Last Thursday, the U.S. Department of State launched TechWomen, a ground-breaking program that will link women from the Middle East and North Africa working in technology with their counterparts in Silicon Valley.
This program will identify 38 women who are emerging leaders in technical fields from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the West Bank and Gaza, and bring them to the United States for a five-week, project-based mentoring program at leading technology companies.
Secretary Clinton first announced the creation of TechWomen at the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship in April. Championing two distinct but equally key themes of President Obama's June 2009 Cairo speech, TechWomen both supports development in the field of technology and empowers women. By facilitating the sharing of experience and knowledge as well as creating peer networks, TechWomen fosters professional development for women and creates sustainable relationships between U.S. and foreign participants.
TechWomen is a public-private partnership, with several leading U.S. technology companies committed to participating in the program, including Google, Facebook, Cisco, Microsoft, IBM, Yahoo!, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, Catapult Design, and BASIC (Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium), a consortium of more than 20 institutions including Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, SRI International, Agilent Technologies, Symantec, and Sandia National Laboratories. We encourage additional technology companies to join in sharing their experience and knowledge with these emerging leaders.
We look forward to welcoming the first cadre of TechWomen this spring. This program is the most recent example of how 21st century tools and the private sector can amplify exchanges that advance President Obama and Secretary Clinton's priorities.
If you are interested in learning more about this effort, please visit www.techwomen.org.