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Discussion led by William Burke-White, Perry World House Inaugural Director; and Welcome by Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Associate Dean of International Affairs. This event is part of Penn Law’s Global Women Leaders Forum.
At a time of mass upheaval and political transitions in the world, Dr. Roza Otunbayeva, former President of Kyrgyzstan and current member of the UN Secretary General's High Level Advisory Board on Mediation, will discuss recent political challenges in Central Asia. Following the April 2010 revolution, Otunbayeva took office as President of Kyrgyzstan, becoming Central Asia’s first woman leader. In spite of immense pressure from a variety of political actors and groups, she convened the adoption of the Republic’s New Constitution. Otunbayeva was the first leader in the region to leave office voluntarily and, as such, became part of the republic’s first peaceful transfer of power. She continues to lead Kyrgyzstan’s long journey toward peace and reconciliation by promoting democratic governance.
Otunbayeva has also served as the Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan. She has worked for the United Nations as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Georgia (2002-2004). She was elected to parliament in 2007, and served as President between 2010 and 2011. Otunbayeva is currently a member of the Club de Madrid, the UN Leadership Council on Sustainable Development and the Eminent Persons Advisory Group for the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). Otunbayeva received a PhD in Philosophy from the Moscow State University and has received many prestigious awards, including the Woman of Courage Award from Secretary Hillary Clinton in 2011.