Working with activists around the world, Human Rights First advocates for policies and practices by the U.S. government and international community that protect and promote human rights defenders and their work, in accordance with the 1998 U.N. Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. We amplify the voices of human rights defenders in foreign policy debates and promote greater understanding about the crucial role they play in fighting for universal rights and fundamental freedoms. We promote policies and practices so human rights defenders can work openly and freely. These efforts include advocating to the U.S. Department of State to publicly adopt guidelines on its engagement with human rights defenders worldwide. We bring the cases of individual human rights defenders at risk to the attention of the international community. We also coordinate with the NGO community to provide support and services to defenders facing threats to their lives and livelihoods.
The Senior Associate is responsible for devising, planning, coordinating, and executing strategies for influencing U.S. human rights policy on the range of issues covered by Human Rights First's Human Rights Defenders (HRD) program. He/She also plays a key role in formulating and achieving Human Rights Defenders program goals and objectives; fostering relationships with human rights advocates, nongovernmental organizations, and the U.S. government; conducting advocacy; engaging in research; developing recommendations, reports, website content, press materials, and other documents; developing specific projects; assisting in efforts to raise funds to support the program; and supervising interns.
cross listed from HRDP and Foreign Policy Assn.
The HR Assistant will function primarily as the recruiter. She/he will support the HR department's goal of recruiting and retaining top talent in an employee-oriented, high-performance culture that emphasizes empowerment, quality, productivity, and goal attainment. The HR Assistant will source, identify, interview, test and on-board top talent for internship, technical, administrative, program and management positions for our domestic and international offices speedily and efficiently. This position is based in Washington DC and reports to the Human Resources Director.
crossposted from Foreign Policy Assn.
Experience: Entry Level / Mid Career
Freedom House promotes the spread of freedom and democracy around the world through research, effective advocacy, and programs that support frontline activists. We are a leader in identifying threats to freedom through our highly regarded analytic reports, including Freedom in the World, Freedom of the Press, Freedom on the Net, Nations in Transit, and Countries at the Crossroads. With 13 field offices and two U.S. offices, we support the right of every individual to be free.
Some Duties and Responsibilities
Assist with the administration of the day-to-day operations of the human resources functions, duties and responsibilities
Assist hiring managers to accurately complete open job requisitions
Write job announcements in standardized format
Screen resumes and forward qualified applicants' resumes to hiring managers
Conduct preliminary phone screens as required by hiring managers
Schedule and facilitate pre-employment tests and face-to-face interviews
Conduct comprehensive background checks
Send offer letters and enrollment packets to selected candidates
Conduct new employee orientation as needed
Complete weekly report on employment activity
Set up new hire files and perform related administrative functions
Train hiring managers on the recruiting and selection process
Reconcile invoices and process invoices for payment
Ensure all work products meet standards, policies, and mission of Freedom House
Other related duties as assigned.
We offer great benefits including:
100% employer-paid dental insurance
100% employer-paid health insurance; or generously subsidized depending on plan and coverage
100% employer paid life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment
100% employer paid short-term disability and long-term disability insurance
403(b) Retirement Plan with generous matching funds with 2 year 100% vesting schedule
Flexible Spending Accounts for medical and dependent care reimbursable expenses
Transportation pre-tax payroll deduction for metro, and garage parking in DC
Generous paid vacation leave, sick leave, personal leave, and holidays
Tuition Reimbursement for graduate studies
Bachelor's degree in related field
Minimum 2 years experience conducting full life-cycle recruitment
Strong ability to communicate effectively in English, both verbally and in writing
Ability to communicate fluently in a second relevant language strongly preferred
Mastery of MS Office Suite, specifically Excel
Considerable skill in interviewing techniques
Excellent knowledge of federal and state laws regarding employment practices
Ability to apply superb attention to detail and consistently and speedily produce error free work
Extremely perceptive person, who is capable of relating to individuals at all levels
Dependable, consistently at work and on time, strictly follow instructions and policy
Demonstrate accuracy and thoroughness, and monitor own work and ensure quality
Demonstrable commitment and passion for client-centered service delivery
Possess a long-term interest in the Human Resources profession
Discretion, flexibility, the ability to deal with and negotiate conflict effectively
Ability to consistently apply good judgment in problem solving and decision making
Strong ability to plan, organize, prioritize work, and multi task to meet tight deadlines
Exhibit ethical conduct and maintain the highest degree of confidentiality regarding all aspects of work at all times
Qualified and Interested applicants
We invite qualified candidates to send a resume, and cover letter with salary history and desired salary (only candidates who send salary requirements will be considered for the position) to: recruiting(at)freedomhouse.org or fax at (202) 822-3893, Attention: HR Dept., referencing 2012-097 HR Assistant. Only candidates who have been selected for an interview will be contacted.
