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International House and Merrill Lynch Continue to Prepare Women for Leadership Positions


NEW YORK. — Merrill Lynch, one of the world’s leading financial management and advisory companies, has awarded a $50,000 grant to renew for the fourth year its support of the Women’s International Leadership (WIL) Program at International House.

The WIL Program is a landmark leadership training program at I. House, the 84-year-old residence and program center for international graduate students and trainees. Eighteen women from 13 countries were chosen to participate in the 2007-08 WIL Program. Since its inception in 1990, more than 200 women from a variety of cultures and disciplines have participated in the merit-based scholarship program.

Designed as a practical training program to enhance graduate study, the WIL program features a series of seminars, skills-based leadership training, networking receptions, public speaking workshops, a mentor project, field experience in multicultural communities, and conflict resolution and negotiating technique coaching. The program culminates in Women’s Week, a week of programming designed and executed by the 18 selected grantees from diverse cultures and disciplines. Merrill Lynch has sponsored the program since 2005.

The Merrill Lynch Foundation grant will cover a substantial portion of WIL’s operating budget, including all program-related activities, publications, networking activities and allocated staff salaries. In addition to financial support, Merrill Lynch employees volunteer their time as mentors and role models and share their expertise in the financial markets. Merrill Lynch has collaborated with the House on programming for Women’s Week and throughout the year, from sessions for the entire I-House community on interview skills and resume writing workshops to personal financial planning and “Wall Street 101” seminars for the WIL grantees.

During the first three years of sponsorship, 10 Merrill employees have served as mentors for WIL Grantees. Candace Browning, president of Merrill Lynch Global Research, is a member of the WIL Advisory Council, providing leadership for the program. “Merrill Lynch is delighted to continue its association with International House, which for more than 80 years has provided a haven of learning for people of diverse nationalities, cultures and beliefs,” said Ms. Browning. “Through this partnership, we have built relationships and financial awareness with future women leaders who will have an impact in their respective communities and professions while also exposing them to careers and opportunities in business.”

“International House is fortunate to have such a dedicated partner in Merrill Lynch,” said I. House President Don L. Cuneo. “We look forward to continuing to work with Merrill Lynch to support and celebrate many more generations of women at International House.”


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