Women’s Leadership: Public Service and Global Health is organized by Smith College and co-sponsored by Smith College and U.S. Department of State with the support of the French government and the European Parliament as part of the Women in Public Service Project (WPSP). The workshop reflects the overall goal of WPSP: to increase the participation and efficacy of women in all spheres of public service. Applications were invited from early- and mid-career women in Francophone Africa, and women in France and greater Europe working on issues relevant to Francophone diaspora communities. Admission was highly competitive; more than 170 applications were received for some 35 places. Through presentations, small group workshops, case studies and informal discussions centered on the broad topic of public service in public health, the training is designed to:
- Provide delegates with enhanced skills for attaining elected and appointed positions in the public sector;
- Enable delegates to establish a professional network within and outside of their home countries;
- Supply delegates with concrete tools and training to increase the scope, efficacy and visibility of their ongoing work;
- Communicate strategies, tools and materials that delegates can deploy upon their return to their home countries for the training of other women in public service.
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Women’s Leadership: Public Service and Global Health is directed by Rob Dorit, professor of biological sciences at Smith College and 2012–13 director of Smith’s Junior Year Abroad study program in Paris, based at Reid Hall.
The location and venue of the training acknowledge the long—and at times complex—relationship linking France and Francophone Africa, as well as Smith College’s near century-long presence in France, the site of its oldest study abroad program.
Founded in 1875, Smith College, located in Massachusetts, is one of the largest women’s colleges in the United States. Its graduates are found in positions of public service and leadership around the world.