Past Events

Past Events Archive

2021 · 2020 · 2019 · 2018 · 2017 · 2016 · 2015 · 2014

2021

February

Exploring The Field: International Affairs Research

On February 8, WIIS and the Women's Foreign Policy Groups hosted a conversation with international affairs scholars to gain insight into the field, how to get started, and the different career paths and opportunities available as part of the Professional Development Series.

WIIS Members can access the event recording and key takeaways here. 

February Book Club Discussion

On February 25, WIIS hosted a virtual discussion about our February book club pick.

About the Book 
Culture Warlords: My Journey Into the Dark Web of White Supremacy

Culture Warlords

March

New Technologies and Cybersecurity: The Role of Gender

On March 30, WIIS and the Embassy of the Principality of Liechtenstein, Washington DC hosted a virtual policy roundtable discussion on the ways in which a critical gendered approach can be implemented in the cybersecurity and technology field moving forward.

Many discussions on gender and new technologies, including cybersecurity, focus on the lack of women in the field. While this is a critical question, this roundtable will focus on what it means to integrate a gender and feminist perspective in discussions around new technologies and cyber security.  How does gender influence our thinking about cybersecurity? What are the gendered impacts of  lethal autonomous weapons (drones) and how are gender perspectives included in current global governance efforts.

Watch the Event Recording Here

April

Foreign Policy on the Hill: Understanding the Field

On April 23, WIIS and the Women's Foreign Policy Group hosted a conversation about what Congressional staffers do, what types of jobs are available, and how to get your foot in the door, as part of the Professional Development Series.

WIIS Members can access the event recording and key takeaways here. 

May

Common Gender Traps in Communications

Why is there still such a glaring gender gap in what experts are quoted in the media? When it comes to building a more representative, just, and equitable society, it matters who gets quoted, heard, promoted, and elected. What can we do to make our voices heard? How powerful are gendered social norms, what “traps” do women frequently fall into, and how can we avoid them? Join us for an interactive program with communications experts Lynn Fahselt and Dorry Levine, and read more on this topic in Fahselt's blog post.

On May 5, WIIS and the Women's Foreign Policy Group hosted a virtual conversation aiming to answer these questions as part of the Professional Development Series.

Gender in International Security Studies - A Conversation with Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, President of WIIS

On May 14, the Security Gender and Development Institute (SGDI) and WIIS hosted a conversation with Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, where they discussed the importance of gender dimensions in international security studies. The topics of this event was particularly important for academics and young professionals.
De Jonge Oudraat's recent book, The Gender & Security Agenda: Strategies for the 21st Century, examines ten traditional and non-traditional issue areas, focusing on how gender affects security and how security problems affect gender issues. Often gender is overlooked in security studies and in practice. But how can this be remedied, and why should it be incorporated?
This event will highlight Dr. de Jonge Oudraat's career as a scholar and practitioner of gender and international security by discussing her recent book and the status of gender in international security studies as it stands today, with a focus on bridging the gap between academia and policy .

June

A Gender Framework for Arms Control & Disarmament

On June 21, WIIS and the Embassy of the Principality of Liechtenstein, Washington DC hosted a virtual policy roundtable discussion on the role of gender in arms control and disarmament including the 3-p framework proposed by Chantal de Jonge Oudraat and Jana Wattenberg in their policy brief "A Gender Framework for Arms Control and Disarmament"

Remarks:
Ambassador Kurt Jaeger - Liechtenstein Ambassador
Moderator:
Chantal de Jonge Oudraat - WIIS President
Panelists:
Jana Wattenberg - Lecturer, Aberystwyth University & WIIS Fellow
Renata Hessman Dalaqua - Program Lead for the Gender and Disarmament Program at UNIDIR
Deepti Choubey - Director of Knowledge Management and Human Resources Services for the CTBTO and before that Head of Public Affairs at the OPCW
Ray Acheson - Director of Reaching Critical Will at WILPF
Watch the Recording Here
A Gender Framework for Arms Control & Disarmament - Resources & Event Recording
A Gender Framework for Arms Control & Disarmament - Panelist Bios

2020

January

WIIS Mentorship Program

On January 27, WIIS hosted the first member-only official event of the WIIS Mentorship Re-Launch!

February

A Woman’s Place: US Counterterrorism Since 9/11 Policy Roundtable

Women In International Security and the Embassy of Liechtenstein hosted a Policy Roundtable on gender and counterterrorism. A panel of experts in this field discussed the current state of countering violent extremism, the gender dimensions at play, and how to best move forward.

We were joined by Dr. Joana Cook, author of the new book "A Woman's Place: US Counterterrorism Since 9/11," Seamus Hughes of the George Washington University Program on Extremism, and Lauren Protentis, communications and national security expert.

April

Combating Corruption in Environmental Crimes

On April 22, Women In International Security (WIIS) and the Embassy of Liechtenstein hosted a conversation on Combating Corruption in Environmental Crimes.

This unique and critical discussion engaged with the evolving frontline of environmental crime, and the role of women and gender in combating corruption. The diverse expertise of the speakers contributed to a range of perspectives on this complex topic.

We were be joined by:
Lt. Col. Faye Cuevas, U.S. Air Force
Jessica Graham, JG Global Advisory
Lisa Handy, Environmental Investigation Agency
Dr. Louise Shelley, GMU TraCCC
Sally Yozell, Stimson Center

May

Virtual Networking and Video Interviews: How Has the Job Hunt Changed?

On May 20, WIIS and the Women's Foreign Policy hosted the first event in the Professional Development Series.

This virtual conversation with international affairs and human resources professionals gave tips on preparing for video interviews, informational interviews and how to tailor your job search. While open to everyone, this discussion was designed for recent graduates and young professionals.

June

Job-Search Toolkit: Interviews, Salary Negotiation, and Getting Your Foot in the Door

On June 16, WIIS and the Women's Foreign Policy Group hosted a panel discussion as part of their Professional Development Series. Either virtually or in person, how can you shine in your next interview? Learn how to prep, put your best foot forward, and negotiate your compensation for your next international affairs job.

Sarah Bruno, Public Leadership Education Network Executive Director
Min Kyriannis, Jaros, Baum & Bolles Cybersecurity/Technology Business Development Lead
Nancy Lubin, JNA Associates President
Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, Women In International Security President (Moderator)

WIIS Members can access the event recording and key takeaways here. 

Perspectives of the UN at 75

On June 25, Women In International Security (WIIS) and the Embassy of Liechtenstein hosted a panel on Perspectives of the UN at 75. This panel examined the successes and failures of the UN over the past 75 years and how best to move forward. We focused on a range of current issues including: gender equality, climate change, health and security.

Watch the event recording here. 

 

Keynote Remarks:
Foreign Minister Katrin Eggenberger of Liechtenstein

Panelists:
Asha Castleberry-Hernandez
New York Congressional Candidate
Adjunct Fellow, American Security Project

Lise Howard
Professor of Governent, Georgetown University
Chair-Elect, Academic Council on the United Nations Systems

Stefania Piffanelli
Deputy Director, United Nations Information Center

Richard Ponzio
Director of Just Security 2020 Program & Senior Fellow, Stimson Center

Moderator:
Chantal de Jonge Oudraat
President, Women In International Security

 

 

July

Federal Service: Navigating Applications and Landing your First Job

On July 16, WIIS and Women's Foreign Policy Group (WFPG) hosted the third webinar event in the Professional Development Series entitled Federal Service: Navigating applications and landing your first job.

What does a career in federal international affairs look like and what does the application process entail? Learn about different pathways to government service, how to decipher usajob.gov, and what opportunities exist both in Washington and overseas in a variety of government agencies.

This event is co-sponsored with Women's Foreign Policy Group (WFPG) and the Robertson Foundation for Government. .

Jennifer Hawkins, USAID Senior Women, Peace, and Security Advisor
Erin McGown, Department of Justice Program Analyst
Lindsay Rodman, Leadership Council for Women in National Security Executive Director
Sharon Swabb, George Washington University’s Elliott School Career Coach
Kim Kahnhauser Freeman, Women's Foreign Policy Group Executive Director (Moderator)

 

WIIS Members can access the event recording and key takeaways here. 

August

Transitions and Taking a Leap: Switching Sectors and Leveraging your Contacts

On August 10, WIIS and the Women's Foreign Policy Group hosted the fourth event in the Professional Development Series.

Thinking about switching sectors or finding a new career path? What should you consider before you jump? How do you leverage your connections and network to find your next position? Join us for a conversation on mid-career transitions and advancing your career in international affairs.

Barrie Freeman, United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office Deputy and Political Director
Reta Jo Lewis, The German Marshall Fund Senior Fellow and Director of Congressional Affairs
Wanida Lewis, Environment360 Programs and Strategic Partnerships Former Director
Wenchi Yu, VIPKid Global Public Policy Head
Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, Women In International Security President (Moderator)

Gender in Conflict: For Sama & The International Impact of the Syrian Conflict

On August 19, WIIS hosted a webinar discussing the international impact of the Syrian conflict, and specifically the experiences of women in conflict, based on the main themes of the film For Sama.

The Syrian Conflict has lasted over 9 years and has resulted in millions of internally displaced peoples and refugees, atrocious civilian casualties, and a global humanitarian crisis. With so many different international actors involved, this conflict has taken multiple turns throughout the past 9 years.

Why is this conflict still relevant today? What steps can members of the international community take to address the repercussions of this conflict? How does one reconcile the individual impact a civil conflict of this magnitude has on individuals, and especially the gender dynamics of the conflict?

Through a discussion with diverse practitioners, academics, and experts, WIIS seeks to provide an answer to these questions, using the film For Sama as an inspiration.

Watch the event recording here and read the key takeaways here.

For Sama Summary

For Sama is an intimate and epic journey into the female experience of war. A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film tells the story of Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to Sama, all while cataclysmic conflict rises around her.

Her camera captures incredible stories of loss, laughter and survival as Waad wrestles with an impossible choice– whether or not to flee the city to protect her daughter’s life, when leaving means abandoning the struggle for freedom for which she has already sacrificed so much.” (Source)

Panelists

  • Dr. Mary Bunn - Research Scientist at the UIC Department of Psychiatry & Deputy Director of Global Mental Health in the Center for Global Health
  • Ms. Lee Tucker - Senior Program Officer for Middle East Programs at the United States Institute for Peace (USIP)
  • Dr. Karam Shaar - Senior Analyst with the New Zealand Treasury's Forecasting Modelling and Research Team & Non-Resident Scholar at the Middle East Institute
  • Ms. Dana Stroul - Shelly & Michael Kassen Fellow in the Washington Institute's Beth & David Geduld Program on Arabic Politics
  • Moderator: Ms. Kayla McGill - Program Manager & Fellow, Women In International Security (WIIS)

September

Mindful Connections and Virtual Communication

On September 30, WIIS and the Women's Foreign Policy Group hosted Mindful Connections and Virtual Communication as part of the Professional Development Series.

