Bangladesh: Two graduates of the Asian University for Women (AUW) have been selected to pursue Master’s degrees in international studies and economics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington D.C. as part of the SAIS Women Lead Initiative (SWL). Sabiha Subah Mohona and Samanta Sharmin Laskar, both nationals of Bangladesh, graduated from AUW with Economics degrees in 2016. They are the inaugural fellows of a fully-funded program established by AUW and SAIS to recruit qualified graduates to pursue advanced training in international studies and economics at SAIS. Throughout their two-year graduate program at SAIS, Sabiha and Samanta will study full-time, participate in professional mentorship opportunities, and complete a SAIS Women Lead practicum and internship.
AUW is a leading international, independent university for women located in Chittagong, Bangladesh. It offers an liberal arts and science education to women of outstanding academic and leadership potential, regardless of their social, economic, national, or religious background. Since AUW’s first Commencement Ceremony in 2013, AUW graduates have earned placements at top Master’s and Doctoral programs in the US and the UK, including those of Columbia, Stanford, New York University, and University of Oxford.
“We are absolutely delighted to hear of our alumnae commencing their graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University through the SAIS Women Lead Initiative. Sabiha and Samanta are two remarkable young women, who are launching a fruitful partnership between AUW and SAIS to foster the next generation of female leaders in Asia and the Middle East. We are truly inspired by the exceptional determination, focus, and hard work that our alumnae dedicate to their educational and professional pursuits.” says Dr. Rosie Bateson, the Dean of Faculty & Academic Affairs at AUW.
SAIS Women Lead is a global women’s leadership development program that partners public and private organizations with SAIS’ faculty, students, and alumni, to improve the political and economic outcomes of communities through the empowerment of women. By fostering scholarship and cross-cultural exchange, SAIS Women Lead raises awareness of gap areas in research and advocacy to create more inclusive, compassionate, and service-oriented societies. Its mission is to increase and amplify women’s leadership around the world to inspire balanced and sound policies.
“Since the first class entered in 1944, SAIS’s women students have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with their male colleagues and gone on to make immense contributions in all fields. Recognizing that women’s empowerment can drive global economic growth and promote human flourishing, SAIS has made a commitment to train women leaders from around the world and to support them in their time here. I am honored to be part of making it possible to support our inaugural SAIS-AUW Fellows Program and look forward to witnessing all the ways they contribute to and enhance our SAIS community as students and alumnae,” says Dr. Kathy Pike, Executive Director and Scientific Co-Director of the Global Mental Health Program at Columbia University, and longtime advocate of AUW and SAIS.
“[Both AUW and SWL] are innovations of global importance. More leaders and change agents with a sense of social tolerance are badly needed,” remarks Dr. Kent Calder, Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs and International Research Cooperation at SAIS.