by Larry Peery


A generation or two ago; when I first wrote an article on this subject; I could barely come up with enough names to fill a single Diplomacy board. Today I have enough to fill three boards with players from no less than 20 countries, plus some commentators. Some of these names are world famous celebrities. Others are barely known outside their own countries. Five of them are no longer with us, including two because of their assassination. Three others survived one or more assassination attempts or violent coups. Still, whether they are famous in their own right, because they come from the Big Powers; or they are relatively unknown because they come from some of the world’s smallest countries — they all made their way onto this list. I hope you’ll take the time to do some further research on the ones you don’t know much about. I think you’ll find them every bit as fascinating as their better known counterparts. The very idea of a woman diplomat (a short way of saying a woman who has considerable influence on the foreign policy of her country) still seems strange in many countries and yet as this list shows women are storming and capturing the citadels and “Foggy Bottoms” of the world. Soon, I hope, we’ll see the same thing happening across Diplomacy boards worldwide.


Every entry follows the same basic format: Name, Dates lived, Nationality (Some, like Golda Meir and Mother Teresa have had an interesting journey through life.), Relevant positions held (But not all may be included), Dates those positions were held, Major events that happened during their years of reign, rule, power or influence; and Special notes. One entry I did not include that I wish I had was Education. Many of these women were or are better educated than their male counterparts. English and US universities seemed to be favored; and I was surprised at how many of them did graduate work at Harvard, but I don’t think any of them were there when Henry Kissinger or Allan B. Calhamer were.

Major events Included were Wars (But again it would be impossible to include all of the wars that Elizabeth II reigned through for example.), International crises that would have led to war, major international economic crises, major international events involving all three (e.g. a Triple Witching Hour event such as the 1956 Suez Crisis) and ongoing diplomatic negotiations (Such as the SALT and its successors which are still going on after nearly forty-five years.). Special notes can include comments on family, awards, promotions, way of leaving office (e.g. voted out of office, dismissed, coup, died in office, assassination, retired, etc.) or just items I found interesting.

I also tried to include a couple of quotations by or about the person to give you some idea of what they were like or what their ideas and ideals were.

On a personal note I’ve actually seen or heard speak seven of these women, took part in book signings with three, and had dinner with one. I’ll let you try and guess who I dined with.

I’ve included two special items, one by Dame Pearlette Louisy and one about Angela Merkel. I thought it especially appropriate to include Dame Louisy’s 2012 Remembrance Day address to the people of St. Lucia as we mark the 100th anniversary of WWI. I found it one of the most moving Remembrance Day speeches I’ve ever read, particularly when she read off the names of all 17 men from St. Lucia who gave their lives in WWII. Please take the time to read it. Can you imagine a male or Big Power leader doing that today?

In the entry on Angela Merkel you’ll find a couple of links to the MBT, Meyers Briggs Training Institute’s MB Personality Assessment which is a method for determining your personality type. I’ve heard of it but I’ve never tried it. If you have, please let us know what you think. Interestingly, someone has used the MBTI test to evaluate Angela Merkel’s personality. I don’t know if it was her, someone who knows her well, or a scholar wandering in Walter Langer’s footsteps. However, wouldn’t it be interesting to see this methodology applied to our 21 women diplomats; and see what common characteristics they have, if any? I’m sure there are people in Washington, London, Berlin, Moscow and Beijing doing just that. There’s a further discussion of the MBTI in the Conclusions section.

In the entry for Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands you’ll find a comment that some of you historians may disagree with but I’ll stand by it.

(* indicates those worthy of special note)

  • Albright, Madeleine, 1937-Present, Czech, USA, US Ambassador to UN, 1993-1997, Secretary of State, 1997-2001, UN, Balkans War, arms control, NATO, Middle East peace

    “For me, being raised in a Free America made all the difference.”

  • Amanapour, Christiane, 1958-Present, Persian, journalist,ABC TV host and international correspondent for CNN, born in UK, educated in USA,” ‘We in the press, by our power, can actually undermine leadership.”

    ”‘Nobody is really fearless. It’s about how you manage the fear.”

