On August 19th, Dr. Yen Vo (Founder and Director of DRD) accepted an invitation to join a panel discussion on the topic "Climate and Women in Transportation," which was part of a series of discussions focused on "Building a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All."
The opening remarks of the discussion series were delivered by Ms. Sara Minkara, who was appointed by President Biden as Special Advisor for International Disability Rights in November 2021. In this role, Ms. Sara Minkara leads the comprehensive strategy of the U.S. Department of State in promoting and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities on the global stage.
The panel discussion featured speakers from diverse fields in the United States, including Ms. Adiam Emery, Deputy Mayor/Executive General Manager, Office of the Mayor, City of Seattle; Ms.Paula Sardinas, President & CEO, FMS Global Strategies/Founder, WA Build-Back Black Alliance; Ms.Heather Sheffer, Global Enterprise Sustainability Carbon Strategy Leader, Boeing; Ms. Jillian Anderson, Founder, HERide; and the moderator, Ms. Jean Meserve, NatSec Tech Podcast Host and former CNN & ABC Anchor and Correspondent. Among them, Dr. Yen Vo was the representative from the Asia-Pacific region and a person with a disability. In her address, Yen highlighted the lack of accessible transportation in the majority of countries in the Southeast Asia, which has hindered opportunities for education, employment, and social participation for many girls and women with disabilities. Dr. Yen strongly proposed that development programs need to consider persons with disabilities from the design phase to implementation.
From August 15th to 20th, 2023, in Seattle, Washington state, United States, the APEC Women and Economy Forum 2023 was held. The forum was attended by high-level delegations from the 21 APEC member economies, APEC Business Advisory Council, APEC Secretariat, representatives from social organizations, professional organizations, experts, scholars, and other stakeholders. The discussions at the APEC Women and Economy Forum 2023 revolved around the theme of "Building a Resilient and Sustainable Future".