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WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 13, 2024 – Vital Voices Global Partnership is proud to announce its inaugural cohort of Vital Voices Global Fellows, a newly launched fellowship program based on our signature leadership training strategies for supporting outstanding women changemakers driving impact across the globe.  

In the first inaugural cohort, the fellowship will offer programming centered around two pillars: social entrepreneurship and public leadership. The program will bring together 28 women political leaders and 25 women social entrepreneurs from 39 countries spanning 5 continents, designed to build leadership capacity, foster a collaborative network, and accelerate sector-specific skills and knowledge. We founded the fellowship with the shared understanding that women face common challenges across sectors. In 2020, women owned about a quarter of the world’s businesses, the same share they owned in 2014. Worse, women receive a proportionally tiny percentage of the globe’s investment. In politics, women make up only about 6 percent of heads of state and government and claim only a 25 percent share in parliaments worldwide. With the fellowship, we aim to close this gap by supporting women changemakers along their leadership journeys.  

“Our first Vital Voices Global Fellowship cohort brings together a dynamic group of women leaders who are pioneering impact across their communities, countries and the world,” said Alyse Nelson, CEO and Co-Founder of Vital Voices. “We look forward to partnering with these changemakers to harness the power of collective action to tackle the world’s greatest challenges.” 

The fellows will bolster their skills through the Vital Voices Leadership Journey, a course based upon on a model practiced by Vital Voices network women creating change that challenge traditional notions of what it means to lead. In addition, fellows will receive relevant training and guidance from expert trainers relevant to their sectors. Throughout the global fellowship, Vital Voices aims to create opportunities for cross-issue collaboration, curating a space for collaborative problem-solving related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

The exceptional women leaders selected for the inaugural year are as follows:   

  • Agita Pasaribu, Founder and Executive Director, Bullyid App – NMA Foundation, Indonesia 
  • Aline Sara, CEO and Co-Founder, NaTakallam, United States 
  • Amira Saber Qandil, Member of Parliament, Egypt 
  • Ana Lucia Cepeda, Co-founder and CEO, Bolsa Rosa, Mexico 
  • Anathi Majeke, Local Government Councilor, South Africa 
  • Anoka Abeyrathne, Regional Coordinator, Royal Commonwealth Society, Sri Lanka 
  • Anupama Bhardwaj, Founder and CTO, SHEQONOMI, India 
  • Anushka Jain, Founder and CEO, , India 
  • Arielle Kayabaga, Member of Parliament, Canada 
  • Blandine Umuziranenge, Founder and CEO, Kosmotive, Rwanda 
  • Canela Bodenhofer, Cabinet Advisor of the Minister of Education, Chile 
  • Cara Hunter, Member of the Northern Irish Legislative Assembly, Northern Ireland 
  • Chelsea Hornby, Chief Executive Officer, Elle International, South Africa 
  • Cherrish Pryor, Representative of Indiana General Assembly, United States 
  • Diana Miloslavich, Expert in political participation, CMP Flora Tristan, Peru 
  • Durga Das, Founder and CEO, Aeronero, India 
  • Emma Theofelus, Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Namibia 
  • Hanna Gehor, Counsellor and Diplomatic Advisor, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Finland 
  • Jael Omumani Omunyangoli, Member of Kakamega County Assembly, Kenya 
  • Jennifer Borrero, Founder, Youth Housing Coalition, United States 
  • Jovia Kisakye, Chief Executive Officer, Bulamu Bridge AI Technologies, Uganda 
  • Juliana Villegas, Chief Executive Officer, SOMOS MARTINA, Colombia 
  • Juliet Matos, Parliamentary Advisor, Chamber of Deputies, Brazil 
  • Karissa Fetalvero-Paronia, Municipal Mayor, Local Government Unit of Sison, Philippines 
  • Keiko Koda, Founder and CEO, AsMama, Japan 
  • Mandukhai Nanzad, Board member, Social Democratic Women, Mongolia 
  • Manuela Thourte, Legislator, City of Buenos Aires Legislature, Argentina 
  • Maria Ines Castillo, Minister of Social Development of Panama, Panama 
  • Martyna Jałoszyńska, Project Manager, Krytyka Polityczna, Poland 
  • Martyna Zastawna, Chief Executive Officer, woshwosh, Poland 
  • Mehezaa Adjo Ida Solitoke, Co-Founder and COO, Baobaby, Togo 
  • Melanie Wolman, Co-founder and CEO, The Food Market, Argentina 
  • Melina Taprantzi, Founder, Wise Greece, Greece 
  • Miracle Nduka, Director, Rest of Africa, Kitovu Technology Company, Nigeria 
  • Mukamana Claudette, Vice Mayor, Social Affairs, Ministry of Local Government, Rwanda 
  • Nathalie Ann Llorente-Lim, Founder and CEO, The Global Artisan Inc. dba LIKHA, Philippines 
  • Nora Jeanne Joseph, Chief Executive Officer, RADIKAL, Haiti 
  • Pauline Achieng Otila, Managing Director, Apiculture Venture Limited, Kenya 
  • Poonam Shukla, Director, Satya Herbal and Spice Products Pvt. Ltd, Nepal 
  • Ronelle King, Executive Director, Life In Leggings: Caribbean Alliance Against Gender-based Violence, Barbados 
  • Sarah Nakintu, Chairperson, The Interparty Women Platform, Uganda 
  • Saro Imran, Focal Person – Transgender, Social Welfare Department, Pakistan 
  • Shabnam Salehi, Visiting Researcher, University of Ottawa, Afghanistan 
  • Shapol Majid, CEO and Founder, Mamosa , Iraq 
  • Sowmya Reddy, Politician, Indian National Congress, India 
  • Valeriya Ionan, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation, Ukraine 
  • Vera Brenner, Director of Sports and Recreational Parks, Ministry of Culture and Sports, Guatemala 
  • Veronica Rosca, Member of Parliament, Chair of Parliament’s Legal Commission, Moldova 
  • Vo Quoc Thao Nguyen, Founder and CEO, Green Joy, Vietnam 
  • Ynes Hafi, Chief Operating Officer, ARSELA, Tunisia 
  • Yu Shinagawa, Founder and CEO, An-Nahal Inc., Japan 
  • Zaitun Namuwonge, Managing Director, Afro Lube Limited, Uganda 

