Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a major new voice on the role of female entrepreneurs in the developing world. Her book, “The Dressmaker of Khair Khana,” is a crystallization of her view that women are the unsung heroes of war-torn regions and emerging markets alike.

Actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie remarked, “This book is guaranteed to move you—and to show you a side of Afghanistan few ever see.”

Lemmon will speak at West Virginia University as part of the David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas on March 20 at 7:30 p.m. in The Erickson Alumni Center Ruby Grand Hall. She will be available to sign copies of “The Dressmaker of Khair Khana” immediately following her remarks.

Centering on Kamila Sidiqi, an ingenious young Afghan who created jobs for 100 women in her community during the Taliban years, the book is a result of years of on-the-ground reporting. It provides an intimate, unsentimental and optimistic look into modern day Afghanistan and beyond.

The book highlights the relationship between women and work, showing that leadership and empowerment can come out of even the most difficult situations. These women are not victims, Lemmon reminds us. They represent the tenacious heart, and best hope, for their nation in the years to come.

Lemmon is a contributing editor-at-large for Newsweek and The Daily Beast, reporting on economic and development issues with a focus on women. She is also the deputy director of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Women and Foreign Policy program. She’s also spoken at a TEDxWomen conference, which is an independently organized event surrounding the TEDWomen main events.

She earned her MBA at Harvard, where she began writing about women entrepreneurs in conflict and post-conflict zones, including Afghanistan, Bosnia and Rwanda. A former Fulbright scholar, she serves on the board of the International Center for Research on Women.



CONTACT: Liz Dickinson, writer/editor, Office of University Events

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