Only candidates authorized to work in the U.S. without any restrictions need apply.
The Atlantic Council seeks a motivated, creative communications professional to help implement a comprehensive communications strategy for the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East involving traditional and new media, marketing, publications, and outreach. This individual will work closely with all members of the Atlantic Council communications team and the Hariri Center to leverage the expertise of Center staff and to increase the reach of Center publications and policy initiatives.
Experience: Entry Level / Mid Career
Date Posted Aug-28-2012
crossposted from Foreign Policy Assn
Create new opportunities to increase communication with key audiences and distribute Hariri Center publications. Help execute publicity campaigns and media strategies for Hariri Center activities, initiatives, events, and publications including both traditional and social media
Coordinate and oversee the Center's various internal publications, including assisting in editing publications in English
Manage media engagement including drafting press releases, managing interview requests, coordinating media attendance at Council events, and supporting op-ed/publication placement
Develop informational material about the Hariri Center and its activities
Track Center media mentions and measuring public impact of Center activities
Expand use of online platforms and social media networks to advance the Center's work in English and Arabic.
Contribute to Council communications team efforts as required
At least 4 years of relevant work experience in public relations, marketing, journalism and/or communications
Expertise in traditional and social media
Knowledge of and relationships with American and Middle East journalists, media networks, and platforms. Knowledge of European media a plus.
Excellent English language written and oral communication skills. Arabic language skills desired, but not mandatory
Understanding of think tank work and the Washington policy environment
Demonstrated interest in and knowledge of Middle East politics and public policy
Strong administrative and organizational skills
Demonstrated initiative and ability to work well with a team in a dynamic environment
Bachelors degree (minimum) in a related field; prefer Masters degree
Strong interpersonal skills; must be able to work well with senior officials, scholars, journalists, staff, and interns
The position is located in Washington, DC, and may require international travel and participation in evening events. The Atlantic Council offers a competitive compensation package commensurate with experience. To apply, please send your cover letter including salary expectations, resume, a writing sample, and references to job(at)acus.org. Please reference the position you are applying for.
The Atlantic Council of the United States is an equal opportunity employer.
The Stanley Foundation seeks an associate program officer for its Policy and Outreach Department. The chosen candidate will conceptualize, design, and implement programming that focuses on strengthening multilateral approaches to peace and security, building support for multilateralism, and promoting cooperation among established and emerging powers in a variety of global governance venues. Foundation programming in this area relies heavily on expert dialogues (dialogues include US and foreign officials, influential scholars, journalists, and NGO leaders). It also includes analysis and a wide variety of communication and advocacy activities to develop and build support for specific policy initiatives.
The Stanley Foundation offers competitive salaries and a full benefits package. For more information on the Stanley Foundation, visit our Web site at www.stanleyfoundation.org.
Organization: The Stanley Foundation
Location: Muscatine, IA
Sector: Non Profit
Organization URL: http://www.stanleyfoundation.org
Experience: Mid Career
Last Date To Apply Oct-1-2012
Date Posted Aug-28-2012
The Stanley Foundation brings fresh voices, original ideas, and lasting solutions to debates on global and regional problems. It is a nonpartisan, private operating foundation that focuses primarily on peace and security issues and advocates principled multilateralism. For us, principled multilateralism means working respectfully across differences to create balanced and just solutions.
The Stanley Foundation's work recognizes the essential roles of the policy community, media professionals, and the involved public in building sustainable peace. Much of our work aims at connecting people from different backgrounds, and that often produces clarifying insights and innovative solutions.
