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Thunderbird's work with Afghan women recognized

Thunderbird School of Global Management’s Project Artemis has been selected as one of 10 higher education programs to be presented at the U.S. Summit for Global Citizen Diplomacy in Washington, D.C., in November.

Read about past Artemis participants or watch a video about one participant’s struggle to do business in war-torn Afghanistan.

The U.S. Summit for Global Citizen Diplomacy is a national meeting presented by the USCCD in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.  The Summit is designed to broaden the momentum generated from the work of the USCCD as a national resource base and network for Americans to be engaged as citizen diplomats, and two major leadership forums focused on the revival of citizen diplomacy as a critical component of U.S. public diplomacy and foreign policy strategy. 

Ninety organizations will be recognized in nine categories: business, community-based organizations, development assistance, global health, higher education, international cultural engagement, international voluntary service, K-12 education, and youth service.

The presentations are intended to outline commitments for future action and expand existing initiatives to offer new and innovative programs to encourage more engagement of Americans in global citizen diplomacy. Portfolio summaries of the ten selected top programs from each of the nine sectors will be available at the Summit for all participants, including potential funders.

Others in attendance will include citizen diplomacy organization leaders and volunteers, CEO’s and corporate CSR leaders, foundations and philanthropic organizations, congressional and administration leaders, youth leaders, and international citizen diplomacy partners and guests.

“These organizations represent 90 of the best new and innovative initiatives to expand the outreach and engagement of American citizens with their counterparts around the world,” said Ann Schodde, president and CEO of the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy (USCCD). “These top program organizations truly represent the future of U.S. citizen diplomacy.”

Project Artemis is a unique business-skills training program that aims to build the entrepreneurial skills of promising Afghan businesswomen. A total of 44 women from Afghanistan have already participated in the three previous sessions of Project Artemis.  Included in the project are business and entrepreneurial decision-making training, mentorship by women entrepreneurs, and site visits to U.S. businesses. 
Thunderbird’s Artemis is joined in the top 10 by similar initiatives launched by University of San Francisco, University of California, Irivine, and Florida A&M University. A complete listing of the selected top programs can be found on theUSCCD website.

Project Artemis will welcome 20 fellows to Thunderbird’s Glendale campus Monday, October 18 through Friday, October 29. The women in this year’s class come from seven different provinces in Afghanistan, and range in age from 21 to 49 years old.  Their businesses include construction, carpentry, electrical engineering, silk processing, clothing and/or handicraft businesses, schools, an internet cafe for women, and several specializing in food products such as jams and chutney.

The Summit will be the first such meeting since President Eisenhower’s People-to-People conference on the same subject 54 years ago, and will serve as the launch for a “Decade of Citizen Diplomacy” with a goal to double the number of American citizen diplomats by 2020.

If you have any questions about Project Artemis or would be interested in speaking with participants that will be here in October, please contact Wynona Heim, project manager for Project Artemis, at