TechWomen Mentor Workshop and Mixer

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We 2013 TechWomen mentors met as a group for the first time today. What an inspiring group of talented technical women! Dozens of Silicon Valley’s great companies are actively supporting this impressive program. TechWomen is an Initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs:

TechWomen is a professional mentorship and exchange program developed in response to President Obama’s efforts to strengthen relations between the United States and the Middle East and North Africa.  Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton first announced the TechWomen initiative on April 28, 2010 during President Obama’s Entrepreneurship Summit. In June 2011, TechWomen launched with 37 participants from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and the Palestinian Territories. In 2012, the program expanded to include women from Tunsia and Yemen. In 2013, the cohort doubled in size with the addition of women from Cameroon, Kenya, Libya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

We were welcomed this afternoon by Heather Ramsey (Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, Institute of International Education) in person, and Lee Satterfield (Deputy Assistant Secretary of State) with Sheila Casey (Deputy Director, Office of Citizen Exchanges at U.S. Dept. of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs) by way of video from Washington D.C. The interesting keynote address was by Gabriela Styf-Sjöman (Ericsson Vice President, Product Line IP and Broadband Cloud Computing and NMS), followed by a cultural training session.

Our 78 Emerging Leaders arrive early next month from the Middle East and Africa.  My 2013 mentee is from Algeria – I am so looking forward to meeting her in person! I am serving as her Cultural Mentor with Larissa Shapiro as her Professional Mentor.

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Images Copyright 2013 by Katy Dickinson

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