  • Aung San Suu Kyi, 1945-Present, Burmese, opposition Politician, 1988-Present, one of the world’s most prominent political prisoners (15 out of 21 years), said she will run for president in 2015.

    “It is not power that corrupts but fear.”

  • *Bandaranaike, Sirimavo, 1916-2000, Sri Lanka, PM, 1960-1965, 1970–1977, 1994–2000, modern world’s first female head of government, family dynasty, pact with India over Tamils, She died on Election Day, 10 October 2000, after having cast her vote for the last time.

    “She was a heroic mother of the nation.” Said her political party, but her own children spurned her and went their own political way.

  • Beatrix, 1938-Present, Netherlands, Queen, 1980-2013, change in Caribbean possessions status, foreign representative and unifier at home, dealt with five PMs, by protocol she could not be quoted in the press, 2009 assassination attempt failed, but five died.

    For 223 year The Netherlands was ruled by three successive queens: Wihelmina, Juliana and Beatrix. I can’t offhand think of a similar sequence of reigns in modern history in which three female diplomats led their country through such a series of good and bad times. Still, my question is: “Where are the pearls?”

  • Juliana, 1948–1980, Netherlands, Queen

    She said in her abdication speech, “It is time to place the responsibility for the country in the hands of a new generation.”

  • *Bhutto, Benazir, 1953-2007, Pakistan, PM and stateswoman, 1988-1990, 1993-1996, scion of the powerful Bhutto family (father was also a PM), she was first female head of a muslim country, called an “Iron Lady,” partially because of her tough policy toward India, eight years of exile, returned to run in election and was assassinated. She dabbled in foreign policy, favoring leftist and socialist countries, worked actively with NK to promote their nuclear program, early pro-Taliban in Afghani conflict changed to criticism. Her legacy was complicated as to be expected from a traditional muslim woman who was western educated and intelligent. Her last book was . Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West

    “My father was the Prime Minister of Pakistan. My grandfather had been in politics, too; however, my own inclination was for a job other than politics. I wanted to be a diplomat, perhaps do some journalism - certainly not politics.”

    ”if (India) conducts a nuclear test, it would have forced her (Pakistan) to “follow suit … The day will never arise … when we (Pakistan) … have to use our knowledge to make and detonate a [nuclear] device and export our [nuclear] technology … ”

  • Bojaxhiu, Anjeze Gonxhe (Mother Teresa), 1910-1997, Born in Kosovo, The Ottoman Empire, religious sister and missionary, primarily in India, 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. Criticized for opposing contraception and conditions in her hospices and homes.

  • Bronzetti, Denise,1972-Present, San Marino, Capitano Reggente, 2012-2013

    Look her up on Facebook

  • Brundtland, Gro Harlem,1939-Present, Norway, PM, 1981, 1986-1989, 1990-1996, long history of UN service & currently a Special Enjoy with the UN, survived a 2011 assassination attempt

    • “Det er typisk norsk å være god"
    • ("It's typically Norwegian to be good.")

    —New Year’s Eve Speech (January 1, 1992)

  • *Charles, Mary Eugenia, 1919-2005 Dominica, PM, 1980-1995, “Dame Mary Eugenia Charles, DBE (15 May 1919 – 6 September 2005) was Prime Minister of Dominica from 21 July 1980 until 14 June 1995. She was Dominica's first, and to date only, female prime minister, as well as the nation's longest-serving prime minister. She was the second female prime minister in the Caribbean after Lucinda da Costa of the Netherlands Antilles, and the first woman elected in her own right as head of government in the Americas. She was the world's third longest-serving female Prime Minister, behind Indira Gandhi of India and Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka, and the world's longest continuously serving female survived two coup attempts, and supported US intervention in Grenada.”

    “Go to hell!” (she said to Greenpeace activists protesting Japanese whale fishing”

    “She was a woman who although coming from a small island refused to let that limit her scope and accomplishments; a lesson that we could all do well to learn from.”

