Middle East Women’s
Leadership Network

We are passionate about helping women become world-class
leaders by Creating media for their mission. 

About Us


The Middle East Women’s Leadership Network helps women become world-class leaders by creating media for their mission. Launched in 2013, we gather women for networking, training, mentoring and collaborative purposes. We build relationships to leverage our talents and resources. We convene women change agents, encourage collaborative partnerships and challenge them to create a practical plan for media engagement. As result of our network gatherings, trainings, mentoring and follow up efforts, several collaborative media related projects have emerged for the Middle East.
We explore important trends, exchange expertise, and encourage innovative media. Our strategic sectors include...

  • Gender Equality

  • Religious Freedom

  • Trauma Counseling

  • Peace and Security

  • Faith-based Initiatives

The combination of mentoring and leadership forums helps our network participants build confidence and develop a personal action plan. Together we create TV, film, radio, print and internet projects. Our collective efforts contribute to the larger movement of developing female leaders, innovative media projects and reaching millions in the Middle East.
For more information, contact:

Why are we needed? 


The Middle East is increasingly visual, story-driven and mobile dominated. It’s urgent we identify, equip and mobilize women to create media to share peace building messages. Despite the growing challenges in the region, many are seeking counter-narratives and stories of hope. As a result, we gather women to explore important trends, exchange expertise, and develop innovative media projects for our organizations and commmunities.

Core changes are needed to treat women with equality and full recognition of their giftedness. Organizations, whether faith-based or secular, must be fully convinced of women’s capabilities and invest in female leaders to help them utilize their talents to make a lasting impact.

All the more, women need role models who can support and guide them. We desire to assist women to integrate more fully in the organizations they serve. With the desire to empower a new generation of women leaders, we focus on their need to strengthen relationships, receive leadership training, develop action plans and partner in collaborative media initiatives.


Our Strategy









We are leaders serving leaders. Our strategy is to equip women leaders who can have a lasting impact in the Middle East. Our women are decision makers, influencers and mobilizers, impacting through their organizations on a national level. We convene women at leadership forums, make strategic connections, and follow up afterward to achieve their personal and organizational goals. We do the following…

  • Host leadership forums to introduce network participants and provide media training
  • Spotlight the needs and the contributions of women's intiatives.
  • Showcase media experts, innovations, & collaborations for the MENA region.
  • Provide opportunities for peer dialogue, emphasizing effective story, branding and media strategies to expand our outreach. 
  • Gather focus groups that can research and respond to field driven initiatives
  • Encourage participants to co-author goals of actionable items (which include a plan and a commitment)
  • Challenge our high-impact leaders to mentor emerging leaders
  • Share critical trends, challenges and opportunities, and document them for potential projects
  • Partner together to create collaborative media projects.

Meet The Team

Leadership and Media Summit Speakers


Shirin Taber:


Shirin is the founder and director of the Middle East Women’s Leadership Network. She is an Iranian-American and the author of Muslims Next Door (Zondervan). She came to faith in Christ through an American neighbor after the Hostage Crisis in 1980. The Los Angeles Times, Detroit Free Press, and Fox News have featured her writing and work among Muslims and Christians alike. Shirin has served with Cru, the JESUS Film Project, and the Christian Broadcasting Network. With the JESUS Film Project, she helped produce the Magdelena film, which has been viewed by tens of millions in the Middle East.  As a director of the Middle East Women’s Leadership Network, she trains women to become world-class leaders by using media for their mission. Recently, Shirin was asked by the George W. Bush Institute’s Women’s Initiative to serve as a mentor for emerging female leaders in Tunisia.  


Cameo Wallace Guillemette:

Executive Producer, Discovery Channel, Mentor with the George Bush Institute

Cameo, an award-winning documentary and television producer, has developed and produced successful programming for ABC, CBS, NBC, A&E, the History Channel, MTV, the Discovery Channel, TLC, MSNBC, Oxygen and the Food Network. She currently is an Executive Producer for the Discovery Channel. The diversity of projects on which Cameo has worked, from a documentary for the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and Swiss documentary “Jugend ohne Drogen (Youth Without Drugs)” to her involvement in philanthropic organizations, combine her profession with purposeful ventures.   Her company, Cameo Appearance Productions, Inc., focuses on artful storytelling with a redemptive message to reveal truth and inspire change. Cameo also coordinates and produces large-scale events, including: Presidential Inaugural events; the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s 50th Anniversary Gala; Pope Benedict XIV’s Mass at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.; the launch of Peter Lawson-Johnston’s book “Growing Up Guggenheim” held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; and a youth program with former child soldiers from Africa and Central America with the U.S. Department of Labor’s “Children in the Crossfire” conference.

