NORTHAMPTON, Mass.– Presidents of Smith College and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) recently established an international alliance to develop women leaders in Asia’s public sector.

A memorandum of understanding, signed by former Smith president Carol Christ and HKUST president Tony Chan, cements a collaboration between two schools that are committed to enhancing the global leadership abilities of women in public service.

Smith College’s Executive Education for Women program will launch a series of courses aimed at senior women executives of the public sector including civil servants and officials, and those serving in Hong Kong’s government and NGOs. The program will be named the HKUST-Smith Women’s Leadership Series.

“We believe that women’s participation in public service and political leadership is critical in addressing the complex challenges of our world,” said Iris Newalu, executive director of Executive Education at Smith College. “I am hopeful that our alliance with HKUST will greatly benefit women leaders in Asia with the skills and knowledge to forge ahead in improving governance, providing useful public services, and expanding civil rights for their people.”

As an international city with many women leaders in business and the public sector, Hong Kong is an excellent location for the program, said Chan.

“I am very excited about this program and its potential for enhancing women’s participation in leadership roles in Asia,” said Chan. “Smith has a long and distinguished history of women leadership training and HKUST has highly-regarded executive education programs.”

The HKUST-Smith Women’s Leadership Series will be delivered both in Hong Kong on the HKUST campus and in the United States on the Smith campus.

“We are delighted that the programs will be conducted both in Hong Kong and in the U.S. providing stimulating learning environments that transcend national borders.  We are confident that such cross-fertilization will produce life-changing experiences to women leaders in the public and private sectors around the region,” said Angelina Yee, special adviser to the president and director, Leadership and Public Policy Executive Education.

Smith College’s Executive Education for Women program brings more than 35 years of expertise in strategic leadership development for women. The center has also been involved in Smith’s collaboration with the renowned Women in Public Service Project. A partnership founded by 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.

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