J. Dillon Pitts recently completed his International Public Service Project with Vital Voices Global Partnership, an organization based in Washington, D.C., that searches the world for women leaders with daring visions for change and helps make those visions a reality. Pitts, who recently completed his first year at the Clinton School, is also pursuing a concurrent law degree from the UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law.
“Vital Voices is a global movement that invests in women leaders who are solving the world's greatest challenges,” Pitts said. “They have an outrageously large network of leaders all across the globe and it was a wonderful opportunity to work with an organization that impacts thousands of people everywhere. It was also a great organization that has the capacity to work from anywhere, and during COVID-19 it was necessary to work with an organization that could handle continuing their efforts in an unprecedented time.”
Pitts’ work included analyzing the satisfaction of participants in the VVEngage (VVE) and the Global Freedom Exchange (GFE) programs – signature Vital Voices programs that aim to work towards a more inclusive and equitable world.
VVEngage is a fellowship supporting some of the outstanding women political leaders making and influencing policy across the globe. The fellowship advances women’s political leadership and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by conducting online and in-person trainings with women leaders from the Vital Voices Global Network and professors from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
The fellowship’s curriculum includes 10 months of in-person and online courses in topics such as Leadership, Strategic Communications, Political Strategy, and Governance.
The Global Freedom Exchange provides a dynamic educational and mentoring opportunity for emerging and established women leaders who are on the forefront of global efforts to prevent and respond to the destructive crime of human trafficking.
The program leverages leadership to end sex and labor trafficking, relying on a multi-faceted, impact-oriented approach that includes a two-week learning and networking program in three U.S. cities that have developed unique, effective approaches to addressing human trafficking. Over the past six years, the GFE has involved a total of 126 women leaders from 50 countries.
“We gathered and reviewed administrative data to determine program satisfaction in both the VVEngage and the Global Freedom Exchange programs,” Pitts said, noting that individual determination of satisfaction was done for each program, not in comparison to one another.
For his final deliverables, Dillon provided Vital Voices with a final report and presentation that described program successes, areas for program improvement, and rationale for encouraging a standardization of survey questions across programming to supply more accurate and agreeable data.
“I definitely developed my data analysis skills and became more confident in areas outside of my comfort zone,” Pitts said. “Dr. Driver’s Field Research Methods class was a huge help in my practice.”
The Clinton School Speaker Series not only enhances the education of Clinton School students, but also provides a venue for the public to engage in intellectual discussions on the issues of the day.