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Powerful Women hit Washington

I’m just back from a whirlwind week in Washington, D.C., where we held Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women Evening With… dinner on Wednesday.

The State Department’s historic Benjamin Franklin room was done up in majestic purple for 155 guests including FDIC Chair Sheila Bair, SEC Chair Mary Schapiro, U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Dianne Feinstein, and top women from Goldman Sachs , Thomson Reuters , Exxon-Mobil , Fidelity Investments, Deutsche Bank and law firm Skadden Arps.

I interviewed Senator Feinstein on stage. Talk about a trailblazer. She was the first (and so far, only) female mayor of San Francisco and the first female U.S. Senator to represent California. Yes, she talked about the two former No. 1’s on the
MPWomen list, Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman, who are now running for high office in her home state–Fiorina for the U.S. Senate and Whitman for Governor. Check back on Postcards next week. I’ll be sharing video excerpts of that conversation.

At dinner, Senator Feinstein sat between Mary Schapiro and me. To my amazement, these two powerful women of Washington–the pioneering Senator and the hard-charging SEC boss–had never met one another! They seemed mutually fascinated and thrilled to get to know one another.

The night was about connecting. (After all, isn’t connecting what life and business are all about today?) The real stars of the evening were 33 young women leaders from 25 developing countries. They flew to the U.S. last weekend and will be here for the next three weeks shadowing leaders who are part of Fortune’s MPWomen community–at companies such as American Express , Google , Yahoo , Wells Fargo , Xerox , and Time Warner , as well as companies listed above.

This mentoring (which you’ll hear more about in coming weeks on Postcards) is the ultimate form of connecting: leaders coming together to learn from one another and expand perspectives, globally.

For another take on this week’s MPWomen powwow in Washington, check out the Huffington Post.