Melanne Verveer, 18 February 2013
More and more people around the world are recognizing that, as former Secretary Clinton has said, investing in women and girls is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do.
Today is my last day at the State Department. It has truly been a privilege to work with each of you as the United States’ first-ever Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues. I want to thank you for working with us these last four years to advance the rights and status of women around the world so that one day soon women and girls everywhere can fulfill their greatest potential.
More and more people around the world are recognizing that, as former Secretary Clinton has said, investing in women and girls is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. We are all seeing firsthand how progress in women's employment, health, and education can lead to greater economic growth and stronger societies. We are seeing how conflicts can be avoided and peace agreements can be made more sustainable when women’s voices are fully-integrated into peace negotiations and security efforts. And we are discovering that when women and men are equally empowered as political and social actors, governments can be more representative and often more effective.
As you know, President Obama last week signed a Presidential Memorandum to make permanent the position of Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues and to ensure that advancing the rights of women and girls remains central to U.S. diplomacy and development around the world. As always, the staff of the Office of Global Women’s Issues will continue to carry on this vital work. And I know that my successor will be fortunate to be able to work with all of you in the years to come.
Though I will be leaving the State Department, I will not be leaving these issues. I will be serving as the director of the new Institute for Women, Peace and Security at Georgetown University, and I very much hope there will be opportunities to work together in the future.