The Guarini Institute Welcomes a Global Leader

The Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership at Saint Peter’s College couldn’t have picked a better day than March 1 to present the Guarini Institute Global Leadership Award to Ambassador Gertrude Mongella.

Ambassador Mongella, the first president of the Pan-African Parliament, dedicated her life to improving conditions and opportunities for women and children in the world. Her long and distinguished career includes serving as UN Secretary General and Secretary General of the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing. She was UN Under-Secretary and Special Envoy to the Secretary General of the United Nations on Women’s Issues and Development. She also served as Goodwill Ambassador for the World Health Organization’s Africa Region.

With Ambassador Mongella’s accomplished history in women’s rights, her presentation proved to be the perfect way to kick-off Women’s History Month at Saint Peter’s College. Students, faculty, staff and local community members gathered at Pope Hall yesterday evening to hear this impressive women discuss what makes her a true global leader.

During her presentation Ambassador Mongella touched on a number of important topics in today’s society including the growth of power among women, terrorism, war and violence, leadership and the possibility of a 5th World Conference on Women. She told the inspiring story of how she was determined to become the first president of the Pan-African Parliament despite the adversity she faced along the way.

With all of her insightful and powerful advice she left the group with some final words of motivation. “Take the challenge! If I take a challenge and I fail, I don’t take it badly, I just move on to the next step,” said Mongella. “If you want to do it, just do it. There is no invitation to power!”

Following Ambassador Mongella’s program she was presented with the inaugural Guarini Insitute Global Leadership Award by Nicholas A. Chiaravalloti, J.D., executive director of the Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership. Some of the audience didn’t know what to expect from the event, but left truly inspired.

Rosemarie Driscoll ’14, an English and communication major at Saint Peter’s College, was deeply moved by the program. “It was truly inspiring to me because I just recently tried to become more active in feminist culture and hearing from someone who was able to take on so many challenges with such confidence, without second guessing herself is inspirational,” said Driscoll. “I want to be just like her!”
Established in 1994 by Congressman Frank Guarini, The Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership at Saint Peter’s College aims to provide a non-partisan forum for discussion of key public policy issues. The Institute sponsors lectures and programs throughout the academic year to promote critical thinking, debate and careers in public service. To find out more about the upcoming events this month, please visit