Melanne Verveer speaks with Devex Impact reporter Adva Saldinger in New York.

In April 2009, Melanne Verveer became the first-ever United States ambassador-at-large for global women's issues — a position she held for more than four years before joining Georgetown University as the executive director of the Institute for Women, Peace and Security.

What can the ambassadorship, now held by Catherine M. Russell, achieve given its “soft” power approach and limited funding?

“I think that we were able to really begin to push the envelope in a significant way” by integrating women’s issues within the overall policy agenda of the State Department, the Pentagon and the U.S. Agency for International Development, Verveer said during a recent interview with Devex Impact reporter Adva Saldinger.

How did Verveer try to push the envelope? Click on the above video to find out.

Want to learn more? Check out She Builds and tweet us using #SheBuilds.

She Builds is a month-long conversation hosted by Devex in partnership with Chemonics, Creative Associates, JBS International as well as the Millennium Challenge Corp., United Nations Office for Project Services and the U.K. Department for International Development.

See more:

Melanne Verveer: Make women ‘as effective as they can be’

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    Rolf Rosenkranz

    Rolf Rosenkranz oversees a talented team of in-house journalists, correspondents and guest contributors located around the globe. Since joining Devex in early 2008, Rolf has been instrumental in growing its fledgling news operation into the leading online source for global development news and analysis. Previously, Rolf was managing editor at Inside Health Policy, a subscription-based news service in Washington. He has reported from Africa for the Johannesburg-based Star and its publisher, Independent News & Media, as well as the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, a German daily.

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