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Thirteenth Annual Women’s History Month Panel



Tuesday, March 8th at 11:00 am Eastern Time

At the National Museum of American Diplomacy,

US Department of State


AAFSW cordially invites you to our thirteenth annual Women’s History Month panel discussion, “Global History and Challenges of Women World Leaders,” on Tuesday, March 8th, at 11:00 am​ Eastern ​Time. Please join us for this interesting presentation that will take place at the National Museum of American Diplomacy.

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 highly accomplished women who have contributed to advancing women’s causes in important ways: H​er Excellency Ivonne A-Baki Ambassador of the Republic of Ecuador to the United States, Marion Kavallieros from Athens Greece Greece, and Mrs. Angelique Gakoko Pitteloud, Spouse of the Swiss Ambassador

Please RSVP by Friday, March 4, to office@aafsw.org and pay $10 per person for AAFSW members and $15 per person for non-members (final cost will include a small processing fee).   https://www.aafsw.org/event/thirteenth-annual-womens-history-month-panel-discussion/


We look forward to seeing you,


​Sheila Switzer

AAFSW Program Chair​



Mrs. Ivonne A-Baki presented her Letters of Credence as Ambassador of the Republic of Ecuador to the President of the United States Donald J. Trump on February 6th, 2020. Ambassador A-Baki was ratified by President Guillermo  Lasso on May 24, 2021. 

She is an artist, painter, diplomat, peace negotiator,  humanist, and politician. A multifaceted woman who is driven by her ideals. She studied arts at the Sorbonne University and obtained  Masters’ Degrees in Public Administration and in Public  Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard  University (1993). She is fluent in English, Spanish, French,  German, and Arabic. 

Ambassador A-Baki was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador of Arab Lebanese parents. She got involved from a very young age in the world of arts through dance and classical music that have inspired her the magic and power of art to unite ideals, cultures, people and nations. During a visit with her parents to Beirut, Lebanon, she met her husband Mr. Sami Abd-El- Baki, and raised three children: Mohammad, Faisal, and Tatiana. 

In 1990 she moved to the United States of America and became an artist in residence at Harvard University. At that time she created the Harvard Arts for Peace Foundation by organizing many joint exhibitions and art shows between countries in war as a way of achieving her goals in building bridges and finding solutions. 

In parallel, she established the Beyond Boundaries Foundation to improve the health of the poor people of the Republic of Ecuador. This foundation was responsible for the eradication of river blindness (onchocerciasis). Currently, the Foundation is focusing its efforts to educate people about the diagnosis and early treatment of tuberculosis and diabetes. 

Ambassador A-Baki has had a very distinguished career as diplomat, politician and academic: 

  • In 1981, she was appointed as Honorary Consul of Ecuador in Beirut. 

  • Between 1992 and 1998, she was appointed as Honorary Consul of Ecuador in Boston. 

  • Between 1994 and 1997, Ambassador A-Baki was a member of the Board of Directors of the “Conflict Management Group”, led by Prof. Roger Fisher, in Harvard University. She participated in conflict resolution negotiations around the world during this period. 

  • She had an active participation in the achievement of the Peace Agreements between Ecuador and Peru, signed on October 26th, 1998. She was advisor to the President of the Republic of Ecuador during this process.

  • In 1998, she was appointed as Ambassador of the Republic of Ecuador to the United States of America, where she was posted until 2002. During her tenure, Ambassador A-Baki successfully procured the extension of the Andean Trade Preferences (ATP), which were granted by the United States for fighting drug trafficking in the western hemisphere. In 2001, after the tragic spill from the oil tanker Jessica in the Galapagos Islands, Mrs. A-Baki urgently created the Galapagos Conservancy Foundation which has achieved important goals to create consciousness for protecting the environment in many countries and protecting fragile species. She is a founding member and President of the Foundation. 

  • In 2002, Mrs. A-Baki was a candidate for the presidency of the Republic of Ecuador. She represented a social justice platform aiming to shrink the great gap between the affluent rich and the desperately poor people, by a vision of education and sustainable development. Her message goals were to foster the cultural and economic integration of Latin America, and to eradicate corruption. 

  • Between 2003 and 2005, Mrs. A-Baki became the first woman to be posted as Ecuador’s Minister of Foreign Trade, Industry, Regional Integration, Fisheries, and Competitiveness. In this position she began the negotiation of trade agreements with several significant trade partners including the United States of America and the European Union. As such, she was a member of the Board of Directors of the Andean Development Corporation (CAF), President of the National Foreign Trade and Investment Council of Ecuador (COMEXI) as well as member of the Board of Directors of Petroecuador (the Ecuadorian National Oil Company). 

  • In 2004, Ambassador A-Baki was awarded the Global Citizen Prize by the Patel Foundation for Global Understanding, shared with Mr. Muhammad Yunus. 

  • Between 2006 and 2009, she represented Ecuador at the Andean Parliament. In 2007 she was elected unanimously President of this organization for a two years term. In 2007 she was elected President of the Committee of Economic Affairs of the Andean Parliament. 

  • Between 2007 and 2009, she was elected President of the Commission for Economic Affairs of the European Latin – American Parliament (EUROLAT). 

  • Between 2010 and 2013, she was designated as Chief Negotiator for the Yasuni-ITT Initiative, aimed to preserve the most biodiverse place on the planet, the Yasuni National Park (located in Ecuador). 

  • From 2010 to date, she has been a Goodwill Ambassador for the UNESCO Dialogue of Civilizations, in recognition of her contribution to the Organization’s work in the field of dialogue among cultures. 

  • From September 2017 to February 2020, she was designated Ambassador of Ecuador to Qatar and Ambassador Non-Resident of Ecuador to Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, Oman and Syria.


MARION KAVALLIEROS was born in Boston, MA.  She studied English and Greek Language and Literature at the University of Athens, Greece, and earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Boston University.  She has taught English and Greek in a variety of linguistic and cultural settings, including the Hellenic American Union and the American College of Greece.

Marion translated the Academy of Athens Award-winning book In the Name of Lycurgus, by Miltiadis Michalopoulos, which addresses the revolutionary reforms of ancient Sparta and the famous Battle of Sellasia in 222 BC.  She also translated the book Spartan Women, by Despoina Koutsari, which covers the familial, social, and political roles of Spartan women in antiquity. 

Marion holds a deep passion for politics and women’s issues, something demonstrated by her service to the University Women of Greece and Democrats Abroad of Greece’s Women’s Caucus.  She believes there are many valuable lessons to be gleaned from the stories and experiences of Spartan women that remain profoundly pertinent today.

Madame Angélique Gakoko Pitteloud
Angélique Gakoko Pitteloud is a film producer, writer, and passionate defender of human rights. Her work strives to build awareness and encourage advocacy, through creative presentation in literary and cinematographic works. As an accomplished film producer, her most recent documentary film, L’Afrique des femmes, which she co-produced with Swiss filmmaker Mohammed Soudan, was shown to a global film audience in January 2022 at the Solothurn Film Festival in Switzerland.
Angélique is married to Jacques Pitteloud, the Swiss Ambassador to the United States of America and she actively supports the mission of Switzerland’s diplomatic corps. Her fundraising efforts are focused on supporting and addressing topics related to equality, human rights, and women’s rights.
Angélique is also the founder of Pro-Human Equality, an advocacy organization that works through the media to highlight success stories, address social justice, and foster enduring social and political change. She previously worked with the Swiss Red Cross. She has studied in Rwanda, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, where she is currently pursuing the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) courses online.