What makes for a compelling and engaging virtual presentation? How can you use your screen time effectively and develop meaningful professional relationships through remote interaction? Join us for a conversation with communications expert Scott Morgan on the do’s and don’t of giving virtual presentations and leading meetings.

Scott Morgan has been teaching leadership and communication skills for over 30 years. His clients include scientists, policy makers, graduate students and global corporations. Scott also teaches media and communication strategy to many think tanks and research organizations around the world. He is a Senior Associate at the Leadership Academy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), graduated with honors from the University of California Davis, and holds a master’s degree in psychology from Columbia University. He authored the book Speaking about Science published by Cambridge University Press (2006) and launched a mindfulness app for young adults called 3rdi in 2014. www.MorganGp.com

WIIS Members can access the event recording and key takeaways here. 

October

The WIIS Gender Scorecard: Spotlight on the Nuclear Security Community

On October 8, WIIS hosted a panel discussing the recently published The WIIS Gender Scorecard: Spotlight on the Nuclear Security Community  This event featured remarks from Dr. Emma Belcher, President of Ploughshares Fund, and Ambassador Laura Holgate, Vice President for Materials Risk Management at Nuclear Threat Initiative.

The WIIS Gender Scorecard: Spotlight on the Nuclear Security Community publication and event are part of a continued effort by WIIS to measure the gender disparities in US foreign policy and international security. The 2020 Scorecard provides baseline data on gender balances in international think tanks and journals, including think tanks and journals focused on arms control and nuclear security issues. This event will highlight the findings of the Scorecard and discuss the status of women's leadership, as well as the gender gap, in national and international security, with a focus on the arms control and nuclear security community.

Read the scorecard here!

Remarks:

Dr. Emma Belcher, the new President of Ploughshares Fund

Ambassador Laura S.H. Holgate (ret.), Vice President for Materials Risk Management at Nuclear Threat Initiative

Speakers:

Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, President, WIIS

Kayla McGill, Program Manager & Fellow, WIIS

Zi Xue, Program Assistant & Fellow, WIIS

Moderator:

Jana Wattenberg, Lecturer in International Politics and Security & WIIS Fellow

The Gender & Security Agenda: Strategies for the 21st Century

On October 19, WIIS and the GWU Elliott School of International Affairs hosted a virtual discussion about 'The Gender & Security Agenda: Strategies for the 21st Century'.

Moderator:

  • Dr. Shirley Graham, Director of the Gender Equality Initiative - GWU Elliott School

Panelists:

  • Dr. Michael E. Brown, Professor of International Affairs & Political Science - GWU Elliott School
  • Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, President - WIIS
  • Dr. Anne Marie Goetz, Clinical Professor - New York University
  • Dr. Ellen Haring, Senior Fellow - WIIS
  • Dr. Rob Jenkins, Professor of Political Science - The City University of New York
  • Corey Levine, Human Rights & Peacebuilding Policy Expert, Researcher & Writer

Watch the full event here. 

Book Launch – The Gender & Security Agenda: Strategies for the 21st Century

On October 26, WIIS and and the Embassy of Liechtenstein, DC hosted a virtual discussion about ''The Gender & Security Agenda: Strategies for the 21st Century'

Panelists:
Dr. Michael E. Brown, Professor of International Affairs & Political Science - GWU Elliott School of International Affairs
Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, President - WIIS
Dr. Kathleen Kuehnast, Director, Gender Policy & Strategy - US Institute of Peace
Dr. Edward R. Carr, Professor of International Development, Community, and Environment, Director of IDCE - Clark University
Dr. Jeni Klugman, Managing Director, Georgetown Institute for Women Peace and Security

1325AndBeyond – New Perspectives for the Next Decade

On October 29, WIIS & Heinrich Boll Stiftung hosted a roundtable with the 1325AndBeyond International Essay Competition winners and discussed their policy recommendations and analysis of 1325 and what it means for the next decade.

Moderator:
Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat - President, WIIS

Panelist:

Learn more about the 1325AndBeyond International Essay Contest here and read the published volume of winning essays here.

Watch the event recording here. 

November

Diplomatic Toolbox: Multilateral Negotiations

On November 10,WIIS and the Women's Foreign Policy Group hosted the next event in the Professional Development Series.

As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, we are facing a myriad of global challenges from pandemics and proxy wars to climate change and humanitarian disasters--all of which require cross-border, multilateral solutions. What makes for a successful multilateral negotiation? What role do diplomats play, and what are their responsibilities? How has diplomacy changed during the pandemic? Join us for a conversation with seasoned negotiators and authors Rebecca Webber Gaudiosi of the US, Jimena Leiva-Roesch of Guatemala, and Ye-Min Wu of Singapore as they walk us through their lessons learned.

The speakers co-authored Negotiating at the United Nations (Routledge, 2019) after negotiating together at the UN for years. They teach courses and workshops based on their book and experiences. Read their recent blog post on virtual diplomacy here. All three are participating in their personal capacities.

WIIS Members can access the event recording and key takeaways here. 

December

Overcoming Stress and Trauma – Build Your Resiliency in the Age of COVID-19

On December 8, WIIS and the Women's Foreign Policy Group hosted a conversation with the creator of Mindfulness-Based Mind Fitness Training, Elizabeth Stanley as part of the Professional Development Series. Participants learned how to use mindfulness skills tin their daily lives and at work in order to build resilience. CARE USA Managing Director of Strategic Initiatives & Development Beth Solomon and Co-President of the NY Chapter of WIIS Min Kyriannis also gave brief opening and closing comments.

WIIS Members can access the event recording and key takeaways here. 

Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery: The Roles of Finance and Tech

On December 15,  WIIS and the Embassy of the Principality of Liechtenstein, Washington DC hosted a virtual policy roundtable discussion on efforts to combat human trafficking and modern slavery, with a focus on the roles of the financial and technology sectors.

Human trafficking and slavery are illegal in most states, yet the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that there are 40.3 million people enslaved or victim of trafficking. Trafficking is one of the most profitable criminal activities with profits of up to $150 billion a year. In 2018, Liechtenstein launched the Finance Against Slavery Initiative (FAST) to examine how the financial sector can be mobilized to abolish modern slavery and trafficking. That same year a coalition of technology companies launched a Tech Against Trafficking (TAT) Initiative.

In this roundtable, we examined what progress has been made on both initiatives. We also examined how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the illegal trade in humans, and innovative approaches and new policy initiatives to eliminate human trafficking and modern slavery.

View the recording here.

 

2019

March

Women In Politics: Challenges and Opportunities

On March 6th, Women and International Security and the Embassy of Liechtenstein hosted a policy roundtable at the Rayburn House Office building on the challenges and opportunities facing women in politics around the world. Women make up 24% of seats of the 116th Congress, cementing the legislature as the most gender-inclusive in US history. As these representatives begin their work on Capitol Hill, Women In International Security (WIIS) and the Embassy of Liechtenstein invite you to join us for an ongoing discussion on female political participation and the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda. We will hear from newly elected women representatives and a panel of experts about the challenges and opportunities facing women in politics. We will also discuss the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Act passed by the 115th Congress.

Keynote: Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger

Panelists:

  • Gwen Young, Director, Global Women's Leadership Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Sandra Pepera, Director, Gender, Women and Democracy and the National Democratic Institute
  • Vasu Mohan Regional Director, Asia-Pacific at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)

Moderators:

  • Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, WIIS President
  • Sarah Kenny, WIIS Program Assistant

April

Trials of Spring Film Screening and Expert Panel

On Wednesday, April 10th, Women In International Security, Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security (WCAPS), the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), and the U.S. National Committee for UN Women hosted a screening of The Trials of Spring and an expert panel discussion.

The Trials of Spring, a Fork Film Production, takes us into the lives of three Egyptian women as they put their lives and bodies on the line fighting for justice and freedom. The film tells the story of Egypt’s Arab Spring, the human rights abuses that came to define it and the women willing to risk everything.

Distinguished Panelists:

Eric Hodachok, Senior Program Manager, MENA, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)

Gini Reticker, Director of The Trials of Spring

Hend Nafea, Director and co-founder of Human Rights Port, featured cast member in the documentary

Scott Weiner, Adjunct Professor, Political Science, George Washington University

Registration link here.

Watch the live stream link here

Forum: Paving the Way for Women In International Security

May

Right Wing and Religious Violent Extremism Policy Roundtable

On Thursday, May 2nd at 10:00 AM, WIIS and the Embassy of Liechtenstein organized a policy roundtable on right-wing and religious violent extremism. In this roundtable, panelists explored the relationship between the global rise in right-wing/violent extremism and authoritarianism/ populism. Furthermore, the group discussed the role of gender and gender norms in explaining the movement.

LOCATION: Truman Center for National Policy

PANELISTS:

  • Audrey Alexander, Senior Research Fellow, GW Project on Extremism 
  • Sarah Kenny, Program Assistant, Women In International Security
  • Erin Miller, Program Manager, Global Terrorism Database, START
  • Dr. Cynthia Miller-Idriss, Associate Professor, American University
  • Mary McCord, Visiting Professor of Law; Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, Georgetown
  • Eric Rosand, Director of the Prevention Project: Organizing Against Violent Extremism
MODERATORS: 
  • Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, President, Women In International Security
  • Maya Whitney, Program Assistant, Women In International Security

Dr. Miller started off the panel by discussing some definitional challenges in the extremism sphere. While religious violent extremism is rooted in relatively concrete systems and ideologies, far-right and right-wing extremism proves conceptually more challenging to isolate and distinguish.  With the understanding that “nothing takes place in a vacuum,” Dr. Miller discussed her attempt to focus on the main beliefs driving actors and movements within the relatively non-descript umbrella category of “far-right”.

Professor Miller-Idriss expounded upon the definitional challenges that Dr. Miller raised. The term “far-right” does not translate neatly across variant national contexts; rather, right-wing ideology and organizing take place across a complex spectrum. She advised practitioners and scholars to ask stakeholders to explain the terms that they are using and the beliefs they attribute to those terms.

Audrey Alexander with the GW Project on Extremism noted that women have superior network capabilities although they make up a smaller portion of violent extremists. Furthermore, online platforms provide women with forums for organizing that they specifically have lacked access to. Women who participate in online extremist communities can also mainstream the movement in ways that male actors typically do not by softening, feminizing the dynamics of organizations.

