2020 starts a new era for WIIS Brussels: our wonderful President, Corinna Hörst, is stepping down. We're delighted to introduce you to our new President, Isabelle François, who will lead WIIS Brussels in this exciting new phase. Read on for Corinna's farewell & Isabelle's welcome.
Dear WIIS members,
After 4 years at the helm of WIIS Brussels, I have decided to step down as president.
Both professionally and personally, it has been a fantastic time for me – turning a volunteer initiative into a membership organization; directing its legal registration, building a governance structure and a establishing a firm financial basis through membership fees and the successful acquisition of grants, as well as building strategic partnerships.
I have been fortunate to work with committed, enthusiastic, smart women who make up the steering committee and together we set strategic priorities, built programs for visibility and policy impact, and created professional development opportunities for women in the field of security, defence and peace. Highlights for me included WIIS’s role as consortium partner for the “NATO Engages” event at the margins of the NATO Summit 2018 in Brussels, a $2 million endeavor with 400 attendees; our study on Women in CDSP Missions for the European Parliament, the mentoring program which enters its 4th year, and, of course, the friendships I made in this community.
I want to leave on a high note and I am very happy to pass the baton to Isabelle François who comes with great enthusiasm, deep knowledge, and vast networks to take WIIS Brussels to another level. Thank you to each and every one of you for your support, dedication, feedback, advice, contribution – and friendship.
Corinna Hörst, WIIS Brussels President (2015-2019)
Let me wish the WIIS community a happy new year!
It is with great enthusiasm that I embrace the role of new President at WIIS Brussels. I have never witnessed women so energized by the impulse to serve and to lead than today worldwide. Women are ready to create something new, and support each other in exploring their creative potential, their brilliance, their desire to self-actualize and to make their contribution to the world.
In the conservative field of international security, to which I devoted my whole career, the movement may have been slightly slower, and there is still much to be done for women to step into their higher possibilities. WIIS is ideally placed to make a contribution to political consultation, decision-making and organizational culture in Brussels, combining its policy engagement, its networking, and its leadership training and mentoring.
I look forward to serving our community of security experts to empower women to contribute through their own specific voice in defining security, promoting values of connectivity, diversity and inclusion, and ultimately in addressing together the security challenges we all - men and women - face collectively in 2020.
Isabelle François, WIIS Brussels President