The Fortune – U.S. Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership is a public-private partnership between Fortune Most Powerful Women, the U.S. Department of State, and Vital Voices Global Partnership. The program draws on the expertise of America’s most accomplished leaders to enhance the business and leadership skills of international women professionals. During the program, mentees engage in skills trainings, panel discussions, networking events, and a mentorship program with top women executives and their teams. Past mentors have come from America’s most prestigious companies, such as CVS Health, Johnson & Johnson, AIG, and Accenture. From this program, mentees gain critical business and leadership skills and the inspiration to pay it forward, accelerating positive change in their home communities. Now in its 18th year, the program includes 366 alumnae from 58 countries and territories.
Alumnae are supported post-program through various forms of engagement. Each year, alumnae from a select region are invited to attend the International Alumnae Component featuring a successful American woman leader as a mentor and sessions to share best practices, discuss challenges, and form a regional network of women leaders. Additionally, alumnae become members of the Vital Voices Global Leadership Network of over 20,000 women leaders worldwide as well as the U.S. Department of State International Exchange Alumni online community, offering them access to more than one million U.S. Government exchange program alumni across the globe, free professional publications and research resources, and millions of dollars in grant opportunities.
Meet The Mentees
2023 Mentee, CEO, Mighty Finance
Vwanganji Bowa is the CEO and Founder of Mighty Fin. An online business lending platform offering credit to SMEs especially women in emerging markets. She has over 13 years of experience in the micro finance and financial inclusion space. Her current work responsibilities include identifying a motivating and challenging direction that supports the short and long term achievement of Mighty Fin’s mission and vision. Reporting to the Board of Directors, she supervises all department heads. Vwanganji holds a bachelor of arts degree in Development Studies and currently pursuing a master of Arts degree in Gender Studies from the University of Zambia.
Vwanganji was selected to be part of the 2023 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Hope Jarkowski, General Counsel NYSE
2023 Mentee, Founder, E-CO Consulting
Yasemin holds a BSc from the International Relations Department of Middle East Technical University in Ankara, and two master’s degrees – an MBA from Bilkent University in Ankara and an MSc in European Studies from Bremen University in Germany where she studied as a Jean Monnet Scholar. She completed an Executive Leadership programme at Sorbonne University in Paris in 2019.
She has 15 years of professional experience in technology transfer, innovation management and entrepreneurship support services.
She was a Member of the Board of Directors of the Ankara Development Agency between 2009-2011. In 2014 she was selected as one of 20 emerging Turkish leaders selected to participate in a U.S. Embassy Ankara-sponsored fellowship program entitled “Young Turkey Young America” which was dedicated to fostering cross-Atlantic dialogue on social and political issues, cultural understanding and sustained entrepreneurial collaboration.
She founded E-CO Consulting in 2015 with the mission to create an impact on entrepreneurs and technology start-ups/ SMEs and to support them in their efforts to create high value-added to Türkiye and the world.
She is a member of the global incubators network of the World Bank infoDev program and a certified World Bank trainer. She is also an active business angel investor and a member of Keiretsu Forum Turkey and TR Angels.
Yasemin was selected to be part of the 2023 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Raj Seshadri, President, Data and Services Mastercard
2023 Mentee, Managing Partner, Insele Capital Partners
Linda Nyembezi is the founder and managing director of Insele Capital Partners a dedicated Fixed Income brokerage and advisory business. She has over 18 years of experience in the South African banking, broking, and capital markets industry. Her current responsibilities include growing and developing her business in addition to providing means for companies and SA government to raise capital, market making, trade execution, client service and research and analysis. Linda holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree majoring in Economics and Risk Management from University of Witwatersrand (Wits), South Africa.
Linda was selected to be part of the 2023 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Amy C. Friedrich, President – Benefits & Protection, Principal
2023 Mentee, Executive Director of Original Platform, Novak Djokovic Foundation
Ivana (Anja) Stanisic is a founder of Supper Technologies and Agora Pink consulting agency, as well as Executive Director of the Original platform by Novak Djokovic Foundation. She has over eighteen years of experience in media, marketing, and event management and more than ten years in developing online businesses. She is currently working on developing several platforms, one of them called Fempower, whose main aim is to help women to find jobs or build their businesses.
