United States-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC) in conjunction with over twenty women business leaders, CEO’s and entrepreneurs successfully concluded a briefing on Capitol Hill titled Transformation and Economic Empowerment of Women: Case Studies of Georgia and Azerbaijan. The initiative was launched by women-entrepreneurs, in particular CEO of “C.L. Russell Group” Ms. Connie Russell and CEO of “Browne & Associates, Inc” and President of “National Medical Association” Dr. Doris Browne, who traveled to Azerbaijan and Georgia in September 2016 as part of a U.S. trade mission. The event was supported by many women Representatives of U.S. Congress, including Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee as well as U.S. Department of Commerce.
Connie Russell opened the event by sharing her positive impressions of the two countries, her communication with local women-entrepreneurs and the great potential for bilateral commercial cooperation.
Azerbaijani Ambassador Elin Suleymanov delivered welcoming remarks, noting the rich history of the country in uplifting women. As Azerbaijan is the first Muslim country to enfranchise women with voting rights, he stressed the importance of women’s role in Azerbaijani society, both past and future.
Keynote Speaker Holly Vineyard, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce also noted the importance of regular trade missions to the region and new initiatives, government procurement and economic resources for empowering women in the U.S. and the region.
Deputy Chief of Mission of Georgian Embassy Giorgi Tsikolia, USACC Executive Director Susan Sadigova and CFO of Washington, DC-based Middle East Institute Tamara Kalandiya also briefed the audience about their personal experiences and the leading positions that women hold in Georgia and Azerbaijan, both in government and private sectors. DCM Tsikolia also described the initiative as a great opportunity to highlight the current friendship between Azerbaijan and Georgia and to inform the U.S. audience about the role of women in these two societies.
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