Pursuing Women’s Economic Empowerment in a Destabilized World
September 26th, 2023 12:00PM -1:00PM
From the board room to small-scale agriculture, when women have access to resources and support to fully participate in the economy, outcomes improve for everyone. The barriers to gender equity in the workplace and in overall economic life, however, are numerous. In partnership with the International Labor Organization (ILO), we’ll explore the impacts of conflict, political unrest, climate change, and economic downturns on women's abilities to enter and thrive in the workforce and ways governments and societies can promote women's economic empowerment for the benefit of all.
On September 26, join the World Affairs Council as we welcome Kevin Cassidy, U.S. Director and Representative to Bretton Woods and Multilateral Organizations for the ILO; and Greta Bull, the Director of Women’s Economic Empowerment at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, for a discussion on fostering women's economic progress in a world full of challenges.
About the Speakers
Kevin Cassidy, with nearly four decades of international development experience, is currently the Director and Representative to the Bretton Woods, Multilateral Organizations for the International Labour Organization (ILO) Office for the United States.
Prior to this appointment, Mr. Cassidy served as the Senior Communications and Economic and Social Affairs Officer in the ILO Office for the United Nations. This work focused on introducing policy language on key development issues to Member States into the resolutions and outcomes documents of the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee and the Commissions of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Mr. Cassidy was also the ILO’s Chief Technical Adviser for the ILO’s Global Campaign on Promoting Fundamental Rights at Work. During that time he developed numerous communication initiatives in over 40 countries such as interactive radio and television programmes as well as training journalists on communicating locally on decent work, child labour, forced labour, discrimination and the freedom of association.
Prior to joining the ILO, Mr. Cassidy worked for the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF-UK) in London as the Operations, Communications and Partnership Director. His work with the AKF-UK focused on rural and community-based development in Central and South Asia.
Mr. Cassidy has worked in several UN offices during his career including the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) on the issue of landmines, the Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA), the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Ban Ki-moon), the UN Department of Public Information and the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS), New York.
Mr. Cassidy holds a Masters’ of Economic and Political Development from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Greta Bull oversees a portfolio of investments in gender data and evidence, women’s economic collectives, and livelihoods development for poor women.
Before joining the foundation, Greta worked for 15 years at the World Bank Group, where she served for six years as the CEO of CGAP, a think tank focusing on financial services for the poor. Earlier, she was a manager for Financial Institutions Advisory Services at the International Finance Corporation in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, working primarily on issues related to access to finance for the poor.
Greta has more than 20 years of experience in development finance, focusing on small and medium enterprise finance, microfinance, digital financial services, payments, and livelihoods. She has worked with financial services providers, development partners, and policymakers in Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia. Her clients and partners have included banks, microfinance institutions, mobile network operators, financial technology companies, and major technology firms.
Greta has a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and an undergraduate degree in international studies from the University of Washington.
About the Moderator
Jen Butte-Dahl, a senior director with APCO Impact based in Seattle, is an accomplished architect of initiatives, organizations, and alliances that tackle critical global challenges and span both continents and sectoral boundaries.
A people and results-focused leader, she has a track record of transforming ideas into action, navigating complexity, creating structure from scratch, building coalitions, and achieving real results in bureaucratic institutions as well as in fast-paced entrepreneurial environments. Two decades of international assignments have placed Ms. Butte-Dahl throughout the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the Americas working within and between the worlds of business, government, politics, philanthropy, academia and international and non-governmental organizations.
Early in her career, Ms. Butte-Dahl set up a nonprofit focused on entrepreneurship in post-apartheid South Africa and later opened a sales support office for a large technology company in the United Arab Emirates. During her career with the U.S. Government, she worked in the U.S. Department of State, on Capitol Hill, and across the Interagency as a senior advisor to U.S government officials and high-level presidential envoys. More recently, Ms. Butte-Dahl founded a mid-career graduate program at the University of Washington, launched a multi-million dollar public-private initiative that harnesses digital platforms and global connectivity to build meaningful relationships between young people in the United States, Middle East and North Africa, and led the policy education team on a presidential exploratory effort.
Ms. Butte-Dahl serves on the advisory council of the Stevens Initiative and as an affiliate faculty member at the University of Washington’s Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Management from Purdue University and a master’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.
In Partnership with International Labour Organization and World Affairs Councils of America
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