Mrs. Danae Bezantakou, Managing Director of NAVIGATOR S.A., represented Greece in the US Government Women in Leadership Program: Sustaining the Economic Sector by Advancing Women as Corporate Leaders and Entrepreneurs, 5th to 23rd March 2011

Mrs. Danae Bezantakou, Managing Director of NAVIGATOR S.A., was selected among all Greek young women entrepreneurs to represent Greece in the US Government Women in Leadership Program, together with 100 women participants from 92 countries.

This project, organised and funded by the American Government, was part of a special global initiative on women’s rights and advancement. The program included among others joint events in Washington, D.C., New York, and California with high level women leaders in federal agencies and the United Nations that provided opportunities to share knowledge, network, and explore business opportunities with women leaders from around the world. As part of the highly prestigious – and expensive – programme, participants are hand-picked to spend typically three weeks visiting four US towns or cities, meeting their counterparts and other VIPs and experts – all highly valuable networking experience for any ambitious young man or woman on the climb.

It has received little attention during its history, but since 1940 the International Visitor Leader Program (IVLP) has proved remarkably prescient when it comes to guessing who might one day govern the planet. Former Prime ministers Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Margaret Thatcher and Edward Heath were all participants early in their careers. This year’s participants had the unique opportunity of a meeting with Michelle Obama and Hilary Clinton, as well with significant personalities of the business world.

Among the Program’s objectives was to promote women’s leadership in the economic sphere, both in the corporate and entrepreneurial sectors, as well as government and non-profit sectors and to examine models that support expansion of opportunities for women business owners, such as business incubators, loan programs, and leadership training as well as corporate sponsorship of small and medium sized business initiatives and events. The duration of the program was from 5th to 23rd March 2011.