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2014 Fulbright Afghanistan Fall Enrichment Seminar Presenters

2014 Fulbright Fulbright Afghanistan Fall Enrichment Seminar Presenters

Bassim Abbassi

Assistant Director
Fulbright Foreign Student Program

Bassim Abbassi is Assistant Director of Fulbright Foreign Student Enrichment Programs at IIE. He coordinates the planning and administration of Fulbright enrichment seminars and Gateway programs. Prior to joining IIE in 2005, Mr. Abbassi worked as a Program Integrity Assurance Reviewer for the Federal Communications Commission's Universal Service Fund, Schools and Libraries Program. The Schools and Libraries Program is intended to ensure that schools and libraries have access to affordable telecommunications and information services. Mr. Abbassi worked in the Civil Rights department at the Council on American-Islamic Relations New York Chapter. In 2002 he attended the United Nations Special Session: A World Fit for Children as an NGO representative. He completed a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Rutgers University in New Jersey, and holds a Professional Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University. He has a rudimentary knowledge of Arabic and Spanish.

Khalid Ahmad Siddiq

Second Year Fulbright Student

Khalid Ahmad Siddiq is an assistant professor at Herat University in Herat, Afghanistan. He was awarded the Fulbright scholar in 2013. During his time as a Fulbright scholar he will be studying sociolinguistics pertaining to the relationship of language and its social context. More specifically I am interested in studying the varieties of English in the world.

Nangyalai Attal

Second Year Fulbright Student

Nangyalai Attal was born in a farming family in the countryside around 60 miles South of Kabul. He received a Bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from Kabul Education University and taught English at the National Institute of Management and Administration (NIMA). He previously worked for the United Nations International Labour Organization in Kabul. For his hard work and dedication Nangyalai will be awarded the United Nations Youth Courage Award in NYC on Sept 22, 2014.

Fanta Aw

Fanta Aw

Hurst Senior Professorial Lecturer
School of International Service, American University;and President and Chair of the Board of Directors, NAFSA: Association of International Educators

Dr. Fanta Aw is Assistant Vice President of Campus Life and Hurst Senior Professorial Lecturer in the School of International Service in Washington D.C. Dr. Aw oversees all administrative, programmatic and personnel operations related to International/Intercultural programs and services and student engagement in the Office of Campus. Units for which she has oversight include International Student and Scholar Services, Student Activities, University Center, Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Center for Community Engagement and Service, and the Kay Spiritual Life Center. Dr. Aw advises American University leadership on matters related to campus internationalization, and issues of inclusion, diversity and equity. In the School of International Service, Dr. Aw teaches graduate courses related to immigration, internationalization of higher education, and international higher education policy. Dr. Aw was the 2013 recipient of the University Award for Outstanding Teaching, in an Adjunct position. Dr. Aw is President and Chair of the Board of Directors of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the largest membership association of international educators with close to 10,000 members. She also serves on the advisory council of the Intercultural Management Institute at American University. Dr. Aw has led workshops and training for the Department of State, the Institute of International Education, AMIDEAST, American Councils for International Education, the College Board, and NAFSA: Association for International Education.

Abdul Aziz Taheer

Second Year Fulbright Student

Abdul Aziz Taheer is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Economic Policy at Boston University. He received Bachelor degree in Economics from Kabul University. Taheer has over 5 years of work experience in the field of economic development, particularly private sector development, in Afghanistan. His main area of interest is the use of market forces in achieving sustainable, high impact and scalable development.

Muzhgan Azizy

Second Year Fulbright Student

Muzhgan Azizy is a teacher in the English Department of Herat University in Herat, Afghanistan. She has a Bachelor's of Arts in English Literature and is currently working to receive a Master's in teaching English from the School of International Training Graduate Institute.

Sue Borja

Branch Chief, South and Central Asia Programs Branch
Office of Academic Exchange Programs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
U.S. Department of State

Sue Borja is the Branch Chief for the South and Central Asia Programs Branch in the Office of Academic Exchange Programs, Bureau of Educational &Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State where she has overseen Fulbright Student and Scholar Programs and other academic exchanges between the U.S. and South and Central Asia for almost six years. She has spent over two decades working on international exchange initiatives and academic programs in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. She served for six years as a Senior Program Officer in the Office of Academic Exchange Programs managing the Fulbright Specialists Program, the New Century Scholars Program, and the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program. Prior to that she served for almost five years in the East Asia Fulbright Program Branch as the Senior Program Officer and the Program Officer managing the Fulbright Programs for Australia, Cambodia, Japan, Korea, Laos, New Zealand, and Vietnam. She also worked for two years managing the Educational Partnerships Program and three years managing support for educational advising in the East Asian and Latin American regions for the Bureau. Prior to her work in academic exchanges, she served for five years at the former United States Information Agency researching and developing large-scale, multi-media exhibitions on contemporary American life and culture for audiences in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Ms. Borja holds an MA in art history from the University of Pennsylvania.

Pedram Foushanji

Second Year Fulbright Student

Pedram Foushanju is a graduate of the Polytechnical University of Kabul. Currently he is attending Michigan State University where he is working to receive a Master's in Construction Management in 2015. Foushanji has worked with private construction companies in both commercial and residential projects.

