Empowering Women in Africa

Liz Grossman ’05 and Dr. Joyce Banda, former president of Malawi, at the UN General Assembly, September 2017.

Liz Grossman ’05 spent this past year meeting with female African leaders, drawing inspiration from them about gender equality in their countries.

She met Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, president of Liberia and Nobel Peace Prize winner; Dr. Joyce Banda, former president of Malawi; Catherine Samba Panza, president of the Transitional Government of Central African Republic; and Ameenah Gurib, president of Mauritius.

These women are role models and mentors to Liz because of their confidence, kindness, and relatability. They are leaders in government, business, and civil society who are figuring out ways to promote one another and address the issue of gender equality in public service.

Liz has over ten years of experience on the continent having traveled to Senegal, Cameroon, Uganda, the Gambia, Cape Verde, and Ghana. She is inspired by the possibility of making real progress through education.

During college, she studied abroad in Africa, in French speaking Cameroon, where she completed a study on how young people were using the internet for Cameroonian development. After graduation, she taught 7th, 8th, and 11th grade English in an International Baccalaureate high school in Dakar, Senegal. These experiences and more have culminated in her following a career path that is fueled by her mission for change.

“I am energetic as ever to find ways not only to empower young women in Africa to access education and develop as leaders, but also to push my own compatriots to challenge the way we view women’s leadership,” Liz said. “Engaging with four African female presidents renewed my certitude about the immense potential of girls and young women across the continent to become leaders of the next generation.”

When reflecting on her time at George School, and how it helped her find her passion of helping others, Liz said, “George School taught me the values of humility, service, and having an open mind and heart.”

Liz earned her masters from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in International Education Policy. She now lives in New York City, where she owns and operates Baobab Consulting, a mission based firm with a mission to promote mutual understanding and equitable collaboration between Africa and the US through strategic facilitation, communications, and education.

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