Women Political Leaders Gather in Bellagio, Italy for Summit Hosted by GIWPS and The Rockefeller Foundation

BELLAGIO, ITALY | June 8, 2023 – Women political leaders, including former heads of state and current ministers, gathered at The Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center from June 5-8 to discuss effective governance; the erosion of women’s political participation; and strategies to address climate action, economic issues, and online violence against women in politics.

The annual Summit was chaired by Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and Ambassador Melanne Verveer, and co-organized by The Rockefeller Foundation and Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security.

“Climate change, new digital technologies, and proliferating global crises will have profound impacts on all of society. Gathering with remarkable women leaders at The Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center reinforced my belief in our ability to deliver a better future for all,” said Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Women in politics face an increasingly hostile environment, marked by targeted online abuse and coordinated campaigns of disinformation and misinformation. The Global Women Leaders Summit provided a rare opportunity for deep reflection, connection, and idea generation among former heads of state and other accomplished leaders.

The inaugural Summit in 2022 resulted in a new Climate Resilience Fund from The Rockefeller Foundation which is intended to increase capital flows into climate and resilience projects that improve the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people, as well as a Rapid Response Network, operated by GIWPS, which channels recommendations from women peacebuilders on the frontlines of crisis zones directly to policymakers.

Participants of the 2023 Global Women Leaders’ Summit included:

H.E. Michelle Bachelet, Former President of Chile and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

H.E. Wafa Bani Mustafa, Minister of Social Development of Jordan, Chairperson on the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Women’s Empowerment

H.E. Helen Clark, Former Prime Minister, New Zealand; Former UNDP Administrator

H.E. Hillary Clinton, 67th Secretary of State, United States

H.E. Patricia Espinosa, Former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; Former Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico

H.E. Maria Fernanda Espinosa, Former President of the United Nations General Assembly & Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador

H.E. Julia Gillard, Former Prime Minister of Australia

H.E. Dalia Grybauskaité, Former President of Lithuania

Dr. Monica Juma, National Security Advisor to the President of Kenya

Carla Koppell, Interim Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, School of Foreign Service; Managing Director, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security

H.E. Young-Sun Park, Former Minister of the Ministry of SMEs & Startups, Republic of Korea

H.E. Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland; Chair, The Elders; Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Dr. Najat Saliba, Member of the Parliament of Lebanon

Dr. Stergomena Tax, Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation of Tanzania

Elizabeth Yee, Executive Vice President, Programs, Program Strategy, The Rockefeller Foundation

Amb. Melanne Verveer, Executive Director, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security; Former U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues

“Too often, women are discouraged from running for office, pushed out of politics, or choose to disengage from political discourse. Global Women Leaders Summit provides a supportive network to reflect on best practices for navigating these challenges,” said Melanne Verveer, the first U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues (2009-2013) and current Executive Director of GIWPS.

“Convening connected women leaders in our Bellagio Center generates new and innovative solutions on pressing challenges including inclusive economic issues, climate change, and an ever-evolving technological space.” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation.

In the coming weeks, we will announce concrete actions resulting from the convening, from new climate actions to enhanced support mechanisms for women peacebuilders in conflict-affected states.


About Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security (GIWPS)
Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security seeks to promote a more stable, peaceful, and just world by focusing on the important role women play in preventing conflict and building peace, growing economies, and addressing global threats like climate change and violent extremism. We engage in rigorous research, host global convenings, advance strategic partnerships, and nurture the next generation of leaders. Housed within the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown, the Institute is headed by the former U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at and follow us on Twitter and Facebook @giwps and Instagram @georgetown_wps.

About The Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation is a pioneering philanthropy built on collaborative partnerships at the frontiers of science, technology, and innovation that enable individuals, families, and communities to flourish. We work to promote the well-being of humanity and make opportunity universal and sustainable. Our focus is on scaling renewable energy for all, stimulating economic mobility, and ensuring equitable access to health care and nutritious food. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at and follow us on Twitter @RockefellerFdn.

Media Contact

The Rockefeller Foundation
Ashley Chang

Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security
Sarah Rutherford

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