UN Women and Global Partnerships Forum Honor Women Leaders

New York, September 20, 2017: UN Women and the Global Partnerships Forum (GPF) hosted a High-Level Event during the 72st session of the United Nations General Assembly, to celebrate Women Leaders in public office for their pioneering work in achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment around the globe, and their impact on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The VIP event recognized the contributions of Her Excellency Ms. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, Her Excellency Ms. Margot Wallström, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, Her Excellency Ms. Retno L. P. Marsudi, and Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of General Women’s Union of UAE.

Recipients were presented the Agent of Change Award, which was created by renowned artist Spar Street for the Global Partnerships Forum, to recognize Champions of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, in support of UN Women.

The event was emceed by the amazing Ms. Rachel Cohen Gerrol, Co-Founder and Global Curator of Nexus.  The Deputy Executive Director and UN Assistant Secretary General of UN Women, Mrs. Lakshmi Puri, delivered the keynote address, highlighting the achievements of the awardees for their exceptional leadership in addressing the gender imbalances in society “Our awardees today are eminent women who have broken glass ceilings, have pushed the frontiers of women’s leadership and have paved the path for other women and girls to follow in their footsteps and become future leaders.”

Her Excellency Madame Margot Wallström, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, said “by highlighting the linkage between women, peace, and security, we can insure that the international community consider the important role women can play in peace building and conflict prevention.”

Remarks by H.E. Madame Retno Lestari Priansari Marsudi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia

Remarks by H.E. Ms. Tone Skogen, Deputy Foreign Minister of Norway, on behalf of the Prime Minister of Norway

The Agent of Change award for Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak  was accepted by H.E. Ms. Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations and H.E. Ms. Noura Khalifa Al Suwaidi, Director-General, General Women's Union of the UAE.  Ambassador Nusseibeh thanked UN Women and Global Partnerships Forum for recognizing UAE’s dedication to gender equality and empowering women, stating “The UAE prides itself on providing women and men with equal opportunities to excel across all sectors, and to contribute to our nation’s development and progress.  Her Highness’ mission has been to empower women throughout society.”  She also recognized the leadership role of Her Excellency Dr. Mouza Al Shehhi, Director of the UN Women Liaison Office, who will be instrumental in pushing this agenda forward.

H.E. Ms. Rym Al Falasy - Secretary-General, Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, UAE, conveyed a message of appreciation for the special honor bestowed on Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak.  She highlighted the UAE’s commitment to gender issues, including its pledge to increase the number of senior women in public service.

Ms. Betty Liu, Founder and CEO of Radiate and Bloomberg TV anchor, shared her vision on how women can become influential change-makers, by benefitting from concrete leadership guidance.

Ms. Yue-Sai Kan, Emmy-winning TV host and producer, as well as a cosmetic entrepreneur, inspired women worldwide to be appreciative of their body image. 

Mrs. Puri stated: “I would like to start by thanking our hosts Mr. Amir Dossal, President of the Global Partnership Forum and his wife Tas Dossal, for bringing us together to celebrate a constellation of women leaders from around the world in this award ceremony which aims at giving a big push for women to be granted equal and full voice, participation and leadership everywhere and in every aspect and for making the case that we need the essential role of women of courage, ingenuity, vision and achievement to realize humanity's noblest and vital projects of sustainable development and peace and security.”

Mr. Amir Dossal, President and CEO, Global Partnerships Forum, emphasized the importance of this unique platform to recognize global leaders, and thanked the participants, which included leaders from government, business, civil society, philanthropy, and change-makers, for their innovative work to empower women.