Sarah Kenny, WIIS Senior Program Assistant, raised the questions that drove her to research women in the alt-right, such as ‘where are the women’ and ‘do the women matter to these movements’.  Through her research, she has found that women can comprise 15-25% of alt-right organizations in the United States. Furthermore, gender is not just a lens through which to analyze far-right violent extremism, but it is fundamental to extremist ideologies.

Mary McCord with Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection began her remarks with a review of the resources she has seen allocated to countering terrorism over the course of her career in public service. McCord stated that the most common offense associated with terrorism is the material support statute. Due to first amendment challenges, this statute has not extended to domestic terror activity that is motivated not by foreign terror but instead by national political and social ideologies. Although the lethality of far-right violent extremism exceeds that of religious violent extremism, the US code does not punish or prioritize American citizens who carry out violence that she argues should be classified as terrorism.

Eric Holder, Director of the Prevention Project, spoke to the difficulties of defining far-right extremism across international, multilateral bodies when singular nations struggle to define the ideology and behavior within their own borders. In a growing number of governments, far-right actors have secured a sliver of political power, legitimizing their voices and tying them to parties in a way that further complicates codes that would condemn their ideology and behavior. Eric encouraged the audience to think of challenges and solutions that lay beyond the legal frameworks and social media companies that dominate the current discussion of the threat. Among the gaps in our current response toolbox, Eric stressed the concept of prevention as a theme that is almost entirely absent from our response.

Audience questions included queries about the difference between white nationalism and extremism, the religious composition of far-right organizations, the barriers to implementing a domestic terrorism statute in the US code, and what research projects each panelist dreams a unicorn fund would support to address the challenges broached over the course of the panel.

LIVESTREAM RECORDING:

Find the link to the panel here.

CISSM & WIIS Catherine M. Kelleher Fellowship for International Security Studies Launch

On May 5th, 2019, the University of Maryland School of Public Policy and Women In International Security (WIIS) officially launched the Catherine M. Kelleher Fellowship for International Security Studies. The reception was held at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC.

About the Fellowship:

This fellowship will honor College Park Professor Catherine M. Kelleher's commitment to advancing the education and careers of young scholars and practitioners of security policy. Professor Kelleher is a founding faculty member of the UMD School of Public Policy, where she also established the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) and Women In International Security (WIIS). Throughout her policy, government, and academic careers, Professor Kelleher has been a champion for women in the field of international security policy.

WIIS President Chantal de Jonge Oudraat (left) pictured with WIIS founder Catherine M. Kelleher (center) and inaugural fellowship recipient Lindsay Rand (right). 

See the WIIS Presidents Letter of Support here.

July

Gender and Great Power Competition Policy Roundtable

On July 11, 2019, WIIS and the Embassy of Liechtenstein held a policy roundtable conversation. An expert panel examined the present state of great power competition, evaluated chief actors and dynamics, and explored the gender dimensions of this most pressing international security matter.

Panelists:

  • Kristen Cordell, Senior Advisor, Security and Development, USAID Office of Policy, Planning, and Learning
  • Dr. Aleksandra Dier, Gender Advisor, The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate
  • Dr. Patricia Kim, Senior Policy Analyst, China, United States Institute of Peace
  • Dr. Deepa Ollapally, Research Professor of International Affairs; Associate Director, Sigur Center for Asian Studies at the Elliot School of International Affairs
  • Dr. Catherine Schuler, Professor of Women’s Studies, University of Maryland, College Park (TBC)

Moderator:

  • Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, WIIS President 

Speaker Bios and Program

US Strategy on Women, Peace and Security Policy Roundtable


Join Women In International Security and the Embassy of Liechtenstein for a timely discussion on the Trump Administration's June 2019 Strategy on Women, Peace and Security. A panel of expert scholars and civil society leaders will help us critically evaluate this plan as well as strategize mechanisms to support a smooth and effective implementation process.

To register, click here

To see the full list of speakers and the program, click here.

October

Women After War: New Challenges & Approaches to Landmine Clearance

WIIS and the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) America invite you to a policy roundtable examining the intersection between demining, international security, and gender.

About this Event

In Iraq, Sri Lanka, South Sudan, and all around the world, women are suiting up and heading into minefields to clear deadly remnants of war and make land safe for their families and communities. And yet mine clearance is often seen as a male-dominated field that women are discouraged from joining.

Join Mines Advisory Group (MAG) America and Women In International Security (WIIS) for a special networking event and panel discussion on the work of female deminers working in international development and security.

Featured speakers include Jane Cocking, CEO of MAG, and Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, President of Women In International Security. Hors d'oeuvres and refreshments will be provided.

Please register here.

December

A Conversation with Rose Gottemoeller

Women In International Security and the Embassy of Liechtenstein hope you will join us for a conversation with Rose Gottemoeller on international security challenges in the 21st Century. Gottemoeller was the Deputy Secretary General of NATO from October 2016- October 2019. Previously, she was the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security at the US State Department and the chief US negotiator of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with the Russian Federation. We look forward to seeing you at this valuable and insightful conversation!

About Rose Gottemoeller

Rose Gottemoeller was the Deputy Secretary General of NATO from October 2016 to October 2019. Prior to her NATO position she served nearly five years as the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security at the U.S. Department of State. As Under Secretary, Gottemoeller advised the Secretary of State on arms control, nonproliferation and political-military affairs. She was acting in this position from 2012 to 2014, while concurrently serving as Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance (2009-2014). In this capacity, she was the chief U.S. negotiator of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with the Russian Federation, which entered into force on February 5, 2011 and is currently in implementation.

During her time as Undersecretary of State, Gottemoeller focused on defense and security cooperation in Europe and Asia, peacekeeping policy and training, and weapons and mine abatement in post-conflict locales around the world.

Prior to the Department of State, beginning in 2000, she was a senior associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, with joint appointments to the Nonproliferation and Russia programs. She served as the Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center in 2006-2008.

From 1998 to 2000, as Deputy Under Secretary of Energy for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation and before that, Assistant Secretary and Director for Nonproliferation and National Security at the U.S. Department of Energy, she was responsible for all nonproliferation cooperation with Russia and the Newly Independent States.

Prior to her work at the Department of Energy, Gottemoeller served for three years as Deputy Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. From 1993 to 1994, she served on the National Security Council staff as Director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia Affairs, with responsibility for nuclear threat reduction in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus. Previously, she was a social scientist at RAND and a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow. She has taught on Soviet military policy and Russian security at Georgetown University and is fluent in Russian.

Gottemoeller was born in Columbus Ohio. She received a B.S. from Georgetown University, and an M.A. from George Washington University. She is a longstanding WIIS supporter and former member of its Executive and Advisory Boards.

2018

March

A Conversation with Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security

International security, peace, and conflict transformation suffer from the absence of female voices, especially from women of color. This lack of diversity is detrimental to policymaking. Magnifying the voices of women of color is integral to the expansion of perspectives in international security, peace, and conflict resolution.

Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security, Women In International Security (WIIS), and WIIS GWU hosted a conversation with distinguished women of color in the international security field about the importance of greater diversity and how to bring this about.

Keynote speakers and panelists:

  • Ambassador Sue K. Brown, Former U.S. Ambassador to Montenegro
  • Ms. Asha Castleberry, Adjunct Professor, Fordham University, WCAPS Board Member
  • Ms. Janice Dunn Lee, Former Deputy Director General Emeritus, International Atomic Energy Agency
  • Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, President and Founder, Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security, Former Coordinator of Threat Reduction Programs, U.S. Department of State
  • Dr. Nicolette Louissaint, Executive Director and Board President, Healthcare Ready, Advisory Council, WCAPS

Moderator:

  • Ms. Nadia Creve Coeur, Program Assistant at Women in International Security (WIIS)

People on the Move: The Gender Dimensions of Migration, Refugee Crises, and Human Trafficking

Women In International Security (WIIS) and the Embassy of Liechtenstein hosted a roundtable discussion on the movement of people and the gender dimensions and effects of voluntary and forced migration. The main question posed was are our international and national legal and political frameworks and institutions adapting to the changing nature of the movement of people in the 21st century? Additionally, gender has historically been neglected by policymakers when considering how to address the many problems that migrants and refugees face, particularly how to combat human trafficking. We emphasized that although this situation is improving, the gender dimensions of each phenomenon – and how they intersect – are still woefully understudied and dismissed. Lastly, we asked: how does the Women, Peace and Security Agenda intersect with the migratory and refugee and human trafficking agendas?

This Roundtable was enabled through the generous support of the Embassy of Liechtenstein in Washington, D.C.

Introductory Remarks:
H.E. Dr. Aurelia Frick
Foreign Minister of Liechtenstein

Panelists:

  • Ms. Kristen L. Abrams, Human Trafficking Program, McCain Institute
  • Dr. Andrea Bertone, FHI 360 and George Washington University
  • Ms. Anne Richard, Institute for the Study of Migration (Georgetown) and former Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration
  • Mr. Shawn Vandiver, Women's Museum of California and San Diego Chapter Director, Truman National Security Project
  • Ms. Joan Timoney, Women’s Refugee Commission

Moderators:

  • Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, President, Women In International Security
  • Dr. Jeannette Gaudry Haynie, Senior Fellow, Women In International Security

April

Climate Change: The Gender Dimensions

Women In International Security (WIIS) and the Embassy of Liechtenstein hosted a round table discussion on the gender dimensions of climate change. We examined how climate change impacts men and women, to what extent national and international policies have integrated these gender dimensions, and identify gaps. We also discussed the state of research and how the Women, Peace and Security Agenda intersects with scholarship and programs addressing climate change.

This round table was enabled through the generous support of the Embassy of Liechtenstein in Washington, D.C.

Panelists:

  • Dr. Elizabeth Ferris, Senior Fellow at Brookings and Research Professor at the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown
  • Dr. Vijay Jagannathan, Senior Fellow at the World Resources Institute
  • Ms. Liane Schalatek, Associate Director of the Heinrich Boll Foundation North America
  • Ms. A. Tianna Scozzaro, Director of the Gender, Equity and Environment Program at the Sierra Club
  • Ms. Alice Thomas, Director of the Climate Change Program and Refugees International

Moderators:

  • Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, President, Women In International Security
  • Dr. Jeannette Gaudry Haynie, Senior Fellow, Women In International Security

May

Next-Level Pure Power Self-Defense!

Women In International Security and N-FLUX hosted a Next-Level Pure Power Self-Defense session! N-FLUX teaches Krav Maga, an empowering class where you can learn the hand-to-hand combat system of the Israeli Defense Force. We encouraged all experience levels to join us because learning self-defense is a great way to stay safe, be confident, and improve physical and mental strength. If you missed this exciting opportunity to learn new skills while meeting fellow WIIS members, we will be having more Krav Maga sessions including one in June!

