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Gwen K. Young

Director of the Global Women's Leadership Initiative and Women in Public Service Project, The Wilson Center

Gwen K. Young is the Director of the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative and Women in Public Service Project at the Wilson Center. Ms. Young brings to her position over 20 years of experience in international public service.

As a public policy professional, Ms. Young has advocated for and published on the role girls and women play in political, social and economic development. She has trained women in advocacy skills, how to build a network, and management skills. Ms. Young has also worked “on the ground” with private sector and public service actors on issues of women’s entrepreneurship including tools to ensure access to finance.

As an attorney, Ms. Young has worked as a professional advocate for women and human rights in corporate law settings, with the ICTY and the Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego. She also provided humanitarian law and advocacy training and developed guidelines to deal with sexual and gender based violence and exploitation in conflict ridden zones.

Her career has encompassed a comprehensive array of international organizations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Medecins Sans Frontieres, International Rescue Committee, and the Harvard Institute for International Development.   

An alumna of Smith College, Harvard and the University of California Davis, Martin Luther King Jr School of Law, Ms. Young has pursued a career in humanitarian relief, international development, and human rights.