Charity Wallace:


Charity serves as the Vice President of Global Women’s Initiatives at the George W. Bush Presidential Center and Senior Advisor to Mrs. Laura Bush.  She is responsible for setting the vision and managing the policy engagement for the Institute’s women’s initiatives, including the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon global health program, empowering of women in the Middle East and working with First Ladies from around the world.  The initiatives aim to improve access to education, health care, and economic opportunity for women and children in Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan. Wallace serves on the Board of Advisors for the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University, the Advisory Board of ARZU Studio Hope, an organization that helps Afghan women rug weavers break the cycle of poverty by providing them steady income and access to education and healthcare, and the Advisory Board of 4word Women. Wallace is an ex-officio member on the Human Freedom Advisory Council for the Bush Institute.  She wrote the foreword for the book Work, Love, Pray, which was released in 2011.

Nancy Sawyer Schraeder: 


Magdalena: Released from Shame, a feature film she scripted, premiered at the United Nations in 2007 and has been translated into over one hundred languages. Rivka, a follow-up mini-series she co-wrote, was released worldwide in 2012. Her original award-winning screenplay, Wilberforce, was optioned by Patricia Heaton’s Fourboys Films and Walden Media, which later released the film, Amazing Grace. Nancy penned the documentary, A Promise Kept, and co-wrote a multi-media stage production, Bring Back the Glory.  She contributed to three nonfiction books by Dr. Bill Bright and has consulted for corporations and non-profits. After graduating Magna cum Laude from Wheaton College, Nancy completed a Master of Professional Writing in Drama/Screenplay at the University of Southern California. A passionate teacher and speaker, she has taught writing and Film and Literature at Biola University and Long Beach City College and guest lectured on screenwriting at California State University, Long Beach. Nancy served on the board of the 168 Hour Film Festival and has been a mentor for Act One: Writing for Hollywood. Nancy lives in Southern California with her husband, Bob, and their three children.

Kathleen Cooke:


Kathleen is an actress, businesswoman, writer and speaker, and is a founding partner (with husband, Phil Cooke) and VP at Cooke Pictures in Burbank CA ( Responsible for casting and providing creative consulting Kathleen works with many of the leading nonprofits and ministries globally.  Together they also launched in 2013 The Influence Lab ( focusing on igniting the Church to engage culture through media and on redefining the Christian mission strategy in the digital age.  She is the editor of the monthly Influence Women Newsletter,, and her weekly blog can be found at focusing on developing, connecting and inspiring Christian women involved in media, entertainment and all areas of influence.  As an adjunct professor, Kathleen co-directed the internationally recognized Biola Media Conference, then went on to found and direct the West Coast/Hollywood Chapter of Christian Women In Media (CWIMA) from 2011 to 2013. She, presently, is an adjunct at Asbury University for their Hollywood internship program, is a regular column contributor to WHOA Magazine,, is on the boards for Hollywood Connect, Hollywood Prayer Network, and the National Salvation Army Board.  She regularly travels internationally speaking on topics of faith, media, leadership, and culture.  Her passion is to see women mature, flourish, and find their significance beginning with a vibrant and sustaining relationship with God.

Kim Dorr-Tilley:

Talent Agent, Associate Pastor, Bel Air Presbyterian Church

Kim is an Associate Pastor at Bel Air Presbyterian Church. She oversees THE BEACON, a Christian community dedicated to encouraging, equipping and inspiring people of faith working in the Entertainment Industry.  With a hub of industry professionals in weekly attendance, Bel Air Presbyterian Church is committed to being in dialogue with culture through conversations shaped by this ministry. Kim is the former co-owner of Defining Artists Agency. Before moving into full time ministry, she worked in the entertainment industry, specifically with on-camera talent, for over 30 years. She developed and ran the Casting Department of The Arthur Company, an independent television production company, for nine years. She cast many hours of comedy and drama for cable, syndicated, and prime time programming while also finding and developing talent for the company. In 1993, she joined Bobby Ball Talent Agency where she headed up the Children’s and Young Adult TV/ Film Division and started the Adult Theatrical Department. In 2002, Defining Artists was launched as a boutique theatrical talent agency. Kim acted as CEO until June of 2015.


Religious Freedom Film Competition

The Middle East Women’s Leadership Network (MEWLN) and the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF) are pleased to announce the Religious Freedom Film Competition. The goal of the competition is to challenge women filmmakers around the world to create short films that showcase how religious freedom leads to innovation, peace, security, entrepreneurship, and human flourishing in communities.

The "Top 10" films will screen before world-class CEOs and leaders at the 2018 Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards in Seoul, South Korea, before the opening of the Winter Paralympics. The grand prize winner of the competition will receive $5,000 and a trip to present her work at the awards.

The 1-to-3 minute films should be artful and compelling explorations of the impact of religious freedom (or the lack of it) in the workplace and community. Filmmakers may choose to create short narratives of real-life business leaders who encourage freedom of religious expression in their workplace or community.

Whether inspired by real-life events or fictional, animated, or experimental, the films should thoughtfully seek to affirm that cultural diversity and religious freedom are good for business.


Shorts: From 1 to 3 minutes


Documentaries, Narratives, Animation, Experimental, Montage.


October 1, 2017


Films may developed from around the world.


February 1, 2018


The submission fee is $35.

For more details about the competition and sample films, visit the RFBF website at or contact Shirin Taber, MEWLN Director, at

Click here to submit your film through Withoutabox.