  • Charlotte, 1896-1985, Luxembourg, Grand Duchess, 1919-1964, in exile in London in WWII, six children, hosted and traveled representing the country. When her older sister, Marie-Adélaide, who had succeeded their father, was forced to abdicate on 14 January 1919, Charlotte became the one who had to deal with the revolutionary tendencies in the country. Unlike her sister, she chose not to meddle with its politics. (a bit of art history)

  • Clinton, Hillary, 1947-Present, USA, Former First Lady, 1993-2001, US Senator, 2001-2009, Secretary of State, 2009-2013. Supported war in Afghanistan, Iraq war initially then criticized Bush handling of war, supported strong response to Arab Spring and “smart power” strategy in foreign affairs.

    “Probably my worst is that I get very passionate about what I think is right.”

    “What difference does it really make?” (at Benghazi Hearing)

    “I will not comment on or confirm what are alleged to be stolen State Department cables.
    But I can say that the United States deeply regrets the disclosure of any information that was intended to be confidential,
    including private discussions between counterparts or our diplomats' personal assessments and observations.”
    - Hillary Clinton

  • Elizabeth II, 1926-Present , UK, Queen, 1952-Present, Constitution monarch of 16 of the 53 members of the Commonwealth, which she also heads, as well as head of the Church of England. Elizabeth's many historic visits and meetings include a state visit to the Republic of Ireland, the first state visit of an Irish president to the United Kingdom, and reciprocal visits to and from the Pope. She has seen major constitutional changes, such as devolution in the United Kingdom, Canadian patriation, and the decolonization of Africa. She has also reigned through various wars and conflicts involving many of her realms.

    “I cannot lead you into battle. I do not give you laws or administer justice but I can do something else - I can give my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations.”

    I cannot help but recall two scenes from two motion pictures: The Queen with Helen Mirren playing Elizabeth and the way she puts her PM, Tony Blair, down when he comes to make his first visit to her; and Iron Lady with Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher and how she puts her male dominated Cabinet in its place with a few words and some nasty looks.

  • Gandhi, Indira, 1917-1984, Indian, PM, 1966-1977, 1980-1984, only woman PM, 2nd longest serving PM, assassinated, family scion, politically ruthless, strong believer in centralization of power, daughter of Nehru, married a Gandhi, war with Pakistan, supported Bangladesh independence, socialist, supported Tamils in Sri Lanka, nuclear test in 1974, up and down relationship with Pakistan, supported Palestinians and opposed USA in Middle East, mixed success in ME policy, she did not get along with ASEAN, lost support to China in Africa but worked to regain it. (only four African states supported India in Sino-Indian War in 192).

    “I am alive today, I may not be there tomorrow… I shall continue to serve until my last breath and when I die, I can say, that every drop of my blood will invigorate India and strengthen it “(from a speech she gave the day before she was assassinated by two of her Sihkh body guards).

  • *Johnson-Sirleaf, Ellen, 1938-Present, Liberia, President, 2006-Present , first elected female head of state in Africa, not so good relations with Ivory Coast (two wars), offered to let US Army HQ its AFCOM in Liberia (still in Stuttgart, only African country to do so, closer ties with China, against foreign intervention in Libya post-Gaddafi

    “I beg you. I am no magician. I can’t just wave a magic wand.”

  • Gillard, Julia, 1961-Present, Australia, PM, 2010-2013, first woman head of Labor Party and first woman PM, pro-US alliance but privately critical of US leaders, supported Afghani War She had a mouth on her but, unfortunately for her, so do most male Australian politicians.

    “Foreign policy is not my passion. It's not what I've spent my life doing. You know, I came into politics predominantly to make a difference to opportunity questions, particularly make a difference in education. So, yes, if I had a choice I'd probably more be in a school watching kids learn to read in Australia than here in Brussels at international meetings”

  • Kirchner, Cristina Fernandez de, 1953-Present, Argentina, President, 2007-Present , first directly elected woman president and first re-elected, first lady who took office when her husband, Nestor, died in 2007. Anti-UK policy over Falkands, recovery of Malvinas, expand Argentine influence in South America, competitive with Brasil, economic problems, a self-proclaimed Peronist

    “Kirchner often made speeches with images of Eva Perón in the background, further encouraging comparisons. This is done either at the "Hall of the women of the bicentennial" at the Casa Rosada, which features portraits of notable Argentine women, or at the ministry of health building, which has a giant image of Evita. The exact image of Evita used, is selected according to the tone of the speech: if it has good news, it will be an image of a benevolent Evita, if it is an attack on someone, it will be an image of an angry Evita,”

    “Peronism is so much like Argentines. We Peronists, just like all Argentines, are capable of spawning the most generous actions and the most sublime individuals, as well as the most despicable actions. That’s how contradictory we are. When kidnapping was rife in this country and people were made to disappear and thrown into the river, the defenders of press freedom went AWOL.”

