For Immediate Release
April 4, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC — The Women’s Foreign Policy Group (WFPG), an educational, non-partisan organization committed to promoting women’s leadership and amplifying their voices in international affairs, will mark the start of a new era of leadership at a reception on April 25, 2018.

Named to lead WFPG are Co-Chairs, Ambassador Catherine M. Russell, who served as Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues from August 2013 to January 2017; and Lois Romano, who had a distinguished career as a political journalist at The Washington Post, Newsweek and POLITICO, and now serves as a strategic advisor at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University.

Also being recognized at the members’ reception is Kim Kahnhauser Freeman, WFPG’s new Executive Director. Before assuming this role, Kim served as Associate Director of organization where she oversaw global issues programming, membership outreach, and mentoring activities. Prior to joining WFPG in 2006, Kim completed a Fulbright teaching fellowship in Tirol, Austria.

“No country can succeed if women are relegated to second class citizenship. Women are key to expanding economies, making societies more representative, stopping violence against women, and reducing conflict. The Women’s Foreign Policy Group explores critical foreign policy challenges and highlights the importance of women diplomats here and around the world. I am honored to co-chair this important organization,” Ambassador Russell said.

“With foreign policy issues dominating the headlines and democracies imperilled, it’s critically important that women have a seat at the table,” Ms. Romano said. “The Women’s Foreign Policy Group understands this and is committed to informing and mentoring tomorrow’s leaders through in-depth programing and networking. The WFPG brings together participants from across disciplines and links women domestically and internationally.”

Ms. Freeman asserted that, “It has never been more important for women to stay engaged and to ensure that their voices are heard on key foreign policy decisions. It is inspiring to work with such a fantastic group of women leaders committed to mentoring and to sponsoring aspiring leaders.”

As Ambassador-at-Large, Russell led the U.S. Department of State’s efforts to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls around the world. Prior to assuming this position, she served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to Second Lady Jill Biden focusing on military families and higher education. During her tenure at the White House, Russell coordinated the development of the Administration's strategy to prevent and respond to gender-based violence globally. Russell previously served as a Senior Advisor to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on international women's issues. During the Clinton Administration, she served as Associate Deputy Attorney General. Russell also served as Staff Director of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senior Counsel to Senator Patrick Leahy. She received a BA in Philosophy from Boston College and a JD from George Washington University.

Romano was most recently the editor of Washington Post Live, the news organization's editorial events platform. In early 2015, she returned to the Post where she had a long career as a political correspondent and profile writer. Previously, she was a senior political reporter and the first editorial director of POLITICO events. She had been instrumental in shaping live editorial programming and content for the organization's dozens of issue-driven events. During her first career at the Post, she covered seven presidential races, served as a columnist, and was a regional correspondent based in Tulsa. Romano serves on the board and on executive committee of the International Women's Research Center. She holds a Masters degree in international relations from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.

Freeman’s scholastic background includes research on Washington, DC’s public housing for Georgetown University's Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service; and managing operations for the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs. She graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with a degree in International Politics, during which time she studied at the University of Vienna, the Warsaw School of Economics, and the University of Silesia in Cieszyn, Poland. She is a founding member of Georgetown University’s Students Stopping Trafficking of People (SSTOP). In 2011, she was selected to participate in the Young Turkey/Young America fellowship program sponsored by the State Department and the US Embassy in Turkey and in 2006, she completed a Fulbright teaching fellowship in Tirol, Austria.

ABOUT WFPG: WFPG was founded in 1995 to promote the leadership and influence of women in global affairs. The non-profit organization believes that providing the next generation of women leaders with the tools to succeed is the key to promoting women’s voices in foreign affairs. The organization provides a professional forum for women to connect with one another. Our roundtable discussions enable young women—both those in the work force and those still in school—to interact with leaders and role models in the foreign policy community.

Contact: Taylor Scott, [email protected]