Garba, Sabrina

 Sabrina Garba

Assistant Director for Programs
Intercultural Management Institute (IMI), School of International Service, American University

As Assistant Director of IMI, Sabrina Garba manages project implementation and budgets for a number of IMI programs. She also manages university and external relations for the institute. Prior to joining the IMI staff, Ms. Garba was the Program Coordinator for International Communication and Media Programs at American University. She has also worked as an Independent Communications Consultant for United World Communication and Boland;as well as a Public Affairs Assistant at the Glover Park Group. Sabrina served as the National Chair and spokesperson for the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Project at Department of Health and Human Services. Additionally, she held the position of Chair and Spokesperson for Ending Violence against Women Howard University, an initiative to end violence against collegiate women. Ms. Garba also served as a spokesperson for the international non-profit organization V-DAY, among her work with many other non-profit organizations. Ms. Garba is a frequent commentator on the subjects of culture, communication and women's rights. She has spoken at a number of conferences for non-profit organizations and universities such as Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and Howard University. Ms. Garba has also made radio appearances on WHUR World and has been cited on,, and a number of other outlets. Ms. Garba has a master's in Corporate Communications and Public Relations from Georgetown University and bachelor's in Communication and Culture from Howard University.

Natasha Grayson

Program Officer, Africa, Near East, South &Central Asia
Foreign Fulbright Programs Division
Institute of International Education

Natasha Grayson is a Program Officer with the Foreign Fulbright Programs Division and oversees the Fulbright program for countries in Africa, South and Central Asia, and the Near East. Prior to her current role she worked with the Global Operations Division at IIE and was an ARO responsible for processing incoming grantee immigration paperwork as well as post-arrival assistance. Before joining IIE in March 2010, Natasha worked for an Italian food magazine as an editor. Natasha has also work as a production manager for a small film, as well as in Public Relations. Natasha holds a Bachelor's degree in Classical Civilizations from Boston University.

Nina Hasenstein

Program Officer II, Enrichment Programs
Foreign Fulbright Program Division
Institute of International Education

Nina Hasenstein helps develop Fulbright Enrichment programs in the Foreign Fulbright Program Division at IIE. Prior to joining IIE, she was a Program Assistant for the NYU in Paris program where she served as a liaison between the Paris and New York offices for academics and administration. Ms. Hasenstein taught high school French and History for several years before moving to New York. Ms. Hasenstein earned a Bachelor's degree with a double major in French Language &Literature and International Relations from Boston University in 2003 and a Master's in International Education from New York University in 2009. She is fluent in French and German but her Spanish is a work in progress.

Kelly Keiderling

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
U.S. Department of State

Kelly Keiderling serves as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). The bureau advances U.S. foreign policy objectives through educational, professional, and cultural programs that enhance mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other nations.

Ms. Keiderling is a career diplomat who entered the U.S. Foreign Service in 1988. Most recently, she was Deputy Chief of Mission and intermittently Charge d'Affaires in Caracas, Venezuela, until expelled by the Venezuelan president. She previously served overseas as Deputy Chief of Mission in Chisinau, Moldova, Public Affairs Officer in Cuba, Botswana and Kyrgyzstan, and in other public diplomacy roles in the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, and Zambia. Her assignments in Washington include Senior Panama Desk officer, Public Diplomacy Desk Officer for the Caribbean, acting deputy director for Central American Affairs, Strategic Language Issues Coordinator in the Bureau of Human Resources, and Chief of Staff in the Iraq Office.

Ms. Keiderling received a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University and a master's degree from the National War College in Washington, D.C. She speaks Spanish, Portuguese, French, Russian, and some Italian and Romanian. She was raised in Latin America and Portugal in a Foreign Service family.

Tom Koerber

Program Officer II, Fulbright Services
Institute of International Education San Francisco

Tom Koerber, Program Officer II at IIE San Francisco, began his career with IIE in 1988. Since then, Mr. Koerber has worked in various capacities with Fulbright Grantees and Scholars at IIE in the New York and San Francisco offices. Mr. Koerber is a graduate of San Francisco State University where he studied English Literature as an undergraduate and Political Science as a graduate student. Tom enjoys gardening, playing the piano, and travelling. Tom participated in a cultural immersion program in Guatemala many years ago and enjoyed his time there living with his Guatemalan host family.


