Aspen Institute to Establish The Albright Series – A Public Program of the Council of Women World Leaders

May 8, 2008  • Institute Contributor

Contact: Alina Dumitrasc
The Aspen Institute
Tel. 202-736-2920

Aspen Institute to Establish The Albright Series – A Public Program of the Council of Women World Leaders

Washington, DC, May 8, 2008–– The Aspen Institute is pleased to announce the inauguration of the Madeleine K. Albright Women’s Voices at the Aspen Institute Series, a public program of the Council of Women World Leaders, a newly established policy program of the Institute. The Albright Series will focus on global issues of particular importance to women and policy areas where women have taken the lead in combating problems which impact humanity at large. 

Given the work  that former US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright has done to amplify the voices of women internationally, her support of the Council as Chair of the Ministerial Initiative, and her dedication to the Aspen Institute as a trustee and advocate, it is more than fitting to name the series after her. At each Albright Series event, recognized experts will be invited to discuss effective solutions and collaborative actions to address security, environmental, and social matters, as seen through a gendered lens. 

The first Albright Series event, Standing on Common Ground: Bipartisan Support for Women’s Leadership and Equity, is scheduled for Summer 2008. This inaugural installment of the Albright Series will bring together women both Republican and Democratic leaders to discuss the promotion of women’s voices at all political, economic, and social levels. Additional 2008 Albright Series events include: Levers of Global Security: Citizenship and Statelessness – Securing the Right to Have Rights; Women’s Empowerment: Countries Closing the Gender Gap; and Levers of Global Security: Policing & Protective Services – Women’s Roles and Gendered Impact.

As a network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers, the Council is uniquely qualified to host the Albright Series. Along with its Ministerial Initiative, the Council serves as a platform for the collective voice of women at the highest levels of government. Mary Robinson, President of Ireland (1990-97) is currently serving as Chair of the Council; Margot Wallström, First Vice-President of the European Commission is Chair of the Ministerial Initiative, and Laura Liswood is the Council’s Secretary General. The Council has been in residence at the Aspen Institute for the past four years. On May 1, 2008, the Council became an Aspen Institute policy program. 

Elliot Gerson, Executive Vice President of Policy and Public Programs at the Aspen Institute, sees the integration of the Council as a very positive development for the Aspen community as a whole, and is especially enthused when speaking about the Albright Series: “This series endeavors not only to increase the diversity of ideas at the Institute, but also to increase the visibility and participation of women within the Aspen community.”

Over the years, the mission and the impact which the Council has had on women’s leadership in the global arena has evolved considerably. In 1998, the Council was born as the outgrowth of the Women’s Leadership Project in which Ms. Liswood interviewed and documented discussions with 15 current and former women heads of state.  

Ten years later, Ms. Liswood reflects on the new phase in the Council’s collaboration and integration within the Aspen Institute: “We are delighted to be a part of the Institute, which, for over the past 4 years, has housed the Council and has supported our efforts to elevate women’s leadership world-wide.”  Ms Liswood currently serves as a Senior Advisor at Goldman Sachs and is the Founder and Secretary General of the Council of Women World Leaders. For more information on the Council and its work at the Aspen Institute please visit:

The collaboration between the Aspen Institute and the Council, especially as it pertains to the Albright Series, strikes a note with the core values of the Institute. According to Ms. Liswood, “The Albright Series, by adding the gender dimension to existing conversations on global issues of the highest concern, fits perfectly into the scope and into the agenda which the Aspen Institute seeks to pursue on an international level.”

The Aspen Institute, founded in 1950, is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering enlightened leadership and open-minded dialogue. Through seminars, policy programs, public programs, conferences, and leadership development initiatives, the Institute and its international partners seek to promote nonpartisan inquiry and an appreciation for timeless values. The Institute is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River near the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Its international network includes partner Aspen Institutes in Berlin, Rome, Lyon, Tokyo, New Delhi, and Bucharest, and leadership initiatives in Africa, Central America, and India.



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