Women in the World

Women in the World Speakers: Hillary Clinton, Leymah Gbowee and Angelina Jolie

From global leaders like Hillary Clinton to inspiring activists like Liberian Nobel winner Leymah Gbowee to extraordinary performers like Meryl Streep, explore the speakers attending our Women in the World Summit.

Getty Images (4)

Getty Images (4)

This week inspiring women leaders and activists from around the globe—including Nobel winner Leymah Gbowee, Angelina Jolie, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Meryl Streep, Madeleine Albright, IMF chief Christine Lagarde, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni, president of Kosovo Atifete Jahjaga, Nancy Pelosi, and many more—will convene in New York City for Newsweek and The Daily Beast's third annual Women in the World Summit. Housed at Lincoln Center, the three-day event will spotlight the urgent challenges facing women today, from forced marriage to the economic crisis to the Arab spring.  Read the full list of participants here or click through our gallery of some key players. Watch live video of the summit on The Daily Beast homepage starting Thursday afternoon.

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Hillary Clinton

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will speak at the Women in the World Summit for the third year running, joining newly minted Oscar-winner Meryl Streep for an onstage presentation. Clinton has made the battle for global women’s rights a central tenet of America’s foreign policy during her tenure at the State Department, and at last year’s summit Clinton used her moving keynote address to argue that countries with poor records on women’s rights suffer economically and politically.

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Leymah Gbowee

Nobel laureate Leymah Gbowee will be stirring things up at Women in the World for her third straight year. Last year The Daily Beast author and columnist was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, along with two other women, for her activism in Liberia, which brought together Christian and Muslim women in a nonviolent movement that helped end Liberia’s civil war in 2003. The story is chronicled in her memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers, published by Beast Books, and in the documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell. At Women in the World in 2010, Gbowee used her time onstage to call on Michelle Obama to convene a summit of Africa’s first ladies, arguing that if the world could see America took them seriously, they would have more power in Africa to address the urgent needs of women.

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Anna Netrebko

We'll welcome Anna Netrebko, world-renowned Russian soprano and star of the Metropolitan Opera, for a live performance. Anna Netrebko has transcended the boundaries typical of classical-music stardom to become one of the world’s most highly regarded opera singers. Regularly headlining productions at the world’s top opera houses—including London’s Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Paris Opera, and the Kirov Opera at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg—the Russian soprano has been hailed as “the reigning new diva of the early 21st century.”


Kah Walla

Entrepreneur Kah Walla took Cameroon—and Africa—by storm when she ran for president in 2011. Her historic run created a movement for change in a country that has known only two leaders in the last 50 years. Though she lost, Walla has dedicated herself to encouraging other businesswomen to move toward more economic empowerment, saying that it’s the “women who step up to the plate when the community has exhausted other solutions.” At the summit she’ll talk about how Africa’s women are poised to become powerful leaders in their countries and communities.

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Christine LaGarde

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde will join Newsweek’s Niall Ferguson for a conversation about the European financial crisis, the global economy, and the greatest priorities for the IMF in the coming months.

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Angelina Jolie

The Academy Award-winning actress will join the Women in the World Summit for a conversation on stage with Charlie Rose about her humanitarian work. Jolie transitioned to a directing role last year for the film In the Land of Blood and Honey, which tackles the topic of war and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia. For the past 10 years Jolie has served as Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She has undertaken more than 40 trips to countries all over the world to bear witness to and actively support solutions for refugees, vulnerable children, and international law efforts.

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Diane von Furstenberg

Diane von Furstenberg will host the DVF Awards, a celebration dinner to recognize and support women who are using their leadership, courage, and strength to transform the lives of other women. The four nominees are Panmela Castro (Rede Nami), Jaycee Dugard (The JAYC Foundation Inc.), Layli Miller-Muro (Tahirih Justice Center), and Chouchou Namegabe (Association des Femmes des Médias du Sud Kivu). Honorees receive $50,000 from the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation in support of their organization (U.S. 501c3) to further their work. Oprah Winfrey will be honored with the Lifetime Leadership Award. Diane von Furstenberg is married to IAC chairman and Daily Beast cofounder Barry Diller.

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Amy Chua

Yale law professor Amy Chua, also known as “the Tiger Mom,” will join a conversation about China’s new tiger women. Seventy-five percent of China’s women have entered the workforce, and they’re joining the middle class at a blistering speed. Both bound and freed by certain traditions, Chinese women are smashing stereotypes. Chua’s latest book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, a comic memoir about strict parenting, is a runaway international bestseller.

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Tzipi Livni

Israeli Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni will discuss the urgent issues facing Israel, including the crisis with Iran, the role of women in resolving the Palestinian conflict, and women’s rights versus cultural tenets.

Mark Lennihan / AP Photos

Chelsea Clinton

Chelsea Clinton will join a conversation about digital media and the lives of girls, exploring how innovative young women are harnessing digital technology, owning their images, and leveraging the issues that are most important to them. Through her work at the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative, Clinton has focused on how to improve access to high-quality health-care services worldwide, as well as empowerment and equal rights, including areas related to health, the arts, and children. Clinton is on the board of IAC, co-owner of the Newsweek Daily Beast Co.


Dalia Zaida

A year ago, Dalia Zaida stood with the men in Tahrir Square and demanded democratic reform. But since then Egypt’s revolutionary women have been attacked, jailed, and marginalized. Zaida, a women’s rights champion and director of the American Islamic Congress Egypt Office will join a conversation, hosted by Newsweek and The Daily Beast’s Andrew Sullivan, where women from across the country’s political spectrum describe their efforts to elevate the influence of Egyptian women at this historic turning point.

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Valerie Jarrett

Valerie Jarrett is the chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls. A senior adviser to President Obama, Jarrett will discuss the role of women in the economic recovery and how women are integral to keeping America competitive in the 21st century.

Brigette Lacombe, PRNewsFoto / AP Photos

Meryl Streep

Newly minted Oscar-winner Meryl Streep will close the summit with a moving tribute on stage. Streep is a passionate supporter of women’s rights and the environment, lending her efforts to such advocacy groups as Mothers and Others, Equality Now, Women for Women International, and Partners in Health. For more than 30 years, Streep has portrayed an astonishing array of characters in a career that has cut its own unique path through American theater, film, and television. She recently won her third Academy Award for The Iron Lady, which was also honored with a Golden Globe and the British Academy Award.

The Women in the World Summit involves dozens of other inspiring activists, leaders, CEOs, artists and writers, and revolutionaries from all over the world. Read the full roster of speakers and participants here and join us for a video live stream of the conference on The Daily Beast homepage.