Women’s History Month Celebration and Panel Discussion on March 4

AAFSW cordially invites members, families and friends to join us for our eighth annual commemoration of Women’s History Month at a panel discussion entitled “The Critical World of Women in Domestic and International Policy Making.”

The event will take place on Friday, March 4th from 10:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. in the Benjamin Franklin Diplomatic Reception Room at the State Department. Our panel will feature three accomplished women who have contributed to advancing women’s causes in important ways:
Former Congresswoman, Ambassador Connie Morella will present “A Personal and Political Journey through Minefields and Milestones—in Heels.”

Mrs. Lael Mohib, spouse of the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the U.S., will talk about “The Role of Afghan Women in the Transformation Decade: Progress and Challenges.”

Rear Admiral Susan J. Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.A. will discuss “Advancing Women’s Health Worldwide: A Roadmap for the Future.”

Bios of the panelists appear below.

Please RSVP by Tuesday March 1st by contacting the AAFSW office at office@aafsw.org or 703-820-5420.

All attendees without a State Department badge will need to submit their Driver’s License Number or passport number, expiration date and date of birth, to office@aafsw.org no later than Tuesday, March 1st. Registering includes sending a check of $18.00 per person, to defray catering costs. Checks should be made out to AAFSW and sent to our headquarters at 4001 North Ninth Street, Suite 214, Arlington VA, 22203.

Please come to the “C” Street entrance of the Department of State (between 21st and 23rd Street NW) no later than 9:45 a.m. As you enter, rather than reporting to the main desk, please go to the smaller table (usually to your right) where one of our members will check you in and help you through security. You will be escorted to the 8th floor.

We will have an informal coffee (and tea) social time, which begins at 10:00 a.m., followed by the presentation at 10:30 a.m., which will conclude no later than noon.

Sheila Switzer
AAFSW Program Chair



Connie Morella served as Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris from 2003-2007. She is the first U.S. Ambassador to the OECD ever to have served in the U.S. Congress.

From 1987 until 2003, Ambassador Morella represented Maryland’s 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives where she developed a national reputation as a leading advocate for women, children, and families. She was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1978 and served for eight years.

Prior to her service in the U.S. Congress, Ambassador Morella was a Professor at Montgomery College, Rockville, MD. In 2008 she was a Resident Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School Institute of Politics. She is currently Ambassador-in-Residence at American University in the Women and Politics Institute. She holds degrees from Boston University and American University as well as 12 honorary degrees.




Mrs. Lael Mohib is founder and director of the Enabled Children Initiative, a registered charity that supports and advocates for Afghan orphans with special needs. During her husband’s tenure as Afghan Ambassador to the United States, Lael is focusing on social, cultural, and educational programs at the Embassy.

She previously worked for the Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, before joining BBC Media Action’s Afghanistan team, where she worked on educational media programs. She most recently served as Chief of Staff at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul. She has an MA from Boston University in International Relations and Communications, and a BA in Journalism.


Rear Admiral Susan J. Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.A. (ret.) provided distinguished service for more than two decades as a leading Federal government health expert and spokesperson in the Administrations of four U.S. Presidents. She served as the first ever Deputy Assistant Secretary for Women’s Health, as Assistant Surgeon General of the United States, as Senior Global Health Advisor, and as a NIH Research Branch Chief in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). She also was a White House advisor on health issues.

Currently, Dr. Blumenthal is a the Senior Policy and Medical Advisor at amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, a Senior Fellow in Health Policy at New America, a Clinical Professor at Tufts and Georgetown Schools of Medicine, and the Public Health Editor of the Huffington Post.