The associate program officer reports to the Director of Policy and Outreach and works closely with foundation program officers and experts. This is an excellent opportunity to shape and focus programming and analysis that fits within the foundation's highly regarded work on evolving global systems, human protection, and nuclear security.
The ideal candidate will be broadly trained in the field of international relations with an advanced degree or equivalent experience in a relevant discipline. In addition, a strong candidate should possess:
· Project team leadership experience.
· Strong organizational and communication skills.
· Advanced analytical and writing skills.
· Demonstrated collaborative skills on behalf of shared goals in a team setting.
· Proven capacity to set realistic goals and meet program schedules.
· Clear ability to connect larger ideas with the practical realities of their accomplishment.
· Initiative and the ability to work with minimal supervision.
Desirable traits include direct experience working with the US government or with international organizations, as well as experience with policy or foundation programming. Foreign language skills and international experience are a strong plus. The position requires frequent travel.
LOCATION. This position is located at the foundation headquarters in Muscatine, Iowa, a community of 23,000 people on the Mississippi River. The area offers affordable housing, good schools, and a variety of recreational opportunities.
crossposted from Foreign Policy Assn.
Contact: Dana Pittman
Please send letter of interest, résumé, references, and writing sample that explains an international issue in a clear, direct way to:
Mr. Dana Pittman
Human Resources Administrator
The Stanley Foundation
209 Iowa Avenue
Muscatine, IA 52761
Deadline for application: October 1, 2012
An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V
Special Austrian Community Event Heuriger flyer 1.pdf
There is a special community event on Friday, September 7, from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m., sponsored by the Vienna Community Arts. There will be a Viennese Wine Garden, live music, food and beverages.
The location is 1079 Rice Street, St. Paul
The admission is $25.00
For questions, please contact herbert(at)artsvienna.comcastbiz.net
or call 651 773 9525.
On behalf of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), I invite you to participate in the first session of the Fall 2012 CFR Academic Conference Call series on Wednesday, September 12, from 11:00 to noon (CT). Robert D. Blackwill, CFR's Henry A. Kissinger senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy, will discuss the issues and contingencies surrounding Iran's nuclear program. We will hold the call in HHH 55.
Ambassador Blackwill is the editor of the recent CFR ebook "Iran: The Nuclear Challenge." Previously, he was senior fellow at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California, from 2008 to 2010, after serving from 2004 to 2008 as president of BGR International, a Washington consulting firm. As deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for strategic planning under President George W. Bush, Ambassador Blackwill was responsible for government-wide policy planning to help develop and coordinate the mid- and long-term direction of American foreign policy. He also served as presidential envoy to Iraq, and was the administration's coordinator for U.S. policies regarding Afghanistan and Iran.
As background for the discussion, you may wish to review the following materials:
1) Ray Takeyh, "All the Ayatollah's Men," National Interest, September/October 2012.
2) Richard N. Haass, "Israel, Iran, and the Military Option," Interview with Bernard Gwertzman, CFR.org, August 28, 2012. http://www.cfr.org/middle-east/israel-iran-military-option/p28879/?cid=emc-ACC_Fall2012_BCK-Haass_Interview_Israel_Iran-091212
3) Elliott Abrams, "Time to Authorize Use of Force Against Iran," Weekly Standard, August 21, 2012. http://www.cfr.org/iran/time-authorize-use-force-against-iran/p28882?cid=EMC-ACC_Fall2012_BCK-Ayatollah's_Men-091212
4) Elliott Abrams, Robert D. Blackwill, Robert M. Danin, Richard A. Falkenrath, Matthew Kroenig, Meghan O'Sullivan, and Ray Takeyh, "Iran: The Nuclear Challenge," ed. Robert D. Blackwill, Council on Foreign Relations Press, June 2012.
Excerpt available at: http://www.cfr.org/iran/iran-nuclear-challenge/p28330?excerpt=1/?cid=EMC-ACC_Fall2012_BCK-Iran_Nuclear_Challenge-091212
5) "Crisis Guide: Iran," Interactive, Council on Foreign Relations.
