The 100 Women Initiative: Empowering Women and Girls through International Exchanges

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 7, 2011

“In the 21st century, statecraft cannot just be government-to-government. It has to be government-to-people, and most importantly, people-to-people. So we are always looking for opportunities to engage civil society, women, [and] youth.”

—Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

To mark the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs launched “Empowering Women & Girls through International Exchanges,” a year-long series of events bringing “100 Women” leaders from 92 countries to the United States. This effort features International Visitor Leadership Program exchanges that highlight key foreign policy issues directly affecting women and girls worldwide.

The 100 Women Initiative builds on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vision of “smart power,” which embraces the use of a full range of diplomatic tools – in this case international exchanges – to bring people together and foster greater understanding among people and cultures.

These 100 women hail from every region of the globe and are leaders in academia, business, civil society, government, law enforcement, media, and the private sector. They have displayed a long-term commitment to empowering members of their communities, including women and girls.

For three weeks, the 100 women will participate in a host of activities from meetings with senior leaders of the United States government to engaging with local community leaders who work on similar issues in small and large cities across the United States.

Through the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), the 100 women will travel to the following cities: Bozeman, Montana; Chicago, Illinois; Des Moines, Iowa; Indianapolis, Indiana; Kansas City, Missouri; Louisville, Kentucky; Manchester, New Hampshire; Minneapolis, Minnesota; New Orleans, Louisiana; New York, New York; Raleigh, North Carolina; Sacramento, California; San Francisco, California; Tampa, Florida; and Washington, D.C.

Now in its 70th year, the IVLP is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program, connecting current and emerging foreign leaders with their American counterparts through short-term programs to build mutual understanding on foreign policy issues.

Nearly 200,000 distinguished individuals have participated in the program, including more than 320 current and former Chiefs of State and Heads of Government, and thousands of leaders from the public and private sectors.

For more information:

PRN: 2011/342