In a symposium in Eastern Europe last week, women security leaders in counterterrorism gathered to share information at the inaugural regional symposium from a Department of Justice and Department of State joint initiative.

The Department of Justice’s International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) and the Department of State’s Counterterrorism Bureau launched a program to support women in leadership roles in counterterrorism. The program aims to develop advanced training, provide mentorship programs, and offer insight into current trends in new technology are key elements for building the capacity of women engaged in combatting terrorism globally.

The project, Engaging Multinational Police Women on Equality and Rights (EMPoWER), builds the capacity of women to combat terrorism by supporting them through leadership opportunities and inclusion in counterterrorism efforts.

The EMPoWER Program conducted its inaugural regional symposium this week in Opatija, Croatia, drawing more than two dozen law enforcement participants from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Kenya.

“We hope that this is the first of many symposiums that not only help women to succeed in their role in the country-specific law enforcement agencies, but will also help U.S. counterterrorism efforts abroad,” said ICITAP Senior Law Enforcement Advisor, EMPoWER, Lynn Holland.

The EMPoWER Program plans to expand its initiatives in other regions, including Asia, Africa and the Middle East. This initiative will lead to the creation of regional task forces in which selected leaders will engage in international collaboration, strategic communication, and information sharing with U.S. government agencies, jointly working toward the goal of countering terrorism on the global platform.