Seneca Women is a global leadership community centered on the principle that advancing women and girls will fast forward us to a more equitable and prosperous world. We draw inspiration from the steady march of women and men throughout history – like those at the first American women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls in 1848 who paved the way for progress – and believe our moment to accelerate is now. Why? A unique convergence of trends: the evidence-based case demonstrating that when women progress the world progresses; a historical level of women in leadership positions; and technology allowing us to re-imagine the future and connect in unprecedented ways. 

Through connections to impactful non-profits, professional and global networks, leadership programs, events, and other resources, Seneca Women is committed to helping women know their power, find their purpose and connect to people, ideas and opportunities. There are few moments in history where we can move fast and forward -- our moment is now!

Seneca Women is led by Ambassador Melanne Verveer and Kim Azzarelli, co-authors of Fast Forward:How Women Can Achieve Power and Purpose. They are also founders of Seneca Point Global, a unique strategy firm that advises organizations on why and how to put women at the center of their strategy.

Founding Members


Ambassador Melanne Verveer

Ambassador Melanne Verveer serves as the Co-Founder of Seneca Women and Executive Director of Georgetown University's Institute for Women, Peace and Security. She is co-author with Kim Azzarelli of the new book Fast Forward: How Women Can Achieve Power and Purpose and a Founding Partner of Seneca Point Global. In 2009 President Obama appointed Melanne Verveer to be the first ever Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the US State Department.

In such capacity, Ambassador Verveer worked on behalf of Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to coordinate foreign policy issues and activities relating to the political, economic and social advancement of women and girls. Prior to her role at the U.S. State Department, Ambassador Verveer served as Chair and Co-CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international nonprofit she co-founded. Vital Voices invests in emerging women leaders and works to expand women’s roles in generating economic opportunity, promoting political participation, and safeguarding human rights. Prior to her work with Vital Voices, Ambassador Verveer served as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady in the Clinton Administration.

Ambassador Verveer has a B.A. and M.A. from Georgetown University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has served as the 2013 Humanitas Visiting Professor at Cambridge University. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the U.S. Secretary of State's Award for Distinguished Service.

[email protected]


Kim K. Azzarelli

Kim Azzarelli is a business, philanthropic, and legal advisor focused on advancing women and girls. Together with Ambassador Melanne Verveer, she is a co-founder of Seneca Women and co-author of the new  book Fast Forward: How Women Can Achieve Power and Purpose.

Ms. Azzarelli is the Chair and Co-founder of the Cornell Center for Women and Justice, and a Partner at Seneca Point Global. Prior to her work with Seneca, she served as Senior Vice President of the Newsweek Daily Beast Company, where she led strategy, partnerships, and philanthropy for Women in the World.  

 In her prior roles, Ms. Azzarelli held senior philanthropic and legal roles at Goldman Sachs and Avon, respectively. At Goldman Sachs, she led the billion-dollar donor advised fund, Goldman Sachs Gives. At Avon, she served as Vice President, Legal and Public Affairs and Corporate Secretary. Prior to joining Avon, Ms. Azzarelli practiced corporate and securities law at Latham and Watkins. 

Ms. Azzarelli is also an adjunct professor at Cornell Law School, where she teaches Women, Law, and the Economy and Technology. She is an author on matters relating to women and girls, including "Sustainable Development, Rule of Law and the Impact of Women Judges," co-authored with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. 

Ms. Azzarelli is a graduate of Cornell Law School, Cornell University, and Friends Seminary High School in New York City, where she resides.

[email protected]

In The Press

Yunus Centre Press Release
January 23, 2017, Yunus Centre

Best Women’s Business Books for 2017
January 6, 2017, Progressive Women’s Leadership

How to Govern Like a Feminist
November 2, 2016, Elle

Seneca Women's Ambassador Verveer on Economic Progress
August 23, 2016, Bloomberg Radio

Education for adolescent girls in conflict: What’s working
May 23, 2016, Devex, by Melanne Verveer

Women's Leadership to Advance Economic and Social Change
March 7, 2016, Huffington Post by Anne Finucane and Melanne Verveer

Money: The Last Taboo
March 2016, Elle Australia by Genevra Leek

Afterwords: Kim Azzarelli interviews Nancy Cohen, author of Breakthrough: The Making of America's First Woman President
February 29, 2016, C-SPAN

Do you think like a boss? Find your power twin
February 23, 2016, Elle Australia

Book Discussion on Fast Forward
December 16, 2015, C-Span

Is Failing Key to Women Finding Success?
October 29, 2015, Los Angeles Magazine by Julia Herbst

Power Forwards
October 20, 2015, Elle by Molly Langmuir

Connecting Passion With Purpose: A Blueprint for Success
October 16, 2015, Forbes by Moira Forbes

Kim Azzarelli's Book on Women and Power Applies to Sports World, Too October 15, 2015, espnW by Kate Fagan

Closing the Global Gender Gap to Drive GDP
October 15, 2015, CNBC by Melanne Verveer and Kim Azzarelli

Hollywood's Leading Ladies Spill Their Secrets to Persuasion
October 14, 2015, MyDomaine by Julia Millay Walsh

Book party draws an impressive crowd of Washington power women
October 14, 2015, The Washington Post by Roxanne Roberts

Fast Forward Authors with Former Congresswoman Jane Harman at the Fast Forward Book Party
October 14, 2015, Yahoo!

