Putting Global
Understanding Into Practice
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Membership Information

“I came to Chicago knowing no one, and the friends I made through IWA are like sisters to me now.”


If you have international experience living or working abroad and are an expat, a newcomer to Chicago, or are the spouse or child of someone foreign-born, we invite you to learn more about IWA. Our members represent over 50 countries and come together to share educational programs, service, and friendship.

By joining IWA, you will have the opportunity to attend a wide variety of international programs and take part in numerous special interest groups. You will also have the opportunity to serve as a volunteer through IWA’s unique community service programs. And you will build lifelong friendships with other women who share a global outlook.

International Women Associates (IWA) is a unique gathering and learning place that connects women dedicated to the pursuit of global understanding and universal human rights. The membership is comprised of women from over 50 countries. Their backgrounds include many different professions and diplomatic affiliations aswell as experience and interest in international education, economics, and culture.

IWA was established in 1978 as part of the International Visitors Center of Chicago under the leadership of Doe Thornburg, OBE, who remained active in the organization until her passing in 2018. Thornburg devoted her life and career to organizing innovative exchanges of ideas among people of many nations. She stated, “I believe that person-to-person contacts can change lives in valuable ways that can never be measured completely.”

In 1994 IWA became a fully independent entity. It is a private, volunteer not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization.

IWA belongs to Open Door, an international umbrella organization of 80 women’s groups in 40 countries.

Contact IWA to learn more about membership by emailing iwa@iwachicago.org or calling 312-263-1421.

To join IWA, click here.

"As a member of Open Door, IWA enables connections all over the world."


307 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 702 | Chicago, IL 60601
p: 312-263-1421 | f: 844-492-2442 (844-IWA-CHICAGO)
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