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DCID launches Women in Development Talk series

The event series celebrates the contributions of and addresses the challenges faced by women in the international development field.

A new event series hosted by the Duke Center for International Development (DCID) aims to celebrate the contributions of and explore the challenges faced by women in the international development field.

Held online in April, the first two events in the series - one with a technology and development theme and the other focusing on peacebuilding and conflict management - brought together Duke Sanford faculty, staff, students and alumni for discussions exploring topics such as overcoming barriers, unconscious bias, power imbalances, representation, mentorship and more.

Leading the tech and development event were Camila Herrera JD/MPP’24, who has more than a decade of legal expertise serving low-income communities and currently focuses on the cybersecurity landscape, and Branka Panic MIDP’19, founder of the nonprofit organization AI for Peace and professor of the practice at UNC-Chapel Hill.

The peacebuilding and conflict management event was led by Elizabeth Baldwin MIDP’18, a technical advisor at FHI 360; Susan Carroll, managing director of the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center with over 20 years’ experience in international humanitarian assistance; and Angelica Rodriguez MIDP'25, a social analyst from Colombia focusing on educational interventions, conflict resolution, and protecting children's rights, particularly within the context of the Colombian Peace Process.

"Apart from the exceptional learning opportunity, attending the Women in Development Talks allowed me to connect with seasoned professionals and like-minded peers passionate about making a difference,” Rodriguez shared. “Hearing firsthand the personal and professional challenges our speakers overcame was incredibly inspiring and reinforced my commitment to a career in international development."

Both sessions were moderated and organized by Antonella Di Ciano MIDP’25, a Fulbright Scholar from Venezuela.

"My motivation for organizing the Women in Development Talks was to create a platform that not only highlights the successes of women in international development but also addresses the systemic challenges they face,” Di Ciano explained. “These events offer an invaluable opportunity for cross-generational and interdisciplinary dialogue, ensuring the path forward is inclusive and innovative. I believe these discussions are crucial for fostering a more equitable and effective development landscape."

The Women in Development Talk series will resume in the fall.