Jean Monnet International Summer Seminars

Bruxelles, 8 - 12 July 2013



A study carried out by a team of economists at Bocconi University in Milan – ‘Gender Interactions within the family firm’ - shows how companies with a female CEO and with a board prevalently made up of women gain in profits by as much as 18%, thus proving how vital it is to have women in leadership roles in business. Is there a similar correlation when women hold leadership positions in politics and namely in International politics? What are the specific features that characterize women leadership in foreign policy and international relations? and what about the difficulties that women leaders have to face in negotiating internationally and making their way through in international relations?

On December 15, 2011, former U.S. Secretary Hillary Clinton announced the historic launch of the Women in Public Service Project (WPSP) in partnership with the Seven Sisters Colleges (Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mt. Holyoke, Smith and Wellesley Colleges) and the State Department. The WPSP is now housed at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and has grown to include Mills, Mount St. Mary’s, Scripps, City College of New York and other colleges and universities around the world.

For the first time, a Women in Public Service Project (WPSP) affiliated program will focus on Women Leadership in International Relations. Women Leaders in International Relations. Comparing EU and U.S. Experiences will take place in Brussels, from the 8 to 12 July 2013.

The Italian Cultural Institute in Brussels, the Jean Monnet Center of Excellence at the University of Rome Tor Vergata and the National School of Public Administration (SSPA) are delighted to join forces with WPSP for an week-long program that will serve as an incubator for transformative and inclusive global leadership for women engaged or willing to work in foreign policy and will inspire future generations of women leaders. The project benefits from the financial support of the European Commission, Verona Fiere VinItaly and the University Association of Contemporary European Studies (UACES). Other partners include: Women’s Campaign International (WCI); Women in International Security (WIIS); the Global Women in Leadership Initiative and the Center for Transatlantic Relations at SAIS-Johns Hopkins; the Italian Society for International Organization (SIOI); Professional Women International (PWI); Business and Professional Women International (BPW); Collegio Nuovo– Pavia and a number of others.
The Brussels based week-long program will analyze, discuss and train women leadership in International Relations with a rich, interactive and variegated program. In line with the rigorous WPSP curriculum and guidelines, we have designed an very intensive week focused on how to successfully tackle and overcome the specific difficulties embedded in negotiating internationally as a woman leader: communication skills; building self-confidence and mutual trust in a often male-dominated and foreign environment; building partnerships and effective networking and the difficult management of work-family balance (often at a distance), etc.

The program will be structured in three parts and has a threefold objective.

- Learn from those who did it: renowned scholars will analyze the role of women leaders in foreign policy in the EU and the US. We often claim that with more women at the helm, the world would be a better place. But nobody has actually ever analyzed this claim in a thoughtful scholarly and comparative way to prove it right: with the help of renowned scholars we will explore the role of women leaders in shaping international relations.

- Intensive training sessions will include such topics as leadership, communication, advocacy, negotiating techniques, building trust, networking, dress code, managing work-family balance etc. as women in an international and often multinational and multicultural arena. The cultural barriers to effectiveness when women negotiate in international settings will be addressed. Women's Campaign International (WCI), an NGO dedicated to the empowerment of women, will lead the trainings with a spectacular group of experienced trainers, among whom are Marjorie Margolies, WCI founder and former United States Congresswoman and communication expert Valerie Biden-Owens. The training sessions will be highly interactive, with practical exercises and the possibility for participants to see their presentations on video and receive feedback from the experts.

- International conferences open to the public in the evenings to discuss with current international women leaders in the beautiful setting of the theater of the Italian Cultural Institute, followed by a international networking cocktails.

The official opening on July 8 will feature Prof. Anne-Marie Slaughter, the former Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State and the author of the highly influential article on the role of women in the twenty-first century published on The Atlantic last year and the Italian Foreign Deputy Minister Marta Dassù, who is also founder and leader of Women in Diplomacy. We will continue on the following days with Androulla Vassiliou, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth; Monica Frassoni, President of the European Greens and a spectacular group of speakers from both Europe and the US among which Marjorie Margolies, former Congresswoman and founder of Women’s Campaign International; Valerie Biden Owen, communication expert and manager of all the electoral campaigns of her brother, the American Vice President Joe Biden; Francesca Ratti, Deputy Secretary General of the European Parliament; Silvia Francescon, Director of the European Council for Foreign Relations (ECFR) - Italy; Cristina Gallager, Speaker of the EU Council of Ministers; Simonetta Di Pippo, Head of the European Space Policy Observatory of the Italian Space Agency. Among other things, we will officially launch a study by Sarah Connolly and Hussein Kassim on Women Leadership in the European Commission (A Man’s World? Gender in a International Administration: the Case of the European Commission).

Participation is in the evening conference is open to the public (specific invitations will follow). The week-long full-time training is on the contrary open only to a selected number of emerging women leaders from the public sector (national and international) interested in international relations or to women currently working in other fields but aspiring to such roles in government. 
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Hillary Clinton says hello to the participants of Women Leaders in International Relations

What the participants say about us - Women in IR, Brussels 8 - 12 July 2013

What the participants said about Valerie Biden Owens' training. Women in IR, 8 - 12 July Brussels


Public Conference: Promoting Women Leaders in Institutions 9 July 2013

Public Conference: The making of Women Leaders 10 July 2013


Closing Conference: Advancing Women Leadership in a Men's world, 11 July 2013

ervants, 2011, 13 minutes


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