  • *Louisy, Dame Pearlette, 1946-Present, St. Lucia, Governor-General, 1997-Present, author of A Handbook for Writing Creole

    “Statement by HE Governor General Dame Pearlette Louisy on Veteran’s Day 2012
    Thursday, November 8th, 2012 at 6:44 AM

    Ladies and Gentlemen: Please don’t reach for that remote, don’t change the station, and please don’t walk away to do that task you have been putting off for the longest while.

    It can wait for another ten minutes because I want to prevail on you to stop awhile to reflect with me and search your hearts to find out how you would react if tomorrow you woke up to find the peace of our country shattered, our country plunged into war, and the whole pattern of your well-ordered life threatened. Would you volunteer to go to war to save Saint Lucia knowing full well that enlisting would probably put your life at real risk some time, some place ? Would you be willing to pay that supreme sacrifice, to give up your life for your country or even for the world community to ensure that peace was restored ? This question was recently put to one of our regular radio talk-show hosts by one of the callers participating in discussion on the current relevance of Remembrance Day. Needless to say, the usually articulate host was lost for words and could not commit himself to a straight answer. But this is precisely what millions of men and women all over the world did when they left their homes, their friends and loved ones to fight for world peace during the dark days of the two World Wars. They were not all career soldiers paid to defend their country, but ordinary civilians who come forward willingly to fight for peace, not only for those whom they knew and loved, but for persons whom they were never likely to meet. They are the ones whom each November, we remember, the ones whom the author of the poem “Lest We Forget” spoke of when he wrote:

    One hundred million
    [That didn’t] come home from war
    Another eight hundred million
    Who lived to bear its scars.

    Among those almost one billion were men and women from Saint Lucia: some died, others returned scarred by their experiences. They are the veterans, some of them still in our midst, whose patriotism and sense of duty we recognise in the days leading up to Remembrance Day.

    You will therefore understand how saddened I was to hear a caller to that same programme to which I referred earlier refuse bluntly to accept that he owed any of one of these local veterans any obligation to honour, let alone assist them. They did not do it for him, he said; he has absolutely no sympathy for them, let alone gratitude. If they were foolhardy or reckless enough to put themselves in harm’s way for a foreign power, then let them live with the consequences — or words to that effect. For him and other like-minded persons in our society, I would like to quote the poignant words of a dying soldier to one of his comrades:

    “When you go home
    Tell them of us and say
    For your tomorrow
    We gave our today.

    Yes, indeed, it is this sacrifice that we are asked to honour collectively, as a nation, at least once a year. Two years from now in 2014 we will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. This commemoration should give us the opportunity to reflect on the futility of war, and on the human suffering that it causes, and deepen our determination to avoid future conflicts. We need only think of World War II and of all the regional and domestic wars and conflicts that have been waged since for us to understand the fragility of peace and to appreciate how easily the world could again find itself plunged into global warfare. We need to remember those who died and those who continue to die in wars around the world. Why? Because, in the words of Owen Griffiths:

    “Lest we forget
    What they were dying for
    Lest we forget
    What they were killing for
    Lest we forget
    What the hell it was for”

    We need to remember to keep alive in our own hearts and minds the need and the significance of keeping peace at home and on the world stage.

