Women’s College Coalition taps Sweet Briar president as new board member

Meredith WooSweet Briar College President Meredith Woo has joined the board of directors of the Women’s College Coalition. Woo was confirmed at the board’s last meeting in February.

“I’m incredibly honored to join the board of the Women’s College Coalition during this crucial time for single-sex institutions,” Woo said. “Women’s colleges are now more relevant than ever, because progress in equal rights has not — as some would like to think — led to equal opportunity. There is a lot of work to do. It is our job to change the status quo, and to empower women to take charge.”

Woo’s term will last for three years.

“We are thrilled to have President Woo bring her experience and expertise to help guide the Women’s College Coalition at this important time in our history,” said Michele Ozumba, president of the Women’s College Coalition. “Her willingness to serve reflects her deep commitment to our mission and to our network of women’s colleges and universities across North America.”

Before joining Sweet Briar in May 2017, Woo was director of the Global Higher Education Program for the Open Society Foundations, based in London, where her program supported more than 50 colleges and universities over the past 20 years, mostly in the former Soviet bloc countries.

Woo previously served as the University of Virginia’s dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences; held appointments at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and Northwestern University; and consulted with the World Bank, the U.S. Trade Representative, Asian Development Bank and the MacArthur Foundation.

An expert on international political economy and East Asian politics, Woo has written and edited seven books, and was the executive producer of an award-winning documentary film, “Koryo Saram: The Unreliable People,” about Joseph Stalin’s ethnic cleansing of Koreans living in Far Eastern Russia during the Great Terror.

A native of Seoul who was educated in Seoul and Tokyo through high school, Woo came to the U.S. to study at Bowdoin College in Maine. She completed her master’s and doctoral degrees in international affairs, Latin American studies and political science at Columbia University.

The mission of the Women’s College Coalition is to transform the world through the education and success of women and girls. The Women’s College Coalition serves member colleges and universities in the United States and Canada by conducting collaborative research; introducing women and their families to women’s colleges through admissions advocacy programs; and bringing together women’s college leaders to collaborate and to explore the issues in higher education today.