FPA Centennial Panel: The Critical Role of Women in Social and Economic Development


Event Details

Thursday, February 15, 2018
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM 
The University Club
1 W. 54th Street
New York, NY
Event type
Lecture / Panel  

Event Description

Please join Brown Brothers Harriman and the Foreign Policy Association as we celebrate our Bicentennial and Centennial years with a special program titled, "The Critical Role of Women in Social and Economic Development."

The panel will feature speakers including H.E. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women; Françoise Girard, President, International Women’s Health Coalition; Ambassador Isobel Coleman, Former Representative of the US to the UN on Management and Reform; and Mary R. "Nina" Henderson, Director, Foreign Policy Association.  The discussion will be moderated by H.E. Katalin Bogyay, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations. 

Registration for the panel discussion will begin at 5:30 p.m.  The panel discussion will be followed by a reception. 

Please note that the University Club requires jacket and tie for gentlemen and similar formal attire for women.

The Foreign Policy Association’s year-long Centennial Lecture Series, commenced in the spring of 2017, celebrating 100 years of commitment to fostering an educated public discourse on the most influential topics in U.S. foreign policy. The Foreign Policy Association’s Centennial Lecture Series features extraordinary speakers, who will take the long view and imagine the future in their respective disciplines. The importance of providing citizens with accessible, in-depth, non-partisan material is vital to future world peace and prosperity. In one of his final public addresses, President Franklin D. Roosevelt told the Foreign Policy Association that “In a democracy the Government functions with the consent of the whole people. The latter must be guided by the facts.” Now more than ever, this message continues to have resonance, and will remain the guiding principle and goal of the Foreign Policy Association.  

Event Speakers

    • H.E. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka - Panelist
      United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women

      H.E. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. She was sworn into office on 19 August 2013 and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this position, having devoted her career to issues of human rights, equality and social justice. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka has worked in government and civil society, and with the private sector, and was actively involved in the struggle to end apartheid in her home country of South Africa.

      From 2005 to 2008, she served as Deputy President of South Africa, overseeing programmes to combat poverty and bring the advantages of a growing economy to the poor, with a particular focus on women. Prior to this, she served as Minister of Minerals and Energy from 1999 to 2005 and Deputy Minister in the Department of Trade and Industry from 1996 to 1999. She was a Member of Parliament from 1994 to 1996 as part of South Africa’s first democratic government.

      Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka began her career as a teacher and gained international experience as a coordinator at the World YWCA in Geneva, where she established a global programme for young women. She is the founder of the Umlambo Foundation, which supports leadership and education. A longtime champion of women’s rights, she is affiliated with several organizations devoted to education, women’s empowerment and gender equality.

      She has completed her PhD on education and technology at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom.

    • H.E. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
    • Françoise Girard - Panelist
      President, International Women’s Health Coalition

      Françoise Girard is a feminist leader and president of the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), an advocacy powerhouse that advances the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls worldwide through policy reform, grantmaking, and movement building. A lawyer by training, Françoise is a longtime advocate and expert on women’s health, human rights, sexuality, and HIV/AIDS.  She is consulted regularly by UN and intergovernmental agencies, and has been instrumental to ensuring that global frameworks at the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and other multilateral organizations include and further women’s rights.

    • Françoise Girard
    • Mary R. - Panelist
      Director, Foreign Policy Association

      Mary "Nina" Henderson is a director of CNO Financial Group (Bankers Life & Casualty, Washington National, and Colonial Penn insurance companies), where she serves on the Audit/Risk and Investment Committees, and a director of Walter Energy Inc.


      She was formerly a director of AXA Financial, Inc. and of The Equitable Companies, where she was a member of the Audit, Investment, and Finance/Risk Committees.  She was a lead director and chairman of the Nominating/Corporate Governance Committee of Del Monte Foods Company, which sold to KKR.  In addition, she was a director and member of the Audit Committee of Pactiv Corporation, which sold to Reynolds Holdings; a director of Royal Dutch Shell plc and it’s predecessor company The Shell Transport and Trading Company, p.l.c., where she was a member of the Audit, Remuneration, and Corporation Social Responsibility Committees; and director of Hunt Manufacturing Company, where she was a member of the Audit and Compensation Committee.


