COIR is Coming: Shaping the Day’s Program

AWIU (27)

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead, American cultural anthropologist (1901 – 1978) 


Eunice Reddick, retired ambassador, AWIU Executive Committee member, and co-chair (with Pooja Chandra Pama) of COIR, has been lining up speakers and panelists for this year’s symposium at a breakneck pace.

The Seventh Annual Career Opportunities in International Relations (COIR) Symposium will take place on Friday, October 20, 2023. The symposium will be held at the International Student House in Washington, D.C. This year’s theme, “Women Leading: Building Bridges of Peace, Equity, and Security,” will be the topic of COIR presentations, panels and discussion groups.

“With the words peace, equity and security, we honed right in to topics of huge interest in the international relations sphere right now,” said Eunice. “What with the war in Ukraine, the shifting balance of power among the U.S., Russia and China, the plight of refugees in the E.U. and the U.S., and these countries’ reactions to continually rising numbers of refugees, there’s no fear of “same old-same old” discussion here!”

The day-long event will feature speakers, panels, break-out discussions, gratis lunch, and opportunities to network with prominent women diplomats, career State Department and international organization experts, and representatives of non-profits dedicated to urgent global issues such as women’s rights, education, income generation, the environment, and law.

“We have some truly exceptional women participating this year,” Eunice continued. Among them are Hadeil Ali, Jill Dougherty, Sherry Mueller, Ph.D., Linda Robinson, Arbana Xharra, and Dr. Jasmine Noelle Yarish.

The plenary panel, “Strategies for Successful Women Leaders,” will feature Jill Dougherty, former CNN Moscow bureau chief and adjunct professor, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University and Dr. Sherry Mueller, distinguished practitioner in residence at the School of International Service, American University and co-president, Public Diplomacy Council of America. Mueller is an AWIU member who participated in COIR 2022.

One break-out session will include Linda Robinson, senior fellow for Women and Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations; Hadeil Ali, director, Diversity and Leadership Project, Center for Strategic and International Studies; and Arbana Xharra, 2015 International Woman of Courage and journalist. Both Ali and Xharra attended last year’s COIR, Ali as a panelist. These three noteworthy women will address the topic, “Protecting Human Rights and Creating Equity.”

Dr. Jasmine Noelle Yarish, coordinator for Global Studies and assistant professor of Political Science, University of the District of Columbia, will be one of several women featured in a second break-out session, “Educating Leaders for Global Challenges.”

COIR events provide opportunities for young women to learn about careers in international affairs and engage with women leaders in the field. AWIU was founded over 50 years ago to promote woman-to-woman interaction and understanding worldwide through meaningful delegation visits to global communities, small grants for community development, support for women students and young professionals, collaboration with the U.S. Department of State to host the International Women of Courage Celebration, and the participation of local chapters which act locally and affect globally. AWIU was honored by the U.S. Department of State as a recipient of the prestigious Gender Champion Award in 2022.

“At its essence, we want COIR to change the lives of the young women who come to listen, learn and meet the ‘rock stars’ of their field,” Eunice concluded. “As we all know, a career is a precious thing. To get young women inspired and thinking about how they can make a difference in the world, that’s what AWIU and COIR are all about.”

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