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USJ and World Affairs Council of CT to host Global Changemakers in Celebration of International Women’s Day

Speakers at the Global Changemakers Celebration include (from left: Bayartsetseg Jigmiddash, Stephenie Foster, and Josepha M. N. Musabyemariya. Courtesy images

The ‘Global Changemakers: International Women’s Day Celebration’ will be held in West Hartford on March 7, and is free and open to the public.


On Wednesday, March 7, the World Affairs Council of CT and the University of Saint Joseph Women’s Leadership Center will host “Global Changemakers: International Women’s Day Celebration,” featuring a panel of distinguished global women. 

The event and discussion will celebrate global changemakers – women pressing for progress at the edge of today’s most prominent global movements.

“World Affairs Council of CT is proud to partner with the University of Saint Joseph Women’s Leadership Center to advance the critical global conversation on women’s empowerment, inclusion, and leadership,” said Megan C. Torrey, CEO, World Affairs Council of CT.

“It is essential that we recognize the tremendous progress women have made across the globe as well as discuss the many obstacles women still face in the 21st century. We welcome our distinguished speakers and guests to this forum so that together, we move closer to developing solutions for our challenges that will create equal opportunity for women and girls around the world,” said Dr. Shannon Kula, director of the Women’s Leadership Center at the University of Saint Joseph.

International Women’s Day is a global day held this year on March 8 celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

The event will host the following distinguished speakers at the forefront of global change:

Bayartsetseg Jigmiddash has held senior government positions in the justice sector and has been at the forefront of Mongolia’s far-reaching reform initiatives. Currently, she is CEO and founding director of Veritas Consulting. From 2012 to 2016, Jigmiddash served as Secretary of State of the Ministry of Justice of Mongolia, becoming the first woman appointed in this position. Under her leadership, the legal policy on gender-based violence has been significantly improved, including criminalization of domestic violence. Prior to this top civil service post, she served as legal advisor to the president of Mongolia, and has been involved in the judicial reform as well as abolishment of death penalty in Mongolia. She has extensive civil society experience and pioneered an array of initiatives to promote human rights and access to justice.

Stephenie Foster is a partner in Smash Strategies and a former senior advisor and counselor to the ambassador-at-large for Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State. As a member of the leadership team, she coordinated, managed and implemented a wide range of policies and programs, including the women, peace and security initiative, women’s political participation and women’s economic empowerment. At the State Department, Foster represented the United States in various multilateral and bilateral forums. She served at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, focusing on women and civil society, travelling extensively throughout the country to work with individuals and organizations advancing the role of women in Afghan society. Foster served as Chief of Staff to two United States Senators, Barbara Mikulski and Christopher Dodd.

Josepha M. N. Musabyemariya is the United States Rwandan Community Abroad (USRCA) Commissioner for Gender and Social Affairs. She also is President of Rwandan Community Abroad (RCA) in Maryland, District of Columbia, and Virginia (DMV). She has more than 25 years of experience in handling special projects and initiatives designed to positively impact lives of people in her home country of Rwanda, the communities in and outside DMV and around the globe. She works for the African Union in the U.S. In this office, she was among the handful of individuals charged with setting up the African Union office in Washington, D.C. which was just prior to the arrival and assumption of duties of the first Permanent Representative in 2006. Musabyemariya’s passion lies in dealing with all issues concerning gender and women empowerment.

The program will take place on Wednesday, March 7 from 5-7:15 p.m. at University of Saint Joseph’s Hoffman Auditorium in West Hartford, CT.

This event is free and open to the public. Click here to register or call 860-241-6118.

The World Affairs Council of CT is a non-profit, non-partisan organization founded in 1924.  The Council’s mission is to promote public understanding of global affairs and world issues by sponsoring programs, discussion series and seminars on international politics, business and culture. More at: ctwac.org or (860) 241-6118.

The Women’s Leadership Center (WLC) at the University of Saint Joseph encourages, empowers, and coaches women for leadership roles in their field.The WLC provides workshops, training, and courses for women determined to further develop their talents and achieve success.

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