The College of Education and Human Development and Global Programs and Strategies Alliance will host 25 Thai higher education leaders on September 13-14, 2012 for the Kingdom of Thailand's "Thai - US Education Forum." The theme of the forum is "The 21st Century Global University." This decades-old forum represents a unique opportunity for the university community to network with Thai higher education leaders. A limited number seats at the forum are available to faculty, staff, and students. The forum will take place in the College of Continuing Education's Conference Center on the St. Paul Campus. Those interested in Thailand's higher education system or those seeking Thai partnerships should send a note to Mark Schanzenbach (scha0870(at)umn.edu) indicating the date(s) you can attend and times within those dates you will attend.
Dates and Times of Conference:
Thursday, September 13 (9am - 3pm) plus 6pm opening reception
Friday, September 14 (2pm - 5pm) plus 5pm closing reception
Christopher J. Johnstone, Ph.D.
Director of International Initiatives and Relations
College of Education and Human Development
University of Minnesota
104 Burton Hall
178 Pillsbury Dr SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
National Center on Educational Outcomes
207 Pattee Hall
150 Pillsbury Dr SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Follow CEHD International on Twitter: www.twitter.com/UofM_CEHD_Intl
American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative
The American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) is a non-profit program that implements legal reform programs in roughly 50 countries around the world. ABA ROLI has nearly 700 professional staff working abroad and in its Washington, D.C. office. ABA ROLI's host country partners include judges, lawyers, bar associations, law schools, court administrators, legislatures, ministries of justice and a wide array of civil society organizations, including human rights groups.
The American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative seeks a short-term pro bono legal expert on land rights and property law to advise a governmental commission on integrating these topics into foundational legal documents.
Provide expertise on land rights issues, including comparative examples of best practices in addressing land rights and property law in divided societies with traditional and communal land ownership claims.
Give guidance to the integration of land rights and property law into foundational legal documents.
Work with multi-stakeholder groups with competing interests to formulate policies and legal principles that are acceptable to all parties.
JD or foreign equivalent.
10 years of experience working on land rights, particularly in divided societies with traditional and communal land ownership claims.
Demonstrated ability to work with a diverse group of actors in sensitive environments and to communicate effectively orally and in writing in this context.
Previous experience in Asia and the Pacific is preferred.
International travel may be required.
Contact Details jobs(at)americanbar.org
To apply, please visit http://abanet.devhire.devex.com/jobs/326181. Due to the high volume of applicants, only candidates selected for interview will be contacted.
crossposted from Foreign Policy Assn.
Sudha Shetty appointed Assistant Dean for International Partnerships UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy
Excerpts from Dean Eric Schwartz's announcement: "I write to let you know that Sudha Shetty will be departing the Humphrey School at the end of August. She and her husband, Professor Jeff Edleson, will be relocating to the University of California at Berkeley, where Sudha will divide her time between the School of Public Policy and the School of Law and Jeff will serve as Dean of the School of Social Welfare.
Sudha has been a dynamic force at the Humphrey School, enhancing the quality and effectiveness of the International Fellows Program, speaking and writing extensively on domestic violence issues facing immigrant women and women of color, teaching, and providing energy and enthusiasm in the School's efforts to create a welcoming atmosphere for students from around the globe.
Thanks to Sudha's work and persistence, the Humphrey School's International Fellows Program is generally regarded as one of the best of its kind in the country. Sudha has helped to develop high quality relationships with University Housing, Hennepin County, local host families, and many, many others. Sudha was instrumental in developing relationships with both the Indian and Korean governments so that officials from India and Korea regularly participate in the MPA program and currently developing a partnership with the Mexican Government. All of this is a testament to Sudha's energy, initiative and desire to help make the Humphrey School a truly international place of learning.
I'm very happy to announce that Sherry Gray will be succeeding Sudha as director of our International Fellows Program."
From Sudha Shetty: "I will have a joint appointment at the University of Berkeley - with the Goldman School of Public Policy and the Berkeley Law School - I will be the Assistant Dean for International Partnerships at the Public Policy School and with the Miller Institute for Global Challenges at the Law School. I will also be doing 2 projects for Target, one National and the other one International."
2013-2014 INTERNATIONAL FELLOWSHIPS FOR U.S. SCHOLARS AND PROFESSIONALS
Individual Advanced Research Opportunities Program (IARO)
Short Term Travel Grants Program (STG)
IREX is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 2013-2014 Individual Advanced Research Opportunities Program and Short Term Travel Grants Program.
