Distinguished Speaker to discuss UN's efforts in empowering women

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Distinguished Speaker Gillian Sorensen, senior adviser for the United Nations Foundation, will give a presentation, "Empowering Women in a Changing World," from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library.

Sorensen will discuss the current work to empower women around the globe and the role of the UN in support of health, security, education and opportunities. It is important to understand how such efforts are affected by politics and culture, as well as the historical circumstances surrounding women's empowerment in countries around the world. Sorensen will touch on the work of UN Women, uniting prior offices around women's issues, as well as that of United Nations Population Fund, UN Development Programme, peacekeeping efforts and the impact of war and conflict on women as well as the plight of refugee women. The UN Foundation's work to support women and girls globally through projects such as Every Woman Every Child are also significant in empowering women in a changing world.

Sorensen is a powerful woman with a unique vantage point on major international issues, with a distinguished career in the UN, spanning the administrations of Kofi Annan, under whom she served as assistant secretary general for external affairs, and Boutros Boutros-Ghali, for whom she served as special adviser for public policy. In the course of her service as a career UN official, Sorensen was responsible for 4,000 non-governmental organizations, she responded to other UN issues relating to the world at large and she served as an emissary for the secretary general.

As a persuasive advocate for the UN, Sorensen is now senior adviser to the UN Foundation. With a clear view of the big picture, she continues to address the world's most pressing problems as she works to broaden UN support through advocacy, education and public outreach.

The presentation is co-sponsored by Penn State's Social Sciences Library and the Centre County United Nations Association. Free and open to the public, Sorensen's presentation will also be live and archived on MediaSite Live at live.libraries.psu.edu. No login is required.

For more information, to arrange accessibility accommodations or to inquire about the physical access provided, please contact Helen Sheehy at 814-863-1347 or hms2@psu.edu.

Sorensen is traveling to the Penn State community to celebrate United Nations Day with the Centre County United Nations Association (UNA). In addition to meeting with Penn State students and faculty, she will be the featured speaker at a dinner celebration being held at the Ramada Inn at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21. For more information on the UNA dinner go to http://www.unacentrecountypa.org/un-day-dinner-2012.

Last Updated October 16, 2012