June

Youth, Peace and Security Roundtable Event

Women In International Security (WIIS) and the Embassy of Liechtenstein hosted a roundtable discussion on the Youth, Peace and Security agenda and its intersections with the Women, Peace and Security agenda. Experts examined the genesis and significance of the YPS agenda (UNSCR 2250) as well as the 2018 report of the UN Secretary-General on Youth, Peace and Security. We highlighted and discussed the conceptual, political and practical challenges of this agenda, including commonly held assumptions with regard to youth, the role of gender, and masculinities.

The Gender, Peace and Security series explored the gender dimensions of current global and regional security challenges. The roundtables provided a forum for bringing together a diverse group of experts and policymakers to advance gender considerations in security policy deliberations. The series was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Embassy of Liechtenstein.

Panelists:

  • Kathleen Kuehnast, Director, Gender Policy and Strategy at USIP
  • Ursala Knudsen Latta, Research and Policy Officer at Saferworld
  • Tim Shand, Vice President of Advocacy and Partnerships at Promundo
  • Marc Sommers, Independent consultant and member of the UN Advisory Group of Experts for the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security

Moderator:

  • Chantal de Jonge Oudraat President, Women In International Security (WIIS)

2017

January

January 11: WIIS Global is co-sponsoring an event on "The Northern Triangle of Central America: Violence, Security, and Migration" with the Wilson Center's Latin American Program and Global Women's Leadership Initiative, and U.S. Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace & Security.

The latest apprehension numbers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection suggest that Central American migrants, especially women with children and unaccompanied minors, continue to arrive at the U.S. border at an elevated rate. Violence directed at women and their families is believed to be a major driver of this migration and raises questions about how to reduce the violence and diminish the need for women and children to undertake the perilous journey north in search of safety. Learn more about this event and RSVP here.

February

WIIS is launching a new initiative, the WPS + GPS Initiative. The WPS + GPS Initiative is designed to bridge existing divides between the traditional security community and the WPS community. The Initiative seeks to reframe and broaden the WPS agenda to include a Gender, Peace, and Security agenda in order to advance knowledge and build and support a community of international security experts that is more diverse and knowledgeable about the gender dimensions of complex international security challenges. The Initiative will include a research and book project as well as a Next Generation Symposium bringing together an international cohort of next generation leaders in peace and security. Learn more here: http://wiisglobal.org/programs/wps-gps-initiative/

March

March 6: Join the Center for a New American Security and the U.S. Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace and Security for a discussion on the challenges and opportunities for the U.S. Women, Peace, and Security Agenda and UN Peacekeeping Operations. Sarah Williamson, Executive Director and Founder of Protect the People, will present key findings from a new U.S. CSWG policy brief, The U.S. WPS Agenda and UN Peacekeeping Operations, followed by a discussion moderated by Sarah Holewinski, Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security and advisor to the Transregional Threats Coordination Cell for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The convening will include diverse representation from the peacekeeping community, including military and civilian representation from the Department of Defense, the State Department, the UN, and civil society organizations. RSVP to Moira Fagan at mfagan@cnas.org. The event will be at Center for a New American Security: 1152 15th St NW, Suite 950.

March 20-21: The Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference brings together over 800 international experts in the nuclear nonproliferation field. The conference takes place on the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Conference Panels will focus on debates surrounding the treaty's core articles, as well as on questions of how to manage its nonmembers and sole former member. At 7:30 am EST on March 21st, WIIS is co-hosting a side event called "Women of Mass Destruction.

The conference took place on the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Conference panels focused on debates surrounding the treaty’s core articles, as well as on questions of how to manage its nonmembers and sole former member. Panels also considered the future of global nuclear order, as well as emerging trends in deterrence, disarmament, nonproliferation, nuclear security, and nuclear energy. To access the full agenda please visit the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace website.

2017 Thérèse Delpech Memorial Award

Prof.-Catherine-Kelleher_gallerylargeWIIS is pleased to announce that the 2017 Thérèse Delpech Memorial Award was presented to Dr. Catherine Kelleher during the Carnegie Nuclear Policy Conference. Dr. Kelleher is the founder of WIIS and a longtime leader in national and international security policy.

The award is offered every other year to an individual who has rendered exceptional service to the nongovernmental nuclear policy community. While exceptional service includes major intellectual contributions to critical debates, it also encompasses the time-consuming and often unrecognized work needed to sustain and strengthen our community: mentoring young women and men, constructively critiquing the work of others, creating fora for discussion, and building networks. Such activities benefit the community as a whole in its efforts to reduce nuclear dangers. Importantly, the award is also intended to recognize individuals who, through friendship, collegiality, and respect, help mold a collection of individual researchers into a community worthy of the name.

In short, the award recognizes exceptional creativity, integrity, humanity, and amity—four qualities embodied by Thérèse Delpech, a long-time strategic adviser to the French Atomic Energy Commission, an author, and a distinguished public intellectual. While Thérèse passed away in January 2012, this award serves as a continued celebration of her life. Previous winners of the award are Michael Krepon (2015) and Amb. Linton F. Brooks (2013).

WIIS congratulates Dr. Kelleher on this significant recognition of her many achievements! To learn more about Dr. Kelleher, please visit http://www.cissm.umd.edu/people/catherine-kelleher.

Women of Mass Destruction

WIIS co-hosted of a side event to the Carnegie Nuclear Policy Conference entitled "Women of Mass Destruction." In this session, participants worked in small groups to discuss common challenges facing women in this area and identify concrete concrete actions to advance gender parity. These suggestions were collated by WIIS with the goal of facilitating an on-going, long-term discussion. This session was intended to provide a forum where experts from across the WMD-policy community at all career levels can work collaboratively to address a shared challenge. Additional information can be accessed here. 

Insights from Women Leaders in the Nuclear Arms Control Arena

Learn more through the insights of women leaders in the nuclear arms control arena! On the occasion of the 2017 Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference, a handful of women speakers offered their insights on what it means to be a woman working in the nuclear arms control arena, recommendations for young women looking to enter this arena, and reflections on challenges for nuclear arms control in the next decade.

Alexandra Bell Photo

Alexandra Bell

Alexandra Bell  the Senior Policy Director at the Council for a Livable World, where she focuses on national security issues in Congress, nuclear arms control, foreign policy, Pentagon spending, and other areas of peace and security. Bell was the Director for Strategic Outreach in the Office of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security at the Department of State. Before joining the Department of State in 2010, she was the Project Manager at the Ploughshares Fund and a Research Assistant for Nuclear Policy at the Center for American Progress. To learn more about Bell, read her full biography and follow her on Twitter (@atomicbell).

1. When did you first become interested in nuclear arms control issues and why?

I had been interested in WMD policy issues in undergrad and graduate school, because I was interested in the intersection of science and international security.  my graduate thesis focused on the Biological Weapons Convention and its lack of a verification mechanism.  I began to focus on nuclear issues when I went to work for Joe Cirincione at the Center for American Progress and then at the Ploughshares Fund.

2. Did you meet many women when you first entered the field and has that situation changed?

I have been lucky to have female mentors throughout my career, but I am glad to see more women around me everyday.  Of course, I had the good fortune to work at State with female leaders like Secretary Hillary Clinton, Under Secretary Tauscher, Under Secretary Sherman, Under Secretary Gottemoeller, Ambassador Laura Kennedy, Ambassador Laura Holgate and Ambassador Susan Burk.  Not only did women at State understand nuclear policy, they ran it.  

3. What have been some of the obstacles you've encountered during your professional life?

I have experienced a fair amount of mansplaining and misogyny, but at times my biggest obstacle has been self-doubt.  I cannot count the number of times I knew the answer or had a solution and remained silent long enough to hear a man in the room offer the same answer or solution.  

4. Do you have any particular recommendations for young women who want to enter the nuclear arms control arena?

Do your homework, have courage, and speak up.  If you have done the work to be at the table, you deserve to be there.  Don't doubt your own skills.    

5. Do you think women bring a particular sensibility to the negotiation of arms control agreements? Do they negotiate differently?

I go back and forth about this.  In general, I think women have a better aptitude for active listening and consensus building.  In the last two instances where the United States need a nuclear negotiator, women were chosen for the job.  That said, there were plenty of stellar male negotiators at the State Department.  For me, the most important thing is for women to have an equal shot at any position.  

6. What do you see as the greatest challenges for nuclear arms control in the next decade? Firstly, Getting people to care about arms control. Secondly, stopping the next generation of Dr. Strangeloves from getting the world into a nuclear conflict; and thirdly, getting people to understand that while verifiable arms control can be tortuously slow, it is worth it. 

Laura Holgate PhotoAmb. Laura Holgate

Ambassador Holgate was the U.S. Representative to the Vienna Office of the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency. She was previously the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism and Threat Reduction on the National Security Council. In this role, she oversaw and coordinated the development of national policies and programs to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; detect, identify, secure and eliminate nuclear materials; prevent malicious use of biotechnology; and secure the civilian nuclear fuel cycle.  To learn more about Amb. Holgate, read her full biography.

1. When did you first become interested in nuclear arms control issues and why? The 1983 movie “The Day After” was incredibly impactful and ultimately sparked my interest in arms control issues. This movie is set in an area near where I grew up so its proximity to my home and the devastating aftermath of a nuclear war really hit home. I had already decided that I wanted to work on international relations, but then decided to focus on nuclear arms control. My growing interest in nuclear arms control was further propelled by my involvement in the student activist group PARAR (Princeton Alliance to Resist the Arms Race).

2. Did you meet many women when you first entered the field and has that situation changed? It wasn’t until I got through grad school and joined the Center for Science and International Affairs (now Belfer Center) at Harvard that I encountered more women working in the field. At the Center I met a group of women who welcomed me and organized activities to help support the professional development of other women. These women included Amy Sands, Michele Flournoy, Nina Tannenwald… women who would ultimately become colleagues and friends over time.

Depending on what part of the nuclear arms control field you look at, you could say that certain sectors are now female-dominated. The negotiations involving the New START Treaty had an overwhelming number of women in decision-making roles. This may be attributed to the fact that a generation of women experts have matured and risen to these leadership roles.

3. What have been some of the obstacles you've encountered during your professional life? In the earlier stages of my career as a junior bureaucrat in the Pentagon it was a challenge to get the respect of older, military men, but it was hard to disaggregate whether their disdain was owed to my being female, political, civilian, or young. As I progressed in my career, a notable obstacle I encountered involved my foreign counterparts in nuclear threat reduction negotiations. It didn’t occur to my counterparts that a woman could hold a lead role in negotiations. I would sit down across the table from the head of the other delegation, and the international counterpart would direct questions to a man who happen to be sitting next to me. There were few, if any, women on their side leading on nuclear arms control issues so it never occurred to them that a woman could (and was) taking the lead on negotiations.  In several cases, my male colleagues on the US delegation took their counterparts aside and set them straight on my role.