    But how and when can we secure and sustain peace ? David Roberts, writing after he had experienced firsthand the ravages of the conflict in Kosovo, makes this recommendation:

    There will be peace
    when attitudes change ;
    when self-interest is seen as part of common interest
    when old wrongs, old scores, old mistakes
    are deleted from the account ;’
    when the aim becomes co-operation and mutual
    benefit rather than revenge, or seizing maximum
    personal or group gain;
    when justice and equality before the law
    become the basis of government
    when basic freedoms exist ;
    when leaders — political, religious, educational — and
    the police and the media’
    whole heartedly embrace the concept of justice,
    equality, freedom, tolerance and reconciliation
    as a basis for renewal ;
    when parents teach their children new ways to
    think about people;
    There will be peace
    When enemies become fellow human beings

    We need to build these defences of peace, so that future conflicts and wars can be averted. Let us remember those who died in the cause of peace, let us honour those who served to ensure that the lessons learnt will stay with us “always and forever.” We remember especially from Saint Lucia those who died in Active Service in World War II.

    Pilot Officers D. Shingleton-Smith and D. DuBoulay
    Flying Officer H. T. Etienne
    Flight Sergeant H. Dulieu
    Seamen – W. George, C. J. Gitts, J. George
    P. Phillip, J. Laurent, G. Stephens
    A. G. Augier, F. Charles, G. Gabriel,
    R. Joseph, C. Joseph, C. M. Laurencin, and
    S. Murrain

    We honour those who served, we pray for the repose of the souls of those who have since died, and we pledge our support of those who are still with us, and whom we count among the members of the Saint Lucia Branch of the Royal Commonwealth Ex Service League.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, let us not break faith with them. Let us work for peace in our time and in our land. Let this peace begin with each one of us."

  • Margrethe II, 1940-Present, Denmark, Queen, 1972-Present, foreign representative and unifier at home Admitted her most difficult decision was to endorse a ban on public smoking when everyone in the country knew she is a chain smoker.

    “I will remain on the throne until I fall off.”

    “I can, of course, think what I want, just like everyone else. I simply have to refrain from saying everything I think. That might be something many people should do once in a while.”

  • *Meir, Golda, 1898-1978, Russia, USA, Israel, PM, 1969-1974, In 1938 she was the Palestinian rep at the Evian Conference in France but was not allowed to speak or participate except as an observer, (a fascinating story), also served as Foreign Minister, early supporter of ties with new African countries, agreed with HAK on formula to end “war of attrition 1967-1970), led country in Yom Kippur War,

    She was called “the iron lady of Israeli politics” long before Thatcher came along. Former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion used to call Meir "the best man in the government"; she was often portrayed as the "strong-willed, straight-talking, grey-bunned grandmother of the Jewish people".[5] Meir was one of 24 signatories (including two women) of the Israeli Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948. She later recalled, "After I signed, I cried. When I studied American history as a schoolgirl and I read about those who signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence, I couldn't imagine these were real people doing something real. And there I was sitting down and signing a declaration of establishment.”

    Carrying the first Israeli-issued passport, Meir was appointed Israel's minister plenipotentiary (ambassador) to the Soviet Union, with her term beginning on September 2, 1948, and ending in March 1949 Three days after USA recognized Israel de facto, Soviet Union and other Eastern European countries recognized it de jure. During the Yom Kippur War Meir used to summon her War Cabinet to her home, gather them around her kitchen table and fix them a nice Jewish supper; while she lectured them on affairs of state and the way the war was going.

  • Merkel, Angela, 1954 – Present, Germany, Chancellor, 2005 – Present, Favors a tough approach with EU, supports NATO, has contributed very limited forces overseas, has visited Israel four times and led trade delegations to China seven times (Chinese President has been to Germany once.).

    “Spying among friends is never acceptable.”

    “That is why everyone in politics, and we do it, must make sure that they do not depend on one single interest group. A good compromise is one where everybody makes a contribution. “

  • *Park, Geun Hye, 1952-Present, South Korea, President, 2013-Present, the scion of politically powerful family, father was president and assassinated, foreign priorities are USA, North Korea, China, Russia, and Japan? Juggling act. Corruption, election scandals, heads a country technically still at war with a nuclear armed power only 20 miles away, but favors “unification” eventually.

    “I will end the history of division and conflict through reconciliation and fairness.”

    “Different times need different types of leadership.”

