President Barack Obama appointed Melanne Verveer as Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues. The President’s decision to create a position of Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues is unprecedented, and reflects the elevated importance of these issues to the President and his entire Administration. In her capacity as director of the Department of State’s new office on Global Women’s Issues, Ambassador Verveer coordinates foreign policy issues and activities relating to the political, economic and social advancement of women around the world. She mobilizes concrete support for women’s rights and political and economic empowerment through initiatives and programs designed to increase women’s and girls’ access to education and health care, to combat violence against women and girls in all its forms, and to ensure that women's rights are fully integrated with human rights in the development of U.S. foreign policy.
Ambassador Verveer most recently served as Chair and Co-CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international nonprofit she co-founded. Vital Voices invests in emerging women leaders and works to expand women’s roles in generating economic opportunity, promoting political participation, and safeguarding human rights. Prior to her work with Vital Voices, Ambassador Verveer served as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady in the Clinton Administration and was chief assistant to then-First Lady Hillary Clinton in all her wide-ranging international activities to advance women’s rights and further social development, democracy and peace-building initiatives. She also led the effort to establish the President’s Interagency Council on Women. Prior to her time in the White House, Ambassador Verveer served in a number of leadership roles in public policy organizations and as legislative staff.
Ambassador Verveer has a B.A. and M.A. from Georgetown University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Women’s Foreign Policy Group, and numerous other organizations.