12th Annual Women’s History Month Panel

Commemoration of the Hard-Won Global Success

and Leadership of Women

Friday, March 23, 10:30 a.m.

Department of State


The Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW) cordially invite you to join us for our 12th Women’s History Month Panel, entitled “Commemoration of the Hard-Won Global Success and Leadership of Women,” which will take place on Monday, March 23 at 10:30 a.m. in the Burns Auditorium at the State Department’s George Marshall Center in Washington, DC.

The event celebrates and promotes women’s history and empowerment, recognizing the important role that women have been playing in our society throughout the centuries, demonstrating their exceptional vision and leadership in all spheres.

The panel discussion will feature four highly accomplished women who have contributed to advancing women’s causes in important ways:  H.E. Kirsti Helena Kauppi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Finland; AmbassadorLiberata Mulamula, Visiting Scholar/Associate Director of the Institute for African Studies, Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University; Amy Austin, CEO and President of TheatreWashington. an organization that catalyzes success for one of the most powerful arts communities in the USA–Washington, DC; and Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, former Ambassador to Liberia and Senior Vice President at ASG, leading the firm’s Africa practice.

The charge for the program is $5.00 for members and $10.00 for non-members to cover the coffee and tea service. Please send your information and a check (made out to AAFSW) to our headquarters at 4001 Ninth Street North, Suite 214, Arlington VA, 22203. You may also pay by PayPal on the AAFSW website www.aafsw.org. Scroll down to find the PayPal “Donate” button on the right sidebar. You do not have to have a PayPal account, but may pay with your credit card as a guest. On the PayPal page, enter the amount you wish to pay, then click on “Donate with Debit or Credit card.”

Please come to the 21st Street NW entrance of the Department of State (between C Street and Virginia Avenue NW). As you enter, rather than reporting to the main desk, please go to the table to your left where one of our members will check you in.

The closest metro is Foggy Bottom (Blue, Orange, Silver lines).

Parking: Columbia Plaza — on the corner of Virginia Avenue and 23rd Street. Columbia Plaza–may be entered from Virginia Avenue or E Street. It is expensive — $24 for time over 2 hours. There is a small parking garage at 2112 F Street NW, which is less expensive than Columbia Plaza, but space is limited.

We will have an informal coffee (and tea) social time, which begins at 10:30 a.m., followed by the panel discussion, beginning at 11:00 a.m. We look forward to seeing you.


Sheila Switzer

AAFSW Program Chair


Biographies of Participants

 Amy Austin is the CEO and President of TheatreWashington,  an organization that catalyzes success for one of the  most powerful arts communities in the USA- Washington, DC and has been referred to as “Theatre Washington’s leading lady!”    Earlier this year, Actors’ Equity Association released a report calling D.C. “the fastest-growing theater city” in the nation, based on the amount of work being done here. There are over 90 theatrical companies in the Washington area now and their numbers are growing.    

TheatreWashington creates and invigorates audiences, strengthens the regions theatrical workforce, and celebrates excellence on Washington stages to build and even more vibrant community for all.  Amy brings to theatreWashington an impressive success and experience in our region’s business community and long time involvement in our region’s cultural and theatre communities. She has been very supportive of women’s theatre and supported the Women’s Voices Festival.    She also served on the Theatre Lab’s Board of Trustees for many years including 10 years as Chairwoman.  

In addition to her passion for theatre, her background includes journalism, event production, and in the city she loves the most–her favorite place, Washington, DC.

She is the Publisher Emeritus of Washington City Paper, an influential and award-winning local alternative news media company in our nation’s capital.

She currently serves on the board of Destination DC, which is the lead organization to successfully manage and market Washington DC as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination, with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historical communities.

Amy Austin has theatre in her DNA!  

She grew up in a small town in Illinois; and performed in local theatre in Wizard of Oz, Bye, Bye, Birdie and a stint in Gypsy where she played the trumpet player in a community theatre production. She majored in theater in college.    

Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Helen Hayes Awards, an annual theater award ceremony that honors theatre excellence on stages across the Washington area, theatre artists, administrators and patrons.  She is also a member of the Leadership of Greater Washington, long-time board member of The Theatre Lab.

Amy is the recipient of the John Conyers Jr. Advocacy Award from the DC Jazz Festival.


Kirsti Kauppi became Ambassador of Finland to the United States in September 2015. Before that (2012-2015) she was Political Director (Director General for Political Affairs) at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Helsinki.

