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The Institute of International Education Launches the IIE Center for Women's Leadership Initiatives

IIE Center announces new programs with Microsoft Corporations and Packard Foundation

DOHA, November 2, 2011—At the 3rd World Innovation Summit on Education in Doha today, the Institute of International Education announced the launch of the IIE Center for Women’s Leadership Initiatives. The Center will build on IIE’s existing work promoting gender equity, scaling up to provide more opportunities for women worldwide to pursue higher education, participate in cutting-edge training, mentorships and professional development and exchange programs. Through the Center's programs, women will develop and join networks of peers, mentors, and experts, enabling them to serve as effective leaders in the public and private sectors around the world.

IIE’s Center for Women’s Leadership Initiatives will partner with Microsoft Corporation and other public and private funders to expand access to education and training in technology, entrepreneurship and leadership for women worldwide. The initial focus will be on activities in the Middle East and North Africa, including Jordan, Lebanon, Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia and Sub-Saharan Africa.  Microsoft Corporation has committed financial and in-kind resources to the partnership including its new Microsoft Micro and Small Scale Enterprise curricula.

The IIE Center also launched a new initiative, the African Centers of Excellence for Women’s Leadership (ACE-Leaders), funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.  This 3-year, $1 million program will select and support four organizations in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia to become centers of excellence in women’s advocacy and leadership training in Sub-Saharan Africa, working in key development areas of economic empowerment, family planning and girls’ education.  

“The Institute is committed to increasing opportunities for women worldwide to pursue higher education and serve as effective and influential leaders in the public and private sectors. This is critical to achieving wide-scale gender equity around the world,” said IIE President and CEO Allan E. Goodman. “IIE works to engage women from underserved groups and those who may not otherwise have access to leadership training and professional development opportunities, resulting in significant social and economic returns,” said Dr. Goodman.

The new IIE Center for Women’s Leadership Initiatives builds on IIE’s highly successful work implementing major programs, such as Women in Technology, funded by the U.S. Department of State and Microsoft; E-Mediat, a dynamic public-private partnership providing cutting-edge new media training to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region; and TechWomen, a new State Department initiative to foster more collaboration between the U.S. and the Middle East in the areas of business, technology and women’s leadership.

Building on IIE’s implementation of these highly successful programs, the IIE Center will leverage its curricula, partnerships with grassroots NGOs, and relationships with leading Silicon Valley companies to:

  • Establish and deepen networks of women entrepreneurs across at least six countries in the MENA region, facilitating the growth of entrepreneurship and supporting workforce development;
  • Build the capacity of additional women-led NGOs to operate their trainings and programs on a cost-recovery, sustainable business model;
  • Facilitate women’s participation in technical, project-based mentorships at leading Silicon Valley technology companies; and
  • Update and digitize existing curricula that already includes Business Planning, Professional Development Skills, Microsoft Office, Social Media and Entrepreneur Training to include new components on Mobile Technology, Starting Home-based Businesses, and Microsoft’s SME Training.

Building leadership skills and enhancing the capacity of individuals and organizations to address local and global challenges constitute a vital part of IIE’s mission. The long-term and short-term training programs arranged by the Institute connect students and professionals with peers and colleagues around the world and prepare them for leadership on a host of urgent topics and issues—from climate change and renewable energy to terrorism and interfaith dialogue—essential to advancing peace and prosperity for all.

Institute of International Education

Founded in 1919, the Institute of International Education is a world leader in international education and exchange.  IIE partners with foundations, governments, corporations, NGOs, and institutions of higher education to develop and implement scholarship and fellowship programs that attract the most talented researchers, students, and scholars leaders in the world.  These include the prestigious Fulbright and Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowships, administered by IIE on behalf of the U.S. Department of State, as well as more than 250 other initiatives that benefit over 24,000 men and women from 175 countries each year.

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