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Last night, the 2014 class of Women’s Initiative Fellows visited the National Cowgirl Museum and learned that each of them possesses the Cowgirl Spirit. Like the cowgirls in America, the Tunisian Fellows are brave, trailblazing pioneers who are determined to improve their country and lead it toward a better future.
Pat Riley, the Executive Director of the Cowgirl Museum, shares her perspective of the visit below:
The visit from the 2014 Women’s Initiative Fellows was the highlight of our year here at the National Cowgirl Museum. As with the two groups we had the honor of hosting from Egypt, we once again were reminded by these remarkable women from Tunisia that the “cowgirl spirit” is not defined by geography but by the strength, determination, and courage shared by women worldwide.
At the National Cowgirl Museum, our mission is to honor and document the lives of women who have made extraordinary contributions to the American West. The accomplishments of these women are as varied and vast as the Western landscape. They include ranchers and rodeo performers, artists, writers, scientists, doctors, trailblazers, and a Supreme Court Justice. People will most readily identify Sandra Day O’Connor as the first female appointed to the Supreme Court. But, she is a true cowgirl and her early life growing up on the Lazy B Ranch in Arizona provided a solid foundation for her life’s later opportunities.
No matter what the occupation or accomplishments, the women represented in the Museum are united by a strong drive to do what has to get done - whatever the challenge or adversity. These are not women who choose the easy path. After visiting with the 17 amazing Tunisian Fellows, I would have no problem writing the same statement about them.
So to our new Tunisian friends, as you begin your exciting Fellowship adventure over these next few weeks, remember each of you has that cowgirl spirit. Thank you for inspiring us with your courage and willingness to do what has to get done to make the world a better place...no matter what the geography.
And don’t forget, you now have a special super power…you can yodel!
Follow the fellows throughout their journey here.
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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