Map courtesy of captainsjournal.com
Lisa Brown is able to do a bit of travelling these days because she doesn't have to worry about a re-election campaign. So does she go to Disneyland, Hawaii, Cabo, or even Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention?
No. She goes to Azerbaijan.
This week, Brown is in the west Asian country that borders on the Caspian Sea to speak and answer questions at a women's leadership conference sponsored by the United Nations Democracy Fund in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. It's part of a two-year project by two other groups, Bridge to the Future and Young Leaders, to increase the number of women in government and other civic organizations.
The Senate majority leader from Spokane, who is retiring at the end of the year, is scheduled to talk about her experiences in the Legislature and important characteristics of women leaders in the United States and Azerbaijan, a press release from the sponsors said.
Brown is also being sponsored by the U.S. Embassy to visit three other cities, Gyandzha, Yevlakh and Kazhakh to speak and meet with young volunteers. Brad Kessler, a former Spokane resident now in the Peace Corps and helping to organize the trip with Bridge to the Future, said she'll be the first Embassy-sponsored visitor to the last two cities.
For those unfamiliar with Azerbaijan (which is to say, most of us) it's a former Soviet republic, slightly smaller than Maine, north of Iran, south of Russia, and east of Georgia and Armenia. It has about 10 million people, most of them Muslim.