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Women's Initiative Fellowship

Developing Women Leaders

The Bush Institute's women's leadership program engages women leaders who share a common vision of advancing peaceful, prosperous societies through the expansion of economic opportunity for all. Mid-career women leaders from Afghanistan, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia participate in a leadership development program designed to:

  • Enhance leadership skills and ability to drive impact.
  • Facilitate regional connections to address shared challenges and goals.
  • Foster direct application of learning through personal leadership projects.
  • Achieve a multiplier effect in the lives of others.

Programmatic activity occurs in Dallas, Texas, in the United Arab Emirates, and via online sessions.

The program builds on the Bush Institute’s early Women’s Initiative Fellowship, which graduated 64 emerging women leaders in Egypt and Tunisia.

Advancing Policy and Action

The Women's Initiative develops informed thought leadership highlighting the importance of U.S. support for women’s advancement and the growth of economic opportunity for all in the Middle East, North Africa, and Afghanistan. Research, lessons learned, and individual stories underscore the value of women’s leadership and inclusion in solving societal challenges here and everywhere.

Core Leadership Development Components

  • An initial two-week visit to the United States strengthens participants’ leadership skills and expands their knowledge of open market principles and evidence-based policy creation.
  • In region trainings help reinforce knowledge and skills introduced in the U.S.
  • At the end of the program year, participants return to the U.S. for a final week of site visits to demonstrate key program principles and leadership skills in action. At the conclusion of the week, participants graduate from the program and join the alumnae network.

Join the Bush Institute's women's leadership program

Promoting and strengthening the capacity of women leaders in the Middle East, North Africa, and Afghanistan to create economic opportunity and contribute to the development of more open, peaceful, prosperous societies.

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Meet the Fellows

Focus on the Middle East, North Africa, and Afghanistan

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report, the Middle East, North Africa (MENA), and Afghanistan experience some of the world’s worst gender inequities. Restricted labor force participation for women in these regions costs countries billions annually.

Building on the legacy of President and Mrs. Bush to empower women from MENA and Afghanistan, the Women's Initiative seeks to ensure that today’s economic innovators have the tools they need to be tomorrow’s leaders in order to address these societal challenges. The countries in which we operate - Afghanistan, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia - face stagnating economies, large gender disparities, and high unemployment rates. Despite these obstacles, women leaders are stepping forward to solve challenges and expand prosperity for all.


Participants received a promotion following graduation

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“All people—men and women—want to contribute to the success of their country. And all people—men and women—must have the opportunity to do so. ”

- Mrs. Laura Bush, May 2005

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