4. Do you have any particular recommendations for young women who want to enter the nuclear arms control arena? Train for the nuclear arms control arena. There are many master’s level programs that can provide the knowledge and tools to be helpful in entering this field. Almost everyone who works in the nuclear arms control arena was in a different field before entering it. There will always be a handful of people who will carry their expertise with them, but understanding the strategic goals of nuclear arms control issues and being able to articulate such goals in a way that become desirable to your negotiating counterpart is just as important as developing  deep technical expertise.

There are also a lot of free resources around Washington, DC. Individuals who are interested in entering the nuclear arms control arena should take advantage of resources such as the PONI Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Nuclear Policy Talks at GWU’s Elliott School of International Affairs, web-based tutorials from the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), and expert writing and speaker series at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

5. Do you think women bring a particular sensibility to the negotiation of arms control agreements? Do they negotiate differently? There is social science that suggests women do negotiate differently, but it is difficult for me to disaggregate gender related differences and individual characteristics. A social scientist may be able to tease out some commonalities, but my personal experience doesn’t allow me to make any concrete assertions.

However, I would opine that women run their own delegations differently. You can see a pattern in generalizations about how women run things. For example, women-led delegations are typically more transparent and collaborative, and members are more likely to have an opportunity to contribute to the conversation/product (more equal division of labor).

6. What do you see as the greatest challenges for nuclear arms control in the next decade? The greatest challenge for nuclear arms control in the next decade will be getting Russia back to the table. If Russia is successfully brought back to the table, then the next challenge in sequence and size is how you move from bilateral to multilateral arms control.

Dr. Kassenova PhotoDr. Togzhan Kassenova

Togzhan Kassenova is a fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment. She currently works on issues related to the role of emerging powers in the global nuclear order, weapons of mass destruction nonproliferation issues, nuclear security, and strategic trade management. Prior to joining the Carnegie Endowment, Kassenova worked as a senior research associate at the University of Georgia’s Center for International Trade and Security in Washington, DC, as a postdoctoral fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, and as an adjunct faculty member at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. To learn more about Dr. Kassenova, read her full biography and follow her on Twitter (@tkassenova).

1. When did you first become interested in nuclear arms control issues and why? I first became seriously interested in nuclear politics back in 2000, after taking a course in international security for my master’s degree. I decided to dedicate my PhD to the U.S.-Russian strategic nuclear relationship and use cooperative threat reduction as a case study.

I owe my interest in nuclear issues to my country and my family. Kazakhstan has a complicated and fascinating nuclear history. The Soviet nuclear program relied on Kazakhstan for uranium, nuclear fuel production facilities, and most consequentially, for nuclear weapons testing. Forty years of nuclear tests at Semipalatinsk nuclear testing site became an important and tragic page in Kazakhstan’s history. When the Soviet Union collapsed, Kazakhstan had to deal with more than a thousand Soviet nuclear weapons left on its territory. That is where the story of my country and that of my family intersect. My late father was a foreign policy advisor to the government at that time and devoted a lot of time to thinking through international nuclear issues and questions of how Kazakhstan fit in the global nuclear system. I am thrilled to follow his footsteps.

2. Did you meet many women when you first entered the field and has that situation changed? My first real exposure to the field was in 2003 when I first came to Washington to conduct “field work” for my PhD. I lived in the United Kingdom back then and nobody knew me here. There were not many women in the field but the ones I met were all incredibly kind with their time, expertise, and support. I recall with great fondness my first encounters and research interviews with Rose Gottemoeller, Sharon Squassoni, Mary Beth Nikitin, Susan Koch, Laura Holgate, Elizabeth Turpen, and Amy Woolf. I should add that men were equally open to share their expertise. I found DC’s arms control and nonproliferation community exceptionally open and generous to a young PhD student from a foreign country.

I observe with great satisfaction how the gender balance is gradually evening out, with more and more young women entering the field. It is my hope that our field will become more and more reflective of the diversity of the world we live in, both in terms of gender, but also in terms of geography.

3. What have been some of the obstacles you've encountered during your professional life? I received my PhD in Politics when I was only 24 and started my professional life quite early. Being young and coming from a developing, non-Western country did not make me a natural fit in the nuclear field. I found that the diplomatic world especially can be quite hierarchical. But I also learnt pretty quickly that it is important not to take things personally and it is more productive to focus on things that matter most – the quality of your work, meeting your own standards, and maintaining self-respect.

4. Do you have any particular recommendations for young women who want to enter the nuclear arms control arena? Cultivate a sense of inner confidence - in your own abilities and in general goodness of people who surround you. You will meet many people along the way who will inspire and support you, if the quality of your work is solid and if you are passionate about what you do. Always do your best, and let the quality of your work speak for itself.

Once you make it in the field, do not forget about the kindness extended to you. Be welcoming and helpful to those who enter the field after you.

 

5. What do you see as the greatest challenges for nuclear arms control in the next decade? We have entered a very fluid and uncertain period in international relations. Unfortunately, I do not foresee any major breakthroughs in nuclear arms control in the near future. The immediate challenge is to prevent rolling back what has been achieved so far and preventing any major new crisis from developing. We should focus on tangible, less grand but no less important tasks - preserving the Iran Nuclear Deal, making it harder for DPRK to enhance its nuclear program, helping India and Pakistan avoid escalation, and not allowing United States and Russia to walk away from their obligations to each other in the nuclear field. 

WilliamsHeatherHeather Williams

Heather Williams is a Lecturer in the Defence Studies Department at King's College London and a CSSS Fellow, funded by the MacArthur Foundation grant. Previously she was a MacArthur Post-doctoral Fellow in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, where she also finished her PhD in 2014. Prior to joining King's as a postdoc, Williams was a Research Fellow at Chatham House on nuclear weapons policy and worked at the Institute for Defense Analyses in Washington, DC, where she is now an adjunct Research Staff Member. To learn more about Williams, read her full biography and follow her on Twitter (@heatherwilly). 

1. When did you first become interested in nuclear arms control issues and why? I started off interested in Russia and during my MA at GW I took a course on nuclear policy with Brad Roberts, which is what hooked me. Brad was a very encouraging teacher, which helped foster interest, but I also always had a passion for Russia issues and trying to understand how broader US-Russia relations impacts on arms control, and vice versa. Russia remains a mystery.

2. Did you meet many women when you first entered the field and has that situation changed? The situation has really changed. I started off working in the Department of Defense and there weren’t many female peers or mentors. The small group of us stuck together and formed lasting friendships through shared experiences- some positive, some not. I have a group of female peers working on nuclear weapons issues who make this a lot more fun! But in the past 4-5 years I’ve seen two really encouraging trends. First, a lot more women are entering the field at the MA or PhD level, and they are more diverse in terms of background and nationalities. Second, there are a lot more women in leadership and mentor positions now. These are women who were probably mid-career when I first started but they have now risen through the ranks to leadership positions and are willing to look back and engage with those of us who are now mid-career or more junior. People like Kori Schacke, for example, come to mind.

3. What have been some of the obstacles you've encountered during your professional life? Saying “no.” I don’t know if this is unique to women, but I still find it hard to say, “I just can’t do this.” Whether that be speaking at an event, helping my boss plan an event, or going on a trip. When I worked at Chatham House, given the operating tempo and priorities of a think tank, this was a lot harder. Now that I’m not so junior and in academia, we are meant to be prioritizing research so it is a little bit easier, but I still get fear of missing out.

4. Do you have any particular recommendations for young women who want to enter the nuclear arms control arena? Network, but also know your stuff. There is a tendency in Washington to think it’s all about “who you know” that helps you get a job or get a scoop, so we spend a lot of time networking. But in addition to networking, make sure you are devoting time to understanding your issue area, ask interesting questions, do original research, and have a sense of purpose. There comes a point when “what you know” is much more important and you need to be independent. Other piece of advice would be to know who you can and cannot trust. It’s a competitive field, and we shouldn’t isolate ourselves, but we also need to be discreet with who we share ideas with. Almost everyone I know in the nuclear field has learned this lesson the hard way when someone betrayed their trust.

5. Do you think women bring a particular sensibility to the negotiation of arms control agreements? Do they negotiate differently? I’m going to approach this from an academic angle, rather than from that of a practitioner. Up until a decade ago, the majority of the academic literature suggested who is negotiating doesn’t matter- negotiators are mere servants of the state, fulfilling their duties, following guidance. But there is some really exciting new research coming out, such as Rose McDermott’s work on “political neuroscience” or Keren Yarhi-Milo’s work on the role of individuals in policy-making, which suggests the answer isn’t as clear cut. I suspect people like Alex Bell have some great stories about how personalities matter and how women negotiate differently from me. I’m really excited to see how the academic research, including interviews with those negotiators, develops and hopefully can link up with policy.

6. What do you see as the greatest challenges for nuclear arms control in the next decade? Rebuilding. We have consider the possibility of a post-arms control era, given the precarious status of the INF Treaty, for example, and potentially failing to extend New START. Even the NPT is in a fragile position. Distrust is rife not only between the US and Russia, but also people nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states. It is going to take time to rebuild that trust, and we may need to think of arms control differently. It isn’t always bilateral, strategic, nuclear reductions with verification. There are other trust-building measures that we need to explore when the time is right.

April

Navigating Your Career: How to Succeed in Academia

WIIS-DC, WIIS-GWU, and WIIS Global hosted a panel discussion on “Navigating Your Career: How to Succeed in Academia.” Participants learned how to navigate both real and perceived career obstacles in the academic field! During this engaging panel discussion, participants gained first-hand career advice from experienced and successful women. The panel featured 45 minutes of moderated discussion, followed by an audience question and answer session

Learn to Lead through Public Speaking! 

WIIS and LcHoesGroup hosted an interactive public speaking workshop. Understanding that effective presentation tools are essential in enabling women to become influential leaders, this engaging discussion introduced useful techniques to enhance approachability, adaptability, and confidence-building in the workplace.

May

Women in International Security and N-FLUX partnered up to provide members with an opportunity to attend Pure Power Self-Defense! Learning self-defense is a great way to be safe, enhance your confidence, and improve physical and mental strength. N-FLUX taught Krav Maga, an empowering class where members were able to learn the hand-to-hand combat system of the Israeli Defense Force. This dynamic class was followed by an informal brunch where members were welcome to share a meal, wind-down, and get to know one another.

