Elizabeth A. Vazquez is the President, CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International, a global non-profit that educates and connects women-owned businesses to qualified buyers around the world. She is a world leader in women’s economic empowerment and global supplier diversity and inclusion and was recognized in 2023 as a Forbes 50 Over 50 Impact Changemaker.
As the head of WEConnect International, Ms. Vazquez is responsible for mission delivery and measurable global impact at scale. WEConnect International identifies, educates, registers, and certifies women’s business enterprises that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women, and then connects them with member buyers. The WEConnect International WECommunity supports and promotes women-owned businesses based in over 135 countries, including local support and certification in over 50 countries across the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The organization also helps to develop the capacity of large buyers to source more products and services from underutilized suppliers, including women-owned businesses globally.
Ms. Vazquez is the co-author of the book, “Buying for Impact: How to Buy from Women and Change Our World.” She “rang the bell” at the New York Stock Exchange in support of women business owners around the world, is an annual Business20 and Women20 Representative to advance G20 commitments and was a U.S. Delegation Member and speaker at the 2023 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Senior Officials’ Meeting and Related Meetings. She is a member of the Procter & Gamble Supplier Diversity Advocacy Council and served as a member of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment.
Ms. Vazquez is an advisor to a long list of corporate, government and multilateral leaders, including WEConnect International member buyers with over US$3 trillion in annual purchasing power. She has served as a guest trainer and guest lecturer on international trade and gender inclusive economic growth to graduate students at several universities and business schools such as American University, Arizona State University Honors College, Brown University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Harvard University, MIT, Oxford University, Tufts University, University of Johannesburg, University of Ottawa, and she has been a featured speaker at events hosted by the UN, World Bank Group, World Economic Forum, G20, OECD, APEC, etc. She is a member of the U.S.-India Alliance for Women’s Economic Empowerment and an Honorary Friend of the U.S.-Pakistan Women’s Council.
She was born in Mexico, has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Arizona State University, and was honored by the Barrett Honors College as an Inspiring Alumni for making significant contributions in her career and community. She has a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University where she studied development economics and international negotiation as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and is a recipient of the Fletcher Women’s Leadership Award for outstanding graduates who are making a meaningful impact in the world. She also completed graduate seminars at Harvard Law School and the Kennedy School of Government, the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University, and Sookmyung Women’s University in South Korea.