These innovative and flexible programs offer U.S. scholars and professionals the opportunity to conduct policy-relevant research in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Researchers are able to increase their understanding of current regional issues, develop and sustain international networks, and directly contribute to the formation of U.S. public policy by conducting research on topics vital to the academic and policymaking communities. Fellowships provide international airfare, a living/housing stipend, visa support, emergency evacuation insurance, logistical support and, in many countries, field office support.
The Individual Advanced Research Opportunities Program (IARO) provides students, scholars and professionals with support to conduct policy-relevant field research in the countries of Eastern Europe and Eurasia.
· Eligibility: Master's students, pre-doctoral students, postdoctoral scholars, and professionals with advanced degrees are eligible. Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
· Information and online application: Individual Advanced Research Opportunities Program (IARO)
· Deadline: November 14, 2012
· Examples of Recently-Funded Research Topics: Role of Social Media in Political Engagement, Peace Education in Post-Conflict Settings, Cultural Identity and Nation Building, Migration Studies
· Contact: By email at iaro(at)irex.org or by telephone at 202-628-8188
The Short-Term Travel Grants Program (STG) is a short-term, flexible program for postdoctoral scholars and professionals to conduct targeted, policy-relevant research in Eastern Europe and Eurasia.
· Eligibility: Postdoctoral scholars and professionals with advanced degrees are eligible. Applicants must be US citizens.
· Information and online application: Short-Term Travel Grants Program (STG)
· Deadline: February 6, 2013
· Examples of Recently-Funded Research Topics: Regional Economic Development, Islamic Influence in Central Asia, Human and Civil Rights in Eastern Europe, Gender and Politics
· Contact: By email at stg(at)irex.org or by telephone at 202-628-8188
Countries Eligible for Research:
Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan
IARO and STG are funded by the U.S. Department of State Title VIII Program
sent by Sudha Shetty, Esq.
Also, if you're in the Twin Cities, don't forget about our upcoming Open House on Saturday, September 15! We'll be here from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day, welcoming new neighbors and long-time supporters alike to see our newly purchased building and meet one another. Come by and say hello! RSVP to info(at)araha.org to help us plan the event.
Check out CTI's new website! http://compatibletechnology.org/index.php
Thanks to the generous support of an anonymous donor, CTI has received a new website! Check out our new and improved look, explore our technologies, our programs in the developing world, or take a peak into our workshop to learn more about the new innovations coming down the pipeline.
Celebrate International Literacy Day with BFA!
Join BFA for UNESCO's International Literacy Day African Story Hour at Common Good Books in St. Paul, MN. BFA supporters will read Caldecott Award Winner Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears by Verna Aardema, The Princess and the Pea by Rachel Isadora, and Honey... Honey... Lion by Jan Brett for all families who would like to attend. Free treats and coffee will be provided. Please bring a new or gently used children's book to the event to contribute to our month long book drive.
International Literacy Day African Story Hour
Saturday, September 8, 2012, 4:00-5:00 PM
Common Good Books(38 S. Snelling Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105)
This is course is open to all Humphrey students who have fulfilled core requirements.
Team formation & capstone client selection process for the 2012-2013 global policy area and Master of Development Practice capstone course
We have 14 proposals available for this class:
1. Advocates for Human Rights, NGO based in Minneapolis and focused on HR
2. Africa Classroom Connection, NGO based in Minneapolis and working in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
3. American Relief Agency for the Horn of Africa (ARAHA), Columbia Heights MN based NGO working focused on development projects in Horn region of Africa
4. Books for Africa (BFA), Saint Paul based NGO that delivers educational materials throughout the continent of Africa
5. Center for Victims of Torture (CVT), NGO based in Minneapolis working around the world
6. Evangelical Church of the Republic of Niger (EERN), health care provider in Niamey, Niger (travel may be required)
7. Global Citizen's Network (GCN), NGO based in Minneapolis working throughout the world
8. Global Deaf Connection (GDF), NGO based in Bloomington MN for a project in
Jamaica (travel may be required)
9. Horticulture Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP) at the University of California, Davis on a partnership project with USAID
10. Integrated Youth Volunteer Foundation (IYVF), NGO based in Bamenda Cameroon focused on children with disabilities (travel may be required)
11. Shelter For Life (SFL), NGO based in Minnetonka focused on humanitarian relief
12. Trees That Feed Foundation (TTFF), NGO based in Winnetka, Illinois working on food security mostly in tropical regions (travel to Illinois may be required)
13. University of Minnesota Extension, based in Saint Paul and working throughout the state (travel within Minnesota may be required)
14. World Savvy, NGO based in San Francisco and Minneapolis and focused on
global education in the US
The 14 proposals together with are available for review in a Google Docs folder set up by Chavanne Peercy. Students registered for the MDP or global policy capstone class will be given automatic access to the folder. If you are not registered, but would like to review the project proposals, please email Dr. Peercy or myself directly to request access.