 The year long program launches June 13, 2024 with online training sessions and discussions, culminating in an in-person convening scheduled for Fall 2024. Visit Vital Voices Global Fellowship online to learn more and follow the program on social media using the hashtag #VVGF. The social entrepreneurship pillar of the Vital Voices Global Fellowship would not be possible without support from FedEx and Bumble. Inc. The public leadership pillar is made possible by the Freeport McMoRan Foundation. 

About Vital Voices Global Partnership 

We are facing the world’s toughest challenges of all time – climate crisis, systemic and widespread racial injustices, gender-based violence, growing economic divides and inequity, and much more. The world needs women to help solve the problems that are affecting people in their own communities and all around the globe.   

For over 25 years, Vital Voices Global Partnership has been investing in women leaders solving these challenges. We have built a network of 20,000 changemakers across 184 countries daring to reimagine a more equitable world for all.   

At Vital Voices we are “venture catalysts”, identifying women leaders with a bold vision for change and partnering with them to make their vision a reality. We scale and accelerate their impact through long-term investments to expand their skills, connections, capacity, and visibility. We know that women lead differently, and we work to celebrate and share what makes their leadership transformational: inclusion, equity, and a commitment to breaking down barriers.    

Platinum Partners of the Social Entrepreneurship Pillar: 

About FedEx 

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenue of $88 billion, the company offers integrated business solutions through operating companies competing collectively, operating collaboratively and innovating digitally as one FedEx. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 500,000 employees to remain focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. FedEx is committed to connecting people and possibilities around the world responsibly and resourcefully, with a goal to achieve carbon-neutral operations by 2040. To learn more, please visit 

Supporting Partner of the Social Entrepreneurship Pillar: 

About Bumble Inc.
Bumble Inc. is the parent company of Bumble, Bumble For Friends, Badoo, Fruitz and Official. The Bumble platform enables people to build healthy and equitable relationships, through Kind Connections. Founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd in 2014, Bumble was one of the first dating apps built with women at the center and connects people across dating (Bumble Date), friendship (Bumble For Friends) and professional networking (Bumble Bizz). Badoo, which was founded in 2006, is one of the pioneers of web and mobile dating products. Fruitz, founded in 2017, encourages open and honest communication of dating intentions through playful fruit metaphors. Official is an app for couples that promotes open and honest communication between partners and was founded in 2020. 

Partner of the Public Leadership Pillar: 

The Freeport McMoRan Foundation supports programs and projects that benefit communities in workforce development, economic opportunity, and capacity and leadership. Their programs and projects also include investments in education, Native American programs, and women’s development initiatives.