  • Thatcher, Margaret, 1925-2013, UK, PM, 1977-1990, Soviet invasion of Afghan, Cold War alliance with USA (personal bond with Ronald Reagan with whom she shared problem of dementia, a tragic coincidence, in later years), Falklands War, a highly capable and committed war leader, use of a streamlined, decision-making War Cabinet vs. usual “cabinet government.” China and HK sovereignty, EC (community) vs EU (union), Libya, Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, She regarded her ousting as a betrayal.

    “This is no time to go wobbly!”

    "We're not in a Cold War now", but rather in a "new relationship much wider than the Cold War ever was"

    “I like Mr. Gorbachev. We can do business together.”

    “Thatcher could congratulate herself on being, ‘in a very real sense, godmother to the Reagan-Gorbachev relationship.’”

  • Walters, Barbara, 1929-Present, USA, Journalist, 1961-2014, News anchor, host, co-host, interviewer, $12M salary in 2007.

    “Don’t confuse being stimulating with being blunt.”

    “Work harder than everybody. You’re not going to get it by whining, and you’re not going to get it by shouting, and you’re not going to get it by quitting. You’re going to get it by being there.”

    “Deep breaths are very helpful at shallow parties.”


These 6 levels or classes are not complete or definitive, but merely possibilities of ways women diplomats can be characterized and grouped by different criteria of comprehension and interaction.

  1. MBTI: It’s a given that the better a woman diplomat understands herself the better she’ll understand her peers; whether they are female or male.; and where she fits into them as a group.

  2. How to be diplomatic in real life and Diplomacy too!: These eight rules suggest ways to be diplomatic in everyday life but can also be applied to diplomatic situations where being “diplomatic” isn’t always as easy as it could or should be.

  3. Categories I chose to use five groups: Hawks, Doves, Members of the Commonwealth, Monarchs and Alliance Members. Most diplomatic leaders belong to one or two groups but a few belong to three or four. In some cases contradictions exist where a leader might personally be a Dove and yet because of her country’s alliance(s) might tend to support a hawkish policy. Most monarchs are relatively powerless on a pro forma basis but, in fact, do have considerable “behind the scenes” influence or even, by statute considerable power. For instance, the Queen is commander of the British armed forces but usually leaves that job to her senior officers. However, it is also the Queen who appoints those senior officers; hence the potential for a serious problem in a crisis situation.

  4. Gender Specific Individual Analysis: Case Studies The more we know about the subject leader, her opponents, the causes in which she believes (or doesn’t), the personal and career trials and tribulations she has gone through and the resulting effects all of these things have had on her the better we can understand and, to some degree, even predict what she might do in the future. Growing up in a palace with a king and a queen for parents might sound like a dream life but given the family history of The Royals (or The Firm as they sometimes call themselves) it amazes me how consistent and stable The Queen is. Or, in the case of Bhutto, Gandhi and Park I am amazed at the courage and determination these women showed given their family backgrounds and the personal tragedies that confronted them.

  5. Gender Specific Tools of the Trade: Although they were hardly modern women anyone who has studied the lives or even seen the movies of Salomon’s Queen of Sheba or Caesar’s Cleopatra VII can appreciate how far back the specific tools of the trade, as I call them, of diplomacy used by female diplomats go. Even something as simple as an apple can be a deadly tool as Eve, Snow White and Alan Turing discovered. FYI, The new movie, just out, “The Imitation Game” is about Alan Turing and I strongly suggest seeing it.

  6. Sub type Gender Specific Personality Traits or Behaviours: I realize that no personality trait or behavior is entirely gender specific, just as all men have some female characteristics and all women have some male characteristics. Still, where clichés tell us otherwise we’d be wise to take note. There’s a very good reason why clichés and stereotypes exist: it’s because they are true. I’ll look at just one and leave it to you to think of others and, hopefully, share them with us.

Level 0 — Meyers Briggs MBTI) http ://

Humanmetrics Jung Typology Test™
Your Type
Introvert(33%) Sensing(12%) Feeling(12%) Judging(1%)

  • You have moderate preference of Introversion over Extraversion (33%)
  • You have slight preference of Sensing over Intuition (12%)
  • You have slight preference of Feeling over Thinking (12%)
  • You have marginal or no preference of Judging over Perceiving (1%)

Level 1 — Eight Rules on How to Be Diplomatic (All genders)

How to Be Diplomatic

See the article in this issue on how to be diplomatic. The exact same advice applies here!