America Tonight
October 13, 2015, with Kate Delaney

Q&A: Melanne Verveer on Her New Book and Women’s Issues
October 8, 2015, Washingtonian by Angie Hilsman

Ex-Clinton Aide Sees Bright Future for Women
October 5, 2015, Newsweek by Nina Burleigh

Women in Business Q&A: Melanne Verveer & Kim K. Azzarelli, Seneca Women
October 2, 2015, HuffPost Business by Laura Dunn

Hot Type
October 2015, Vanity Fair

Speak Volumes: How when it comes to girl power, these authors are on the same page
October 2015, Marie Claire

How to Reframe Your Fears and Be Successful
October 2015, More Magazine

7 Incredibly Useful Career Tips From Women Who Know What They’re Talking About
September 22, 2015, Self by Jessica Hulling

A diplomat and an executive wrote the book on why your power needs purpose — literally
September 22, 2015, BizWomen by Melisaa Wylie

7 Business Books to Inspire You This Fall
September 22, 2015, Creator by Allen Peng

For Women in Law, Flexibility Can Help Break Barriers
May 12, 2015, Bloomberg BNA by Kim Azzarelli

Seneca Women Honors Sandra Day O'Connor
July/August 2015, Arrive Magazine

What Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O'Connor Can Teach Us About Friendship
April 23, 2015, Glamour by Genevieve Roth

Hoy en La Noche reaparece Natalia Ponce de León, un caso que conmocionó a Colombia Parte III
April 18, 2015, La Noche, NTN24

SUPREME COURT NOTEBOOK: Female justices honor O'Connor
April 16, 2015, Associated Press by Sam Hananel

Women of the Supreme Court honor Sandra Day O'Connor
April 16, 2015, CBS News

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Honored for Promoting Civics Education
April 16, 2015, Education Week by Mark Walsh

Female Supreme Court Justices Unite in Tribute to Sandra Day O'Connor
April 15, 2015, National Law Journal by Tony Mauro

How Male Allies Help the Gender Equality Movement
August 1, 2014, Fast Company by Melanne Verveer and Kim K. Azzarelli

Women and the importance of microloans
June 17, 2014, MSNBC with Melanne Verveer and Andrea Jung

The Other Gender Gap: How Women Entrepreneurs are Getting Screwed Out of Funding
May 7, 2014, Fast Company by Melanne Verveer and Kim K. Azzarelli

Working for Women
April 21, 2014, The Washington Post (video)

Melanne Verveer: We began to 'push the envelope'
April 4, 2014, Devex (video)

Female entrepreneurship pays: how women are spurring the economy
April 3, 2014, European CEO

Melanne Verveer: Make women 'as effective as they can be'
April 3, 2014, Devex (video)

Visiting director advocates for equal gender treatment in honor of Women's Day
March 6, 2014, Purdue Exponent

Melanne Verveer: Making Women's Rights a Smart Investment
February 2014, MORE Magazine

Accelerate Women Now: Building a 50/50 Global Economy
November 15, 2013, Forbes

ICRW honors Verveer with Champions for Change Leadership Award
November 12, 2013, ICRW

Don't Abandon the Women of Afghanistan
October 23, 2013, CNN by Paula J. Dobriansky and Melanne Verveer

The School Girl Who Took on the Taliban
October 21, 2013, Huffington Post by Natalie Pace

Women Rule: Afghan women on the front line
October 16, 2013, Politico by Melanne Verveer

Melanne Verveer: Women's economic growth outpaces China
October 15, 2013, Politico (video)

Women Rule: Empowering Entrepreneurs with Tory Burch and Melanne Verveer
October 11, 2013, Politico (video)

Investing in Women Advances the World: A Conversation with Melanne Verveer
March 2013, Huffington Post by Bobbi Silton

Melanne Verveer: Women as Entrepreneurs and Employees
March 2013, Cambridge University (video)

Fareed Zakaria GPS: Melanne Verveer on Global Women's Issue
March 2013, CNN (video)

On women, Melanne Verveer mostly pleased with progress
February 19, 2013, Politico by Lois Romano and Jonathan Allen (article and video)

Obama Appointee, Hillary Clinton Advisor to Head New Georgetown Institute
February 7, 2013, Georgetown University

At Davos, Investing in Women Emerges as a Business Strategy
January 25, 2013, The Daily Beast by Melanne Verveer and Kim K. Azzarelli

Do Women Hinder Their Own Success
October 12, 2012, Forbes by Moira Forbes (article and video)

Women Changing the World in Public Policy
August 22, 2012, Forbes by Susan McPherson

Why Women are a Policy Issue
May/June 2012, Foreign Policy

International Rescue Committee Wake Up Call: Women and Girls are Agents of Change
IRC (video)

The Political and Economic Power of Women
June 2011, Democracy That Delivers for Women

Interview with Melanne Verveer, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues
March 10, 2011, Huffington Post by Rahim Kanani

Afghan Women and the Media: Is Their Story Being Told?
May 26, 2010, Huffington Post by Marcia G. Yerman