The success and progress of free societies depends on the participation of all citizens, men and women. A century of progress has shown us that when you educate and empower women, you improve nearly every other aspect of society."

– Mrs. Laura Bush

Launched in 2012

82 participants to date from Egypt, Afghanistan, Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia. Future cohorts will also include Iraq and Morocco.

Aim: To eqip women with the skills to advance economic opportunity in their communities and countries

Modules in Dallas and Washington, D.C. plus engagement with leading private and public-sector organizations

Scholars represent the most influential industries: business, education, health care, law, media, and politics/civic engagement

WE Lead builds upon President and Mrs. Bush's commitment to empower and equip women in the Middle East, North Africa, and Afghanistan to be more effective leaders.

Scholars in the program are mid-career "rising stars" who possess the vision, desire, and capacity to transform their respective communities and countries. They come from various sectors of society including business, education, health care, law, media, and politics/civic engagement. The program is uniquely structured to provide training that aids each woman in developing the necessary tools to expand her knowledge, expertise, influence, and impact.

To date, 82 women from Egypt, Afghanistan, Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia have participated in the program.

Meeting women leaders in the WE Lead program who have achieved success and broke the ‘glass ceiling’ is something I am forever indebted to. They have inspired me so much and demonstrated real examples of practical female leadership. As for the leadership skills, I have gained so much insight from the program and I now know exactly what I want in my life and career.

– Farah Chouayakh (WE Lead 2016)

Results & Highlights

The program received a net promoter score
(NPS) of 75.


said their sense of confidence or purpose as a leader changed.

said they gained new skills and abilities in the program that improved their capability to make a difference.


said their professional network grew as a result of the program, and that WE Lead was the primary driver of that growth.

89% said that their leadership responsibilities had grown as a result of their participation in WE Lead.

About the Program

WE Lead

Leading Democracy in the Middle Earth and North Africa