In 2008, President Obama appointed Melanne Verveer to be the first ever Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the US Department of State. Ambassador Verveer spent the past four years working on behalf of Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to coordinate foreign policy issues and activities relating to the political, economic and social advancement of women, traveling to almost 60 countries. In such capacity, she worked to mobilize concrete support for women’s political and economic empowerment through a variety of public-private partnerships as well as worked to fully integrate women’s participation and rights into U.S. foreign policy.
Today, she is the Director of Georgetown University’s newly-established Institute for Women, Peace and Security. The Institute seeks to enhance US national and global security by documenting and elevating the role of women in ending conflict and building national security. The Institute is housed at the Walsh School of Foreign Service. Ambassador Verveer also serves as advisor to the President of Georgetown on women’s issues.
Prior to her role at the US State Department, Ambassador Verveer served as Chair and Co-CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international NGO she co-founded to invest in emerging women leaders. Prior to her work with Vital Voices, she served as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady in the Clinton Administration. She was chief assistant to Hillary Clinton in her wide-ranging international activities to advance women’s rights and further social development, democracy and peacebuilding initiatives. She also led the effort to establish the President’s Interagency Council on Women. Prior to her time in the White House, Ambassador Verveer served in a number of leadership roles in public policy organizations and as congressional staff.
Ambassador Verveer has a B.A. and M.A. from Georgetown University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has served as the 2013 Humanitas Visiting Professor at Cambridge University. She holds several honorary degrees and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the US Secretary of State’s Award for Distinguished Service.