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This week marks the 2014 Women’s Initiative Fellowship’s graduation. Besides being a milestone time for the Fellows, 2014 was a monumental year for their country, Tunisia.
In the three short years since the Arab Spring, Tunisians elected a constituent assembly that drafted and passed a new Constitution, and the country recently held free and fair elections in which a new Parliament and President were elected. Despite ongoing violence in the Middle East, Tunisia continues to be a beacon of hope for the region. It was named the first free Arab country in the Middle East and North Africa region by Freedom House.
Our graduating class of Women’s Initiative Fellows from Tunisia offers further reason for optimism. Comprised of 17 courageous women leaders, our Fellows are playing significant roles in improving education, increasing female participation in elections, and combatting violence against women. Learn more about their year in the Fellowship by reading their success stories.
Betsy Martin, Regional Development Director, joined the George W. Bush Presidential Center in 2013. A member of the development team, she is responsible for building relationships with corporations, foundations, and other non-profit organizations. She works closely with Bush Institute program directors to obtain support for projects in education reform, economic growth, human freedom, global health, women's empowerment, and aid to U.S. military veterans.
Most recently, Martin served as Deputy Director of the Women's Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute. In this role, she was responsible for setting and implementing the vision of the Women's Initiative which seeks to empower women worldwide to lead in their communities and countries. During her tenure, Martin directed a year-long leadership program for rising women leaders in the Middle East and North Africa and highlighted stories of hope in Afghanistan through the publishing and promotion of We Are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope.
Prior to joining the Bush Center, Martin served as a Senior Event Coordinator for the Washington Speakers Bureau where she managed speaking engagements and advance for Mrs. Laura Bush, Jenna Bush Hager, Barbara Bush, and Governor Jeb Bush. Martin served in the Bush Administration as Scheduler and Trip Coordinator to Mrs. Laura Bush.
A native of Mississippi, Martin graduated from Samford University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. She serves on the Advisory Board for the Akola Project.
Strengthening Egypt’s Refugee Programs
WE Lead Scholar Noha Sebaiee shares how critical international support in Egypt is to helping asylum seekers build successful futures.
Women’s Economic Participation in Afghanistan
WE Lead Scholar Shahnaz Nasr shares how she is fostering economic empowerment for women in Afghanistan.
Dreamer to Achiever
In Egypt, it was not common for women to run or play sports in public. 2013 WE Lead Scholar Mariz Doss worked to change that perception.