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Women’s Initiative Fellows and American Mentors Meet in Amman
From October 24 - 30, the 2013 Women's Initiative Fellows and their American mentors spent a week together in Amman, Jordan for training sessions and one-on-one mentoring time. Our Women’s Initiative team excitedly welcomed the Fellows and Mentors as they arrived at the hotel for the sessions. Our happy reunion brought a flood of memories from the five weeks we spent with the Fellows in the United States earlier this year.
Witnessing the personal and professional growth of the Fellows is thrilling. The courage, determination, and desire of these women inspired all of the American women. The continued training and individualized mentoring are crucial to the success of the Fellows.
The last six months have proven extremely challenging for our Egyptian Fellows. They have faced disruption in their daily life with curfews imposed on them as a result of the ongoing protests and unrest. Due to the constant interruptions, the Fellows have struggled to maintain momentum on their action plans. But, the week in Jordan provided renewed hope and resolve as each woman considers how to recalibrate her action plan.
During the sessions, we reviewed the practical tools and skills the Fellows have at their fingertips as a result of what they have learned so far through the Fellowship. The Fellows have learned to deftly network, build a personal brand, effectively communicate, clarify their purpose and vision, and develop a personal action plan. The sessions fostered some of the most important lessons and introduced the Fellows to new skills
The various backgrounds and vast experience of the American mentors proved an invaluable resource to all the Fellows. The mentors generously provided sound counsel, relaying lessons from their own lives, which enhanced each session.
Most of the American mentors had never met each other before arriving in Jordan. It was fantastic to watch relationships develop between the mentors - and the Fellows - and to facilitate the expansion of this network of powerful, dynamic women. Fellows and mentors discussed their action plans – and the mentors worked with Fellows that they are not necessarily assigned to but with which they found a connection. The desire to advance each Fellow’s vision became a passion for all of us. We are all invested, and we are eager to provide resources to help each woman achieve her goals.
As the week came to a close, the Fellows, Mentors and the Women’s Initiative team tearfully said goodbye – but we all left with a greater sense of passion and a renewed purpose and determination. We are enthusiastic about the future of the Fellows and feel fortunate to be a part of their lives and their journey.
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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