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IWF Announces 26th Class of Fellows

WASHINGTON, D.C. – [September 17, 2019] –The International Women’s Forum (IWF) Leadership Foundation has announced its 2019-2020 Fellows Class, featuring 38 top-performing women leaders from 11 countries.

Each year, the IWF Leadership Foundation selects a group of diverse and accomplished women from a competitive applicant pool to partake in the Fellows Program, a year-long, intensive leadership development experience. For over 25 years, more than 500 women have benefited from this robust and transformative experience. This year’s cohort includes entrepreneurs, academics, government officials, nonprofit leaders and corporate executives, such as:

  • Tina Chen, Managing Director of Accenture Digital in Greater China
  • ElsaMarie D'Silva, Founder & CEO, Red Dot Foundation
  • Zabrina Jenkins, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for Starbucks
  • Viridiana Rios, Associate Professor at Harvard University
  • Col. Samantha Weeks, Commander of the 14th Flying Training Wing of the U.S. Air Force

“The IWF Fellows Program continues to set the standard in leadership development for global women executives. Our Fellows exhibit exceedingly high standards of commitment to civic volunteerism, mentorship and advancing women’s leadership in their communities -- encapsulating the spirit of IWF,” said Toni Randolph, Vice President of the Leadership Foundation Board and Chair of the Fellows Program Selection Committee. “This year’s application pool is among the largest received, and we continue to be inspired by the high-caliber candidates the program attracts.”

This class of Fellows will convene for the first time in November at the 2019 IWF World Leadership Conference in Toronto, where they will participate in orientation and training sessions conducted by IWF members. The orientation will be followed in 2020 by executive education programs at INSEAD and Harvard Business School. Additionally, each Fellow will be paired with an IWF member-mentor and tasked with completing a legacy project that will leverage the skills they learned to help others.

IWF Jamaica, IWF Mexico, IWF Georgia, IWF Florida Suncoast and IWF Panama submitted candidates for consideration in this year’s program. IWF Florida Suncoast received the Foundation’s End of Year Campaign Scholarship for raising the most money as a Forum during last year’s campaign. Their candidate, Melissa Larkin-Skinner, is the Regional Chief Executive Officer for Centerstone Florida, a nonprofit healthcare organization dedicated to delivering care that changes people’s lives, including mental health care, addiction treatment and community education services.

If you are interested in supporting the Fellows Program as an IWF mentor or making a donation to the Leadership Foundation, please contact Jessa Cooke, Executive Director of the Leadership Foundation and Vice President of IWF, at jcooke@iwforum.org or +1 202-387-1010.


About IWF and the Leadership Foundation


The International Women’s Forum is an invitation-only membership organization of more than 7,000 diverse and accomplished women from 33 nations on six continents. IWF builds better leadership across careers, continents and cultures by connecting accomplished women both locally and globally. IWF’s Leadership Foundation seeks to increase the number of women in the C-Suite and positions of influence globally through two central programs – the Fellows Program and the Women Athletes Business Network (WABN). For more information on IWF and the Foundation, visit www.iwforum.org and follow @IWFGlobal on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

IWF Announces 26th Class of Fellows
IWF Announces 26th Class of Fellows

IWF Game Changers - Ersilia Vaudo Scarpetta

 

The IWF game-changer featured this month has worked in science and space for nearly 30 years. Ersilia Vaudo Scarpetta is a member of IWF France and the Chief Diversity Officer for the European Space Agency. She proposes initiatives that enhance ESA’s diversity, striving to ensure that inclusiveness is part of its practices. Here, she talks about learning chemical compounds as a child and why she believes studying science gives you super powers.

 

IWF Game Changers - Ersilia Scarpetta
IWF Game Changers - Ersilia Vaudo Scarpetta

In the Lead: Melanie Goodchild

Photo by Alisha Townsend/Grand Magazine

Earlier this month, we commemorated International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (August 9), which shines a light on the unique indigenous cultures and languages around the globe. To help celebrate, we are highlighting the work of indigenous activist Melanie Goodchild. Melanie is a Senior Indigenous Research Fellow, Ambassador and Suncor Fellow at the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience, founder of Turtle Island Institute, and an IWF Fellow alumna. She is a member of the Anishinaabe community, and utilizes that background to inform her research around sustainability and systems thinking.

At the IWF World Leadership Conference in Toronto, Melanie will speak on a panel about entrepreneurship, economic development and social innovation. Here, we asked her about using indigenous knowledge to combat climate change, how the IWF Fellows Program influenced her professional journey, and what it takes to join a group called the Iron Butt Association.

For this edition of In the Lead, we sat down with IWF member, and indigenous activist, Melanie Goodchild.
In the Lead: Melanie Goodchild

In the Lead: Reflecting On 45 Years

Above, IWF founders Muriel Fox (left) and Eleanor Holmes Norton
are honored at the 2019 Elly Awards in New York City.

For this edition of In the Lead, we’re looking back at the people and stories that converged to create the International Women’s Forum 45 years ago. In the following video, Women’s Forum of New York founder Muriel Fox provides an oral history of the organization, including her relationship with fellow founder Elly Guggenheimer, her own professional journey and her role in the larger women’s movement.

In the Lead: Reflecting On 45 Years
In the Lead: Reflecting On 45 Years

IWF Remembers IWF South Africa Member Veronica Devine

The IWF community mourns the passing of IWF South Africa member Veronica Devine, a champion for equality, entrepreneur, mentor and inspiration to many. Veronica was passionate about women’s issues and leadership development. As a young female professional who faced sexism, she became her own boss and thrived as an entrepreneur. She founded Justine Cosmetics in 1973, which became a household name. Through its direct selling concept, Justine Cosmetics developed, educated and assisted women to become financially independent. Justine was eventually acquired by Avon Cosmetics Inc.

IWF Remembers IWF South Africa Member Veronica Devine
IWF Remembers IWF South Africa Member Veronica Devine
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