Vital Voices

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Vital Voices Global Partnership
FormationMarch 1, 1999; 24 years ago (1999-03-01)[1]
FoundersHillary Rodham Clinton,
Madeleine Albright,
Melanne Verveer,
Theresa Loar,
Donna McLarty,
Alyse Nelson,
Mary Daley Yerrick
Legal status501(c)(3) nonprofit organization[3]
Headquarters1509 16th Street NW Washington, D.C. 20036
Kate James[4]
Gerry Laybourne[4]
Alyse Nelson[5]
Revenue (2015)
Expenses (2015)$10,446,819[2]
Employees (2020)
Volunteers (2015)

Vital Voices Global Partnership is an American international, 501(c)(3),[3] non-profit, non-governmental organization that works with women leaders in the areas of economic empowerment, women's political participation, and human rights. The organization is headquartered in Washington, D.C.


The nonprofit Vital Voices Global Partnership grew out of the U.S. government's Vital Voices Democracy Initiative. The Vital Voices Democracy Initiative was established in 1997 by First Lady of the United States Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, following the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing to promote the advancement of women as a U.S. foreign policy goal.[6] The first Vital Voices Democracy Initiative conference was held in 1997 in Vienna, and hosted by U.S. Ambassador to Austria Swanee Hunt.[7]

The Vital Voices Democracy Initiative led to the creation of Vital Voices Global Partnership as a nonprofit non-governmental organization (NGO) in March 1999.

Former Hillary Clinton aide and chief of staff Melanne Verveer is co-founder of the global partnership and its board chair emeritus.[8] Other co-founders were Alyse Nelson (current President of Vital Voices Global Partnership),[9] Donna McLarty, Mary Yerrick, and Theresa Loar.[10] Loar was the founding President of the Vital Voices Global Partnership[11] and also served as Director of the Vital Voices Democracy Initiative at the U.S. Department of State, the Senior Coordinator for International Women's' Issues at the U.S. Department of State[12] and Director of the President's Interagency Council on Women.[13]

Besides Clinton, honorary chairs include current and former U.S. Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and Nancy Kassebaum Baker.[8]

Funding has come from a variety of sources, including individual donations; corporate sponsors such as ExxonMobil,[14] Standard Chartered Bank, and Bank of America; foundations such as the Avon Foundation for Women and Humanity United.[15]

In 2002 Vital Voices was asked by First Lady Laura Bush to drive the effort to supply school uniforms to the many girls returning to school for the first time following the U.S. led overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan.[16]

In May 2022, Vital Voices opened its new global headquarters at 1509 16th Street, NW, in Washington, D.C..[17]

Mission and programs[edit]

Vital Voices former offices in Washington, D.C.

Vital Voices' website states that its mission is "to identify, invest in and bring visibility to extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in their communities."[18]

Vital Voices works in Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean and the Middle East and North Africa, focusing on the business, political and civil society sectors. The organization regularly hosts international forums, capacity-building workshops, and training seminars for women.[19]

Vital Voices’ Human Rights program currently focuses on combating human trafficking and other forms of violence against women and girls.[20]

Global Leadership Awards[edit]

Vital Voices hosts the annual Global Leadership Awards, honoring women leaders working in the areas of human rights, economic empowerment, or political reform. The 2009 ceremony was described as that year's "Most Inspirational Event" in Washington, D.C., in an article in Washington Life Magazine.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Vital Voices Global Partnership, Inc." Division of Corporations. State of Delaware. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax". Vital Voices Global Partnership. Guidestar. December 31, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Vital Voices Global Partnership Inc". Exempt Organization Select Check. Internal Revenue Service. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Board of Directors Archived 2020-04-01 at the Wayback Machine". Vital Voices Global Partnership. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  5. ^ "Leadership". Vital Voices Global Partnership. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  6. ^ "History of Vital Voices". Vital Voices. Archived from the original on January 24, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
  7. ^ "First Lady Listens to Vital Voices". Washington Post. 2000-02-16. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
  8. ^ a b "Vital Voices - Board of Directors". Vital Voices. Archived from the original on 2007-09-04. Retrieved 2007-10-25.
  9. ^ "Alyse Nelson profile". The Hill. 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-07-17. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
  10. ^ America's Commitment Women 2000. The White House. 2000-01-05. ISBN 9781428961852. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
  11. ^ Purdum, Todd S. (2002-06-06). "Powell Report on Slave Trading". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
  12. ^ "Global Partnership for Women". Princeton University. 2003-10-17. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
  13. ^ "Trafficking in Women: International Cooperation". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 1997-09-29. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
  14. ^ Roberta Luxbacher (2007-01-18). "vital voices of Africa: pan-African summit for women and girls". ExxonMobil. Archived from the original on 2007-12-18. Retrieved 2007-10-25.
  15. ^ "Financials". Vital Voices. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
  16. ^ Kari Haskell (2002-03-31). "'A' for Afghan, 'S' for Schoolgirl". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-25.
  17. ^ Marsh, Michelle. "Vital Voices: Brand new global embassy for women opens in DC. Here's a sneak peek". WJLA. Retrieved 2022-05-24.
  18. ^ "About Vital Voices | Vital Voices". Archived from the original on 2010-03-04. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
  19. ^ "What We Do". Vital Voices. 2016-06-20. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
  20. ^ "Human Rights". Vital Voices. 2016-06-20. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
  21. ^ "The 2010 Social List: Year in Review". Washington Life. Retrieved 2010-03-06.

External links[edit]