Anja was selected to be part of the 2023 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Tiffany Monroe, Chief People and Culture Officer, H&R Block
2023 Mentee, CEO & Founder, woshwosh
Martyna Zastawna is a pioneer and promoter of the Zero Waste movement in Europe. One of the most influential women in Poland according to Forbes; Sustainable Development Leader by Forbes. Founder of woshwosh (the world’s first shoe renewal company) and szeptszum (Poland’s first socially responsible marketing agency), CSR university lecturer, mentor focusing on the issue of sustainability. Author of many social campaigns awarded in Poland and abroad.
Martyna was selected to be part of the 2023 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Shelley Huff, CEO, Serta Simmons Bedding
2023 Mentee, Founder, Zero Waste Laos
Souksaveuy Keotiamchanh is the founder of Zero Waste Laos and a national consultant and environmental advisor to the government on plastic waste assessment and other environmental issues. Souksaveuy founded Zero Waste Laos, a youth-led environmental protection advocacy and action group, in 2019. She is a leader in Laos, and increasingly throughout the region, on environmental initiatives, regularly advising government policy and consulting with international firms on their environmental programs and corporate social responsibility projects in Laos. Souksaveuy did her master’s degree at the Asian Institute of Technology in Environmental Engineering and Management. She graduated from the National University of Laos with degrees in English Pedagogy and Environmental Science. Out of the office, Souksaveuy spends time in her garden, growing plants to give away to neighbors and friends.
Souksaveuy was selected to be part of the 2023 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Elena Kvochko, Chief Trust Officer, SAP Global Security
2023 Mentee, Managing Director, PT Healthcare
Irene Rop is the Founder and Managing Director of Pasaiba Tourmaline Limited, a registered pharmaceutical company. The company’s mission is to efficiently procure and distribute quality medical supplies at competitive and affordable prices. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Information Technology. Irene previously worked in the financial industry for over ten years before venturing out to found Pasaiba in 2013. Irene is passionate about empowering women through business. She has a network of mentors and mentees through which she drives the women empowerment mission.
Irene was selected to be part of the 2023 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Lucy Fato, Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Global Head of Communications and Government Affairs, AIG
2023 Mentee, Head of Marketing, Quick Mart Ltd
Betty Wamaitha is the Head of Marketing for Kenya’s second largest retail chain, Quickmart Ltd. She has over 19 years’ experience in sales and marketing, business digital transformation, product development, stakeholder relationship management across various industries.
She is a qualified CIM professional and an alumnus of Strathmore University, currently enrolled in the Executive MBA program at Strathmore University.
Betty was selected to be part of the 2023 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Molly Ashby, Founder, Solera Capital
2023 Mentee, Founder, Encubay
Deeksha is a serial entrepreneur and diversity enabler with a vision to create more diversity in the start-up ecosystem via entrepreneurship and investing.
Deeksha Ahuja is the founder of Encubay – a global diversity focused network leveling the playing field for female founders; and the founding partner of Encunay Angel Network (EAN) which is India’s first female-led Angel network enabling more women to Angel invest in female-led start-ups.
She brings over twelve years of experience across sectors in strategy, marketing, business development and operations, content creation, and tech implementation.
Deeksha is also the co-founder of Cedarwood – an Edu tech company that offers twenty-first-century skill sets essential for children. Deeksha focuses on helping new ventures achieve scale, and sustainability and raising money from strategic investors. EAN is run by women and for women and aims to increase the percentage of women in the start-up ecosystem from the current 14% in India and level the playing field. She holds a master’s in business administration from Xavier Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai.
Deeksha was selected to be part of the 2023 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Seema Hingorani, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley Investment Management
2023 Mentee, CEO, Founder and Director, Gramshree Agri Services Private Limited
Aastha Singh is the Founder and CEO of Patna-based Startup Gramshree Agri Services Private Limited ”Gramshree Kisan”, a technology-based one stop solution in animal husbandry and fishery. She is a competent professional with around 12 years of experience in project management, operations, technology and financial planning. With a strong technological background and a strong will to resolve the issues with Indian farming, she aims to create livelihood, employment, self-employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for farmers, youth and women in the state of Bihar. She has done her MBA in Finance and Marketing, and B.Tech in Instrumentation and Control from Pune University.
