Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Thursday, June 24, 2010

Alum brings delegation of Mideastern women to Madison

Madison native founds program that helps Mideast women get involved in politics

In a region of the world where religion and government are still tightly tied, one Madison native has found a way to empower a population with a growing, but still comparatively quiet, political voice. Read more in the Capital Times

Croake organizes leadership training for young Arab women

Young women from the Middle East and North Africa gathered in Doha, Qatar, to improve their leadership skills, thanks in part to the organizing efforts of La Follette School alum Katie Croake. Read more

To help women from the Middle East learn more about democratic institutions, 2003 grad Katie Croake brought a delegation to Madison to meet women involved in Wisconsin politics.

Croake designed and implemented the Young Women Leaders Academy as part of her job as program manager with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs in Washington, D.C. The institute is a nonprofit organization that strengthens and expands democracy worldwide. Croake earned a master's degree in international public affairs from the La Follette School.

"Bringing more women to elected office is a way to start to diffuse power — power that right now is in the hands of a small minority of men in the Middle East," Croake told the Capital Times.

The 22 women in the delegation attended the Wisconsin Democratic Convention; toured Chicago with a stop at the Muslim-American International Festival; and visited with chief justice Shirley Abrahamson, lieutenant governor Barbara Lawton and first lady Jessica Doyle.