A Hunt for Peace: Calling on Women Leaders to End War

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: nijacobson@jtsa.edu

November 6, 2007, New York, NY

Ambassador Swanee Hunt

Accepting the 2007 Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Sally Field stated: “Let’s face it, if the mothers ruled the world, there would be no … wars in the first place.”

Ambassador Swanee Hunt goes a step further, advocating that women of all ages, religions, and ethnic backgrounds should be leaders in peace processes. Hunt, director of the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and president of Hunt Alternatives Fund, will make her case in “Women Waging Peace: Why Women Must Be Included as Leaders of Peace Processes” at The Jewish Theological Seminary's Jack and Lewis Rudin Lecture.

The event will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 5, at JTS, 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street) in New York City.

The lecture highlights JTS’s commitment to promoting and expanding women's leadership roles in all spheres, including religious life, diplomacy, and business. It has special resonance at a time when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni have prominent roles in Israeli-Palestinian peace conference in Annapolis.

Daughter of the legendary oil billionaire H. L. Hunt, Ambassador Hunt’s Southern Baptist upbringing ultimately led her to dedicate herself to achieving gender parity, especially as a means to end war and rebuild societies, as well as to alleviate poverty and other human suffering. An expert on domestic policy and foreign affairs, she served as ambassador to Austria under President Bill Clinton. At Harvard, she teaches Inclusive Security, exploring why women are systematically excluded from peace processes and the policy steps needed to rectify the situation. Her Alternatives Fund has committed more than $60 million to provoking social change at local, national, and global levels.

A widely published columnist, she authored the award-winning This Was Not Our War: Bosnian Women Reclaiming the Peace. Of her second book, a memoir entitled Half-Life of a Zealot, Gloria Steinem has said: “Swanee Hunt’s life reads like a novel. Born into a powerful, conservative, and patriarchal American family, a young girl grows up to use her part of that power to support the powerless and to encourage peace and women’s leadership around the world…”

The annual fall and spring Jack and Lewis Rudin Lectures provide an opportunity for distinguished academic, religious, and business leaders and other public figures to discuss topics of interest to the JTS community and the public-at-large.

A gift copy of Half Life of a Zealot will be given to every audience member. Advance reservations are necessary and valid photo identification is required for admission. For more information and to register, please contact the Department of Public Events at (212) 280-6093 or publicevents@jtsa.edu.

Editors/Reporters: To cover the Jack and Lewis Rudin Lecture Lecture, please contact Sherry S. Kirschenbaum in the Department of Communications at (212) 678-8953.

Founded in 1886 as a rabbinical school, The Jewish Theological Seminary today is the academic and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism worldwide, encompassing a world-class library and five schools. JTS trains tomorrow's religious, educational, academic, and lay leaders for the Jewish community and beyond.