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Fellows Leave the US Inspired to Achieve their Dreams

April 11, 2014 3 minute Read by Charity Wallace

What is your [x]?  Your moonshot idea?  Your wildest dream?  These are the questions that were posed to the 2014 Women’s Initiative Fellows during their visit to Google – and questions that I asked them to ponder regarding their specific vision for their country and how they will personally contribute during this transitional time in its history. 

On Tuesday, the 2014 Women’s Initiative Fellows returned to Tunisia after five productive, thought-provoking, and stimulating weeks in the United States.  They left challenged to use the leadership skills they gained from the program to effectively transform their country.  

As part of the program, each Fellow completes a personal action plan that outlines her vision and goals for the year.  The action plans are designed to look beyond one’s own personal gain and focus on actions a Fellow will take to influence and improve her community through her unique talents, abilities, and passion.  The Fellows presented their action plans to one another on Saturday.  The enthusiasm about each other’s action plans is heartening.  Several times, the Fellows called on one another to participate in the plans and many offered their expertise to ensure the plans’ success.  Lawyers were offering their legal expertise to business women; activists were offering their network and know-how to NGO leaders; and one Fellow who plans to train women candidates to run for the parliament received requests from the others to bring that training to their neighborhoods.  The Fellows became excited about how the described plans will improve their country and advance their new democracy.  I left the session with a greater admiration for the Fellows and hope for their future. 

So, what are their wildest dreams?  To train winning women candidates for parliament, to build a business, to reform the education system, to attract investors to Tunisia in order to bolster the economy, to curb the drop-out rate among girls in the rural areas, to promote cultural understanding and bridge cultural difference, to strengthen civil society, to establish a medical center to address mental illness, to run for president.   Knowing this group of women, it will not take long before their dreams become a reality.  And, our Women’s Initiative team is eager to support their efforts over the next year and help them achieve their wildest dreams. 


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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