Swanee Hunt – USA

She is one of the 1000 women proposed fort the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “Full democracy requires the full participation of women. Your voices are vital. The word ‘vital’ means necessary for life. A democracy, to be fully alive, must include all its citizens.”

Swanee Hunt - USA.jpg

Swanee Hunt – USA

She works for the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard University.

See her personal website.

Read the article on Afghanistans women as leaders.

Swanee Hunt is helping to shape policies that affect women worldwide. As Ambassador in Vienna, she launched the Vital Voices Democracy Initiative and Conference, which united 320 international women leaders in business, law, and politics. The conference inspired Vital Voices of Northern Ireland, the Americas, the Baltics, Nordics, Russia, and others. Today, Vital Voices is a global partnership supporting women’s progress in building democracies, strong economies, and peace. Swanee Hunt has used her influence to connect with policymakers and dignitaries around the world.

Programs include Support for Afghan women, Political Participation, Business and Entrepreneurship, and Anti-Trafficking and Human Rights. She has used her influence to connect with policymakers and dignitaries around the world.When Ambassador Hunt introduced the Vital Voices Conference in Vienna in 1997, she shared experiences growing up as the daughter of a wealthy Texas businessman. When she was in her 20s, she toured one of her family’s new hotels. “The managers had named each of seven suites for leaders from that city’s history.

I noticed the names were all of men. ‘Where are the women?’ I asked. ‘Women? We didn’t find any women leaders in the city’s history. There weren’t any.’ I was told. Somehow, I didn’t believe that. So I hired my own researcher and she discovered that while the men 150 years ago were building slaughterhouses and punching holes in the ground, the women had founded hospitals, started schools and set up the post office. You see, it matters who writes the history books.”

Born with a family fortune and educated with a B.A. in philosophy, a masters both in psychology and religion, and a doctorate in theology, Swanee has lived a life of privilege. Nonetheless, she has spent her life advocating for the disenfranchised. As Ambassador in Vienna, she extended her influence to the neighboring Balkan states, hosting negotiations and symposia in pursuit of peace. She organized projects yielding books for Sarajevo’s destroyed National Library, trees for the parks denuded during the siege, and six tons of musical instruments for ravaged Bosnian schools.

She worked with Bosnian women and religious leaders as they united across former war lines and recounted her experiences in her book, “This Was Not Our War: Bosnian Women Reclaiming the Peace.”Following her ambassadorship, she began her current role as director of the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

At the school, Swanee created Women Waging Peace, a revolutionary program to connect women leaders in conflict areas to one another and to policymakers worldwide. The program is now part of Hunt Alternatives, Swanee’s own foundation, which also manages ARTWorks for Kids, and Civic Engagement. Women Waging Peace maintains a network of more than 100 women leaders, researches and publishes case-studies on women’s roles in conflict through its Policy Commission, and makes the case to policymakers through the annual colloquium and policy meetings.

In April 2004 Grace hosted nine highly influential Israeli and Palestinian women at a consultation advancing women in formal and informal peace processes. Here, the women met with Harvard faculty experts on communications, trust, and negotiations; identified barriers to their influence in peace processes; and devised strategies to overcome identified barriers. The success of the conference led to follow-up meetings in Israel, with the assistance of the U.S. Embassy’s American Center in Jerusalem. (Read this site of the 1000peacewomen).

The Women and Public Policy Program of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government was founded with the internal goal of incorporating an understanding of gender perspectives on public policy into the education of future and current leaders trained at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the external goal of contributing to the canon of scholarship on women and public policy. Its mission, program areas, events, newsletter, fellowships, and research are detailed within this site. The Women and Public Policy Program is led by Director Ambassador Swanee Hunt and Faculty Chair Professor Iris Bohnet.

A few recent articles by Swanee Hunt:

Where quotas work” (on Iraq elections);

Women are key to UN reforms;

A small shower in the desert;

Following wise women to peace.


Profile at Harvard University;

The Initiative for Inclusive Security;

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