Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Recognizes ICF International-Managed Saudi Arabia Women's Forum as "Forward Thinking and Effective"
Clinton Recognizes U.S.-Saudi Women's Forum on Entrepreneurship During Town Hall at Dar Al-Hekma College
Fairfax, Virginia, February 19, 2010 -
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton praised an ICF International-managed women's forum during her trip this week to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Speaking at a Town Hall meeting at Dar Al-Hekma College, Clinton addressed more than 500 individuals, including female students of the U.S.-Saudi Women's Forum on Social Entrepreneurship, a project managed by ICF International.
"Some of you recently participated in the U.S.-Saudi Women's Forum on social entrepreneurship," Clinton said. "The result is a program that has given 100 young Saudi women training in business and leadership, and the tools to begin your own enterprises in your communities. And this is just one example of the kind of forward thinking and effective ways that women around the world can join together through such educational exchanges and opportunities to look for ways to make contributions in our own communities."
"Secretary Clinton’s recognition of this important project highlights the impact ICF's Strategic Communications and Marketing Division is having in the international arena. Based on our experience working with women, youth, government, and civic organizations in the Middle East and North Africa region, we look forward to continuing to support the Middle East Partnership Initiative in creating effective civic engagement programs," said Kris Tremaine, ICF senior vice president.
In April 2009, ICF International launched an innovative pilot program on women's social entrepreneurship in Jeddah. Funded through a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of State, Office of the Middle East Partnership Initiative, the project aims to teach college-age women in Saudi Arabia how to launch social enterprises by helping them build their business and leadership skills in order to solve social problems. To implement this program, ICF formed strategic partnerships with Dar Al-Hekma College, a private all-girls college in Jeddah; Babson College's Center for Women's Leadership, Babson Park, Mass.; and Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley, Mass.
One year after the launch of the program, young women in Jeddah have learned about social entrepreneurship, and have been taught how to turn their ideas into sustainable action. Social ventures have been developed as a result of the program. These programs range from a recycling company to an organization helping speech and hearing impaired women become self-reliant and independent.
One student said of the program, "The U.S.-Saudi Women's Forum on Social Entrepreneurship turned a group of college students into those very individuals who strive to set the community's standard of living. The Forum has equipped my colleagues and I with guidance, consultation, resources, and most importantly, that arm around the shoulder that keeps one motivated and ready to overcome all odds."
The Forum will host its final module, the "Social Entrepreneurship Awards," at Dar Al-Hekma College from March 2-3, 2010.
This program has produced strong female student leaders, three of whom will represent Saudi Arabia at President Obama's Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship in Washington, D.C., in April 2010. Secretary Clinton acknowledged the selection of these students from Dar Al-Hekma College in her speech.
For more information on the U.S.-Saudi Women’s Forum on Social Entrepreneurship, visit www.us-saudiwomensforum.blogspot.com.
About the Middle East Partnership Initiative
The U.S. Department of State, Office of the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), has brought the resources, experience, and the determination of the United States to bear in supporting this partnership. Since its founding in 2002, MEPI has set in motion more than 450 programs in 17 countries of the Middle East and in the Palestinian territories. Its partners include local and international non-governmental organizations, businesses, universities, international institutions, and, in some cases, the governments of the region themselves. For more information about the Middle East Partnership Initiative, please visit www.mepi.state.gov.
About ICF International
ICF International (NASDAQ:ICFI) partners with government and commercial clients to deliver professional services and technology solutions in the energy and climate change; environment and infrastructure; health, human services, and social programs; and homeland security and defense markets. The firm combines passion for its work with industry expertise and innovative analytics to produce compelling results throughout the entire program life cycle, from research and analysis through implementation and improvement. Since 1969, ICF has been serving government at all levels, major corporations, and multilateral institutions. More than 3,500 employees serve these clients worldwide. ICF’s Web site is www.icfi.com.
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