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U.S. Gender Programs and Democratic Reforms the Topics of October 1 PDAA Lunch Program

Update: Video of the talks at this event are now available.

U.S. gender programs, democratic reform and social change. PDAA lunch program, 1 October 2013. Part 1 on Vimeo.


U.S. gender programs, democratic reform and social change. PDAA lunch program, 1 October 2013. Part 2 on Vimeo.


Carla Koppell, Chief Strategy Officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development, and Sharon Kotok, who served as a Foreign Affairs Officer at the U.S. Department of State, discussed “U.S. gender programs fostering democratic reform and social change” at the Public Diplomacy Alumni Association luncheon program on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, at DACOR-Bacon House in Washington, D.C.

Koppell and Kotok highlighted steps the U.S. government is taking to promote women’s empowerment; and describe how elevating the role and status of women – in education, the economy, political life, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding – leads to more prosperous, inclusive, and secure societies.

Carla Koppell is the Chief Strategy Officer at USAID. From April 2011 to May 2013, she served as USAID’s Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment and a Senior Advisor to the USAID Administrator, where she spearheaded enhancement of U.S. development assistance efforts to serve and empower women around the world.  Previously, Koppell served as director of the Institute for Inclusive Security and the Washington, D.C. office of Hunt Alternatives Fund where she worked to ensure that peace processes around the world involve women and civil society.  Koppell has a masters degree from Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.

Sharon Kotok began working to advance the status of women in 1988, when she joined the Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO) at State Department, after 17 years in the Bureau of Administration. During her 20 years in IO, Kotok was an adviser and negotiator at United Nations meetings on advancing the status of women, promoting human rights, combating racism, improving the effectiveness of humanitarian assistance, and achieving food security.

Kotok retired in 2008, but returned to the State Department in 2009 in the Office of Global Women’s Issues to work on the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security.

This PDAA event took place on Tuesday, October 1, 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm, at the DACOR-Bacon House, 1801 F Street NW, Washington, D.C.

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