The Women in Public Service Project

The Women in Public Service Project

The Women in Public Service Project

A partnership of the U.S. Department of State and Smith, Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke and Wellesley colleges, the Women in Public Service Project works to advance women’s leadership in politics and governance worldwide.

Launched December 15, 2011 with an international colloquium at the State Department, the project's first Summer Institute was held in 2012. Smith alumna Farah Pandith ’90, who serves as the State Department’s special representative to Muslim communities, has been a key mover in the formation of the project, helping ensure that the Sister colleges’ legacy of education for leadership is leveraged to address today’s challenges around the globe.

Transitional Justice and Economic Development

Smith College, Mount Holyoke College and Simmons College will host Reconstructing Societies in the Wake of Conflict: Transitional Justice and Economic Development, a two-week institute scheduled for May 25–June 6, 2014. This intensive institute will explore the crucial issues of human and economic security in rapidly changing societies with an emphasis on Asia. Learn more...

Women’s Leadership: Public Service and Global Health, held in Paris October 17–21, 2012, was organized by Smith College and co-sponsored by Smith and the U.S. State Department. The conference centered on the broad topic of public service leadership on issues of public health. Learn more...

“At a time when governments, NGOs, and businesses are increasingly recognizing how educating women and girls allays poverty and political instability, we need women leaders, committed to the public sector, from many nationalities and socioeconomic backgrounds, globally educated and prepared to lead,” said Smith President Carol T. Christ. “That is the venture on which we embark.”


The Grécourt Gate

Women in Public Service Project Colloquium Sets Smith Students on the Path to Global Leadership

Smith Alumnae Quarterly

How Change Will Happen: Farah Pandith ’90 Advises Students to “Live Life”

Video: Smithies Go to Washington

News Coverage of the Project Launch

USA Today, December 16, 2011

Seven Sisters, State Dept. Team Up to Promote Women’s Leadership

Bloomberg Businessweek, December 16, 2011

Clinton Seeks Women Leaders to “Tackle Our Biggest Problems”

Chronicle of Higher Education, December 14, 2011

Helping Women Worldwide


A Man’s World? Achieving Gender Parity in Public Office