 Special guests included: Dr. Ann Aerts - Head, Novartis Foundation; Mr. Sandeep Ahuja - Executive Director, VLCC; Dr. Moza Al Shehhi - Director, UN Women Office in Abu Dhabi; Ms. Georgia Arnold - Executive Director and Founder, MTV Staying Alive Foundation; Mr. Tomaczek Bednarek - Producer, Songwriter and Singer, Cinestage; Ms. Yvonne Bendinger-Rothschild - Executive Director, European American Chamber of Commerce New York; Mr. Ray Bouderau – Producer; Ms. Jordan Bouderau; Ms. Susannah Carrier - Managing Director, Silver Lake Partners; Ms. Roxanne Mankin Cason - Founder and Chair of the Board of Directors, Sustainable Waste Resources International; Mr. Amreesh Chandra - Group President, GEMS Education; Ms. Rita Cosby – Media Personality; Mr. Jonathan Collins - Managing Director, Global Emerging Markets; Mr. Peter Daitch - Director, HJ Promise Foundation; Ms. Sara Dillon - Chief Research Officer, General Atlantic; Ms. Maura Donlan - Director, Center for Strategic Philanthropy, Milken Institute; Ms. Nicole Drapkin - Managing Director, Owl Rock Capital; Ms. Deborah Farrington - Managing Partner and Co-Founder, StarVest Partners; Ms. Margaret Flynn - Executive Director, Senior Banker, J.P. Morgan Private Bank; Ms. Anne Frank-Shapiro - Chief Compliance Officer, Pegasus Capital Advisors; Ms. Denise Gallucci - Chief Executive Officer, GEMS Americas; Ms. Pam Hendrickson - COO & Vice Chairman, Strategic Initiatives, The Riverside Company; Ms. Maha Harqoos - Diplomat, Permanent Mission of the UAE to the UN; Mr. Anuj Khanna - CEO, Lagoon Capital Partners; Ms. Ankur Kumar - Director of Programs, McKinsey Academy; Ms.  Francine LeFrak - Founder, Same Sky; Ms. Vandana Luthra - Founder, VLCC Healthcare; Ms. Kate Maloney - Senior Advisor, United Nations Global Account Team, KPMG LLP; Dr. Ali Mazzara - Director of Academic Affairs, SUNY Levin Institute; Ms. Joanna Meringoff, The Meringoff Family Foundation; Ms. Lisa Myers - Partner, Buyout Fund, Catterton; Ms. Lorry Newhouse - Fashion Designer; Mr. Mark Newhouse - Executive Vice President, Advance Publications; Mr.  Matt Rich - CEO, Planet PR; Mrs. Shelley Rubin - Co-Founder, Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; Ms. Cassandra Seidenfeld – Actress; Mr. Rutherford Seydel - Partner, Davis, Pickren, Seydel, and Sneed; Ms. Jean Shafiroff - Co-Founder, Martin D. and Jean Shafiroff Foundation; Ms. Borg Skotnes - Policy Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway; Mr. Robert Smith - Founder, ICV; Ms. Vikki Spruill - President & CEO, Council on Foundations; H.E. Princess Mabel van Oranje - Board Chair, Girls Not Brides; Ms. Susana Viejo Gonzalez – Director, Lagoon Advisory Partners

Mr. Dossal further stated, “We thank our good friend, Spar Street for especially producing such a beautiful design, and more beautiful is what it stands for:

The Agent of Change is that part of us that deeply wants to make a difference in this world, to uplift our own lives in a way that inspires others to recognize their greatness and do wonderful things. It is the allowing of heaven to move through us unimpeded, so that we can be of service and leave the world in a better place.”


The Global Partnerships Forum is very grateful for the support provided by UN Women, especially Ms. Patricia Cortes, Special Assistant to the UN Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director, UN Women, for her efficient coordination.

Special acknowledgement to Dr. Ali Mazzara for her untiring support in overseeing the event.

A special note of appreciation to Ms. Rebekah Nelson and the GPF team, Ms. Adama N’diaye, Ms. Mor Ben-Kalifa, Mr. Arjun Ravi, Ms. Anaya Barmecha, and Ms. Danielle Piccoli, in managing the logistics.

To view photos of the event, please visit:















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