Women’s Leadership and International Relations

Federiga Bindi discusses women's achievements in foreign policy and analyzes continued obstacles to women's leadership in international relations.

It is often said that if more women were at the helm of foreign policy, there would be more peace in the world. While women’s leadership in international relations is increasing, women involved in foreign policy still face greater challenges to climbing the seniority ladder when compared to other areas of government. Tellingly, despite the high-profile success of figures such as Jeane Kirkpatrick, Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, and Samantha Power, only 29% of the chiefs of mission at the State Department and of senior foreign positions at USAID are held by women.  This trend is matched in the European Union where only 29% of the staff at the European External Action Service headquarters are women and only 19% of the heads of EU Delegations are women. In this talk, Prof. Federiga Bindi discusses the factors that have impeded women’s ascent to foreign policy leadership positions and suggests some possible solutions to gender-based inequality in this important sector.

Prof. Federiga Bindi is Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies in Washington DC and Professor of Political Science at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, where she is the Founding Director of the Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence and holds the Jean Monnet Chair in European Political Integration.  Prior to Johns Hopkins, Prof. Bindi was a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution in 2008-2010. She holds holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the European University Institute (Florence).

Prof. Bindi has an extensive experience in government, both at the national and international levels. In 2012-14 Prof. Bindi directed the Italian Cultural Institute in Brussels, a public diplomacy and cultural diplomacy agency of the Italian government. In 2012, she was a Fellow in the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In 2008-2011 she served as Senior Advisor to the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and led the Italian efforts for civil reconstruction in Afghanistan by creating and she coordinates the Italian training programs for Afghani diplomats and civil servants. In 2010, Prof. Bindi founded the International Relations Department of Italian National School of Public Administration (SSPA) and served as the inaugural Director of International Training.

Prof. Bindi is the author of numerous publications, including Italy and the EU (2011);T he Frontiers of Europe: A Transatlantic Problem?, with Irina Angelescu (2011); The Foreign Policy of the European Union: Assessing Europe’s Role in the World, with Irina Angelescu (2nd Ed., 2012);  and Analyzing European Union Politics, with K. Eliassen (2012).


This event is presented by the Center for International Studies and cosponsored by the International House Global Voices Program, the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, the Committee on International Relations, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura – Chicago, and the Consulate General of Italy in Chicago.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance should contact the Office of Programs and External Relations in advance at 773-753-2274.

**This event is free and open to the public.  Advanced registration is NOT required to attend.



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