Charlotte Ponticelli -  Former Guest Speaker at the Leadership Institute

Charlotte M. (Charlie) Ponticelli is an international consultant with 23 years of US Government experience in Washington, D.C. She began her career on Capitol Hill and served most recently as Deputy Under Secretary for International Labor Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor.

Previously, Mrs. Ponticelli served as the State Department's Senior Coordinator for International Women's Issues; Senior Advisor for State's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration; Director of Human Rights in State's Bureau for International Organization Affairs; Congressional Liaison for Latin America and the Caribbean at the U.S. Agency for International Development; and Director of Congressional Correspondence in the Legislative Affairs Office of the White House. She has also served as Commissioner Assistant at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

In the private sector, Mrs. Ponticelli has been Program Director for the Balkans within the Eastern European Division of the International Republican Institute, Director of Media Relations at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty; and Director of Lectures and Seminars at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.

In the course of her work on a range of human rights, humanitarian, and development initiatives, Mrs. Ponticelli has traveled extensively throughout the United States and the world, leading and/or participating in official delegations to Afghanistan, Albania, Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Iraq, Japan, Kuwait, Macedonia, Mexico, Morocco, Panama, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland (UN agencies in Geneva), Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, and Vietnam.

Mrs. Ponticelli is the recipient of several Superior Honor Awards from the Department of State and USAID, the Veritas Award from Albertus Magnus College, and the Outstanding Young Alumna Award from her alma mater, Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. Most recently, she received the Loyalty Award from the American Women for International Understanding, the Inspiration Award from the Foreign Investment Network and Global Trusted Alliances and the "Afghan-American Sisterhood Award" from Ariana Outreach.

She is a member of several advisory boards and international organizations, including the Council of American Universities Abroad, Regional Dialogue (based in Uzbekistan), FUTURE (a non-profit organization supporting Iraqi Women and their families), the Bayat Foundation's Afghan Trusted Network, and the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council. She is currently working with Technical Training, Inc. on a workforce development project to provide automotive mechanics training and business skills to Afghan women and youth. She is also an advisor to the Grossman Burn Foundation assisting with projects to provide quality burn-care treatment and training in Afghanistan and to establish an on-line mental health counseling program for Afghan women.

Mrs. Ponticelli received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish literature from Hood College and her Master of Arts degree through New York University's program in Madrid. She also completed two years of doctoral studies in Spanish literature at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

Research and Writing

Contributor, American Foreign Policy Council Study Mission to China, June 2010.

“The Wall of Women: Hearing Stories of Statelessness in Kuwait,” Refugees International, May 18, 2010.

Co-Editor, “Strengthening the Foundation of an Afghan Civil Society to Increase Quality of Life and Livelihoods: Engaging leadership and leveraging private, humanitarian, and public sector capabilities,” The Bayat Foundation, Dec. 2009.

“Can the ILO Be Saved from Itself?,” The Heritage Foundation, January 22, 2009.

“Women’s Citizenship in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Women in an Insecure World, Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), Geneva (Switzerland, November 2005.

“Afghan Women Gain Suffrage and Vote for a President," U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council, U.S. Department of State Archives, November 2004.


Other Presentations and Interviews

“Government Service: The Journey, the Vocation, and the Adventure!,” Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., English for Heritage Language Speakers commencement address, August 22, 2011.

“Peace Through Business: Keeping the Momentum Alive,” International Women’s Economic Summit, Institute for the Economic Empowerment of Women, Dallas (Texas), June 2010.

“Building Partnerships for Sustainable Progress,” International Women’s Entrepreneurship and Leadership Summit, Istanbul (Turkey), June 2, 2009.

“Youth, Decent Work, and Human Prosperity in the Americas,” OAS Policy Roundtable, Washington, D.C., November 5, 2008.

“Critical Global Health Challenges of the 21st Century: Creative and Effective Partnerships to Address Global Challenges,” Global Health Event Hosted by the Italian Embassy, Washington, D.C., October 16, 2008.

“U.S. Efforts to Combat and Prevent Child Labor and Child Trafficking Around the World,” InterAction, Washington, D.C., September 16, 2008.

Remarks to the Inter-American Network for Labor Administration (RIAL), Organization of American States, Seminar on Youth Employment, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), May 20, 2008.

“Our Workplace: Sharing Best Practices and Education Key to Empowering Women,” International Labor Organization, Geneva (Switzerland), May 15, 2008.

“Preventing Human Trafficking,” University of Baltimore Center for International and Comparative Law Events, April 3, 2008.

“Combating Exploitive Child Labor Through Education,” remarks at official launch of USDOL program to combat child labor, Dominican Republic, January 15, 2008.

“Promoting Democracy and Rights at Work: Making a Difference,” Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (the Brazil Institute and the Program on Science, Technology, America, and the Global Economy), September 18, 2007.

Remarks to XV Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor, Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago), September 11-13, 2007.

“U.S. Commitment to the Global Fight Against Human Trafficking,” testimony to the Helsinki Commission/U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, Washington, D.C., 2007.

“Creating Our Common Future,” U.S.-Iraq Women’s Summit, New York, March 27, 2006.

“U.S. Efforts to Promote Political and Economic Opportunities for Women: Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Broader Middle East,” 43rd Annual North American Invitational Model United Nations, Washington, D.C., February 17, 2006.+

“Working for Women Worldwide: The U.S. Commitment,” U.S. Department of State on-line discussion, December 16, 2005.

Remarks for Congressional Briefing on Honor Crimes, Washington, D.C., November 9, 2005.

“Poverty, Illiteracy, and Child Marriage: A U.S. Response,” Forum on Child Marriage, U.S. Department of State, September 14, 2005.

“Un dialogo sobre asuntos de mujeres de Mexico,” Global Summit of Women, Mexico City, June 23, 2005.

“Enlarging the Realm of the Possible Through Entrepreneurship,” Forum for Belarusian Women Entrepreneurs, Minsk (Belarus), May 18, 2005.

“Founding Mothers and Next Steps: Afghanistan and Iraq,” Institute of International Education, New York, March 2, 2005.

“Equality of Rights and the Rule of Law,” Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue Conference on Women’s Rights, Madrid (Spain), September 13, 2004.

“The Importance of Partnerships in our International Efforts,” Arab International Women’s Forum, Cairo (Egypt), June 8, 2004.

“Afghan Women Two Years After the Taliban,” Conference on Afghan Reconstruction, French Senate, Paris (France), March 26, 2004.

“The U.S. Commitment to Women: Working Together for Conflict Resolution and Peace-Building,” Women and Post-War Reconstruction Conference, Florida International University, March 12, 2004.

“The U.S. Commitment to Women in Iraq,” Foreign Press Center, Washington, D.C., November 19, 2003.

“Assuring the Rights of Women and Their Participation in Politics: A Matter of Human Rights,” Women in Politics Conference, Montevideo (Uruguay), November 5, 2003.

“Projects for Business Women: Reality and Ambitions,” The First Economic Businesswomen’s Forum, Abu Dhabi (UAE), October 7, 2003.

Charlotte Ponticelli