Putting Global
Understanding Into Practice
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Founder's Message

IWA was founded by Doe Thornburg, OBE (Order of the British Empire) who devoted her life and career to organizing innovative exchanges of ideas among people of many nations.

"Working for global understanding means transforming consciousness by respecting and appreciating what each person has to offer. To partner in such a commitment is the work of IWA members. Together we are changing the status quo. We are assisting in the creation of a more just and peaceful civilization."

Doe Thornburg, IWA Founder 
(August 2, 1922 - May 25, 2018)

President's Message

Dear IWA Members and those interested in learning more about IWA,

It is an honor to be the new IWA President as of July 1, 2019. Thank you to the most recent IWA President, Marian Jacobson, and all past IWA Presidents for their dedication and service to this wonderful membership organization.

There is no other organization quite like IWA in Chicago. We are an organization of more than 450 women from over 60 countries. We learn from our members’ diversity and are enriched by it. The sustaining strength of IWA is that we have a strong culture and purpose inspired by our visionary founder, Doe Thornburg. Doe showed us through her interactions with everyone that she met that cultural exchange fostered by shared experiences, dialogue, friendship, community service and philanthropy are the best ways to break down barriers, overcome prejudice and see the “sacred” in all human beings and ultimately create a more just and peaceful world.

Doe’s vision and the mission of IWA, to promote global understanding, resonates with all IWA members and are the ties that bind us together. It is this vision and mission that attracts new members to IWA and keeps the organization vibrant. I look forward to working with the IWA Board of Directors and office staff during my two year term to lead and continue to strengthen our beloved IWA. I welcome your involvement and constructive feedback at all times.

Nila Bayvas,  IWA President  

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