of the Charles B. Rangel Fellowship Selection Committee; and Vice President of the Association of Black American Ambassadors (ABAA). She is on the Board of the American Academy of Diplomacy; the Board of the Defense Language Institute; Vice President of the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs; a member of The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training.