Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Image caption: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Credit: Kaveh Sardari for Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins SAIS hosts inaugural Women's International Leadership Summit

Featured speakers include author and activist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Geeta Rao Gupta, U.S. ambassador-at-large for global women's issues

One day after the dedication celebration at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center in Washington, D.C., the building was the site of the inaugural SAIS Women Lead Women's International Leadership Summit on Friday, Oct. 20, a gathering of visionary women leaders from around the world that explored the power of authentic leadership in addressing complex global challenges in diplomacy, international finance, international development, and global security.

Speakers included:

  • Award-winning author and activist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who earned a master's degree from Johns Hopkins' Writing Seminars in 2004
  • Geeta Rao Gupta, ambassador-at-large for the Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues at the U.S. Department of State
  • Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative Secretariat Wendy Teleki, who received an MA in International Economics from JHU's School of Advanced International Studies
  • Gargee Ghosh, president of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Global Policy & Advocacy division
  • Kathleen Pike, former vice chair of the Johns Hopkins SAIS Advisory Board who now serves as president and CEO of workplace mental health nonprofit One Mind At Work

Johns Hopkins University President Ron Daniels and SAIS Dean James Steinberg also delivered brief remarks.

Support for the event came from the university's Nexus Awards program, an initiative to fund convening, research, and teaching at the Hopkins Bloomberg Center. Chiedo Nwankwor, vice dean for education and academic affairs at SAIS and director of SAIS Women Lead, submitted the proposal that led to a Nexus Award for the summit.

"Mounting evidence in recent years—from the COVID-19 pandemic to the headwinds of global economic recession, the climate crisis, and ripple effects of major wars—all illustrate the imperative of women's leadership inclusion toward building a stable and progressive world," Nwankwor said.

A group of 7 people pose for a photo

Image caption: Women's International Leadership Summit participants (from left to right) Kathleen Pike, Wendy Teleki, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Chiedo Nwankwor, Geeta Rao Gupta, Narges Bajoghli, and James Steinberg.

Image credit: Kaveh Sardari for Johns Hopkins University

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