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 You are in: Bureaus/Offices Reporting Directly to the Secretary > Policy Planning Staff > Secretary's Open Forum > Proceedings > 2001 - 2002

Women in Conflict and Peace

Alan Lang, Chairman, Open Forum
Opening Remarks
Washington, DC
June 19, 2002

Ambassador Steinberg, Ms. Shoemaker, Ms. Davis, Ms. Sherjan, Captain Manning, distinguished visitors, colleagues, and friends.  Good afternoon, I’m Alan Lang, Chairman of the Secretary’s Open Forum.  On behalf of the Open Forum’s Distinguished Lecture Series, I am delighted to welcome you to this conversation on Women in Conflict and Peace.

In his remarks on International Women’s Day, Secretary Powell noted that “if women are prime victims of conflict in many parts of the world they are also keys to a society’s recovery…We are making assistance to women’s organizations and ministries of women’s affairs part of our post-conflict strategy of promoting civil society, representative government and sound economic policies.”

Today the Open Forum is honored to have a distinguished panel of experts to explore such issues as: 

  • United States Government support for the advancement of women in conflict and post-conflict situations;
  • The role of women in rebuilding Afghanistan;
  • Women and martyrdom; and
  • The role of women in the military

 And I know that they are looking forward to hearing your views on these topics.

At this point, I want to acknowledge a special person and the three co-sponsors of today’s program:

Anita Botti has provided effective leadership on such issues as human trafficking and women’s economic and political participation.  I want to thank Ms. Botti for introducing me to Joyce Davis of Knight Ridder Newspapers.  After a meeting with Ms. Davis and Ms. Botti over lunch at the National Press Club, the three of us formulated plans for this series.  Ms. Davis and I applaud Anita’s vision and leadership and we thank her for helping to set this train in motion.

I am grateful to the Women’s Foreign Policy Group for co-sponsoring this event.  We are very pleased to have Patricia Ellis, WFPG’s Executive Director, and several of her colleagues here today.  Will you all stand for a moment?  Thank you all for coming.  Let’s give them a round of applause.

The Office of International Women’s Issues (G/IWI) here at the U.S. Department of State also played an important role in arranging today’s program.  April Palmerlee, Senior Coordinator for International Women’s Issues wanted to be here today.  She is on official travel.  I am pleased to extend warm greetings to all of you on her behalf.

At this point, I would like to welcome our distinguished panel.

Donald K. Steinberg was named Principal Deputy Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. Department of State in April of last year.  In this role, Ambassador Steinberg helps formulate and coordinate long-term policies to achieve U.S. foreign policy objectives, participates in policy planning talks with foreign governments, and assists speech-writing for the Secretary of State.  Since September 2001, he has focused on building and maintaining the international coalition in the fight against global terrorism and on the security, political, and reconstruction needs for a post-Taliban Afghanistan.  Ambassador Steinberg previously served as the Special Representative of the President and Secretary of State for Global Humanitarian Demining (1998-2001), Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration (2000-01), Special Coordinator for Haiti (1999-2001), U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Angola (1995-98); Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council (1994-95), and Deputy White House Press Secretary (1993-94).  In February 2002, Secretary of State Colin Powell presented Ambassador Steinberg the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award.  He has also received the inaugural State Department Robert C. Frasure Award for promoting international peace (1996), the Presidential Meritorious Honor Award (1994), four State  Department Superior Honor Awards, and Columbia University’s Pulitzer Fellowship and Hough Award for excellence in print.  In 2000, he addressed the United Nations General Assembly and delivered the keynote address at the commencement at Reed College, his alma mater.  A career senior Foreign Service officer with the rank of Minister-Counselor, he has had diplomatic postings in South Africa, Brazil, Central African Republic, Malaysia, and Mauritius.  In 1989-90, he was senior policy advisor for foreign affairs and defense to then-House Majority Leader Richard A. Gephardt.  He was also the first director of the House of Representatives Task Force on Trade and Competitiveness in 1989, and acting Chief Textile Negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in 1988-89.  He was a congressional fellow with the American Political Science Association in 1986-87.  Ambassador Steinberg received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Reed College in Portland, Oregon and master’s degrees in political economy from the University of Toronto and journalism from Columbia University. 

Jolynn Shoemaker is the Regional Advisor for Southern and East Africa in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Office of Country Reports and Asylum Affairs, at the Department of State.  Ms. Shoemaker is currently on a short-term assignment working as an attorney in the General Counsel’s Office for International Affairs at the Department’s of Defense.  She is the author of “Women and Wars Within States:  Internal Conflict, Women’s Rights and International Security,” published in the U.K. – based journal Civil Wars in January 2002 and “In War and Peace:  Women and Conflict Prevention,” scheduled for publication next month.  Ms. Shoemaker has a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a M.A. in National Security Studies, with honors and distinction, from Georgetown University.  Thank you for joining us today.

Captain Lory Manning, USN (retired) served in the Navy for over 25 years and is now Director of the Women’s Research & Education Institute.  While in the Navy, she served in several headquarters tours and also overseas in Iceland, Panama, United Kingdom and as Commanding Officer, Naval Telecommunications Station, Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory.  She holds a BA in History from Trinity College, Washington DC, an MALS from Georgetown University and certificates from the College of Command and Staff, US Navy War College and the Post-Command Course of the US Navy War College.  She is a member of the Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs Advisory Committee on Women Veterans.

Hassina Sherjan Samad is Executive Director of Afghanistan Libre/President and Vice President of Public Affairs, Afghanistan Information Center.  She has extensive experience as a journalist and activist involved in Afghan affairs.  Her recent activities include:

  • (April 2001)  Covering Afghan opposition leader Ahmad Sha Massoud’s trip to France.
  • (July 2002)  Traveling to Dushanbe, Tajikistan, to participate in an Afghan women’s rights conference and conducting local surveys of developmental conditions, especially those related to access to education.  Met and interviewed the leader of United Front (Northern Alliance) opposition to the Taliban, Ahmad Sha Massoud and several foreign POW’s in UF custody.
  • (May 1999)  Traveling to Taliban-controlled Kabul, Afghanistan, to assess the education system.  Although she was unable to enlist Taliban cooperation, five clandestine classes for girls were opened.  These programs remain privately funded.

(1996-1999)  Providing educational and humanitarian aid to the Afghan refugees in Pakistan and inside Afghanistan.


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