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Highest-Ranking Civilian Woman in NATO, Alumna Receives Georgetown International Award

September 27, 2018 – University alumna Rose Gottemoeller, the highest ranking civilian woman in NATO’s history and a steadfast champion for gender equality, received the International Trailblazer Award from the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS).

Gottemoeller, NATO’s deputy secretary general, received a bachelor’s degree in languages and linguistics from Georgetown in 1975.

She was honored in Brussels yesterday before an audience of NATO permanent representatives, European Union officials, Georgetown alumni, friends and media.

“NATO has been the most successful military alliance throughout history, but attention to the role of women in security has not always been at the top of NATO’s priority list,” said Gottemoeller, who majored in Russian at Georgetown. “We know that we at NATO need to do a better job because stability, security, and conflict resolution only come about when women are fully engaged and able to work together with their governments and with us to ensure that problems get solved down to the level of the village and the local government.”

The award is bestowed annually to leaders who recognize the important role of women in creating a more peaceful and secure world.

Under Gottemoeller’s leadership, NATO redoubled its efforts to integrate women’s perspectives and participation in the work of the security organization. NATO has deployed Gender Advisors in countries such as Afghanistan and Kosovo, established a panel of civil society and women’s organizations to inform the alliance and developed an action plan to advance the women, peace and security agenda.

Gottemoeller previously served as chief U.S. negotiator of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with the Russian Federation and has taught Soviet military policy and Russian security to students at Georgetown.

Melanne Verveer, executive director of Georgetown’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security, presented the award to Gottemoeller along with Shéhérazade Semsar-de Boisséson, a member of Georgetown’s board of directors. “Integrating gender perspectives into the work of NATO and the security sector more broadly is an important tool to enhance operational effectiveness,” Verveer said.

Last year, three women negotiators and peace-builders from Ukraine, Northern Ireland and Myanmar – Iryna Gerashchenko, Monica McWilliams, and May Sabe Phyu – received the award.