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 17th year, the program includes 351 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
2022 Mentee, Founder & CEO, Legal Design Turkey
Ebru Metin is the founder and CEO of the award-winning social enterprise, Legal Design Turkey, and director of Bilgi Legal Design Lab at Istanbul Bilgi University. Prior to this, she held several positions in various organisations located in Turkey, United Kingdom and Spain. She is acting as European Legal Technology Association’s Ambassador for Turkey and as one of the Law Circle Leads at Turkish Women International Network. She has been given the “Advanced Practitioner” title at World Commerce and Contracting in 2020. In 2022 she became one of the 5 honorees as part of Influential Women in Legal Tech initiative by International Legal Technology Association. She is also awarded as one of the Top 100 Women in Social Enterprise by EU funded Euclid Network. She has pursued her masters degree in International Financial Law at King’s College London as a Jean Monnet Scholar in 2014.
Ebru was selected to be part of the 2022 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
Neila Ben Zina
2022 Mentee, Founder and CEO, Wimbeetech
Neila Benzina was CEO Middle East & Africa, Business & Decision. After graduating from the National Institute of Telecommunications of Paris (TelecomSud Paris), she has worked for 3 years in France, as a consultant in the field of Business Intelligence, Customer Experience and Digital with major French groups such as than Saint-Gobain, Renault and LVMH. She was President of Business & Decision for the MENA region until the group was acquired by Orange Telecommunication. Following the acquisition of Business & Decision in 2018, she left the group and co-founded Wimbee, a consulting and engineering company in the field of digital and data analysis. She developed the activities to become a leader in the MENA region addressing both local and international customers in a co-localised mode.
In July 2019, she co-founded the Holberton School Tunis, a computer computer science school founded in Silicon Valley.
In 2015, she was decorated as a Knight of the National Order of Merit. She was selected among the 50 most powerful women in Africa by Jeune Afrique in 2017.
She was President of the Tunisian Association for Communication & Technology, Founding Member of Amena (Development & Microfinance Association), Vice-President of AmCham, in charge of information and communication technologies and Vice-President in charge of the Communication of Réseau Entreprendre.
Neila was selected to be part of the 2022 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Angela Yochem, EVP, Chief Transformation & Digital Officer, Novant Health
2022 Mentee, Attorney, Head of the Johannesburg Law Clinic, Lawyers for Human Rights
Jessica Lawrence is an attorney at Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) and is currently the head of LHR’s Johannesburg Law Clinic. In that role, Jessica manages client needs and the daily operations of the law clinic, including developing and implementing policies, procedures, and standards to guide the clinic operations. She further manages a team of lawyers who provide legal advice and representation to asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants to ensure due process within South Africa’s refugee and immigration systems. She is further responsible for conducting strategic advocacy and impact litigation to address systemic challenges with South Africa’s asylum system as well as combat xenophobia. Prior to heading the Johannesburg Law Clinic, Jessica was the head of LHR’s Labour Unit where she initiated strategic litigation to develop legal protection for precarious workers. She further worked in LHR’s Environmental Rights Programme, where she focused on environmental justice for marginalised communities and Business and Human Rights.
Jessica holds an honours degree in law and a master’s degree in human rights law. With more than 8 years of experience within the civil society sector, she hopes to continue making a positive contribution towards achieving social justice and is committed to changing the landscape of refugee protection, environmental justice, and gender equality.
Jessica was selected to be part of the 2022 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Jami McKeon, Chair, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
2022 Mentee, CEO, Business Leadership South Africa
Busisiwe Mavuso is a Chartered Certified Accountant, CCA, qualified with Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA –UK) and holds a Master’s Degree in Business Leadership, a Postgraduate Qualification in Management from GIBS and a B. Compt in Accounting from the University of South Africa (UNISA).
She is the Chief Executive Officer at Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) and a NonExecutive Director on the Board of ESKOM; Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) and Resultant Finance (a PIC investee company) and serves on the Human Resources Development Council (HRDC), the Advisory Committee of the Local Government Ethical Leadership Initiative (LGELI), The Alcohol Industry Advisory Council (TAIAC) and the Social Justice Council. Furthermore, Busi is a Visiting Adjunct Professor at the Wits Business School (WBS).
Busi is a member of the YPO (Young President’s Organisation), the IoDSA and ACCA.
She was awarded the ‘2020 Influencer of Influencers Award’ by the Africa Brand Summit in October 2020 and was named second runner up for ‘Businessperson of the Year’ by Daily Maverick in 2021.
Busisiwe was selected to be part of the 2022 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Karen Mercer, Senior Vice President and Treasurer, AARP
Natasa Pavlovic Bujas
2022 Mentee, Founder & Managing Director, Blumen Group
Natasa is a curious explorer and an inexhaustible performer, passionate about behavioral science and behavioral economics. She graduated from the University of Belgrade in chemistry, but soon left the academic career to found Blumen group, one of the first agencies for integrated communications and business development in Serbia. She stands for the female touch in business and society development. More than 25+ years of experience, as well as her expertise in communications and business consulting earned her 25+ national and international awards, including the “IPRA Golden World Award” and the “IPRA Grand Prize”. She also received the special award for personal achievements in public relations by the PR Society of Serbia, and many others. Natasa is IPRA board member, SAE board member, ICF member, business coach, mentor, lecturer and conference speaker.
