Global Ambassadors Reunion in Washington, D.C.

“The Global Ambassadors Program celebrates the power of relationships and finding joy in what you do.”

This thought was shared by Sbusisiwe (“Sbu”) Myeni at a reunion of Global Ambassador Program participants in June. Sbu, a mentee on the GAP South Africa program in 2015, was joined by her mentor Kathleen Matthews, as well as 24 Global Ambassadors and mentees from 8 of the 10 countries where GAP programs have been held to date. As the participants shared stories with each other on how their careers have progressed, leaders from Vital Voices and Bank of America reflected on the power of collective knowledge and the success of the Global Ambassadors Program to date, which has brought together 74 mentees from 40 countries for 10 programs that have included one-one-one mentoring, financial mentoring, and business and leadership skills training.

The Global Ambassadors Program celebrates the power of relationships and finding joy in what you do.

Sbusisiwe (“Sbu”) Myeni

Vital Voices shared video messages from mentees reflecting on the value of the program and the personal and professional growth they’ve experienced. Carol Fitzsimmons, a mentee who participated in the 2014 trip in Belfast, noted how the program taught her how to balance her professional goals as chief director of Young Enterprise Northern Ireland with her goals as a mother and wife. Philippa Thome, a mentee on the 2015 South Africa trip, shared her appreciation for mentor Cathy Steen, senior vice president at Belvedere Vodka, who is helping her shape her social enterprise to be a more effective business in order to achieve greater good in the community. With Cathy’s coaching, Philippa is achieving her goal to transform her company Gone Rural’s products from handcrafts to luxury items. Together, Kathleen and Sbu shared reflections on the rich benefits of the Global Ambassadors Program. Sbu, who co-founded her organization Imbeleko with her twin sister who later passed away, noted the program came at a crossroads in her life, and that Kathleen had helped her to recognize that her own life must take shape even as she continues to honor her sister’s memory. Kathleen, formerly chief communications officer at Marriott International, noted that the program offers all its participants an opportunity to think bigger and bolder about their visions and goals.

The gathering enabled the women leaders to share stories, renew relationships and forge new connections – and reinforced how the Global Ambassadors Program is advancing women’s economic empowerment around the world.

Jul 08, 2015


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