Level 2 — 5 Categories of Women Diplomats:

H = Hawk, D = Dove, C = Commonwealth, M = Monarch, A = Alliances

  • Hawks: Albright, Bhutto, Clinton, Gandhi, Kirchner, Meir, Merkel, Park, Thatcher
  • Doves: Aung, Bandaranaike, Bojaxhiu, Bronzetti, Brundtland,
  • Commonwealth: Charles, Elizabeth II, Gandhi, Johnson Sirleaf, Louisy,
  • Monarchies: Beatrix, Bhutto, Charlotte, Elizabeth, Gandhi, Margrethe II, Park
  • Alliances: Albright, Beatrix, Brundtland, Charlotte, Clinton, Elizabeth II, Gillard, Margrethe II, Merkel, Park, Thatcher.
  • Notes: Hawks: Kirchner, Merkel? Monarchies: Bhutto, Gandhi, Park?

Level 3 — Gender Specific Individual Analysis

Case Studies
The Subject
Her Opponents
The Cause
The Trials and Tribulations
The Results

Level 4 — Gender Specific Tools of the Trade

There are several ways a woman can do well in a man’s diplomacy world. I’m sure you can think of others.

  1. Bludgeon them into submission ( Thatcher)
  2. Lure them into submission (Kirchner)
  3. Intellectually persuade them (I’m thinking of Madam Pompadour or Catherine the Great, both born in the 1720s; but good examples today elude me with the possible exception of Bhutto, Bruntland, or Meir.)
  4. Bribe them (Merkel)
  5. Ridicule them into submission. (Thatcher)
  6. Appeal to their macho chauvinist instincts.(Kirchner)
  7. My family genes are better than yours. (Gandhi, Bhutto, Park)
  8. Show bravery where they don’t, etc. etc. (Aung … )
  9. Shame them into submission (Meir)

Level 5 (Sub-type gender specific) Personality Traits (one example)

Take the word “wile or wiles, wiled, and wiling” as an example. As a noun it can mean:

  1. a stratagem or trick intended to deceive or ensnare.
  2. a disarming or seductive manner, device, or procedure.
  3. Trickery, cunning.

As a transitive verb it can mean:

  1. to influence or lead by means of wiles, entice.
  2. to pass (time) agreeably.

Synonyms include wile, artifice, trick, ruse, feint, stratagem, maneuver, dodge.

All of which describe a female diplomat, don’t you think?


The fact is that a woman diplomat or Diplomat needs every skill a man in the same position needs and one more ---she has to know how to handle a man. Someday I hope the opposite will be true, but for now that’s the way it is.

Ignorant men often talk about a woman’s weaknesses in diplomacy or Diplomacy, but they rarely talk about their strengths. Women, on the other hand, rarely speak about either. They just get the job done.

Women don’t need to wear an iron breastplate or a gold one, as Elizabeth I did; but neither do they need to wear a bra from Frederick’s of Hollywood or Victoria’s Secret!

Femme fatales do well.

Is there a secret for women to women winning at Dip? Yes and it’s a simple one. Use your sexual gender to your advantage. Use your brains to win.

Sexual gender in Diplomacy may be overrated, but the use of a woman’s wiles is not to be under-estimated.

Peggy Gemignani, Katherine Passenheim, Kathy Caruso and Melinda Holley were and are all trailblazers for the women in the hobby and the hobby careers of these four women span the entire fifty-plus years of the hobby, but for more on that read Melinda Holley’s article elsewhere in this issue.

Femme fatales do well, but femme fatales with brains do much better.

It has nothing to with physical differences.
It has nothing to do with sexual gender.
It has everything to do with psyche.

Information from, Wikipedia , Brainyquotes, and Google. “Follow the people that shape the world.”

There are lots of quotes online about and by diplomats but precious few about or by women diplomats. That needs to change. Now. Further reading: A look at British women diplomats in recent years

Larry Peery

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