Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Transitions in WILPF

WILPF's Secretary General, Susi Snyder, will be leaving her position effective Janaury 15. The Executive Committee, recognizing that her participation in our governance process could not be replicated, requested that she attend the International Board meeting in India. I had the privilege of rooming with her during the meeting.

I wish we had more time for the giddy chatter we shared on my first night at the Vidyapeeth. Instead, her nights were filled with ad hoc meetings and our mornings were filled with incredible sight-seeing journeys coordinated by the Gujurat branch.

I've known Susi for seven incredible years. She came to a US Section board meeting when she was transitioning from being the director of our Reaching Critical Will project to being the head of our UN office. The leadership and vision she exhibited seven years ago have inspired me to continue putting my volunteer time into WILPF. We share a common belief in the power and need for our incredible League.

We WILPFers talk sometimes about the pressure put on our staff, but I don't know if we fully understand it. Susi has been the only full-time staff person in the Geneva office for the last 1.5 years. She represented WILPF at the UN in Geneva, pushing open the Conference on Disarmament to allow space for NGOs to speak, coordinated our sections, participated on the Executive Committee, and oversaw our UN office in New York. I've seen the toll this has taken on her emotionally and physically. So, when she announced her resignation, though I knew it was a blow for WILPF, I recognized it as a healthy step for my dear friend.

I also believe that our League's true strength lies in the coordinated efforts of thousands of women across the world, not in any one individual leader. Though Susi is among our brightest, shining stars, she's allowed us to develop individually and collectively so that we can take the next step, building our League to even greater heights as we approach our 100th anniversary. Plus, she's still a member, so I remain hopeful that she'll continue to be active in the years to come.

Below is a short video in honor of Susi's departure. It was compiled by our UN Office Director Anjie Rosga. We had hoped to surprise Susi by showing it at the IB meeting, but technical difficulties made that impossible. I can't bring myself to repeat the title Anjie gave the piece, because I refuse to believe this is an end; rather, another door has opened.

Farewell Susi! from WILPF-UNO on Vimeo.

3 Comments:

  • Thanks CJ for an overwhelming and kind write up. I know that we'll stay friends, through the thick and thin of wilpf- just as we have for these past seven years. Just think, it's less than that until the 100th- and what an amazing moment that will be, for WILPF, and for the world.

    Here's to new journeys with extraordinary companions.

    By Blogger Susi Snyder, at 6:10 AM  

  • Makes a mother proud. Stand up and shine proud.

    By Blogger Diane, at 7:14 AM  

  • That is a great video paying tribute to a great person.

    By Blogger Reinard, at 7:38 AM  

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