Beverly Hills Councilmember Lili Bosse is joining an elite global group of women leaders participating in the Vital Voices (VV) Engage 20-21 Fellowship. The prestigious program by the Washington, D.C.-based Vital Voices Global Partnership selects “outstanding women political leaders who are making and influencing policy across the globe” to take part.
Bosse certainly meets that criterion.
She is joined in the Fellowship by 36 exceptional women from 30 countries. They count among their ranks members of Parliament, government ministers, state legislators and heads of key nonprofits.
“This year’s VVEngage cohort represents an incredibly diverse and accomplished group of women,” said Manira Alva, Vice President of Political and Civic Engagement at Vital Voices. “It has never been more important to have women in political leadership leading intuitively and innovatively. We are very excited to work with these 37 women as they continue their political leadership journey…and create lasting change in their organizations, communities, and the world.”
Bosse told the Courier that she was “blown away” to see the list of the female changemakers in the Fellowship with her.
“I view Beverly Hills as such a diverse community, in terms of people who live here and visit here. What excited me is to be surrounded with people from different cultures and countries and hear what they’re doing and how they’ve survived this past year. I can hopefully bring back some new ideas,” she said.
Bosse will take part in a nine-month curriculum that includes workshops focused on Leadership, Strategic Communications, Political Strategy and Governance. The course work has been developed in conjunction with government leaders around the globe, as well as professors from the Harvard Kennedy School.
The classes are virtual this year due to the pandemic, but that hasn’t dampened Bosse’s enthusiasm.
“We are all in so many different time zones. We’ve met early in the morning to accommodate the participants in Africa and other parts of the globe,” said Bosse.
The VVEngage Fellows will network with political leaders from around the world with whom they can share ideas and best practices. They will also hear from past female heads of state, thanks to a partnership between Vital Voices and the Council of Women World Leaders. The first session scheduled with a head of state will feature Mary Robinson, the former (and first female) President of Ireland.
Founded in 1997, the Vital Voices Global Partnership is one of the most distinguished organizations of its kind. The current Board of Directors includes Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate Amada Gorman, as well as luminaries such as Hillary Clinton Chief of Staff,Huma Abedin, media executive Tina Brown, actress/activist Sally Field and designer Diane Von Furstenberg.
The overarching mission of the organization is to invest in women leaders who are solving the world’s greatest challenges, such as gender-based violence, climate change and economic inequities. While Beverly Hills may not face the existential challenges that leaders in Africa or South America are dealing with, Bosse said common themes still abound.
“We’ve had some breakout sessions and that was a really exciting way to meet the other fellows. The first ice breaker was to find a commonality. It was an opportunity for all of us to share challenges, our successes and our setbacks, in order to inspire one another,” said Bosse.
She added, “Even though we are from different parts of the world, what I find is that we share the same goals and sense of purpose. We all have a shared vision of wanting to make our community better. Human nature is all very similar, especially at a time when we’ve all faced a pandemic.”