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Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, PhD, is United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. A longtime champion of women’s rights, she is affiliated with several organizations devoted to education, women’s empowerment and gender equality. From 2005 to 2008, she served as Deputy President of South Africa, overseeing programmes to combat poverty and bring the advantages of a growing economy to the poor, with a particular focus on women. Prior to this, she served as Minister of Minerals and Energy from 1999 to 2005 and Deputy Minister in the Department of Trade and Industry from 1996 to 1999. She was a Member of Parliament from 1994 to 1996 as part of South Africa’s first democratic government.
Master of Ceremonies
TV-News reporter and co-anchor for 25 years, Kathleen Matthews, is a persuasive communicator telling people’s stories and addressing complex issues. She was a progressive voice in the travel industry, as the Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer for Marriott International. She recently ran for the U.S. Congress with a passion and proven track record as an advocate for working women, families, LGBT equality, immigration reform and environmental sustainability.
WEConnect International is excited to announce its Founding Ambassadors: Janice Bryant Howroyd, Founder and CEO, ACT-1 Group; Margery Kraus, Founder and Executive Chairman, APCO Worldwide; and Mei Xu, Co-Founder, Co-Owner, and CEO, Pacific Trade International-Chesapeake Bay Candle.
WEConnect International Ambassadors are a very select group of internationally successful women business owners who devote time and talent to bolster WEConnect International’s commitment to opening doors for women business owners, economic empowerment and inclusive growth. WEConnect International Ambassadors share their wealth of business experience and offer a legacy of support that paves the way for other women to follow.
Congratulations to Shade Ladipo, Executive Director of WEConnect International in Nigeria, on making the 2016 AWP Network Power List. The AWP Network powers small business success for African entrepreneurs and encourages African women with powerful voices to create programs and policies that support the development and growth of African women and girls. Shade was named among 40 African women with "powerful, inspiring and influential voices."