Global Ambassadors Program: The Launch
At opening night of the third annual Women in the World Summit in New York on March 8, Bank of America President and CEO Brian Moynihan announced the Global Ambassadors Program, a Vital Voices and Bank of America partnership to provide mentorship opportunities for emerging women leaders. We couldn’t have been more excited to début the program on such a significant and truly global stage on International Women’s Day. The initiative is an innovative extension of what we know to be true: Women leaders aremultipliers.
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, was the first trip for the Global Ambassadors Program. Traveling with Vital Voices was an extraordinary group of accomplished women leaders:
- Maria Bello, actor and activist
- Florence Chenoweth, Minister of Agriculture for the Republic of Liberia
- Justine Metz, Marketing Executive for Global Wealth & Investment (GWIM) Marketing at Bank of America
- Connie Morella, former Ambassador to the OECD and former Member of Congress
- Mu Sochua, Member of Parliament and former Minister of Women Affairs for the Royal Government of Cambodia.
Over four days, the five Global Ambassadors began a mentorship with five Haitian women leaders, including:
- Rachel Coupaud, YWCA of Haiti Board Member, businesswoman and reconstruction expert
- Mimose Felix, agronomy engineer and head of the local NGO, Support Group for the Economic Rehabilitation of the Haitian Family
- Marie Annaise Fertil, lawyer, nurse and HIV/AIDS activist
- Marie Giselhaine Mompremier, women’s rights activist, nurse and law clerk
- Danielle Saint-Lôt, co-founder of the Vital Voices Haiti Chapter, Femmes en Démocratie, and former of Minister Commerce, Industry and Tourism
Haitian National Women’s Platform
The Haiti trip coincided with a working session of 100 Haitian women activists, policymakers, healthcare workers and educators, convened to finalize the first ever National Women’s Platform for Haiti. The five Global Ambassadors shared expertise on communications, outreach and advocacy — critical skills for enlisting the support of the community for a Platform that calls for greater representation of women in Haiti’s reconstruction and development efforts.
Because of the 2010 earthquake, too many of the Platform participants were raising children in addition to their own. When Connie Morella told her own touching story of raising her sister’s children, the women in the room nodded their heads. Connie was one of them. Florence Chenoweth, who works every day for a world free from hunger and has played a significant role in her country’s recovery, pushed agricultural diversity as a means to a sustainable future for Haiti. The Global Ambassadors’ contributions to the passionate and often emotional plenary sessions will sustain the Platform as it moves forward.