      She is a trustee of Drexel University, a director of Visiting Nurse Service of New York, a director of the Foreign Policy Association, and a commissioner of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Blue Ribbon Commission of Executive Talent Development.  The commission is comprised of experienced corporate directors and leading governance professionals who convene to formulate strategies supporting Boards in the oversight of talent development programs.


      Nina Henderson speaks frequently on business strategy and corporate governance for McKinsey & Company, RAND Corporation, NACD, KPMG, Deloitte, PWC, Conference Board, Practicing Law Institute, and NYSE/Euronext.  She received her Bachelor’s degree from Drexel University and attended New York University Graduate School of Business Administration. 

    • Mary R.
    • H. E. Katalin Bogyay - Moderator
      Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations

      From 2009 to 2014, Ms. Bogyay served as her country’s Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and from 2011 to 2013 as President of UNESCO’s General Conference.

      From 2006 to 2009, she was Hungary’s State Secretary for International Affairs for Education and Culture, and from 1999 to 2006, Founding Director of the Hungarian Cultural Centre in London.

      Prior to entering government, Ms. Bogyay had a distinguished career as an international television broadcaster, film producer and writer.

      She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in the United Kingdom and the World Academy of Art and Science in the United States.  She is also an international advisor to the iASK- Institute of Advanced Studies ( Kőszeg, Hungary), to the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy (Berlin, Germany) as well as President of its Cultural Diplomacy and Arts programme of ICD, and steering committee member of World Science Forum( Jordan-Hungary-Brazil)

      The author of several books and publications, she is also a guest lecturer and speaker at universities and international conferences.

      She is married and has a son.

    • H. E. Katalin Bogyay
    • Ambassador Isobel Coleman - Panelist
      former U.S. Ambassador for Management, Reform and Special Political Affairs to the United Nations

      Ambassador Isobel Coleman


      Ambassador Isobel Coleman is a foreign policy expert, author, commentator and diplomat. She

      served from 2014-2017 as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations for Management, Reform and Special Political Affairs.

      During her time representing the United States at the United Nations, Coleman led negotiations on peacekeeping operations and budgetary matters in the General Assembly.  She also led U.S. efforts to combat sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers, and was the administration’s chief spokesperson on these issues, testifying several times before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  During 2016 and early 2017, Ambassador Coleman represented the United States in the UN Security Council, with responsibility for Africa and Asia. In that capacity, she negotiated Security Council resolutions on South Sudan, Darfur, The Gambia, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and North Korea. She was also the lead negotiator on UN Security Council Resolution 2320 for stronger cooperation between the UN and the African Union.

      From 2002-2014, Dr. Coleman was a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York where she founded and directed two signature CFR programs: the Civil Society, Markets, & Democracy program and the Women and Foreign Policy program. During her years at CFR, she wrote extensively about the economic development of the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, and also about women’s rights, civil society, and democratization for publications such as the The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The New York Times and the Washington Post.  Dr. Coleman is the author and coauthor of, and contributor to, numerous books including the critically acclaimed Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women are Transforming the Middle East (Random House, 2010). She is a frequent speaker at academic, business, and policy conferences, including delivering a well-received TED Talk in 2013. In 2010 and 2011, she worked as an advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative. In 2011, Newsweek named her as one of "150 Women Who Shake the World."

      Prior to CFR, Coleman was CEO of a healthcare start-up and also a partner with McKinsey & Co. where she worked with major financial institutions. She graduated from Princeton University with a BA in public policy from the Woodrow Wilson School and in East Asian Studies. She attended Oxford University on a Marshall Scholarship where she earned MPhil and DPhil degrees in International Relations. She has served on multiple non-profit boards including Plan USA, Student Sponsor Partners, American Corporate Partners, and the National Outdoor Leadership School. She lives in New York with her husband and children.

    • Ambassador Isobel Coleman

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