For eight years, Seattle International Foundation (SIF) has proudly hosted the Women of the World (WOW) breakfast to celebrate Washington State’s role in global development, and in particular in advancing the rights of women and girls.

As SIF’s signature local event, WOW featured diverse international and local leaders who discussed the challenges and opportunities for advancing the political, economic, and social empowerment of women and girls, inspiring our community to invest in women’s issues both in Washington and abroad. WOW also provided a platform for SIF to announce their grants to high-impact organizations working to promote the rights of women and girls around the world.

The upcoming 2018 Women of the World event is marked by an important transition: SIF has passed on the organization and execution of the event to local partner Global Washington (GlobalWA).

After ten years in operation and as part of a thoughtful strategic planning process in 2018, SIF has shifted its strategy to focus efforts entirely in Central America moving forward. With a vision of equitable, peaceful and prosperous societies in Central America, SIF supports organizations and initiatives with grants and training that strengthen good governance and rule of law, promote equity, and reduce displacement and forced migration coming from Central America. In addition to grantmaking, SIF will continue to implement its three high-impact programs in the region: The Central America Donors Forum, The Central America and Mexico Youth Fund, and Centroamérica Adelante.

SIF chose local partner GlobalWA to carry on the tradition of Women of the World in Seattle. GlobalWA supports the global development community in Washington, working to create a healthier and more equitable world.

Kathleen Steffen, Deputy Director of SIF said, “It is an honor and a pleasure for SIF to transition the Women of the World brand and event to Global Washington,” adding, “We remain committed to supporting women and girls, it is part of our DNA as a foundation. We could not have found a better partner to carry on the tradition of this important Seattle event, and are excited to see how Women of the World grows under the leadership of the phenomenal Global Washington team.”

“We’re looking forward to evolving Women of the World into a series of year-round events, curated for female leaders in philanthropy here in Washington state,” said Kristen Dailey, Executive Director of Global Washington. “This is a pivotal time in global development. My hope is that WOW can serve as a way to clarify our shared values and learn how we can be most effective in our philanthropic endeavors.”

The keynote speakers for this year will be Yawa Hansen-Quao and Suzanne “Soozi” Sinegal. Hansen-Quao is the executive director for Emerging Public Leaders and the founder of Leading Ladies’ Network; she works to promote the expansion of women-led and owned businesses through education, networking, mentoring, and exposure to investment resources. McGill is a featured philanthropist and the co-founder of Rwanda Girls Initiative, an organization that educates and empowers young girls from Rwanda. In 2017, McGill was named one of Goldman Sachs’ 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs. She passionately believes education, particularly the education of women and girls, is one of the most powerful tools we have to break the cycle of poverty.

For more information, contact Kathleen Steffen, Deputy Director of SIF at

About Seattle International Foundation

Seattle International Foundation champions equity and good governance in Central America through rule of law and a robust civil society. SIF was founded in 2008 as a supporting organization to the Seattle Foundation for the purpose of increasing and enhancing international philanthropy and development from the Pacific Northwest. Over the past ten years, SIF has granted more than $20 million to 243 organizations in 81 countries, including $12 million in grants to Central America. Learn more at

About Global Washington

Global Washington is a non-profit organization that supports the global development community in Washington state. Together with our members, we are working to create a healthier and more equitable world. We promote our members, bring them together to spark new ideas and partnerships, and strengthen a network of leaders who are improving lives around the world. Learn more at