Institute for Women, Peace and Security Launched
Commemorative Ceremony in Lohrfink Marks Start of National Institute
Published: Friday, February 22, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 22, 2013 19:02
The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, which will analyze women’s contributions to peace-building and train future leaders in the process, officially launched Wednesday with a commemorative ceremony in Lohrfink Auditorium.
The launch ceremony began with a video featuring former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who announced the institute’s formation in December 2011. President John J. DeGioia, School of Foreign Service Dean Carol Lancaster and recently appointed director of the center, former Clinton aide and ambassador-at-large Melanne Verveer (FLL ’66, G ’69) also spoke.
“For years, many of us have tried to show the world that women are not just victims of war — they are agents of peace,” Clinton said in the video. “I am delighted by the announcement of [DeGioia] and [Lancaster] about Georgetown’s leadership. There couldn’t be a better institution to lead the way in the academic work that is necessary around these issues.”
Following the video, Lancaster said that since 2011, the institute has formed an online research repository, filmed oral histories, consulted the university and begun determining areas of critical research. The institute will also launch programs later this year, providing research opportunities for students and faculty..
“There is no one on this planet better suited to that role than [Verveer],” Lancaster said. “We hope that this institute will become a hub for knowledge and innovation, a place to hear the voices and experiences of women in peacemaking and to conduct and sponsor evidence-based policy relevant research … focusing on the most pressing and relevant questions.”
DeGioia said that the institute will further the university’s dedication to global social justice.
“We are here to launch a new institute, a new manifestation of our effort to be ever truer to our university’s mission,” DeGioia said. “We seek new ways to advance peace and prosperity in our world.”
In her speech, Verveer said that she was happy to give back to her alma mater.
“It’s wonderful for me return back here to Georgetown in this new role after having left but a few decades ago with a couple of degrees in hand to now come back in hopes that I can pay back in some way,” Verveer said.
Verveer then introduced the members of the panel discussion, Guatemala’s first female Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz, Burmese political activist Zin Mar Aung and Equality for Peace and Democracy in Afghanistan Executive Director Nargis Nehan.
“It is women like these who are an important part of the news stories that we read about and hear about every day, but we often don’t read about and hear about the fact that they are an important part of the solution to many of the challenges their countries confront,” Verveer said.
Audience members said the ceremony was an inspirational and educational experience. “It’s always really inspiring to see women leaders speaking up on these issues,” Claire Charamnac (SFS ’11) said. “I walked away from the panel really inspired and armed with more knowledge about what women are dealing with around the world.”