Wilkes University

Current Speaker - United Nations Lecture Series


Dr. Patience Stephens

Former Director/Special Advisor on Education, UN-Women


Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.


Arnaud C. Marts Center, Room 214
292 S Franklin St, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701

Dr. Patience Stephens, formerly the Director/Special Advisor on Education at UN Women, an organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. Dr. Stephens will discuss women’s empowerment and how the UN approaches it from an educational and humanitarian perspective.


Dr. Patience Stephens was the Director/Special Advisor on Education at UN Women.  Previously she held the office of Director of the Intergovernmental Support Division of UN-Women working to support the UN Commission on the Status of Women and the UN-Women Executive Board, both of which provide policy and operational guidance to UN-Women.  Dr. Stephens has worked in international development for over 23 years.   In the UN Secretariat between 1994 and 2010, she provided technical and substantive support to countries in addressing challenges associated with population and development, including those associated with data collection and analysis.  She conducted research and analysis on a range of issues, including health and mortality, population policy, youth development, poverty and inequality -- contributing to many United Nations reports and publications.  As part of UN Secretariat’s Division for Social Policy and Development, she served as the head of the United Nations Programme on Youth from 2006 to 2008, leading the preparation of the flagship World Youth Report - 2007 on “Young People’s Transition to Adulthood: Progress and Challenges.”   As the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women between 2008 and 2010, Dr. Stephens played a major role in preparing and presenting analysis and justification to UN Member States, leading to their decision to establish a new entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women – UN-Women.  Prior to her work at the UN, Dr. Stephens worked in various capacities at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC and in the Field, including in demographic estimation and projections and family planning programme evaluation.  At the Bank’s resident Mission in Ghana, she managed several multi-million dollar education and health projects.  Dr. Stephens received her doctoral degree in demography from the University of Pennsylvania, USA, followed by a one year post-doctoral fellowship at Princeton University.

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