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The Cowgirl Spirit Is Within Us All

March 18, 2013 by Charity Wallace

The 2013 Women's Initiative Fellows are off to a great start on their journey, beginning with a month in the United States.  Already this week, the Fellows are starting to expand their networks by developing relationships with each other as well as their American teachers and mentors who are eager to serve as a resource to them. They are participating in interactive leadership courses at SMU that are teaching them practical ways to successfully influence, effectively communicate, lead change, problem solve, make wise decisions, build effective teams, negotiate, and establish powerful networks.  As part of the process, the Fellows are discovering their passions and recognizing their strengths.

The Fellows are inspiring - personally and professionally.  Many have overcome great obstacles.  And, they are investing in their country and communities through employing women, enhancing education, improving health, fighting for human rights and political participation, and using media to inform people of their rights and increase awareness about women's rights.

As they learned on Tuesday night at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, the "cowgirl" spirit can be found from the plains of the American West to the deserts of Egypt.  Like the cowgirls in the old West, the Women's Initiative Fellows from Egypt possess a sense of purpose and a pioneering spirit.  The courageous and remarkable 2013 Fellows are defined by resilience and courage in the face of great odds ... just like their cowgirl sisters half a world away.

Stay updated with the Women's Initiative Fellowship liveblog here.


Author

Charity Wallace
Charity Wallace

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. 

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