In 2009-2012 Ambassador Kauppi served as Director General for Africa and the Middle East. In 2005 she was appointed Ambassador of Finland to Austria and Permanent Representative to the UN-related international organizations located in Vienna.

During her term in Vienna, Ambassador Kauppi also served for three years as the Finnish Governor in the IAEA Board of Governors, including vice-chair of the Board. In addition to Vienna, Ambassador Kauppi has served in the Finnish Embassy in Berlin (2003-2005) as Deputy Chief of Mission (Minister), as well in Washington (1997-2000), and Bangkok (1989-92). Ambassador Kauppi’s solid knowledge on European Union affairs builds on her four year service (1993-1997), in the Finnish Permanent Mission to the EU in Brussels.

Later on (2001-2003) she was head of EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy coordination in the Ministry for
Foreign Affairs in Helsinki. This was after serving two years (2000-2001) as advisor to the State Secretary. In the
beginning of her career in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1983, Ambassador Kauppi worked primarily with
development cooperation issues, including a two-year period (1985-86) in the International Labour Organization
(ILO) in Geneva.

Ambassador Kauppi was born in 1957 in Oulu, Northern Finland. She studied in the Helsinki School of Economics
and Business Administration and received her Master’s degree in Economics in 1981. In 1983 she joined the
Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland where she has made her professional career since then.

Ambassador Kauppi is, in addition to her native Finnish, fluent in English, Swedish, German and French. She is an
avid reader of history and enjoys walking and bicycle riding in her free time.


Ambassador Mulamula (Ret.) from Tanzania is currently a Visiting Scholar and Associate Director at the George Washington University’s Institute for African Studies-Elliott School of International Affairs. She teaches Women and Leadership in Africa, as well as the ‘Role of Multilateral and Conference Diplomacy in Global Politics’. She is also the Chairperson of Good Governance Africa (GGA)- USA.

She has been a career diplomat with 35 years of experience and has served as the first female Permanent Secretary of the Tanzania Ministry of Foreign Affairs in International Co-operation and in various capacities at Tanzania Diplomatic missions abroad including Ambassador to the United States of America and Mexico. She also served as Senior Diplomatic Advisor to the former Tanzania President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete before her retirement in 2016.

She was the first Executive Secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region of Africa for Peace, Stability and Development with headquarters in Bujumbura, Burundi, covering 12 post-conflict and other countries of the region-Angola, Burundi, CAR, Congo Republic, DRC., Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

She has participated in many peace forums including the Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes, UN Peace Building Commission and African Union High Level Retreats on the promotion of Peace, Security and Stability in Africa.

Ambassador Mulamula is a member of various Boards including the UN Secretary General Advisory Group on Peacebuilding Fund and expert member of the independent eminent persons; Steering Committee of the African Women Leaders Forum; Advisory Board of the Women’s Platform of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region; and Member of the Women Peace Mediation Network of the Great Lakes Region; Board of Overseers of the School of Diplomacy, Seton Hall University and Binghamton University’s Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention; among others.

She is a Recipient of the Order of the United Republic of Tanzania 2015 Award for Distinguished Public Service and was awarded the 2018 Elliott School of International Affairs Recognition of Service Award for outstanding performance and contributions as Acting Director of the Institute for African Studies.

Ambassador Mulamula is a graduate of St. John’s University, New York Class of ‘89 (MA in Govt. and Politics) and postgraduate diploma in International Law. She holds Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Political Science and International Relations from University of Dar-es Salaam, Tanzania.


Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield is a Senior Vice President at ASG and leads the firm’s Africa practice.  

She joined ASG following a long and distinguished 35-year foreign service career. From 2013-2017, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, where she led the development and management of U.S. policy toward sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on economic empowerment, investment opportunities, peace and security, and democracy and governance. Prior to that appointment, she served as Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources, leading the team in charge of the State Department’s 70,000 personnel.

Her foreign service career also included an ambassadorship to Liberia from 2008 to 2012, and postings at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Switzerland, as well as in Kenya, Nigeria, The Gambia, Pakistan, and Jamaica. In Washington, she served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. Prior to joining the U.S. Department of State, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield taught political science at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.

Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield was awarded the Hubert Humphrey Public Leadership Award, the Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award, and the Warren Christopher Award for Outstanding Achievement in Global Affairs. She has also received the Presidential Rank Award and the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award.

She earned a B.A. from Louisiana State University and an M.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin, where she worked towards a PhD. She received an honorary Doctor of Law degree from the University of Wisconsin in May 2018.

Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield is also a Distinguished Resident Fellow in African Affairs at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign Service.