She shortly describes herself as: Creative thinker. Problem solver. Business coach. Communication Expert. Mom non-stop.
Natasa was selected to be part of the 2022 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentors: Ellyn Shook, Chief Leadership & Human Resources Officer, Accenture; Jill Kramer, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Accenture
2022 Mentee, Co-Founder and Chairwoman, International Robotics Academy
From belief in students’ potentials to innovate and invent solutions, Lama Sha’sha’a, co-founded the International Robotics Academy – IRA in 2014, a private institution that specializes in STEM Education. On her mission towards realizing blended, differentiated, and inclusive education in the Middle East, Lama, along with her team, scaled IRA from a rented classroom in North Amman to a recognized center of innovation, creativity, and alternative Education in the MENA region. Lama holds her master’s degree in International Trade with a focus on Business Development from the Jordan Institute of Diplomacy.
Lama was selected to be part of the 2022 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Jacqueline (Jaqui) Nevils, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, L3Harris Technologies
2022 Mentee, CEO, Lambu Subu Food and Beverages
Tage Rita is an agri-entrepreneur and the Founder-Director of Naara Aaba Kiwi Winery in Arunachal Pradesh. She is India’s first brewer of kiwi wine. She became an entrepreneur after working as an agricultural engineer for 17 years in a government job. On International Women’s Day 2022 she was awarded the prestigious Nari Shakti Puraskar by the Honorable President of India for her outstanding work in promoting women’s entrepreneurship and local product internationally. Tage is an Academy of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) 2020 alumna.
Rita was selected to be part of the 2022 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Jessica Spence, President of Brands, Beam Suntory
2022 Mentee, Founder & CEO, FemTech Partners
Neha Mehta is a social entrepreneur pushing the envelope to create equal opportunity for all by deploying innovative technologies and FinTech solutions. Neha is a lawyer and has worked with financial regulators to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals and amplify the voice of women in Tech. Her volunteering work has democratized financial services and bridged the financial, digital, and gender divide in the ASEAN and South Asia region. Neha has over 15 years of experience across hedge funds, private equity, venture capital, ClimateTech, and FinTech. She mentors young girls interested in pursuing a career in STEM and opens doors for women in FinTech. Neha is an alumnus of Kings College London and has attended Chevening Financial Services(UK) and Austrian Leadership fellowship programs. Neha has won many accolades for her work in FinTech and Climate Change.
Neha was selected to be part of the 2022 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Karen Orosco, President, Global Consumer Tax and Delivery Service, H&R Block
2022 Mentee, Director, Confederation of Indian Industry
Amrita Gupta is a Director, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). She has over nineteen years of experience in business facilitation, marketing and communication, advertising and brand strategy across various sectors of industry such as education and financial markets. Her current work responsibilities include strategic development of projects and initiatives pertaining to women empowerment, industry academia engagement, international investment and trade, manufacturing excellence and social development. She is also responsible for liasoning with government departments, business leaders and creating relevant networking platforms for strategic stakeholder engagement.
Amrita was selected to be part of the 2022 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Bethany Baran, Vice President – Community Asset and Medical Cost Savings Integration, CVS Health
2022 Mentee, Independent Consultant/Board Member
Former CEO of Grupo Solid, market leader of Paints and Coatings in Central America and Panamá, position held for 11 years.
In 2016 Yara decided to retire and became board member of Grupo Solid and in charge of M&A and geographical expansion. She is also consultant and strategic advisor for other companies in the region in corporate governance, strategic planning, turnkey projects; and independent board member of companies such as Ingenio Santa Ana, Grupo Solid, Milésimo, Grupo Nabla and Wakami.
In 2019 she was candidate to the vice presidency of Guatemala during the presidential elections.
Yara has been honoured by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as Young Global Leader in 2011 and honoured as Distinguished Professional of the year by INCAE Business School in 2013.
Member of the Central America Leadership Initiative – CALI / Aspen Global Network. Board Member of FUNDESA (2016 – 2018). President and Mentor of Vital Voices´ Guatemalan Chapter (2015 y 2016). Board Member of the Guatemalan Board of INCAE Business School (2014 – 2019). Industrial Engineering Director in Universidad Rafael Landivar (2004 – 2005).
She was also appointed as one of the most powerful and admired women in Central America by the most recognized business magazines of the area, as Forbes Central America, Summa, Estrategia y Negocios, among others, for several consecutive years.
Yara has an MBA from INCAE, an Industrial Engineer degree from Universidad Rafael Landivar and additional education in Harvard Kennedy School and in Stanford Graduate School of Business. She is single, Guatemalan and 45 years old.