Please review each project carefully and note the mission of the organization, the particular project(s) for which this proposal is directed, the requested proposed capstone project/research question and deliverable(s), the skills and inputs that might be required, and any extra requirements (travel, special deadlines). Dr. Peercy and I plan to form teams of 3 to 5 persons each, depending upon the needs of the client and the size of the
Please note that the client proposal is the starting point for negotiation and planning your work with a client organization. In every case, the capstone team will negotiate work plans (scope of work) and memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the client and through that process the project may change significantly as each side learns the needs and capabilities of the other (all previous projects have been significantly changed from the proposal stage to the MOA stage). In many cases, only a part of what has been proposed will be possible in the framework of an academic semester.
Please email one of us any questions, no matter how small, and we will try to answer quickly.
Welcome to Siberian Bridges, Inc.
Siberian Bridges, Inc. (SB-US), formerly Musical Bridges, Inc., is a non-profit educational and cultural exchange organization promoting awareness of cities and rural areas in the part of eastern Siberia called Zabaikalye. We are one of the longest standing Western cultural exchange organizations devoted to serving these isolated communities.
Our mission is accomplished by fostering cultural and educational exchanges and networking opportunities.Most important to our work is the establishment of Siberian Bridges - Russia, a partner NGO registered in Chita, Russia in October 2008.
Currently, Siberian Bridges is pursuing the following projects:
Tourism to introduce Americans to nature travel in Zabaikalye, including the Dauria Nature Preserve, crane habitat, the birth place of Genghis Khan, and Mt. Alkhanai National Park which is one of the sacred sites of Tibetan Buddhism;
Support for the children's home in the remote town of Petrovsk-Zabaikalsky;
Provision of books about or from the upper Midwest to the Pushkin Library, Zabaikalye's main library.
#ArabDev is a weekly twitter chat happening on Thurs @ 3pm EST /// 9pm EET hosted by Al-Mubadarah. http://arabdevchat.com/
Interesting Social Networking site on Arab Development
sent by Sahar Angadjivand, MPP, and Sara Musaifer, alum.
Prior to departing Oslo for academic programs that take some of them to the far corners of Norway, the 2012-2013 U.S. Fulbright grantees gathered for a welcome reception at the historic Nobel Institute. Assembling in the same hall from which the Nobel Peace Prize recipients are announced, the incoming Fulbright grantees were joined by many representatives of their receiving institutions. Of the 33 grantees, there are 14 scholars, including the prestigious Arctic Chair and three Roving Scholars, and 19 students, including three English Teaching Assistants. In his remarks Ambassador White spoke of the importance and benefits of the Fulbright program while reminding each of the grantees that they, too, serve as ambassadors for the United States while overseas. Also speaking were representatives from the Ministry of Education and Research and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Following the presentations the grantees were treated to a guided tour of the Nobel Institute.
U.S. Fulbright grantees at the welcome reception at the historic Nobel Institute.
In his remarks Ambassador White spoke of the importance and benefits of the Fulbright program while reminding each of the grantees that they, too, serve as ambassadors for the United States while overseas.
Our friend Brandon Baumbach is second from left behind the podium. I am very proud to have worked with him through his last academic year at HHH. He was sponsored by the Oslo Center and had a letter of recommendation from Kjell Magne Bondevik.
Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights - US Foundation.
