Women’s education and visionary leadership are the best hope for Southeast Asia's future

Many qualified young women from rural areas can't pursue
higher education, as there is no university housing

Harpswell women are chosen for their intelligence, ambition, and leadership potential

Harpswell alumnae are advancing quickly in their careers and public life

In Cambodia, for example, we provide a safe, supportive home and and a curriculum
focused on critical thinking and leadership training for exceptional young university women

Harpswell students enjoy cultural exploration, community, and friendship

Harpswell women join a sisterhood of support, guidance, and inspiration

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Cambodian Minister of Women's Affairs Ing Kantha Phavi with Harpswell women

Our ASEAN Program in Women’s Leadership brings together dynamic young
women leaders from all 10 Southeast Asia nations to learn and share together


The Harpswell Foundation’s mission is to equip young women in Southeast Asia with leadership skills, education, and a supportive network.

We envision a new generation of women leaders who create and inspire positive social change.

Facts and Figures:

Harpswell graduates include doctors, lawyers, journalists, pharmacists, chemists, midwives, psychologists, social workers, engineers, teachers, professors, government staff, bankers, architects, business entrepreneurs and NGO executives.

of students’ mothers have master’s degrees & only 4% of students’ mothers attended university
of alumnae received scholarships, participated in internships and/or spent time abroad
of alumnae have or will soon obtain graduate degrees
of alumnae feel that Harpswell has helped them become a leader

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“On behalf of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of the Kingdom of Cambodia, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the works of the Harpswell Foundation and its founder Professor Alan Lightman. The Harpswell Foundation has created the opportunity for hundreds of bright young Cambodian women from rural areas to study at university in Phnom Penh and, more than this, has helped put them on the path to leadership. The Harpswell dormitories and academic programs which I have visited, provide these young women with a unique opportunity to learn in a supportive community.”
– Dr. Hang Chuon Naron, Cambodian Minister of Education, Youth and Sport