About the Women in Public Service Project

The Women in Public Service Project will accelerate global progress towards women’s equal participation in policy and political leadership to create more dynamic and inclusive institutions that leverage the full potential of the world’s population to change the way global solutions are forged.

Through research, partnerships, and peer-to-peer networking, WPSP is pursuing the goal of “50X50”: 50% representation of women in all elected and appointed policy and political leadership positions by 2050.

Who We Are


The Women in Public Service Project is a program of the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative at the Wilson Center, which empowers the next generation of women around the world and mobilizes them on issues of critical importance in public service. Founded in 2011 by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in partnership with the U.S. State Department and Seven Sisters Colleges (Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Smith, and Wellesley), the WPSP has now grown to include over 80 collaborating academic institutions and government entities around the world. 

What We Do

Drive Transparency and Transformation in Governments and Governmental Institutions

The Women in Public Service project is collecting data and building the definitive online platform to show where women are in political and civil service leadership across local and national government. By analyzing and showing the data the WPSP not only  provides a tool to measure progress but a way to work with institutions to eliminate glass walls and ceilings.

Gather and Share Information and Evidence

WPSP expands the scope of accessible research on women’s leadership across the globe. We partner with institutions across the world to contribute new research to this field and establish quantitative and qualitative evidence of the benefits of women’s participation in public service.

Our Global Women's Public Leadership Index is the most comprehensive collection of the data on women in elected and appointed leadership positions in the U.S. and Canada.

We regularly convene events with women leaders and scholars to learn about their stories and emerging trends in the impact and prevalence of women in politics.

Build Women’s Networks

WPSP facilitates a growing network where women leaders can thrive. We currently engage an ever-growing assembly of emerging leaders and women at the highest levels of decision-making and an international network of established women scholars, activists, and public servants who have led change in their communities and countries.

WPSP highlights success stories of women in public service and the work of organizations around the world to empower them. Our network of delegates from summits, institutes and trainings are among the foremost leaders in politics and government around the world.

Our summits bring together women at all levels of leadership in national and local governments, offering a unique platform to amplify the voices of women leaders. Our partnerships with stakeholders in academia, government, civil society, and the private sector achieve an unparalleled scope and depth of work in this area. Finally, our network of delegates and women across the globe opens new spaces for women to collaborate and act as catalysts for change in their countries.

Gwen K. Young is the Director of the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative and the Women in Public Service Project.