Aastha was selected to be part of the 2023 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Christina Kosmowski, CEO, LogicMonitor
Winnie Petit Paul
2023 Mentee, Managing Partner, HaitiBrand
Winnie is an accomplished economist and marketing professional with extensive experience in branding, analytics, digital marketing, accounting, and project management. She is the co- founder of HaitiBrand, a branding and creative agency that has helped several companies in Haiti to improve their branding and marketing strategies.
Winnie’s passion for women’s leadership and girls in STEM fields has led her to initiate several projects to empower young girls to pursue careers in science and technology. During the COVID- 19 crisis, she led the STEM Access for Girls project, which trained and empowered 45 girls from Cap Haitien and Port-au-Prince to develop skills in STEM-related fields.
One of Winnie’s most notable achievements is coordinating the first Branding Accelerator Brand Startup in Haiti, sponsored by the US Embassy. The program was designed to support and uplift women in small businesses, providing them with the skills, tools, and strategies needed to position their brands for optimal success in the local and global market, especially in a post- COVID-19 environment. The program has yielded impressive results, with many participants reporting significant business growth.
Winnie holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied Quantitative Economics from CTPEA and plans to pursue a master’s degree in Business, focusing on marketing. She firmly believes that technology can reduce social gaps and empower women in business. Her vision is to continue to promote women’s leadership and entrepreneurship in Haiti and beyond, using her skills and experience to inspire the next generation of female leaders.
Winnie was selected to be part of the 2023 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Faye Iosotaluno, Chief Operating Officer, Tinder
2023 Mentee, Food Enigineer and Founder, La Gelateria Tartufo
Jessica Vettorazzi, Food Engineer and founder of Tartufo Gelateria, a gelato and sorbet factory located in the city of Guatemala, has developed nontraditional flavors using products from smallholder farmers, in order to create a new way to sell them. She is committed to the prosperity and sustainable development of rural communities and the promotion of Guatemalan fruits around the world.
Jessica was selected to be part of the 2023 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Amy Shore, Chief Customer Officer, Nationwide
2023 Mentee, Ophthalmology Fellow (Lecturer), Mansoura University
Marwa Elkhattabi is an accomplished medical professional with a passion for continuous learning and development. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a commitment to excellence and a dedication to her patients, colleagues, and profession. Her extensive academic background, including a master’s degree and a medical doctorate, as well as her experience as a consultant of ophthalmology in Mansoura University Hospital, have equipped her with the skills and knowledge to excel in her field.
Beyond her clinical work, Marwa is a co-founder of “Medicure Company for Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices,” where she serves as a board member and medical advisor. Her active memberships in various local and international ophthalmological societies demonstrate her commitment to staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in her field.
Marwa’s pursuit of knowledge extends beyond her field of expertise, as she recognizes the importance of managerial leadership and communication skills. Her dedication to personal and professional development sets an example for those around her, and she is sure to make a positive impact wherever her career takes her.
Marwa was selected to be part of the 2023 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Jami McKeon, Chair, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
2023 Mentee, Founder & CEO, Mersal Foundation
Heba Rashed, is the founder and CEO of Mersal Foundation. She is an award winning executive with 20 years’ experience in project management and executive management. An internationally recognized local charity organization, with a track record of 10 years in the healthcare field, and special focus on patient privacy, and the principle of non-discrimination. Overseeing the operational and strategic management of the foundation’s 7 branches in Egypt serving more than 37 thousand patients from 42 nationalities, with a policy of accepting all patients including those with terminal conditions and low chance of recovery. She has made notable contributions in support of national healthcare services and collaboration with local institutions.
Mersal was founded and started its mission to support all the medical needs of unprivileged patients in 2015, to be one of the leader organization in the health sector in Egypt.
Heba has received a lot of recognition and has been awarded for her support and efforts in the development work from local and international organizations. “Friend of Immigrants” by the IOM in Egypt, for her and her organization role in supporting refugees and immigrants to receive their medical needs in Egypt in 2021. “Hero of Change” from the Sweden embassy in Egypt in 2021 and nominated as one of the most 21 influencing women in Egypt in 2021, by the Dutch Embassy in Egypt. Also, she was awarded from the Egyptian Ministry of Culture in the World Women Day festival. Misr El-Kheir awarded as “Leaders in the civil work” in 2022 and had been interviewed by local and international magazines and newspapers about her efforts and the organization work, lately by the Washington Post, for the role the organization had taken in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Heba was selected to be part of the 2023 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Nicole Phillips, Vice President, Member and Patient Engagement, CVS Health