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Women in strategic trade mentorship Initiative


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Women in Strategic Trade Mentorship Initiative 

Coalescion, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Export Control and Border Security Program (EXBS), invites applications for the Women in Strategic Trade Mentorship Initiative (WiSTMI).  The initiative will support early-to-mid-career women in the field of strategic trade controls. This program is open to candidates coming from the public and private sectors. Successful candidates should demonstrate commitment to WiSTMI goals and a willingness to engage in all aspects of the initiative. 

This is part of a broader U.S. government effort to promote the advancement, leadership, and meaningful participation of women in all areas of strategic trade controls. Please submit your application and CV to by 23:59 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on 20 May 2024. 

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The initiative


In 2022, EXBS collaborated with the U.S. Department of Energy to launch the Women in Strategic Trade (WiST) Initiative to increase women’s representation in all areas of strategic trade controls. WiST is an effort aimed at recruiting, retaining, and advancing women in this field. The initiative aligns with both UNSCR 1325, which recognizes and encourages the participation of women in maintenance and promotion of peace and security, and President Biden’s National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality, which aims to address gender gaps and dismantle systemic barriers that hamper women’s participation and achievements in all professional fields.

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"WiSTMI’s contribution is to offer critical and focused mentorship to women in STC so they are equipped to identify and address professional challenges; set, pursue, and achieve individual and organizational goals; and contribute to establishing and expanding STC networks. The goal is to achieve more robust application of STCs and diversify career possibilities for women working within national, regional, and global security."

- Anne Harrington, WiSTMI Mentor Advisor and former Deputy Administrator at the U.S. Government's Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration 

WiSTMI Mentor Advisors, Jyldyz Sydygalieva, Anne Harrington, and Andrea Viski, and Coalescion CEO Shawn Baker-Garcia


The Women in Strategic Trade (WiST) Initiative aims to promote equitable representation, advancement, and leadership of women in strategic trade controls (STCs) to address challenges to international peace and security. In 2022, the U.S. Department of State’s Export Control and Border Security (EXBS) Program launched the WiST Initiative in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

To achieve its strategic objectives, the WiST initiative is organized into three pillars: empowerment, capacity-building, and community engagement. A key strategy under the capacity-building pillar is to provide professional and leadership development opportunities to build the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as an STC professional.


The Women in Strategic Trade Mentorship Initiative (WISTMI) program is part of the WiST initiative's capacity-building pillar. The program aims to bolster the participation and representation of women in Southeast Asia in the fields of strategic trade, nonproliferation, and arms control. The objective of the program is to create a mutually reinforcing and endurable community of practice for women in strategic trade that is built upon a foundation of global expertise, a unique female understanding and empowerment strategy, critical and diverse professional connectivity, and tailored-to-the-mentee, educational exchanges.


Through mentorship, professional development, and networking opportunities, selected mentees will reinforce and expand the representation of women working in STC while simultaneously strengthening national, regional, and ultimately global STC and nonproliferation goals and objectives.

How to apply

Applicant Eligibility:  

  • Must be female 

  • Must be an early to mid-level career (1-8 years relevant work experience

  • Must be currently or recently (in the last 1-2 years) employed in a strategic trade-focused or related job in the public or private sector  

  • Must be a resident of the Philippines, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, or Cambodia  

  • Must have professional-level English-language skills  

  • Must be able to participate in all scheduled mentorship program activities and requirements 

  • Must provide a Letter of Support from your employer 

  • Must be able to travel outside of the country 

  • Must have three references 

  • Must qualify for a United States and Philippines visa  

  • Must pass a U.S. government background check 

The application window is currently closed.

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WiSTMI Cohort 1 orientation in Washington D.C.

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