Women In International Security Fellow Ellen Haring speaks with Stars and Stripes about the difficulties that military women face in finding a mentor: “But then women look around, and there are no senior women (in their lanes), and men are afraid to mentor them for fear they’ll be accused of having an inappropriate relationship.” Read the full story here.

How to Conquer Career Change

WIIS hosted an interactive workshop on how to successfully navigate career transitions. The objective of this workshop was to provide guidance on the best practices for switching career paths or moving into new roles within the same sector. Participants gained expert advice and resources to pursue their career transition in a more strategic and effective manner. This workshop, led by Andrea Grant Wright of Lee Hechy Harrison and Stephenie Foster of Smash Strategies, served as a wonderful learning opportunity for WIIS members in pursuit of personal and professional development!

June

Borderless Cyber Two-Day Conference

June 21-22: Borderless Cyber is a two-day conference in NYC for cybersecurity stakeholders in financial services, retail, healthcare, manufacturing, utilities, international business, government, and other industries. With a focus on changing the economics of computer network defense, the program will explore ways to reduce costs for defenders and increase costs for attackers. C-level executives and directors of threat intelligence, incident response, risk, and audit will come away from Borderless Cyber with actionable insights on how to better evaluate and defend their cyber practices. Learn more about this event and register here.

November

Women in Security: Gender, Violent Extremism, and Terrorism

November 8-9: As a partner of the Warsaw Security Forum, WIIS hosted a panel discussion on Women in Security: Gender, Violent Extremism, and Terrorism on November 8-9th, 2017. Terrorism and violent extremism are evolving challenges that threaten global stability and security. This panel explored the push and pull factors of radicalization and recruitment of men and women, highlighting how violent extremist organizations are successfully leveraging gender norms to aid recruitment efforts.

The annual Warsaw Security Forum (WSF) is one of the leading projects in the field of international security. It is organized in partnership with Polish and foreign partners and institutions. The Forum brought together policymakers from European Union and NATO countries to exchange experiences and discuss solutions to complex regional security challenges. WSF was preceded by the New Security Leaders (NSL) program, a leadership development program for mid-career, high potential leaders from foreign policy, defense and security fields. Over the course of four days, NSL candidates worked with mentors – world leaders, global thinkers and experts – to discuss pressing global security challenges. WIIS Deputy Director Brooke Stedman provided training on Gender, Peace, and Security as part of the NSL program.

The Warsaw Security Forum is organized and sponsored by the Casimir Pulaski Foundation, an independent, non-partisan think-tank specializing in foreign policy and international security. The Pulaski Foundation provides analyses that describe and explain international developments, identify trends in international environment, and contain possible recommendations and solutions for government decision makers and private sector managers to implement

December

Gender Dimensions of International Peace and Security: Keys to Prosperity and Peace Conference

Women In International Security (WIIS) will co-host the Gender Dimensions of International Peace and Security: Keys to Prosperity and Peace conference in cooperation with the UN Women’s Office, General Women’s Union and TRENDS Research and Advisory.

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE

Gender is linked to prosperity and peace. Evidence shows women’s empowering, women’s agency and women’s leadership contributes to more successful and longer lasting peace. Gender sensitive approaches help to facilitate economic recovery, make peace operations more effective, and improve the quality of humanitarian assistance. Gender programs also have the ability to help combat violent extremism. As NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said 18 November 2017 “Empowering women is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.” In 2000, the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325). It was a foundational, landmark resolution recognizing the inextricable links between gender equality and international peace and security. UNSCR 1325 brought issues related to women and armed conflict directly onto the political agenda of the UN Security Council – the body responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security. The four pillars of UNSCR 1325 are: participation, protection, prevention and relief, and recovery. Since the adoption of UNSCR 1325 (2000), the framework for the protection and participation of women at all decision-making levels of conflict and post-conflict efforts has expanded. Indeed, the Council adopted 7 more resolutions. These resolutions, inter alia, affirm the need for women’s inclusion in post-conflict decision-making, counter-terrorism/extremism efforts, participation in peacebuilding activities, the prevention of sexual violence, protection and participation as well as women’s political and economic empowerment. At the national level, 69 states have adopted National Action Plans and many international organizations have adopted organization-wide action plans, including the African Union, the OSCE, NATO and the Arab League. 

Despite the widespread national and international support for the WPS agenda, there is a significant gap between political rhetoric and tangible political and financial resources to support the WPS agenda. Bridging declared intent of policymakers and the reality of action in the many parts of the world where UNSCR 1325 is most needed remains a core challenge. The UNSC, multilateral organizations and states must continue their commitment to the WPS agenda, renew and develop national action plans, provide political endorsement and quicken progress so greater achievements can be made on this important agenda. The 

GOALS OF THE CONFERENCE

Organizing the Gender Dimensions of International Peace and Prosperity: Keys to Prosperity and Peace conference in cooperation with Women in International Security (WIIS) and the UN Women’s Office, General Women’s Union and TRENDS Research and Advisory seek to achieve several goals:

  • Raising awareness of the link between gender and peace and security in both policy and in practice;
  • Providing a better understanding of the gender dimensions of peace and security to a broad audience;
  • Showcasing the UAE’s good practice to the Women Peace and Security (WPS) agenda; and
  • Serving as a platform to launch a series of future activities aimed at advancing the women, peace and security agenda.

 TRAINING DAY

This conference also features a training day on December, 19 2017.  This training event will target a range of participants from the military, security, and civilian services, who are involved in peace and security matters, and it will cover the foundations of understanding gender as a social construct, as well as the power dynamics that influence and impact the gender dimensions of policy and practice.  The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda will be examined looking at its history, content, importance for international security, how its objectives are embedded into policy, planning and operations, as well as how we can measure success in this crucial area of importance.

 AGENDA - December 18, 2017

9:00 - 10:00    Registration

10:00 - 10:20    Opening Speech

  • His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Tolerance, on behalf of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood

10:20 - 10:50    Keynote Speeches

  • Her Excellency Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimi, Cabinet Member and Minister of State for International Cooperation
  • Her Excellency Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the United Nations in New York

10:50 - 11:20    Discussion Panel 1: Empowering Women and Furthering Peace

Chair: Dr Richard Burchill, Director of Research & Engagement at TRENDS Research & Advisory

  • Her Excellency Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council
  • Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, President of Women In International Security (WIIS)

11:20 - 11:30    Introduction to UN Women in Abu Dhabi

  • Mouza Hasan Al Shehhi, Director of UN Women Liaison Office in Abu Dhabi

11:30 - 11:40    Media Presentation on Women, Peace and Security

11:40 - 12:10    Coffee Break

12:10 - 13:10    Discussion Panel 2: The Gender Dimensions of National Security Policies

Chair: Brooke Stedman, Deputy Director of Women in International Security (WIIS)

This panel will examine the importance of the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda. It focuses on how the WPS agenda promotes prosperity and why gender equality advances security and peace. The panelists will highlight the role of policy frameworks and institutional mechanisms to advance the agenda.

  • Ambassador Mara Marinaki, Principal Adviser of European Union External Action Service on Gender and UNSCR 1325
  • Professor Michael Brown, Professor of International Affairs and Political Science at the George Washington University, USA
  • Mohammed Naciri, Regional Director of United Nations Women (Arab States)
  • Dr. Kathleen Kuehnast, Director of Gender Policy and Strategy at the United States Institute for Peace

13:10 - 14:10    Discussion Panel 3: Gender Dimensions in Military and Security Operations

Chair: Leah Sherwood, Deputy Director of Research at TRENDS Research & Advisory

This panel will examine gender perspectives in military and peace operations. It focuses on highlighting the importance of gender perspectives in these settings, discusses training and effective approaches to implementing gender perspectives. The panelists will identify challenges and provide perspectives on where future action is best placed to advance the WPS agenda.

  • Daniel de Torres, Assistant Director and Head of the Gender and Security Division at the Geneva Centre of the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)
  • Fauziya Abdi Ali, Director of Women in International Security of Horn of Africa (WIIS)
  • Irene Fellin, President of WIIS Italy and the coordinator of the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network
  • Dr. Ayesha Sultan Mohammed Al Dhaheri, Deputy Commander of the Armed Forces Medical Services Corps

14:10-15:10 Lunch 

15:10-16:10    Discussion Panel 4: Showcasing the UAE Leadership on Women

Chair: Faisal Bin Huraiz, News Presenter at Sky News Arabia.

This panel examines the UAE’s position on women as a means of promoting prosperity and peace. It highlights concrete UAE examples of leadership in this area and reviews where good practice has been established. The panelists will offer practical examples from inside the UAE on the benefits of women’s empowerment for peace and security.

  • Dr. Zubaida Jassim Al Maazmi, Assistant Lecturer at Abu Dhabi Police College
  • Colonel Afra Saeed Al Falasi, Commander of Khawla Bint Al Azwar Military School
  • Shaima Abdulla Al Hosani, Analyst in the International Affairs Department at Ministry of Defence
  • Major Dana Humaid Al Marzouqi, Director of Project Management & Shared Services and the Director of Child Protection Center at Ministry of Interior

16:10-17:10    Discussion Panel 5: The Way Forward on Gender and Toward Greater Global Stability

Chair: Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, President of Women In International Security (WIIS)

  • Kathleen Kuehnast, Director of Gender Policy and Strategy at the United States Institute for Peace
  • Dr. Ahmed Thani Al Hamli, President & Founder of TRENDS Research & Advisory
  • Colonel Afra Saeed Al Falasi, Commander of Khawla Bint Al Azwar Military School

 ABOUT THE ORGANIZERS OF THE CONFERENCE: 

This conference is hosted by the General Women’s Union and TRENDS Research & Advisory in partnership with Women In International Security (WIIS) and the UN Women’s Office.

GENERAL WOMEN’S UNIONuae-73649

The General Women’s Union was established under the leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak on 27 August 1975 under Federal Law No. (6) 1974. It is the national mechanism for the advancement, empowerment and leadership of women in the UAE and is directed it to serve women in various local, regional and international forums. 

TRENDS RESEARCH & ADVISORY

trends_logoTRENDS Research & Advisory is an independent and progressive think tank, based in Abu Dhabi – UAE, building a global network of research associates. TRENDS aims to help improve policies and decision-making processes through rigorous research and analysis .

TRENDS Research & Advisory was named as one of the Top Ten Best New Think Tanks in the World, by the 2016 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report by the Lauder Center, University of Pennsylvania.

 UN WOMEN’S OFFICE

UN-Women-logo-2-300x139UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.

UN Women supports UN Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality, and works with governments and civil society to design laws, policies, programmes and services needed to ensure that the standards are effectively implemented and truly benefit women and girls worldwide. It works globally to make the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals a reality for women and girls and stands behind women’s equal participation in all aspects of life.

