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NEWS | March 7, 2023

U.S. Secretary of State Recognizes Brigadier General Bolor Ganbold at 2023 International Women of Courage Awards

U.S. Embassy in Mongolia -- On March 8, PM EST, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, along with the First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, will host the annual International Women of Courage (IWOC) Awards in an award ceremony at the White House and present awards to each of the eleven 2023 IWOC awardees, recognizing their exceptional courage, strength, and leadership.

The award ceremony will be live streamed on in Mongolia on March 9, at 3:00 AM ULAT.

Brigadier General Bolor Ganbold will be honored for her nearly 30 years of courageous service to Mongolia and the series of firsts she has achieved, which have broken barriers and opened the door for other women to follow. On March 18, 2022, Brigadier General Bolor earned yet another first, becoming the first woman general in the Mongolian Armed Forces. Her experiences as a member of both the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad in 2010 and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan in 2013, as well as serving as a Peacekeeping Affairs Officer within the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations, have guided her efforts in seeking to reduce the various barriers that prevent women from fully developing their potential as peacekeepers. Brigadier General Bolor utilizes her current position as the Chief of the Education and Training Directorate of the General Staff of the Mongolian Armed Forces to advance gender equality in all facets of the Mongolian Armed Forces’ organizational structure, activities, and operations.

Attributed to U.S. Ambassador Richard Buangan:

The U.S. Embassy in Mongolia is proud that Brigadier General Bolor Ganbold has been selected as one of 11 women leaders to receive the International Women of Courage Award. It is the most prestigious award given by the U.S. Secretary of State to women from around the world who demonstrate exceptional courage, strength, and leadership in advocating peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, and the empowerment of women and girls, often at personal risk and sacrifice. I hope that her story and the story of other IWOC Awardees will serve as sources of inspiration for women and girls around the world to break gender barriers, advance equality, and build brighter futures for all.

As the first woman general in the Mongolian Armed Forces, BG Bolor has opened the door for women to rise in military ranks that are traditionally reserved for men and paved the path for women in uniform to serve as leaders in UN peacekeeping.

My colleagues and I look forward to following the ceremony online when BG Bolor receives her award from Secretary Blinken and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden at the White House in Washington DC on March 8.

Courageous women inspire a better world. Now in its 17th year, the Secretary of State’s IWOC Award recognizes women from around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equity and equality, and women’s empowerment – often at great personal risk and sacrifice. Since March 2007, the Department of State has recognized more than 180 awardees from over 80 countries. U.S. diplomatic missions nominate one woman of courage from their respective host countries and finalists are selected and approved by senior Department officials. Learn more about IWOC at

Following the IWOC ceremony, Brigadier General Bolor will continue to participate in a two-week International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) exchange and connect with American counterparts throughout the United States. Brigadier General Bolor will visit Cleveland and Los Angeles and cultivate relationships with her counterparts to share strategies and ideas to empower women and girls around the globe, in all their diversity.

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. Through short-term visits to the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience this country firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts. Learn more about the IVLP here:

Media outlets in Mongolia are encouraged to reach out to email for more information. We also invite you to follow #IWOC2023 and #WomenOfCourage on social media for updates on this year’s awards.


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