Program Schedule            

Location: University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, 3501 Sansom Street, Philadelphia PA

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm


1:30 pm – 1:45 pm

Welcome Remarks

1:45 pm – 3:00 pm 

Panel 1 -  Status-Check on WPS Initiatives in the United States

Implementation of Resolution 1325 initially faced significant hurdles in the United States, including Congressional concerns that implementation could allow the United Nations to infringe upon U.S. sovereignty. After years of Congressional obstinance, in 2011 President Obama took matters into his own hands and issued Executive Order 13595, which outlined a U.S. approach to the Resolution’s four pillars. An initial National Action Plan soon followed. After this comparatively late start, the United States has been playing catch-up to implement the Resolution’s goals. But in just a few short years, WPS has gained bipartisan support in Congress and beyond. Indeed, in 2017 President Trump signed the Women, Peace, and Security Act into law.Potential issues to be explored by this panel include the following: How does current U.S. government programming comport with both the WPS Act and the original aims of the U.S. National Action Plan? Has U.S. WPS policy remained consistent? What are key “action items” identified the WPS Act? How is the United States integrating WPS training into its military and civilian education and national security strategy? Do additional hurdles remain to U.S. implementation of WPS initiatives? Mindful that the next Presidential WPS strategy due in 2021, what are the United States’ strengths and weaknesses on WPS that should be addressed?

Moderator: Ms. Alexandra A.K. Meise, CERL Senior Fellow; Adjunct Professor of International Human Rights Law, Georgetown University Law 


Amb. Melanne Verveer, The first U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security

Ms. Jenna Ben-Yehuda, CEO and President of Truman National Security Project; Founder of the Women’s Foreign Policy Network

Professor Joan Johnson Freese, Professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College. Author of Women, Peace and Security: An Introduction

Ms. Angelic Young, Director of Training for Law Enforcement, Anti-Defamation League

Ms. Lyric Thompson, Director of Policy and Advocacy at the International Center for Research on Women

3:00 pm – 3:15 pm


3:15 pm – 4:30 pm

Panel 2 - International Efforts to Promote WPS Initiatives – What Now?

This panel will explore the successes and challenges of international efforts to further Resolution 1325’s goals. In recognition of the Resolution’s fifteenth anniversary milestone, the Security Council commissioned a comprehensive study of the its global best practices, action priorities, implementation challenges, and related emerging trends. The subsequent meeting that reviewed the study included the “best-attended open debate in the history of the Security Council.”[1] But the enthusiasm of that attendance belies ongoing difficulties in its implementation. For example, as of December 2018, only 40% of U.N. Member States had adopted a National Action Plan for implementation.Potential issues to be explored by this panel include the following: What accounts for the gap between purported government interest in WPS issues and formal adoption of government National Action Plans? Are the Resolution’s goals helping or hurting advancement of the rule of law internationally? Which states are making the most progress towards implementing the goals? Which states are lagging further behind? Are the 2015 U.N. Global Study recommendations being followed? What should the Security Council do to help promote the Resolution’s goals? How has foreign direct investment and foreign aid helped or hindered advancement of the goals?

Moderator: Dr. Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Associate Dean for International Affairs at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School 


Ms. Irene Khan, Director- General of the International Development Law Organization

Ms. Farahnaz Ispahani, Global Fellow at Wilson Center and Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan (2008-2012) 

Ms. Funmi Balogun, South Sudan Country Representative for U.N. Women

4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Keynote - Women Driving Change through Red Tape: Policymaking in the World’s Biggest Bureaucracy - Ms. Michèle Flournoy, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from February 2009 to February 2012
The Paul G. Haaga, Jr. Lecture in Law, Government, and Public Policy

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Reception