Yara was selected to be part of the 2022 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Tiffany Monroe, Chief People and Culture Officer, H&R Block
Emi-Beth Aku Quantson
2022 Mentee, Chief Innovator, Kawa Moka Limited
Emi-Beth is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kawa Moka, a coffee producing and packaging company. She works with rural farmers, predominantly women, to source premium quality fine robusta (variety of coffee). She is also challenging the African narrative by adding value (processing and roasting of coffee) locally, thereby creating jobs and empowering women along the value chain. Emi-Beth graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Cum Laude) in Business Administration from Ashesi University. She was recognized in 2019 by the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for her contribution in creating jobs and industry through Kawa Moka. A large part of her work involves transferring skills and knowledge through training and purchasing of the beloved crop. Waste material from the production process is utilized in the production of a Kawa Moka skin care line which includes handmade cappuccino soap, coffee detox scrub, coffee infused body oil and coffee body butter. Emi-Beth graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Cum Laude) in Business Administration from Ashesi University. While at Ashesi she started a campus cafe that became a popular hangout for students. After graduation Emi-Beth ran the cafe successfully for two years, while working full time with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and obtaining her Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) qualification. In six years at PwC, Emi-Beth rose rapidly up the corporate ladder in Ghana and Kenya. In 2015 she took the decision to become an entrepreneurship with Kawa Moka. Emi-Beth was recognized in 2019 by the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for her contribution in creating jobs and industry through Kawa Moka.
Emi-Beth was selected to be part of the 2022 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Faye Iosotaluno, Chief Strategy Officer, Match Group
Marwa Hussein Marei
2022 Mentee, Founder & CEO, EduPal
Marwa Marei brings over 20 years of professional experience in the high-tech sector, innovation and business consulting with leadership roles spanning multinational organizations, midsize companies and startups across the Middle East and Africa where she continued to spearhead the companies’ growth.
During her tenure, she has consistently built high performing teams, developed strong ecosystems, driven change and delivered solid growth, positioning her perfectly to support the rapidly growing opportunities in the MENA region. Marwa is an impact-driven technologist, venture builder, entrepreneur and World Bank advisor for women entrepreneurs’ program passionate about women empowerment by helping women fulfilling and unlock their potential and turning challenges into opportunities through mentoring and coaching of women entrepreneurs. Marwa is a Founder of an innovative platforms supporting the women community in Egypt, Middle East and Africa.
Marwa was selected to be part of the 2022 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Heather Combs, CEO, StraighterLine, Inc.
2022 Mentee, SVP - Executive Director, Ghabbour Foundation for Development
Aleya Serageldin is the SVP – Executive Director of Ghabbour Foundation for Development, an NGO specialized in the development of vocational education in Egypt by bridging the gap between industry needs and quality of vocational education, applying international qualification standards. The Foundation currently counts under its umbrella 5 vocational schools and training centers in 3 governorates: Cairo, Alexandria and Gharbeya, with more than 850 students enrolled and over 100 staff members.
Prior to her work in Ghabbour Foundation, Aleya has worked for over 12 years in the education and NGO sector. As Director of the Office of Institutional Advancement at Nile University, she has successfully led Fundraising, Grants Management, Marketing and PR Functions of the University.
At the onset of her career, Aleya has worked in the field of Architecture, specializing in Urban Planning and Design. She holds a BSC. of Architecture Engineering from Ain Shams University as well as an MBA from the American University in Cairo and was chosen as a member of the Higher Education Reform Experts (HERE) Egyptian Group (A group established under the Erasmus + program by nomination from the Ministry of Higher Education).
Aleya was selected to be part of the 2022 Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Mary Petryszyn, Corporate Vice President and President, Defense Systems, Northrop Grumman Corporation
2022 Mentee, Executive Director, Fondo Acción
Natalia Arango is a biologist and ecologist and has 30 years of experience working in strategic planning, development of new business areas, consolidating partnerships with national and regional authorities, multilateral organizations, international donors, corporations and NGOs and fundraising for conservation initiatives. Natalia has worked in Fondo Acción since 2010; between 2014 and 2018 she was its Technical Director and since October 2018 she has been the Executive Director, leading a team of approximately 120 staff members and working with approximately 24 donors.
Natalia was selected to be part of the 2022 FORTUNE-U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Kelley Morrell, Head of Asset Management, Blackstone
2022 Mentee, Owner and Manager, La Huerta
Govinda Rivera is the founder and manager of La Huerta, the first chain of natural products stores in Bolivia. She has experience in project development, sales, and customer service. Her current responsibilities include marketing strategies development, structuring of new business units, and performance evaluation of her stores. She has a bachelor’s degree in International Business from the Bolivian Catholic University.
Govinda was selected to be part of the 2022 Fortune – U.S. Department of State Global Women’ s Mentoring Program.
Mentor: Andrea Wainer, Executive Vice President, Rapid and Molecular Diagnostics, Abbott