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Women’s History Month Annual Panel Discussion

March 3, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm EST

$10.59 – $16.00


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Friday, March 3 at the Dean Acheson Auditorium 11:00 am.


AAFSW invites you to our 14th annual Women’s History Month Panel discussion. The panel features three highly accomplished women who have contributed to advancing women’s causes in important ways: Ambassador Marcia Bernicat, Director General of the U.S. Foreign Service, H.E. Hanene Tajouri Bessassi, Ambassador of Tunisia, and H.E. Lilit Makunts, Ambassador of Armenia.

RSVP no later than March 1 and purchase tickets below. Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for non-members.

You will need to provide a government-issued ID number and your birthdate at the time of purcahse to attend this program at the State Department, as per State Dept. requirements.

You’ll enter at the 23rd St. entrance between C and D Streets at the State Department. Please bring your ID to enter.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Sheila Switzer, AAFSW Program Chair


Please consider donating to AAFSW to help support our programs and events.



Ambassador Marcia Bernicat
Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Global Talent. 

Ambassador Marcia Bernicat, a career member of the Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, is currently the Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Global Talent. 

Ambassador Bernicat previously served as Acting Assistant Secretary for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) and concurrently as the Senior Official for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment (E) from January-August 2021.  She was a Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary for E from 2020-2021 and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in OES from 2019-2020.   She served as Ambassador to Bangladesh from 2015-2018 and to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau from 2008-2011.  Ms. Bernicat previously served domestically in the Department of State as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Human Resources; Office Director for India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Bhutan; Senior-Level Director and Career Development Officer in the Bureau of Human Resources; Special Assistant to Deputy Secretary of State John Whitehead and Watch Officer in the Department’s Operations Center.  She was Deputy Chief of Mission in Bridgetown, Barbados and Lilongwe, Malawi and Principal Officer in Casablanca, Morocco.  Ms. Bernicat’s other overseas assignments include New Delhi, India; Marseille, France and Bamako, Mali.  She is the recipient of the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award and numerous other Department awards. 

A native of New Jersey, Marcia Bernicat received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Lafayette College and a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.  In 2018 she was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service by Lafayette College.  Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Ms. Bernicat worked for the Procter and Gamble Manufacturing Company.  Her languages are French, Hindi and Russian.


 Her Excellency Hanène Tajouri Bessassi,

Ambassador of the Republic of Tunisia to the United States of America

  Her Excellency  Hanene tajouri Bessassi has a Master Degree in Law (FSJPS Tunis II)A   National Defense Institute (NDI): NDI Diploma  and a National School of Administration (ENA de Tunis): ENA graduate diploma (1995-1998)

She became   Ambassador of Tunisia to the United States of America in October 2021: and  Ambassador of Tunisia to Germany October 2020-September 2021:

 Ambassador Bessassi was appointed Director in charge of Tunisia-EU relationship October 2018-October 2020:  and as Minister Plenipotentiary Hors Classe in charge of the Congressional Affairs    August 2013-July 2018

Ambassador Bessassi served as  Deputy Chief of Mission from September 2017 to July 2018,   Deputy Director in charge of Tunisia-EU relationship September 2010-July 2013: Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Tunisia to Portugal    September 2005-July 2010:    Head of Division at the Direction Tunisia-EU relationship      2000-2005:   In charge of Tunisia-Germany relationship 1998-2000:

Ambasador  Bessassi  speaks several languages  Arabic, French, English, German (basic) and Portuguese (basic)

She was born on  October 17th, 1972 in  Tunisian She is Married, and has 3 kids


H.E. Lilit Makunts


Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the United States of America

Ambassador Lilit Makunts is a linguist by background, graduated from Yerevan State University. She holds a PhD in Philology (Cognitive linguistics) and she worked as a professor for 14 years at Russian-Armenian University. In 2016 she joined the US Peace Corps Yerevan team. She also worked for the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. Since in 2003 when she was still a student Lilit Makunts had been active socially and politically.

She continued being engaged in civil society and politics along with lecturing until 2018.

In 2018, after the Nonviolent Velvet Revolution in Armenia, she was appointed as the Minister of Culture, later in 2019 was elected as a member of Parliament and served as the Majority leader. She held that position till 2021 when she was appointed as the Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the USA. During her tenure she has bee putting renewed efforts in widening and deepening the scope of bilateral relationships between Armenia and the USA based on common interests.


March 3, 2023
11:00 am - 1:00 pm EST
$10.59 – $16.00




Dean Acheson Auditorium
2201 E Street, NW, at the 23 Street entrance (between C and D streets)
Washington, DC
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