Georgetown backdrop

Women in Faith Leadership Fellowship

Leaders: Katherine Marshall Luisa Boyarski Olivia Wilkinson

The Women in Faith Leadership Fellowship amplifies the visibility, vitality, and voice of Catholic sisters in responding to the complex challenges and opportunities faced by women religious leaders within their organizations and communities.

The fellowship will include engagements with institutions and communities in the Washington, DC area that focus on the role of religions in development and humanitarian work. Specific Georgetown University sessions will strengthen participants’ leadership and management skills. Designed as an experiential leadership program, the fellowship will provide a stimulating and supportive climate to explore pressing issues confronting community leaders today. The fellowship targets Catholic sisters who are demonstrable advocates for women and girls’ empowerment and seeks to catalyze their work in this area. While the program is focused on the sisters’ learning and development, we expect that those who engage with the cohort will develop a better understanding and appreciation of the work the sisters do in their home communities. 

As a cohort, participants will elevate their leadership skills through a variety of interactions with leading policy makers and scholars. These will include professional exchanges on their areas of activity (for example health and education), as well as frontier issues around financing, partnerships, fundraising, advancing equity, storytelling, strategic communications, and networking. Using these exchanges and enhanced skills, each individual participant will undertake a capstone project addressing a personal or organizational leadership goal, with the support of a faculty member. Examples of gender equality projects could include FGM, early marriage, pay equity, etc.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Joint Learning Initiative on Faith Local Communities, the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University, and the Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership at Georgetown University have collaborated in the design and delivery of the Women in Faith Leadership Fellowship. 

Funding was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Kenya Catholic Sisters Convening 2022

Project Leaders

Katherine Marshall headshot

Katherine Marshall

Senior Fellow
Walsh School of Foreign Service, Executive Director of the World Faiths Development Dialogue


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