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In Washington, DC, the Fellows met with some of the most influential policy leaders and were hosted at many of America’s most impressive institutions. Our four days in Washington, DC were packed with meetings at the State Department, U.S. Institute of Peace, Freedom House, Meridian International, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the Chamber of Commerce, the American Bar Associations, American University, Capitol Hill, and even a tour of the White House. Everyone benefited from discussions, meetings, receptions and a luncheon co-hosted by Jane Harman and the Wilson Center. Building upon the foundation begun in Dallas, each meeting tied back to the core competencies in the curriculum of the Fellowship.
During an early morning visit to the National Archives of the United States, the Fellows were welcomed by the Archivist of the United States and his incredible team who showed us some of America’s most treasured documents. Standing in the majestic rotunda in which the Constitution and Bill of Rights are housed, we reflected on the weightiness of the words in these documents and the courage and foresight of the authors and signers. But, most importantly, we discussed the important components of a strong constitution and a robust democracy - for which Egyptians are currently striving. Following a visit to the Archives, the Fellows toured the Sewall-Belmont House, a museum that tells the story of the women’s suffrage movement in America, to highlight the struggle women endured in the U.S. and identify relevant correlations. Everyone was struck (and shocked) by the fact that women did not receive the right to vote in the U.S. until 1920. Many of us take for granted this right that many courageous women fought for and enduring horrendous treatment to earn. Women in Egypt, like the women in the Fellowship class, have successfully contested for their rights as well. And, one thing I have learned from the Fellows is that Egyptian women are strong. The Fellows have repeatedly expressed that women in Egypt have opportunities to participate in all aspects of society. They have also reminded me that women are not the only ones struggling during this time, but that men endure many difficulties as well. The Fellows desire to not only use their new skills to better the lives of Egyptian women, but of all Egyptians. 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
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