The Athena Distinguished Fellowship Program is open to renowned leaders from the most senior levels of the private and public sectors, including leaders in business, law, medicine, government or NGOs. Beginning in fall 2013, the Center will select a class of Fellows who have attained recognized positions of leadership within their careers and communities and have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of women leaders within the U.S. and across the globe. Often Fellows are at an inflection point in their lives or careers—looking toward the broader role they might take on in passing down their experience and expertise to emerging women leaders. Fellowships range from nine months to two years.
Candidates commit to sharing their expertise and experience with emerging women leaders at Barnard and beyond and advocating for women’s leadership within their circles of influence and the local, national and international causes in which they participate.
Jimmie Briggs has earned a reputation as one of the most respected human rights advocates in the field of journalism over the past two decades. Briggs received the Barnard Medal of Distinction in May, 2013. A graduate of Morehouse College, he has produced seminal reporting on the lives of war-affected youth and children soldiers, as well as survivors of sexual violence. His book, Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go To War, won accolades in 2005. Briggs has served as an adjunct professor of investigative journalism at the New School for Social Research, and was a George A. Miller Visiting Professor in the department of African-American studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His upcoming book, Blood Work, questions manhood, masculinity, and tranformation in the 21st century. Most recently, Briggs founded the Man Up Campaign, a global initiative for mobilizing young people to stop violence against women and girls through the arts, sports, and technology. For his work with the Man Up Campaign and the issue of violence against women, Briggs was selected as the winner of the 2010 GQ magazine's "Better Men Better World" search, as well as being chosen one of "21 Leaders for the 21st Century" by Women's eNews.
2011 Nobel Peace Laureate and Liberian peace activist, Leymah Gbowee has joined Barnard College as its inaugural Distinguished Fellow in Social Justice. Gbowee, will also serve as a Fellow in Residence at the Athena Center for Leadership Studies and a Barnard Center for Research on Women Transnational Fellow. She will be teaching and guest-lecturing in Barnard’s Africana studies program. A trained social worker and women’s rights advocate, Gbowee is founder and president of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, founder of the Liberia Reconciliation Initiative, and co-founder and former executive director of Women Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-A). She is also a founding member and former Liberia coordinator of Women in Peacebuilding Network/West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WIPNET/WANEP). Gbowee’s leadership of the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, which brought together Christian and Muslim women in a nonviolent movement that played a pivotal role in ending Liberia’s civil war in 2003, is chronicled in her memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers, and in the documentary, Pray the Devil Back to Hell. In addition, Gbowee is the Newsweek Daily Beast's Africa columnist. She serves on the boards of the Nobel Women’s Initiative, Gbowee Peace Foundation and the PeaceJam Foundation, and she is a member of the African Women Leaders Network for Reproductive Health and Family Planning. She holds a master of arts degree in conflict transformation from Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, VA), and a doctor of laws (LLD) honoriscausa from Rhodes University in South Africa and University of Alberta in Canada. Gbowee was honored as a flag-bearer for the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She is based in Monrovia, Liberia, and has six children.
About The Athena Doctrine: John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio’s proprietary survey of 64,000 people around the world asked people to identify traits as either feminine or masculine and then asked what traits are most important for both leadership and success. He found that those traits identified as traditionally feminine are now more popular than the macho paradigm of the past and that the most innovative among us are breaking away from traditional structures to be more flexible, collaborative and nurturing. He found that both men and women from Medellin to Nairobi are adopting this “feminine” style, which emphasizes cooperation, long-term thinking, and flexibility, in turn making their lives, and the world, better. LEARN MORE
Each year the Athena Center brings to campus an academic expert in women’s leadership or woman leader for a short-term visit. While on campus, they meet with students and center staff and share their expertise with others in the Barnard community.