Gratitude to Liz Bernstein for 15 years of leadership

As the founding Executive Director, Liz's vision and determination turned an idea into a global tide of support for feminist peacebuilding.

As we start the new year with enthusiasm for the organizational transition and renewal now underway, we invite you to join us in taking a grateful look back at the formidable legacy of Liz Bernstein — who, after leading the organization since its inception, is moving on from Nobel Women’s Initiative.

It was Liz’s vision and determination that helped lay the foundation for Nobel Women’s Initiative as it launched — and her indefatigable leadership that turned an idea into a global tide of support for feminist peacebuilding.

That idea was hatched over tea in Nairobi in 2004 where three of our founding Laureates—Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, and Jody Williams—met. They asked themselves what would happen if the seven living women recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize (it had only been awarded to 12 women in history at that time) worked together to support peace and women’s rights activists. Before long, Liz was busy making it happen.

How do you help grow the global women’s peace movement? By connecting feminist peacebuilders around the world, amplifying their advocacy and activities, and inspiring support from others. With Liz’s guidance and boundless energy, Nobel Women’s Initiative has forged lasting relationships with women’s movements on every continent to do just that.

Liz is fiercely principled and driven. She understands the delicate dance between diplomacy, advocacy, and activism. She knows that change is inspired in myriad ways and has consistently encouraged the incorporation of the arts, direct action, and people-power into the work of the organization.

On behalf of the countless feminist peacebuilders and communities whose lives have been made better because of your talent and dedication: sincere gratitude. We wish you all the best in your next adventures to make the world a more peaceful, equitable, and just place.

Shirin Ebadi (Iran), Rigoberta Menchú Tum (Guatemala), Leymah Gbowee (Liberia), Tawakkol Karman (Yemen), and Jody Williams (USA)