2016

February

It's Time for 9: The Nomination and Election Process of the Next UN Secretary-General 

February 11: As the time to elect a new UN Secretary-General nears, there is a growing demand from UN member states not only to make the process more transparent and inclusive but also to have a woman leader assume the role. Indeed, in 70 years the UN has never openly considered a woman as its Secretary-General. The President of the 70th UN's General Assembly, Mr. Mogens Lykketoft in outlining the new process for the election said that for the first time in UN history the entire UN membership will be included in the selection process. He also said that there is a “strong wish” from many UN member states to have a woman Secretary-General and reminded UN member states that the commonly used excuse that there “are no qualified female candidates” is unacceptable.

RSVP here to join WIIS, GWU's Global Gender Program, and the “Campaign to Elect a Woman UN Secretary-General” of City College's Colin Powell School in a round table discussion with:

  • Gillian Sorensen, former UN Assistant Secretary-General
  • Jean Krasno, Campaign Chair, “Campaign to Elect a Woman UN Secretary-General"
  • Shazia Rafi, former Secretary-General of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA)

Speaker Bios: The Nomination and Election Process of the Next UN Secretary

Feb. 11 Woman Secretary General Event

February 19: Women In International Security Deputy Director Brooke Stedman speaks with CNN on the issue of requiring women to register for the Selective Service as candidates address the issue ahead of the South Carolina Republican primary contest. Read the story and watch the video here.

Operationalizing Combat Integration-February 4

On April 1, 2016, the U.S. military will begin integrating women into historically all-male ground combat units and occupations. This historic change will permanently alter the face of the U.S. military and represents a significant organizational change effort. To help facilitate this transition the Service Women's Action Network and Women in International Security are convening a half-day conference that will feature analysis of the Services' implementation plans and a discussion of best practices for integration.

The conference included academic experts, organizational change practitioners, and military professionals who will provide advice on how to successfully implement this change. This conference is intended to educate past and present service members, the media, policymakers, and DOD civilians and military leaders responsible for implementing this chang

March

Terrorism, Women and Violent Extremist: The Missing Links

March 21: This round table kicked off a series of exploratory discussions on women, terrorism, and violent extremism. Panelists discussed the effectiveness of our policy responses and how gender dynamics affect the root causes of violent extremism and terrorism, as well as how gender should be incorporated into current policy initiatives. Click here to learn more about this event.

May

May 19: The second roundtable in our series on women, terrorism, and violent extremism explored the differences in radicalization and recruitment across cultures, terrorist organizations, and gender and how the Women, Peace, and Security agenda changes our understanding of the push and pull mechanisms. Panelists considered what a gender sensitive research agenda on extremist radicalization and recruitment would look like and how the counterterrorism and WPS communities can learn from each other.

June

June 20: The third roundtable in our series on women, terrorism, and violent extremism focused on past, current, and future counterterrorism (CT) and countering violent extremism (CVE) programming, the role of gender in CT/CVE programming, and how our knowledge has evolved over time. Experts also discussed which initiatives have been successful and why, with the goal of informing future programming.

August

WIIS is excited to announce that we have published our first policy brief! The first Policy Brief draws on the first roundtable discussion, held on March 21, 2016.

This roundtable featured four noted experts: Ms. Sanam Anderlini, Co-founder and Executive Director of the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN); Dr. Kathleen Kuehnast, Senior Gender Advisor at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP); Dr. Paul Pillar, former official of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and now a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution; and Dr. Lorenzo Vidino, Director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security.

Women, Gender and Terrorism: The Missing Links by Chantal de Jonge Oudraat and Michael E. Brown (August 2016)

2015

January

Central Asia Program - Fourth Central Asia Fellow's Seminar

Central Asia Program, in collaboration with George Washington University, was honored to host the Fourth Central Asia Fellow's Seminar on January 26, 2015.

The Central Asia Program is aimed to promote high-quality research and analytical skills from young professionals who want to become public policy makers on contemporary Central Asia and to become an interface between academia and policy community.

Panelists:

Rashid Gabdulhakov, Political Science Instructor, International University of Central Asia in the Kyrgyz Republic

Natalia Zakharchenko, Analyst, Norwegian Helsinki Committee

Marina Kayumova, Research Fellow, Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies

 

Opening Remarks by Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, President, Women In International Security and Dr. Marlene Laruelle, Research Professor, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University.

February

Leadership in International Affairs: Lessons Learned

April

Women and Jihad

April 6: The United States and other international actors are increasingly attentive to the different roles women play in violent extremism. This roundtable discussion examined why women join violent extremists groups and the roles they play in ISIS and affiliated jihadists groups in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. In addition, the roles of women and women's organizations in preventative efforts will also be examined.

Leadership Summit for Women in National Security Careers

April 10: This important day of skill-building, action planning and self-discovery is a unique opportunity for women in our national security and intelligence community to come together to learn, grow and explore.

Toward Disarmament Securely: Clarifying the Nuclear Security and Disarmament

April 23: The Foreign Policy Institute (FPI) for the released the report  of FPI Fellow and former WIIS Board Member, Deepti Choubey's, “Toward Disarmament Securely: Clarifying the Nuclear Security and Disarmament Link.” Choubey suggests recommendations relevant to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty regime and for the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit. Additional information can be found here.

June

Abstract: Clan Governance and State Stability: The Relationship Between Female Subordination and Political Order

June 25: Women in International Security and the U.S. Institute of Peace hosted an off-the-record discussion with Dr. Valerie Hudson on the status of women and peace and security. In Sex and World Peace, Valerie and her colleagues broke new ground and argued that the security of women is a vital factor in the security of the state and its incidence of conflict and war. In her new research endeavor, Valerie and her team dive deeper and examine the relationships between the influence of clans (and women's subordination) and state behavior, i.e. security.

August

Missing Peace Practitioners’ Workshop on Accountability for Sexual Violence Speke Munyonyo Resort, Kampala, Uganda

August 26-28: This meeting was a historic convening of experts from healthcare, law enforcement, legal aid, prosecution, and the judiciary from Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Uganda, and the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Together, there was an exchange of new research and ideas regarding local capacity to investigate and prosecute sexual violence, including those incidents that may amount to an international crime under the Rome Statute. Hosting organizations included the Human Rights Center from the University of California Berkeley, Women in International Security, the U.S. Institute of Peace, and the Peace Research Institute Oslo.

For more information and to access the full report, please visit here.

August 18: Senior Fellow Ellen Haring spoke on CNN's "The World Right Now" with Hala Gorani about whether new occupations and units will remain closed to women, despite women completing the U.S. Army Ranger School. "First Women Soldiers Complete U.S. Ranger Training"

August 18: Senior Fellow Ellen Haring spoke on Huffington Post Live to provide insight on what the graduation of women from U.S. Army Ranger School will mean for the opening of combat positions to women and the importance of utilizing existing data on women in the military. "Women To Become Army Rangers, Barred From Combat"

August 18: Senior Fellow Ellen Haring spoke to PBS and provided insight as to what women graduating from Ranger School means for the future of women in the security field. "Will the first women to finish Ranger School change what’s off limits in the military?

August 12: Meghan Mackenzie discusses the myths and realities of women in combat following WIIS's July CST Working Group workshop.

September

Salary Negotiation Seminar

September 30 & November 10: As a part of the Mentor and Professional Development (MPD) program, members of Women in International Security (WIIS) and the Women’s Mentoring Network (WMN) at Brookings Institution were invited to participate in a seminar on salary negotiation. Participants learned techniques and tips for salary negotiation and had the opportunity to practice newly learned negotiation skills during two exercises. This salary negotiation seminar was taught by Dr. Margaret New, founder and CEO of The Middleburg Group, LLC, a career coaching consultancy. Dr. New has 30 years of experience coaching women with job search skills and salary negotiation.

Please note, this seminar was limited to 25 participants to ensure one-on-one coaching. This seminar was be offered September 30 and November 10, with the possibility of subsequent sessions, depending on levels of interest. At this time only members of WIIS and WMN were invited to participate. To RSVP, please visit here.

September 30: Quotes from WIIS's September 29, 2015 press breakfast on women in combat roles were used in an article published on MilitaryTimes.com, "Decision looms on women in combat."

September 30: Senior Fellow Ellen Haring was interviewed on WPR about the role of women in combat. Listen to the interview here.

Semptember 24: WIIS was mentioned in a recent article by Micah Zenko and Amelia Mae Wolf concerning the lack of women working in foreign policy. Read the full article, "Leaning From Behind," published in Foreign Policy.

September 8: WIIS's research on women and combat integration in the US military was featured in a recent TIME article, See Women's Progress in the U.S. Military.

October

WIIS Speaker Series: Dr. J. Ann Tickner—Gendering Peace and Security Studies

On October 18, WIIS hosted an event with Dr. J Ann Tickner, Professor Emerita, School of International Relations University of Southern California; Distinguished Scholar in Residence, American University.

Theories and policy practices associated with war and international security have, for the most part, been a masculine domain. Women have stereotypically been associated with peace, and Women’s Studies as an academic discipline has tended to stay away from these issues.

Why is this is the case? Have feminists in the discipline of International Relations begun to bridge this divide and offered newways to understand war and international security and their gendered practices?

3-piece publication on the status of UNSCR 1325

  1. Gender Mainstreaming: Indicators for the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 and Its Related Resolutions by Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, Sonja Stojanović‐Gajić, Carolyn Washington, and Brooke Stedman.
  2. Women in Combat - Adaptation and Change in the US Military by Ellen Haring
  3. The Piece Missing from Peace by Jeannette Gaudry Haynie

The 1325 Scorecard Report

October 29: WIIS launched the 1325 Scorecard at NATO HQ. The 1325 Scorecard is a tool to evaluate how well the principles of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) are implemented within the armed forces of NATO Allies. It also provides NATO and NATO member and partner states indications of how to improve implementation. Finally, it helps to further standardization and interoperability amongst NATO Allies. Read UNSCR 1325 Scorecard report.

October 14: Read Ellen Haring and Megan MacKenzie's research on the recent Marine Corps study on the integration of women into combat occupations: Exclusive access to Marine Corps study shows it misses the mark.

For news articles on the Marine Corps study, see the following:

WIIS/NATO 1325 Scorecard Workshop Series

Brussels
October 29, 2015

NATO-LogoOn October 29, 2015 Women in International Security (WIIS) and the Belgrade Center Security Policy (BCSP) will launch the WIIS/NATO 1325 Scorecard at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The Scorecard provides a methodology which assesses how well NATO member and partner states have integrated the principles of UNSCR 1325 into their policies and military operations. The Scorecard has been developed through a series of inclusive consultations with experts and policymakers from NATO member and partner States, as well as international organizations.