Ahmed Samatar is a professor of international studies at Macalester College. Samatar took a sabbatical from teaching to run for the president of Somalia this year.
Professor leaves ivory tower to run for president of Somalia
by Laura Yuen, Minnesota Public Radio
August 29, 2012
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Ahmed Samatar has been thinking about Somalia for more than 35 years, ever since he left the country to attend the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in his 20s.
A leading scholar on Somalia, he's written five books and dozens of articles about the affairs of his homeland, often with a critical eye toward its government.
After spending so much time thinking, Samatar has decided to act, leaving the ivory tower for an unusual assignment: He's running for president.
Samatar has taken a sabbatical to play a part in a new era as Somalia lays the groundwork for what many hope will be a lasting stable government.
"Thinking and doing have always been part of each other," he said from the capital city of Mogadishu. "The moment has arrived in which I, too, would like to see if my own ideas can be planted on the soil of Somali politics, and might be therefore able to have the Somali community move beyond war, chaos, famine, and corruption."
Samatar is widely seen as one of the most serious contenders in the presidential race. But his political ambitions surprised his own peers, including his younger brother Abdi Samatar, a professor at the University of Minnesota.
Earlier this month, the elder Samatar, the former Macalester dean of the Institute for Global Citizenship, was sworn into Somalia's new federal parliament. That same parliament will select a new president in the coming weeks. But the process has been rife with allegations of vote-buying and other signs of corruption.
"The Somalis are like bees... When they smell honey, or flowers, everybody comes."
- Ahmed Samatar
Meanwhile, the field of candidates has grown to more than 60.
"The Somalis are like bees," Samatar said. "When they smell honey, or flowers, everybody comes."
The Somali people will have no direct say in who becomes the next president, in part because the country is still mired in a decades-long civil war. The nation hasn't had a functioning government since 1991, and some doubt that the current political changes will lead to any kind of lasting peace.
"The last 25 years have given the rest of the world, and many Somalis, [a sense] that maybe history is written forever for the Somalis -- and the best they can hope for is to become the Haiti of Africa," Samatar said. "But there is the other side that says that there is nothing eternal about this condition, and that if Somalis are getting new leadership that is ethical and legitimate -- and competent -- then I think a new dawn will probably come."
If elected, Samatar plans to harness his connections in Minnesota and the rest of the United States to bridge the gap between Somalia and the West. He said Minnesota is home to nonprofits, colleges, talent, and an abundance of collective goodwill that can help bring Somalis out of poverty and chaos.
Samatar said people inside Mogadishu have heard all about Minnesota, and the success of the Somali-American community here.
"When I tell people I've been living in the United States, and that I'm from Minneapolis-St. Paul, there's a certain glow in the faces of the people," he said. "There's a sense of fate, that the Twin Cities are directly connected to Somali society. And it's helped me gain better access to the communities and families in Somalia."
While Samatar is considered a top candidate, many observers think the election will go toward either the incumbent president or prime minister.
Like Samatar, most of the presidential candidates are Somalis who have spent the past several years living outside the nation's borders, said Abdi Aynte, a Somali-American journalist based in Qatar.
"That's because people from the diaspora are thought to have better education, better access, and better understanding of the world system, and maybe that's one way they have better credibility within the country," he said.
Aynte said Samatar is an unusual candidate because he's running on a political party platform. Most other candidates, Aynte said, are appealing to their clans for support, and have failed to articulate a nationalist vision in a way that Samatar has.
Even if Samatar loses the election, Anyte said, the Minnesota professor is still planting the seeds of democracy. He said that as a member of Parliament, Samatar can still bring about important legislation -- but only if he sticks around to serve out his four-year term.
"I think Professor Samatar and other civic forces stand at a critical juncture, where if they cut and run away if they don't make progress in the election, it's going to be a loss for the Somali people," Aynte said. "What they need to do is stay in the system, to be advocates from within, and introduce changes and lead the change because they have the capacity, the education, and the ability to convince and win friends."
For his part, Samatar said he misses Macalester, his Highland Park neighborhood, and the rigors of academic life. Win or lose, he said he'll one day come back to the classroom and tell his students about his incredible journey. He also plans to write all about it in his next book.