Serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Austria in the ’90s, Hunt became one of the world’s foremost experts on how women rebuild societies in the aftermath of war, including in Bosnia and Rwanda. During the Bosnian conflict, she hosted negotiations between Croats and Bosniaks and led the charge to serve thousands of refugees who sought safety in Austria.
Hunt grew discouraged at how the men who caused the wars were being called upon to establish peace. In Bosnia, she noticed that women were doing the important work of feeding the hungry and reopening schools — the tasks that healed war wounds and set life back on a course to normalcy.
The founding director of Harvard University’s Women and Public Policy Program now serves as a mediation advisor to the United Nations, where she advocates for women’s inclusion in peace-building efforts.
Kara Dixon Vuic studies women not in the aftermath of the battles, but as key players in the war effort. The Benjamin W. Schmidt Professor of War, Conflict and Society in 20th-Century America is author of The Girls Next Door: Bringing the Home Front to the Front Lines (Harvard University Press, 2019). Her acclaimed work looks at how women, by serving as entertainers and then frontline soldiers, played key roles in the U.S. war efforts in the 20th century and beyond.