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International Education Week Speakers Series: ‘Conversations with Women Who Lead’

November 6, 2018

International Education Week at Rochester

Doris Gray, director of the Hillary Clinton Center for Women’s Empowerment at Al Akhawayn University in Morocco, and Monica Sharma, author of “Radical Transformational Leadership: Strategic Action for Change Agents,” are coming to the University for International Education Week (IEW) to discuss leadership and change, empowerment, equity, and access for education and healthcare worldwide. IEW, November 12-16, 2018, is an annual opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.

Doris Gray

“The legacies of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass thrive here, and for Rochester’s inaugural International Education Week Speakers Series two scholars will help us link and extend Rochester’s long tradition of social justice with our equally long tradition of international engagement,” said Jane Gatewood, vice provost for Global Engagement.

Gray is the director of The Hillary Clinton Center for Women’s Empowerment at Al Akhawayn University, which was established in 1999 and is the foremost English language research center on contemporary gender and women’s rights issues in North Africa. Before becoming an academic, Gray was a journalist and foreign correspondent for the German Press Agency in Johannesburg, South Africa, and in Nairobi, Kenya from where she covered events on 22 African countries. As a result, her scholarly work focuses on contemporary issues, in particular women and gender and social change. She earned her Ph.D. in French & Francophone Studies from Florida State University in 2005, and her research expertise lies in the areas of contemporary gender issues in North Africa, Islamic feminisms, migration, and transitional justice.

She is an associate professor of gender studies in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at AUI and author of three books: “Women and Social Change in North Africa: What counts as Revolutionary?” “Beyond Feminism and Islamism: Gender and Equality in North Africa;” and “Muslim Women on the Move: Moroccan Women and French Women of Moroccan Origin Speak Out.”

photo of Monica Sharma

Monica Sharma

Sharma, author of “Radical Transformational Leadership,” is trained as a physician and epidemiologist and has worked for the United Nations more than 20 years. Currently, she engages worldwide as an international expert and practitioner on leadership development for sustainable and equitable change, working with the UN, universities, institutions, governments, businesses, media, and civil society organizations. She is the Tata Chair Professor at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai. She created and uses a unique response model for simultaneously solving problems, shifting systems, and creating new patterns sourced from individual inner capacity and transformational leadership.

The keynote event will be Friday at 3:30 p.m., when Sharma and Gray will participate in a panel addressing issues of equity and access to health and education on a global scale. The panel will be moderated by Catherine Cerulli, director of the University’s Susan B. Anthony Center, and will be in Goergen Hall 101 & Munnerlyn Atrium. The themes to be explored are:

  • What are the drivers for and barriers to education and healthcare access globally?
  • What global regional differences in access and equity to both healthcare and education exist?
  • What are the effects of these differences?
  • What factors affect women’s empowerment globally?
  • What other imperatives inform or drive access to and equity for healthcare and education globally?

The International Education Week Speakers Series is organized by the Rochester Center for Community Leadership, the MK Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, International Student Engagement, and Global Engagement. All IEW events are free and open to the University community. For a full list see

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