The pres­ti­gious Eisen­hower Fel­low­ship awarded to a Le­banese

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The Eisen­hower Fel­low­ship, one of the most pres­ti­gious lead­er­ship awards, an­nounced that the or­gan­i­sa­tion has se­lected 25 out­stand­ing in­ter­na­tional lead­ers from the pub­lic, pri­vate and non­profit sec­tors as 2015 Women’s Lead­er­ship Pro­gramme (WLP) Eisen­hower Fel­lows, among whom 35-year old Eliane (Elle) Fer­san, Pres­i­dent of Le­banon De­vel­op­ment Union (LDU) has been nom­i­nated.

The 25 in­ter­na­tional Fel­lows were se­lected from a highly com­pet­i­tive pool of ap­pli­cants from 37 coun­tries. All par­tic­i­pants are in­no­va­tive lead­ers in their com­mu­ni­ties. Fer­san was se­lected for her pi­o­neer­ing role as a young ac­tivist in lo­cal de­vel­op­ment, and her work in ad­vo­cacy and strate­gic plan­ning, re­search and her ac­tivism in hu­man rights. Fer­san was fea­tured in the top 40 Le­banese Fe­male Role Mod­els in the UNESCO Ca­reer Guid­ance from the Grass­roots (2013).

Fer­san’s project is to de­velop a mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary plat­form that com­bines tar­geted re­search with multi-stake­holder ad­vo­cacy strate­gies aim­ing to ad­vance pol­icy re­forms in the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors. “It is time to elim­i­nate the gen­der gap in Le­banon,” said Fer­san. “Ev­ery­one is re­spon­si­ble, the pri­vate and the pub­lic sec­tors; it is time for us to build a more just and equal so­ci­ety.

“It is time for Le­banon and our vi­brant civil so­ci­ety to ben­e­fit from the in­ter­na­tional ac­tivism for hu­man rights, the Eisen­hower Fel­low­ships is a tremen­dous op­por­tu­nity I in­tend to pay for­ward to my fel­low Le­banese,” she added.

The pro­gramme is an in­di­vid­u­alised seven-week of study and pro­fes­sional net­work­ing that will pro­vide fel­lows with the op­por­tu­nity to meet lead­ers in their re­spec­tive fields, at­tend rel­e­vant con­fer­ences and par­tic­i­pate in site vis­its across the United States from Oc­to­ber 4 to Novem­ber 22, 2015.

“I have rolled-up-my-sleeves, packed my bags and I am ready to de­part on Oc­to­ber 3rd on this ex­clu­sive jour­ney where I will be rep­re­sent­ing a coali­tion of three or­gan­i­sa­tions: Le­banon De­vel­op­ment Union, Women in Front and the Arab Foundation for Free­doms and Equal­ity,” Fer­san noted.

Ge­orge de Lama, pres­i­dent of Eisen­hower Fel­low­ships, said the new Fel­lows rep­re­sent the best and bright­est lead­ers in their fields. “We are ex­cited to wel­come th­ese out­stand­ing as­cen­dant lead­ers into the global net­work of in­flu­en­tial Eisen­hower Fel­lows,” de Lama said.

Es­tab­lished in 1953 as a birth­day trib­ute to Pres­i­dent Dwight D. Eisen­hower, the or­gan­i­sa­tion has spon­sored more than 2,100 Fel­lows from 108 coun­tries, 200 of which are heads of state.

Eisen­hower Fel­low­ships is a pri­vate, non-profit, non-par­ti­san or­gan­i­sa­tion seek­ing to fos­ter in­ter­na­tional un­der­stand­ing and lead­er­ship through the ex­change of in­for­ma­tion, ideas and per­spec­tives among lead­ers through­out the world. Eisen­hower Fel­low­ships ex­ists to in­spire lead­ers around the world to chal­lenge them­selves, to think be­yond their cur­rent scope, to en­gage oth­ers, in­clud­ing out­side of their cur­rent net­works, and to lever­age their own tal­ents to bet­ter the world around them.

Eliane (Elle) Fer­san

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