Ukrainian activists Oksana Horbunova and Olya Kudinenko to Speak on World Stage at First-of-its-Kind Global Embassy for Women Opening in U.S. Capital, Washington, D.C.

Horbunova and Kudinenko to speak at Vital Voices, the non-profit founded by Hillary Rodham Clinton and the late Madeleine Albright, at the opening of its Global Headquarters for Women’s Leadership & three-day festival.


WASHINGTON, D.C., May 03, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- May 5–7, 2022 — Vital Voices, an international non-profit, non-partisan, non-governmental organization that invests in women leaders, is proud to announce that Ukrainian human rights activist Oksana Horbunova and social entrepreneur and health advocate Olya (Olga) Kudinenko, founder of Tabletochki Charity Foundation, will participate in the grand opening of the new Vital Voices Global Headquarters for Women’s Leadership as speakers in the fireside chat Fearless Leadership: Navigating the Beirut Blast and the Ukraine Invasion alongside Lebanese chef Aline Kamakian

Horbunova will share her perspective from Kyiv on the current Russia conflict, while Kudinenko will speak about her work providing urgent assistance to more than 6,500 families with children who have cancer. Since 2011, her foundation has helped more than 60,000 children receive improved quality of treatment and $20 million in aid. 

"We have to look inside these lines that have divided us, and we have to develop the ability to cross these lines," said Horbunova.

The new Global Embassy for Women at which Horbunova and Kudinenko will speak is opening in the center of downtown Washington, D.C. Located at 1509 16th Street, NW, the building stands among other high-profile institutions and think tanks, just minutes from the White House and Black Lives Matter Plaza in the city’s new “Equality Corridor.” This first-of-its-kind physical and digital space will be the epicenter of activity for global women leaders and their allies. It will also serve as a collaborative and inclusive space for all women – everywhere. 

In addition to serving as the home base for the Vital Voices staff and the non-profit’s global network of women leaders, the building will also be a gathering place for local and visiting women’s organizations with limited resources that need a place to convene, innovate, plan, and act – all in the pursuit of tackling the world’s greatest challenges. 

“It is our hope that women and their allies from around the world will come to this building to expand their networks, share their stories of success and hardship, highlight their bold visions for progress, and recharge so that they can go back out into the world and make real change happen,” explains former First Lady of the United States and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who, along with the late U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, established Vital Voices in 1997. “Madeleine was so excited about the creation of this Women’s Embassy and, in opening it, we’re honoring her vision and legacy.” Clinton will serve as a speaker at the grand opening on Thursday, May 5.  

A three-day festival will welcome this new neighbor to the United States capital city. Activities start on Thursday, May 5, with a morning march of hundreds of girls and allies from the White House to the Vital Voices Global Headquarters to showcase the next generation of leaders. Following a ribbon cutting, the Vital Voices Global Headquarters for Women’s Leadership will open its doors for three days of exhibits, panels, luncheons, and other activities to bring women together and celebrate the launch of the Headquarters. On May 7, the building will hold an open house as part of Passport DC’s popular “Around the World Embassy Tour.” (Register here.) 

Confirmed guests (subject to change) include Hillary Clinton, fashion designer and Vital Voices Board MemberDiane von Fürstenberg, marketing executive and Vital Voices Board Member Bozoma Saint John, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser,Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad, Ukrainian human rights activist Oksana Horbunova, former Deputy Trade Minister of Afghanistan Muquadessa Yourish, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, climate activist Sophia Kianni, recording artist MILCK, actors and activists Amber Tamblyn and Angelina Spicer, and more. 

“Vital Voices was created to make space for women to be heard,” says Vital Voices President and CEO Alyse Nelson. “Over more than two decades of investing in women leaders on the frontlines of change, we have seen firsthand how women lead differently, and that difference is precisely what our world needs to solve the challenges ahead of us. Now is the time to put a stake in the ground and create a permanent, physical, and very visible space for these leaders to come together. We believe this Headquarters will spark creativity, trust, and the kind of bold ideas that will transform and improve communities and nations around the world.” 

The event will stream live worldwide

The full MEDIA SCHEDULE and registration information is available HERE. A MEDIA KIT with photos and video of the Headquarters, its construction, and the women leaders involved is available HERE



About Vital Voices Global Partnership 
Driven by the universal truth that women are the key to progress in their communities and that nations can’t move forward without women in leadership positions, the Vital Voices Global Partnership has directly invested in more than 20,000 changemakers across 184 countries and territories over the last 24 years. It’s provided early support for leaders who went on to become Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, U.S. Youth Poet Laureates, Prime Ministers, award-winning innovators, pioneering human rights defenders, and breakthrough social entrepreneurs, including Amanda Gorman, Malala Yousafzai, and more. 

Serving as a “venture catalyst,” the non-profit identifies leaders with a daring vision for change and partners with them to make that vision a reality. It provides connections, increased capacity, a peer network, financial support, skills training, and increased visibility for their work, which ranges from gender-based violence to the climate crisis, economic inequities to political disempowerment, and more. 


Ukranian social entrepreneur and health advocate Olya (Olga) Kudinenko Ukranian human rights advocate Oksana Hurbunova