Chapel Inspiration ~ Siobhan Pierce (Q, 2010)

When I think of Cheltenham College, my first and favourite memories are of Chapel – the thunderous hymn singing and Father Reynaud’s sermons. His sermons consistently focused on service to others. His passionate musings continued in our GCSE religious studies lessons. He stressed to us the importance of understanding people’s backgrounds and motivations when attempting to understand and resolve complex issues. Father Reynaud’s lessons sparked an interest in me. I knew I wanted to pursue a career where I could delve into complex global challenges to support positive resolutions.

I moved back to the United States and majored in International Studies with a concentration on the Middle East and a minor in Arabic at Dickinson College. I received my Masters in International Development and Global Policy from the University of Maine.


I spent time in Amman, Jordan, where I had the opportunity to see first-hand the importance of women’s leadership while working with an organization that empowers women and girls through sports.

Research supports what I witnessed – when women are leaders and are at the decision-making table, the economic, political, and social well-being of their community improves.

After graduation, I moved to Washington, D.C. and began working for the Women’s Democracy Network (WDN). WDN’s global network of 5,000 women in more than 100 countries seeks to increase women’s political and civic participation. Our members train and support women to take on leadership roles in government and civil society.

[Celebrating Speech Day 2010 with Queen’s Girls]


They also break down barriers to women’s participation by promoting gender-responsive policies, from transportation to electoral laws. I travel internationally for work and often hear Father Reynaud’s voice in my head encouraging me to ask more questions.

As I plan my wedding for the summer of 2023, I can’t help but wish Father Reynaud was still alive to celebrate my marriage. He is still so very missed. I am forever grateful to College and Father Reynaud for guiding me towards my passion.

[All four Pierce Cheltonians]