FORTUNE/U.S. State Department Global Women's Mentoring Partnership

Program Overview

The Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women's Mentoring Partnership draws on the knowledge and expertise of America’s most accomplished leaders to empower women professionals from countries around the world. The program pairs international businesswomen at the crossroads of their leadership paths with top American female executives—Fortune's Most Powerful Women– and their teams who serve as mentors.  Mentors include CEOs and senior executives from some of America’s most prestigious companies, such as Goldman Sachs, IBM, The Dow Chemical Company and Time Inc.  Since the inaugural program in 2006, The U.S. Department of State, Fortune Most Powerful Women and Vital Voices Global Partnership have worked with over 265 international businesswomen leaders from 54 countries and territories.  These alumnae continue to work toward positive outcomes for women within their sectors and to use their networks and influence to generate lasting change in their communities. 

 Program Goals


  •   Equip international women leaders with critical business and leadership skills
  •   Provide the mentees with networking opportunities and access to American and international women business leaders
  •   Inspire the mentees to use their newly acquired skills and knowledge to “pay it forward” in their own communities
  •   Enable the sharing of best practices 



Program Description

Over the course of the month-long program, the mentees engage in an on-site learning with a community of mentors, trainings and networking events designed to equip them with critical business and leadership skills and the inspiration to pay it forward, accelerating positive change in their home communities. 

The program begins with a four-day Orientation Program in Washington, D.C. During this time, the mentees meet with senior-level women officials at the U.S. Department of State for a panel discussion, take part in Vital Voices’ signature leadership training, attend communications and skills-training workshops and engage with American women leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors.  Following this program, each mentee spends two weeks at the office of her mentor company for a customized, on-site mentorship.  Over the course of these two weeks, each mentee has the opportunity to work with a community of mentors, learn from the best practices of her mentor company and engage in activities specifically designed to meet her needs and interests. The mentees then reconvene in New York City for a Closing Program to reflect on their experiences, discuss the future direction of their leadership paths and continue to engage with American women leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

Alumnae of the Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership return home inspired to use the knowledge and experience they gained and stay connected to a global community of women leaders.   Alumnae become valued members of the Vital Voices Leadership Network of over 15,000 emerging women leaders in 144 countries worldwide, engaging in Vital Voices events, programs and local networks. Mentees also gain access to the U.S. Department of State International Exchange Alumni online community, offering them access to a global network of more than one million alumni and nearly 400 alumni associations, grants, job and fellowship resources, 20,000 free online magazines and newspapers and a global calendar of events professional and alumni events.

Read the blogs from program alumnae.

Upon returning to their home countries, Vital Voices continues to engage alumnae in its events, programs and local networks. The international participants are encouraged to join local Businesswomen's Networks, organize