Embassy Row

Article excerpt

WOMEN'S WORK

A professor at Washington's Howard University is determined to make the world realize that women's work includes diplomacy.

Marilyn Sephocle founded the Women's Ambassadors Program with that goal five years ago.

Her work has now attracted the attention of the world's top female diplomat, Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright.

Ms. Sephocle recently held her first Conference of Women Ambassadors to Washington and bestowed the group's Ambassador of the Year award on Macedonian Ambassador Lubica Acevska.

Miss Acevska, one of 12 women among the 172 ambassadors in Washington, received the award for her work with Howard University students involved in the Women's Ambassadors Program.

"She has been very supportive of our program, especially in mentoring our students," Ms. Sephocle said. "Our goal is to encourage young women to pursue a career in diplomacy."

With Howard University drawing students from 118 countries, Ms. Sephocle is confident that there is a budding female ambassador somewhere in the lot.

Mrs. Albright, in a letter, congratulated Ms. Sephocle for organizing the first female ambassadors' conference.

"It is very significant that this event is taking place on the campus of Howard University, and I commend Dr. Sephocle . . . for honoring these ambassadors," said Mrs. Albright, herself a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

"These women of state demonstrate a unique approach to diplomacy, and as one of the largest delegations of women ambassadors ever to be posted in Washington at the same time, they are indeed pioneers."

In addition to Miss Acevska, the other female ambassadors are Ivonne A-Baki of Ecuador, Chan Heng-chee of Singapore, Arlette Conzemius of Luxembourg, Marlene Fernandez of Bolivia, Sonia Merlyn Johnny of Saint Lucia, Mary Kanya of Swaziland, Maleeha Lodhi of Pakistan, Erato Kozakou Marcoullis of Cyprus, Faida Mitifu of Congo, Makate Sheila Sisulu of South Africa and Edith Grace Ssempala of Uganda.

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