The role of Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues was unheard of even as little as a decade ago. The office was created in 2009 by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and has been occupied for the past four years by Melanne Verveer, a former Chief of Staff to Hillary Clinton while she was the First Lady.
With her on her way out of the office though, the biggest question is who will President Obama choose to take her place?
Ideally speaking it has to be a woman. Not just because the requirements of the office, but because it may as well be the only chance for Obama to wash away the claims of his choosing only white males so far!
Whoever is chosen though, will have to have perseverance as well as enthusiasm for the field. A proven track record on promoting the rights of women and girls globally will not hurt as well.
The Daily Beast recently came up with the following names:
1. Beth Brooke: Global Vice Chair of public policy, Ernst & Young
2. Helene Gayle: CEO and president, CARE USA
3. Geeta Rao Gupta: Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF
4. Mellody Hobson: President, Director And Chairman, Ariel Investments
5. Valerie Jarrett: Senior adviser to President Obama, chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls
6. Pat Mitchell: President and CEO, the Paley Center for Media
7. Maria Otero: Former Undersecretary Of State For Civilian Security, Democracy And Human Rights
8. Robin Roberts: Anchor, Good Morning America
9. Zainab Salbi: Founder, Women for Women International
10. Meryl Streep: Actress and humanitarian
11. Tina Tchen: Chief of staff to first lady Michelle Obama, executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls
We would narrow it down to the following though:
Because: She is strong, determined and knows how to get what she wants and has been an outspoken voice for the advancement of women in the corporate world.
The Global Vice Chair of public policy, Ernst & Young is a regular on the Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list. Her expertise with promoting female entrepreneurship would serve her well in an ambassadorial role.
Openly gay, she would certainly bring diversity to Obama’s team.
Because: Her decades of work have already given her recognition as one of the top female leaders and global thinkers in the world. With an experience of 20 years as an HIV/AIDS expert at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, five years with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and as the chair of President Obama’s Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS as well as the head of the global anti-poverty cause under her belt. She can also be a face of diversity much needed right now.
Geeta Rao Gupta
Because: The Deputy executive director of UNICEF is not just another high-profile name but one of the scions of strength and struggle in the fight against HIV/AIDS. She has spent her career as the president of the International Center for Research on Women and as a senior fellow at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supporting various causes including gender, women’s issues and HIV and AIDS. She has leadership qualities that cannot be over looked and are just looking for a more highlighted post to make the most of her lifelong ambition of making a difference.
Because: Her exposure as the Former undersecretary of state for civilian security, democracy and human rights has more than prepared her for the challenging role.
She has worked in the Women in Development office of USAID and served on the board of the United States Institute of Peace under Bill Clinton before Hillary Clinton made her an undersecretary in 2009.
On January 17, 2012 she was appointed as Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights (J), a newly created office and position at the Department of State exposing her more to U.S. foreign policy related to civilian security, including issues of democracy, human rights, population, refugees, trafficking in persons, rule of law, counter-narcotics, crisis prevention and response, global criminal justice, and countering violent extremism. Her tenure has ended February 4, 2013.
Because: Apart from being a strong and well achieved woman she has the President’s trust probably more than any other woman on his team. As the Senior adviser to President Obama and the chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls she has had enough homework and preps for walking straight in taking up the tasks of an outgoing Melanne Verveer.
She has been very vocal of minority issues, from women’s rights to ending discrimination against gay citizens as well as black and Hispanic citizens.