The presentation at NATO HQ will be the culmination event of a two year project and will be attended by Representatives of NATO member and partner states and high-level NATO officials, including NATO’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security Marriet Schuurman. The NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme has supported The UNSCR 1325 and NATO Project.

View the draft agenda for this event here.

December

December 3: Women In International Security congratulates the U.S. Department of Defense and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter on their decision to fully open all military occupations and positions to U.S. servicewomen. Today’s decision finally enables the full integration of women into all combat positions. There will be no exceptions! This “means that, as long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before,” according to Secretary Carter. Read the full press release here.

2014

March

On March 28, 2014, Harvard's Women in Defense, Diplomacy, and Development (W3D) Alumni Network and Women in International Security hosted a panel discussion on "Women in International Security" with Deborah Lee James, the Secretary of the Air Force.

                                                                                  _________________________________________

                                   
dDeborah Lee James is the Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C. She is the 23rd Secretary of the Air Force an
d is responsible for the affairs of the Department of the Air Force, including the organizing, training, equipping and providing for the welfare of its more than 690,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian Airmen and their families. Ms. James has 30 years of senior homeland and national security experience in the federal government and the private sector.

You can watch a video of the event here.

May

NATO’s Balancing Act 

Russia’s invasion of Crimea posed an urgent and serious challenge for the venerable Atlantic Alliance. Some argued that in response NATO needed to prioritize collective defense, its original mission, and deemphasize the crisis management and cooperative security roles that involved the Alliance in conflicts from Afghanistan to Libya. What is the role of individual NATO members, and to what extent are they willing to invest in new capabilities? These questions were at the forefront of the September 2014 NATO Summit in South Wales. The U.S. Institute of Peace hosted a discussion exploring the Alliance’s future with four world-renowned NATO experts. Panelists included:

  • Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, President, WIIS and former Associate Vice President of the USIP Jennings Randolph Fellowship Program
  • Michael Brown, Dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University
  • Catherine Kelleher, (Moderator), Senior Fellow, Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, and President Emirita of WIIS
  • Gale Mattox, Professor of Political Science, US Naval Academy, and American Institute for Contemporary German Studies
  • David S. Yost, Professor of International Relations, Naval Postgraduate School and author of NATO’s Balancing Act

Copies of NATO’s Balancing Act were available for purchase at the event.

Missing Peace Young Scholars' Contributions to the UK Global Summit

The U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), Women in International Security (WIIS), the Human Rights Center at University of California-Berkley and Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) hosted the Missing Peace Initiative Young Scholars for a panel event on May 23, 2014 at USIP. The Young Scholars Network is an extension of the Missing Peace Initiative, and brings together a global community of scholars currently researching innovative methodologies to address the prevention of sexual violence in conflict. The panel offered an opportunity for international policy and academic communities to identify challenges and gaps in preventing and mitigating sexual and gender-based violence worldwide. The outcomes of the two-day workshop and public event were forwarded to the co-chairs of the London Summit, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and Ms. Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

Women in Combat Units: Experiences of Partner Nations

On May 1-2, WIIS Global hosted a symposium on "Women in Combat Units: Experiences of Partner Nations." The event was sponsored by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator Tim Kaine, and Representative Loretta Sanchez.

The purpose of the conference was to bring together a large community of practice in a single event to share the expertise of partner nations who have already fully integrated their militaries. As the US moves forward with full integration, the services have consulted with some partner nations on an individual basis.

On January 24, 2013, the U.S. Department of Defense announced its decision to eliminate the ground combat exclusion policy and begin the process of opening 238,000 direct ground combat positions to women. With this historic development, the U.S. joins a small but growing list of countries in which all military positions are open to women on an equal basis to men. Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, and Sweden all permit women in all combat units. France, Israel, and the Netherlands permit women in combat positions but they are barred from some units. Brazil is currently looking at how to include women in combat positions, and Australia is already phasing women in. Many other countries including the UK send women to the front line in non-combat roles, or permit women to be fighter pilots. In May 2014, WIIS hosted this conference with the purpose of bringing together a large community of practice in a single event to share the expertise of partner nations who have already fully integrated their militaries.

More information on this event can be found here.

WIIS/NATO 1325 Scorecard Workshop Series

Belgrade
May 26-27, 2014

_MG_1456In May of 2014, Women in International Security (WIIS), Stockholm International Peace Research Institute of North America (SIPRI-NA), and the Belgrade Center for Security Policy (BCSP) convened for the first workshop entitled “Gender Mainstreaming: Indicators for the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 and its Related Resolutions Workshop.”  On May 26-27, 2014 participants had the opportunity to connect with researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to exchange new ideas and best practices on the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and its related resolutions.  Participants left the workshop filled with new energy and ideas for the effective integration of gender.

View the agenda of the Workshop here.

October

Book Launch - Dr. J. Ann Tickner, A Feminist Voyage Through International Relations 

The School of International Service at American University hosted the launch of Dr. J. Ann Tickner's book, A Feminist Voyage Through International Relations. Her book explores the methodological and epistemological story of feminist interventions in International Relations. Panelists included:

Dr. Robert Keohane, Professor of International Affairs, Princeton University

Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, Executive Director of SIPRI North America

Dr. Elisabeth Prügl, Professor of International Affairs, Graduate Institute Geneva

Dr. Christine Chin, (Moderator), Professor, School of International Service

US Priorities in South Asia Beyond 2014: Challenges and Opportunities

Women In International Security, in collaboration with Georgetown University, hosted a panel discussion on the precarious regional stability of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India and its implications for U.S. foreign policy.

Afghanistan, Pakistan and India are experiencing political transition that have impacted U.S. policy in the region. While Afghanistan's elections were an initial success, the stand off between the two presidential candidates, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, has poised Afghanistan upon a precarious political perch. Simultaneously, the United States and its allies are preparing the way to draw down in the war-torn country. Meanwhile in Pakistan, the Nawaz Sharif government has come under pressure in spite of winning a decisive majority in the May 2013 elections. Some analysts suspect the army is behind the latest agitations to weaken the Sharif government to ensure its continued role in state affairs and combat recent gains in democratization in the state. In India, the most recent general elections led to the inauguration of a known Hindu nationalist, Narendra Modi, as Prime Minister.

How are these political developments affecting stability in the region generally and what are their impacts on U.S. interests in particular? Panelists discussed these important regional developments and explored future interests and strategies.

Panelists included:

Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, (Moderator), President, Women In International Security

Dr. Alyssa Ayres, Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia, Council on Foreign Relations

Lisa Curtis, Senior Research Fellow, Asian Studies Center, The Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at the Heritage Foundation

Dr. Christine Fair, Assistant Professor, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

November

ADESyD First Congress

On November 27, ADESyD and WIIS Spain (SWIIS) held the 1st ADESyD Congress on "Sharing Views on Security." ADESyD promotes a culture of security and defense from a comprehensive approach and in permanent dialogue with society. With this Congress, it reinforced its commitment to help Spain play an active role in the development of global security and stability, while encouraging social participation in these issues.

ADESyD invited its members (Honorary Council and Associates) and those who identify with its mission to contribute ideas to the areas of study addressed by this 1st Congress. The guidelines of the Congress were to increase awareness of the general and particular challenges to the integration processes and to determine how they should be addressed. It also pursued a thorough exchange of views among individuals from different academic, professional, and generational backgrounds.

For more information see the 1st ADESyD Congress Program:

1st ADESyD Congress Program - English

ISSF Roundtable on American Allies in Times of War: The Great Asymmetry

A production of H-Diplo with the journals Security Studies, International Security, Journal of Strategic Studies, and the International Studies Association’s Security Studies Section (ISSS): The International Security Studies Forum (ISSF) presents a roundtable discussion on Stéfanie von Hlatky's book, American Allies in Times of War: The Great Asymmetry.

American AlliesStéfanie von Hlatky's book focuses on military cooperation between the United States and its allies in times of war and asks: why are allies so unpredictable? It shows that alliance demands related to military cooperation cannot always be fulfilled by democratic allies due to domestic political constraints. Additionally, concerns over military feasibility can further constrain governments in committing resources to war. Taking these constraints into account is key to explaining the varying levels of military cooperation between democratic allies. This book also explains how American allies can turn down US requests for political and military support. It shows how these allies can deploy strategies to overcome power asymmetries by resorting to leveraging, hedging, and compensation tactics. While they can rarely influence their dominant alliance partner decisively, they are successful in resisting pressures exerted by the US. The argument builds on three central claims. First, power asymmetries between allies translate into different assessments of international threats. Second, when disagreements over threats arise, the outcome of intra-alliance bargaining is not necessarily dictated by the stronger power. Third, secondary states face a policy trade-off between establishing a reputation as a reliable alliance partner and pursuing politically-safer alternatives. The empirical focus of the book is on formal US allies, as they have the most to gain or lose by going along with American plans. The case studies are the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia's response to the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq during the period from 2001 to 2003.

 

H-Diplo | ISSF Roundtable, Volume VII, No. 6 (2014)

H-Diplo/ISSF Editors: Thomas Maddux and Diane Labrosse
H-Diplo/ISSF Roundtable and Web/Production Editor: George Fujii
Introduction by Joshua Rovner

Stéfanie von Hlatky. American Allies in Time of War: The Great Asymmetry. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. ISBN: 978-0-19-967368-1 (hardcover, $85.00/£50.00).

Published by H-Diplo/ISSF on 24 November 2014

The published roundtable can be found here.

WIIS/NATO 1325 Scorecard Workshop Series

Washington, D.C.
November 6-7, 2014

UNSCR 1325On November 6-7, 2014, Women In International Security (WIIS), along with United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and the Belgrade Center Security Policy (BCSP) hosted a second in Washington, DC. As part of NATO’s and NATO member states’ commitment to the full implementation of UNSCR 1325, the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme has supported The UNSCR 1325 and NATO Project. This project aims to assess how the goals and objectives of UNSCR 1325 have been operationalized by NATO member and partner states, and to identify lessons learned and best practices. At this second workshop particular attention was given to: (1.) Existing evaluation mechanisms and indicators and their effectiveness; and (2.) The transferability and contextualization of indicators —with special attention to implementation at the military level. The meeting identified challenges as well as best practices.

On Thursday November 6, participants were invited to engage in a general discussion around evaluation and assessment mechanisms with regard to UNSCR 1325, and reviewed efforts by the UN, the EU and individual countries.  The afternoon session focused more specifically on evaluation mechanisms and indicators with respect to military operations. On Friday, November 7 participants examined the draft UNSCR 1325 NATO Scorecard and offered suggestions pertaining to its methodology.

View the participant list here and the Workshop agenda here.