A fellowship to support women's leadership in public life

In partnership with Freeport-McMoRan

From national parliaments to local councils, women are underrepresented in policy-making. The global average of women’s representation in national parliaments is 24 percent. Without a seat at the table, women don’t have a say in crafting legislation, negotiating peace talks or shaping agendas for future reform. Women who are able to become part of that 24 percent often lack access to opportunities, leadership positions and networks of women counterparts.

With the support of Freeport-McMoRan, Vital Voices is launching a signature fellowship, VVEngage, through which we aim to increase the capacity, decision-making power, and effectiveness of women leaders in public life, shifting culture around women’s public leadership and moving towards equality in public representation globally. VVEngage is a one-year fellowship that provides technical skills and leadership development to the most outstanding women leaders who are policy makers and policy influencers across the globe.

Through this fellowship, Vital Voices will support women’s public leadership by enhancing advocacy, leadership, and governance skills with training by world-renowned experts, such as professors from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. The fellowship will also connect participants to a global network of peers and mentors, such as former women heads of state through the Council of Women World Leaders, with whom they can brainstorm and share challenges and best practices.

The customized VVEngage curriculum includes inspiring and rigorous online courses, as well as two in-person gatherings. Fellows will first come together in person at the Leadership Gathering, a three-day training focused on political leadership, communications, and networking. Several months later, Fellows will re-convene for the Skills Workshop, a five-day intensive training on negotiations and personal narrative led by professors from the Harvard Kennedy School. Throughout the rest of the year, Fellows will participate in virtual training on other modules, such as governance and policy. The curriculum is designed to help women address the many challenges to political participation that they face and hone their skills as leaders in making and influencing policy globally.


Vital Voices is thrilled to announce our inaugural VVEngage Cohort: 22 incredible women influencing and making policy from 17 different countries from around the world. 


Gilda Margarita Alonzo Argueta

Deputy Chairwoman, TODOS Political Party


Angellica Aribam

Former National General Secretary, National Students’ Union of India


Dr. Agnes Apea Atim

Chairperson, Local Government Finance Commission of Uganda


Violeta Bermúdez

Member, Board of Directors, Movimiento Manuela Ramos


Paula Bisiau

Undersecretary of Sustainable and Safe Mobility, Government of the City of Buenos Aires


Ama Pomaa Boateng

Member of Parliament, Ghana


Bergeline Domou

General Secretary of International Relations and the Diaspora, Cameroon People’s Party


Brigitte Dzogbenuku

Executive Director, Mentoring Women Ghana


Vera Futorjanski

Innovation Advisor, Former Dubai Government

United Arab Emirates

Caroline Gibu

Executive Director, Ciudadanos al Día


Yasmin Helal

Founder and Executive Director, Educate Me


Adriana Hinojosa Céspedes

Director, Women’s Institute, Municipality of Naucalpan


Kirthi Jayakumar

Founder and CEO, Red Elephant Foundation


Pamela Kuwali

National Director, Civil Society Agriculture Network


Carolina Lizárraga

Member, National Executive Committee, Partido Morado


Brooke López

Founder, Lone Star Parity Project

United States

Majala Mlagui

Deputy Governor, County Government of Taita Taveta


Jessica Musila

Executive Director, Mzalendo Trust


Susanne Newton

Deputy Mayor, City of Darebin


Joelle Abou Farhat Rizkallah

Founder and Managing Director, JO Branding Advertising; Co-Founder, Women In Front


Jennyfer Salvo

Communications and Innovation Advisor; Founder and Managing Director, Softpower Connections Consulting


Trias Setiawati

Leader, Economy and Workforce Divison, ‘Aisyiyah Muhammadiyah


For more information, please contact VVEngage@vitalvoices.org.