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Office of International Women's Issues Hosts Luncheon for Delegation of Leading Russian Businesswomen

Office of International Women's Issues
October 29, 2007

Senior Coordinator for International Women's Issues Andrea Bottner hosted a working luncheon on October 29 for a delegation of ten high powered Russian businesswomen who were visiting the U.S. as part of the commemorations of the 200th anniversary of U.S.-Russian diplomatic relations. Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia James Collins, American businesswomen Karen Kerrigan and Yvonne Boice, and Department of State officials engaged the Russian visitors in a lively discussion of the obstacles facing women in business, the needs of the Russian businesswomen as they grow their businesses, and corporate social responsibility.

The luncheon was part of a week-long program which included meetings with senior officials from the Departments of State, Commerce and Labor, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Discussions centered on U.S.- Russian political and economic relations, women in business and the labor force, WTO accession, and international trade issues. The Russian women also met with women leaders in business and civil society, and took part in a reception in their honor hosted by the Washington Group International.

From Washington, the businesswomen went on to Baltimore for meetings with the Maryland Secretary for Economic Development and U.S. business officials. From there they went to New York City where they met with American women business leaders.

The visit of these impressive businesswomen from Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kazan, virtually all of whom have created or run major business enterprises, was sponsored by the Department's Bureau for Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) under the Voluntary Visitors Program, and represented a cooperative effort by ECA, the Secretary's Policy and Planning Office, the Bureau for European and Eurasian Affairs, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and the Office of the Senior Coordinator for International Women's Issues (G/IWI).

By all indications the Russian visitors found their program extremely rewarding in that it gave them all a better understanding of U.S. Government policies, how business is conducted in the United States, the potential for growth in U.S.-Russia trade, and how our respective businesswomen can work together to grow their companies.

Russian businesswomen pose with Andrea Bottner, Senior Coordinator for International Womens Issues [center]; Ambassador Steve Steiner [left]; Lucy Weber, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs [far right]; and Connie Phlipot, Policy Planning staff [top row, 2nd from right].


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