Portrait of Mrs. Laura Bush

Mrs. Laura Bush, Former First Lady of the United States, is an Honorary Co-Chair of the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council. For decades, former First Lady Mrs. Laura Bush has championed key issues in the fields of education, health care, and human rights. She has traveled to more than seventy-six countries, including two historic solo trips to Afghanistan, and has launched groundbreaking education and healthcare programs in the U.S. and abroad.

The author of the bestselling memoir, Spoken From The Heart, and co-author of the children’s book, Our Great Big Backyard, Mrs. Bush founded both the Texas Book Festival and the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. Today, through the work of George W. Bush Institute, Mrs. Bush continues her work on global healthcare innovations, empowering women in emerging democracies, education reform, and supporting the men and women who have served in America’s military.

For more than a decade, Mrs. Bush has led efforts through the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council to protect the hard-earned rights of women in that country. In 2001, she delivered the President’s weekly radio address – a first for a First Lady – to direct international attention to the Taliban’s oppression of women. In 2016, Mrs. Bush penned the foreword for the Bush Institute’s book We Are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope. The book highlights the stories of extraordinarily resilient women and their struggles, successes, and resolve in present-day Afghanistan.

Born in Midland, Texas to Jenna and Harold Welch, Laura Bush holds a degree in education from Southern Methodist University and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Texas.

Portrait of Secretary Hillary Clinton

Secretary Hillary Clinton, Former Secretary of State and Former First Lady of the United States, has spent four decades in public service as an advocate, attorney, First Lady, U.S. Senator, U.S. Secretary of State, and presidential candidate. As First Lady of the United States, from 1993 to 2001, Mrs. Clinton championed health care for all Americans and led successful bipartisan efforts to improve the adoption and foster care systems, reduce teen pregnancy, and create the Children’s Health Insurance Program. She traveled to more than 80 countries standing up for human rights, democracy, and civil society. Her speech in Beijing in 1995 – where she declared that “human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights” – inspired women worldwide and helped galvanize a global movement for women’s rights and opportunities.

In 2000, Clinton made history as the first First Lady elected to the United States Senate, and the first woman elected to statewide office in New York. In 2007, she began her historic campaign for president, winning 18 million votes and becoming the first woman to ever win a presidential primary or caucus state. In the 2008 general election, Clinton campaigned for Barack Obama and Joe Biden, and in December, she was nominated by President-elect Obama to be Secretary of State. In her four years as America’s chief diplomat and the President’s principal foreign policy adviser, Clinton played a central role in restoring America’s standing in the world and strengthening its global leadership, visiting 112 countries over 4 years, restoring America’s standing in the world.

In 2016, Clinton made history again by becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major U.S. political party. As the Democratic candidate for president, she campaigned on a vision of America that is “stronger together” and an agenda to make our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top. She won the national popular vote, earning the support of nearly 66 million Americans. Hillary Rodham Clinton is the author of five best-selling books, including her groundbreaking book on children, It Takes A Village (1996); Dear Socks, Dear Buddy (1998); An Invitation to the White House (2000); her memoir, Living History (2003), and Hard Choices (2014). She and President Clinton reside in New York, have one daughter, Chelsea, and are the proud grandparents of Charlotte, Aidan, and Jasper.


Portrait of Dr. John DeGioia

Dr. John DeGioia, President of Georgetown University, has helped to define and strengthen Georgetown University as a premier institution for education and research. A Georgetown alumnus, Dr. DeGioia served as a senior administrator and as a faculty member in the Department of Philosophy before becoming Georgetown’s 48th president in 2001. As President, Dr. DeGioia is dedicated to deepening Georgetown’s tradition of academic excellence, its commitment to its Catholic and Jesuit identity, its engagement with the Washington, D.C. community, and its global mission. Under his leadership, Georgetown has become a leader in shaping the future landscape of higher education and has recently completed a $1.5 billion fund-raising campaign dedicated to enhancing the lifelong value of a Georgetown education.

Dr. DeGioia is a leading voice in addressing broader issues in education. He has previously served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education and as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Forum for the Future of Higher Education. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Business-Higher Education Forum. He currently serves as a member of the NCAA Board of Governors, and he previously served as Chair of the NCAA Board of Governors, the NCAA Division 1 Board of Directors, and the NCAA Division I Committee on Academics, and he has also served as a commissioner on the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.

Portrait of Dr. Geeta Gupta

Dr. Geeta Rao Gupta, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State, is the fourth Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State and the first woman of color to hold the position. She previously served as Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation and Senior Advisor to Co-impact, a global collaborative philanthropy for systems change. While at the U.N. Foundation, Gupta founded and served as Executive Director and later as Senior Advisor of the 3D Program for Girls and Women.

She has also chaired numerous boards including the Global Advisory Board of Women Lift Health, an initiative to promote women’s leadership in global health and served as a member of WHO’s Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee for Health Emergencies, the Board of UBS Optimus Foundation and the Advisory Board of Merck for Mothers. She also served as a Commissioner for the Lancet-SIGHT Commission on Health, Gender Equality and Peace.

Previously, Gupta served as Deputy Executive Director, Programmes at UNICEF and prior to that as a Senior Fellow at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Earlier, Gupta served as President of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) for more than a decade. In the past, Gupta also served on several boards, including the Global Partnership for Education; Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health; and the MAC AIDS Fund. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including InterAction’s Julia Taft Award for Outstanding Leadership, Harvard University’s Anne Roe Award and Washington Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business” Award. Dr. Gupta holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from Bangalore University and an M.Phil. and M.A. from the University of Delhi in India.


Portrait of Dr. Phyllis Magrab

Dr. Phyllis Magrab, Director of the Georgetown University Center for the Child and Human Development, is Vice Chair of the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council at Georgetown University. She is Professor of Pediatrics, a well-known pediatric psychologist, and director of the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development, a component of the Department of Pediatrics which brings together policy, research, and clinical practice for the betterment of children and their families, especially those with special needs. Dr. Magrab is also a consultant to UNESCO and holds a UNESCO Chair, and leads international efforts on early childhood, gender, and disability. There is an Endowed Chair in her name at Georgetown University, the Phyllis R. Magrab Chair, which is dedicated to the continuation of her work on behalf of vulnerable children.


Portrait of Dovie Holland

Dovie Holland, U.S. State Department, joined the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council as Executive Director in August 2023. She is a career Foreign Service Officer, who served as Deputy Economic Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia from 2020 to 2023, where she covered economic issues including macroeconomic analysis, the financial sector, terrorist finance, and sanctions.

Prior to Indonesia, Dovie worked in the Office of Multilateral Trade Affairs at the State Department in Washington, during which time she served as State’s representative to the World Customs Organization. She has also held the positions of Financial Economist in the Office of Monetary Affairs, Deputy Economic Counselor at U.S. Embassy Madrid, Political and Economic Section Chief at U.S. Embassy Antananarivo, and Economic Officer at U.S. Embassy La Paz and U.S. Consulate Guangzhou.

Before joining the State Department, Dovie worked for the microfinance organization, Accion International, to improve access to financial services for underserved communities. While in law school, she worked with clients on asylum cases at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic, and she maintains an interest in refugee issues.

Dovie holds a Master of Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School, a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School, and a Bachelor of Arts in Ethics, Politics, and Economics from Yale University.  She is married and has two daughters.


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