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Today, we commemorate the 101st anniversary of International Women’s Day. Over the past century, women have joined together to celebrate the strides women have made toward equality, and to recommit to working for greater advancement of women’s rights around the world. This year’s International Women’s Day is particularly poignant at the Bush Institute as it marks the final day in the United States of the inaugural Women’s Initiative Fellowship class.
The fourteen remarkable Fellows from Egypt are ending their journey in America and returning to their beloved country to impart the knowledge they have obtained and cascade the skills they have learned through the Fellowship with the hopes of contributing to a freer and greater Egypt. These courageous women can add their names to the list of pioneers who have helped expand the rights and opportunities for all, especially women. Each Fellow possesses a distinct vision for how she will impact her community and country. Most of them do not want to lead through politics, but desire to leave an indelible mark on their society by their unique contribution. Whether it be through photographing women to show their plight, by empowering women through job skills training, by encouraging young people through a youth development program, or by stimulating entrepreneurism, the Fellows will use their personal expertise to improve Egypt and provide leadership during this critical moment in their history. The Fellows do not bear the weight of this objective alone. They return to Egypt with a strong network - a sisterhood, really. The Fellows will rely on each other over the next year, and beyond, for support, stability, and encouragement. We anticipate that when we celebrate next year’s International Women’s Day, the Fellows will not only have accomplished their individual goals, but, as they work together, the group will lead Egypt to a better tomorrow. This post was written by Charity Wallace, Director of the Women’s Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute. << Return to the Women’s Initiative Fellowship Program
Charity N. Wallace serves as the Senior Advisor to the Women's Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute and is in an executive graduate program in pursuit of a Global Master of Arts degree in international relations from The Fletcher School at Tufts University. Most recently, Ms. Wallace served as the Vice President of the Global Women’s Initiatives and Senior Advisor to Mrs. Laura Bush. In this role, Ms. Wallace was responsible for setting the vision and managing the policy engagement for the women’s initiatives, including Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon global health initiative, empowering women in the Middle East and working with First Ladies from around the world. The Women's Initiative aims to improve access to education, health care, and economic opportunity for women and children in Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan.
From February 2009 through September 2010, Wallace served as the Chief of Staff to Mrs. Laura Bush. Wallace oversaw Mrs. Bush’s initiatives - from her wide ranging policy agenda to her the publishing and promotion of Mrs. Bush’s bestselling book, Spoken from the Heart. Wallace served in the Bush Administration from January 2001 to January 2009. During her tenure in the administration, she served as Deputy Chief of Protocol of the United States (2007-2009), Director of Advance for First Lady Laura Bush (2004-2007), and worked in public liaison positions in Presidential Advance, the U.S. Department of Education, the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, and USA Freedom Corps. During her tenure in the Bush Administration and in her current role, Wallace has traveled to 70 countries.
Ms. Wallace serves on the Board of Advisors for the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University, the Advisory Board of ARZU Studio Hope, the Advisory Board of 4word Women and the Advisory Board of All In Together, an bi-partisan organization that promotes women’s engagement in political and civic life. Ms. Wallace is an ex-officio member on the Human Freedom Advisory Council for the Bush Institute. Ms. Wallace wrote the foreword for the book Work, Love, Pray, which was released in 2011. A native of California, Ms. Wallace graduated magna cum laude from Pepperdine University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science, with a focus in international relations.Full Bio