President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia GrybauskaitÄ—
Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders

The Council

The Council of Women World Leaders (CWWL) is a network of current and former women prime ministers and presidents established in 1996 by Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, President of Iceland (1980-1996), Mary Robinson, President of Ireland (1990-1997) and Laura Liswood, Secretary General.

Through its networks, summits, ministerial initiative, partnerships, fellows, and programs, the Council promotes good governance and gender equality, and enhances the experience of democracy globally by increasing the number, effectiveness, and visibility of women who lead their countries. The Council’s goal is to use the symbolic importance of women leaders and the substantive experience of its members to support women’s full participation and representation in the political process at the highest levels, and future women leaders.

The Council currently unites 48 women leaders and is chaired by H.E. the President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite. The Council is hosted at the UN Foundation.


Programs and Initiatives


Spotlight on Leadership Series

The series of events provide a platform for the members of the Council to discuss their policy agendas as well as regional and global issues that are of critical importance to encouraging women’s leadership, advancing gender equality and improving the situation of women.


Business Case for Women Initiative

Business Case for Women Initiative creates a forum to discuss and promote the leading research and action on increasing the number of women leaders in business.


Graduate fellowship Programs

The Graduate Fellowship Programs established in 2001 provide an opportunity for graduate students to join the offices of women world leaders, observe the leadership in action and gain the first-hand experience of working with global women’s issues. Since its inception the Council has placed more than 170 fellows in offices around the globe.

The Madeleine K. Albright Women’s Voices at the Aspen Institute Series (2008 – 2011)

The Madeleine K. Albright Women’s Voices hosted global leaders and internationally acclaimed experts to discuss and debate policy issues, with an emphasis on the gender dimension of each issue, and suggested future actions for change