Secretary Clinton, the United States Secretary of State, giving remarks at Wellesly College. Secretary Clinton is promoting the equality of women, worldwide. This speech is inspiring, motivating and indicative of ‘what is possible’. I am a big advocate for equality for women. Thank you, Madame Secretary, thank you. This is truly a great example of Public Diplomacy.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Good morning. Oh, good morning. It is wonderful for me to have this opportunity to be here with all of you. I want to thank President Bottomly for her introduction and for understanding that the education of women does not stop at the campus’s edge or even a country’s border. This event, being held for the first time here at Wellesley, would not have been possible without the commitment and leadership of all the so-called sister schools, including Barnard; Bryn Mawr; Smith; Mount Holyoke; Scripps College, who’s president Lori Bettison-Varga is here today, and we just expect this to continue growing and going from strength to strength.
There are many longtime friends here in the audience and distinguished leaders, young and young at heart, from around the world, but I am particularly pleased that you just had a chance to hear from my friend and predecessor both at Wellesley and in the State Department. I’ve had apparently a habit of following in Madeleine’s footsteps, and I have to say it always does work out for the best. So thank you so much, Madeleine.
I also want to thank some of the people who have made this extraordinary idea become a reality: Rangita de Silva-de Alwis, who is the director of the 2012 Women in Public Service project; Ambassador Melanne Verveer, our ambassador-at-large for global women’s interests, who you will hear from later in the program (applause); Farah Pandith, who is my special representative to Muslim communities around the world, a graduate of Smith College and a strong advocate for this program (applause); and Kavita Ramdas, chair of the institute planning committee. I want to thank not only all whom I have mentioned, but all the speakers and mentors who are contributing their time and expertise throughout this first Women in Public Service Institute. It’s an extraordinary collection of talent and wisdom, and I envy all of you who will be given the opportunity to sit on every session and listen to every panel.
And most of all, I want to recognize the 50 young women who have traveled here from around the world, not only to participate, but to share their own experiences, to give us some sense of the challenges and opportunities that they see before them, to acquire some new skills and some new friends. And many come from countries in transition across the Middle East and North Africa. And you are among the young people transforming a region and inspiring the world.
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