Clarence Lusane

School of International Service, American University

Dr. Clarence Lusane is a full Professor of Political Science and International Relations, and the former Program Director for Comparative and Regional Studies in the School of International Service. He teaches courses in comparative race relations, modern social movements, comparative politics of the Americas and Europe and jazz and international relations. He is an author, activist, and scholar, and a well-respected expert in the areas of human rights, global race relations, U.S. elections and politics, and international relations. He has lectured on these topics in over 60 countries including China, Colombia, Cuba, England, France, Germany, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Japan, the Netherlands, Panama, S. Korea, Switzerland, and Zimbabwe among others. He is the author of more than 100 scholarly articles and eight books on human rights, U.S. and black politics, globalization, and European history. His latest book is The Black History of the White House. The book has been nominated for numerous awards and he has led to two presentations on the book at the White House. Among his other books are Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice: Foreign Policy, Race, and the New American Century;and Hitler's Black Victims: The Experiences of Afro-Germans, Africans, Afro-Europeans and African Americans During the Nazi Era. Dr. Lusane is currently conducting research on the intersection of jazz and international relations;global economic factors affecting African Americans employment;and the impact of President Obama's campaign and election on global discourses on race and identity. He is a former co-Chair of the U.S. Civil Society Committee of the U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan for the Elimination of Racism, and was a longstanding board member of the Institute for Policy Studies. Currently, he is Co-Chair of the TransAfrica Forum Scholars Council. He is also a Commissioner on the District of Columbia's Commission on African American Affairs.

Maaty, Amira

Amira Maaty

Intercultural Management Institute (IMI), School of International Service, American University

Amira Maaty serves as Director of IMI where she is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations, budget, programs and products of the Institute and supervising all institute personnel. Ms. Maaty has over 13 years of experience in international training and education, public diplomacy and civil society development with a regional focus on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Prior to joining IMI, she was a program officer on the MENA team of the National Endowment for Democracy where she oversaw civil society support programs. Previously, she served as a senior program officer at IREX overseeing international training and education programs for community and civil society leaders from around the world. She has also held positions at Internews Network, coordinating journalism training programs in the MENA region;the Phelps Stokes Fund, managing public diplomacy programs;and the Projection Project at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, leading research efforts to monitor, document, and shed light on human trafficking. Ms. Maaty has a master's degree in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University and bachelor's degree in International Affairs from George Washington University and is a fluent Arabic speaker.

Anita McBride

J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board

Anita McBride was appointed by former President George W. Bush in January 2009 to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Mcbride's White House service spans two decades and three administrations. She joined the Reagan Administration in 1984. From 1987 to 1992, McBride was Director of White House Personnel under Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush. She also served as Director of the Speakers Bureau at the United States Information Agency in 1992. Under President George W. Bush, McBride served as Special Assistant to the President for White House Management, and Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to First Lady Laura Bush from 2005 to 2009. She guided the First Lady's extensive efforts to support US foreign policy objectives in human rights, women's empowerment, global health and education, and directed Mrs. Bush's travel to 67 countries in four years, including historic visits to Afghanistan, the Middle East, and the Thai-Burma border. Also during the George W. Bush Administration, from 2001 to 2004, McBride served in the State Department, where she was Senior Advisor to the Secretary and White House Liaison from 2001 to 2003 and then Senior Advisor in the Bureau of International Organizations in 2004. She was a member of U.S. delegations to the UN Commission on the Status of Women in 2002, the UN Commission on Human Rights in 2003, and the UN Special Session on HIV/AIDS in 2006. McBride is a member of the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council, a public-private partnership between the U.S. and Afghan governments, Georgetown University, and private-sector institutions. In 2008, McBride was honored by the Afghan government for her commitment to Afghan development. She is a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Italian American Foundation and the White House Historical Association. McBride received her B.A. in International Studies from the University of Connecticut in 1981, and studied international relations and foreign languages at American University in Washington and the University of Florence in Italy. McBride is a recipient of the National Guard and Reserve's Patriot Award, the University of Connecticut's President's Award of Distinction, and American University's Alice Paul Award.

Robert McCaw

Government Affairs Manager
Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)

Robert S. McCaw is a government affairs and grassroots advocacy professional with five years' experience conducting outreach to members of Congress, the White House, federal and state agencies, and coordinating grassroots campaigns. He holds a Master's degree in Political Science and is certified in public affairs.

As the Government Affairs Manager for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, Mr. McCaw actively monitors congressional and federal activities that affect Muslims and works to ensure that the Muslim community is being represented to policy makers. He is responsible for promoting CAIR's legislative action alerts and fact sheets, submitting testimony to Congress, sponsoring activities designed to bring Muslim concerns to the government, and coordinating CAIR's national and state election activities. He is also responsible for encouraging Muslim participation in networks and coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding. Prior to joining CAIR, Mr. McCaw served as a Government Affairs Associate at the American Waterways Operators (AWO), the national trade association for the U.S. tugboat, towboat and barge industry.

Eileen O'Connor

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, South and Central Asia and Senior Director of Communications and Public Diplomacy
Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan
U.S. Department of State

Eileen O'Connor is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia and Senior Director of Communications and Public Diplomacy in the office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. In those capacities, Ms. O'Connor manages strategic communications and supports critical foreign policy goals through approximately $220 million in public diplomacy programs that build capacity in civil society and government institutions, counter violent extremism, expand information access, and improve education. She served in a similar role in Embassy Kabul from May 2011 to July 2012. Previously, Ms. O'Connor worked as an attorney specializing in legal crisis management for high profile litigation, investigations, and controversies both in the U.S. and abroad. Ms. O'Connor also served as President of the International Center for Journalists, a nonprofit that trains journalists in emerging democracies. Prior to that, Ms. O'Connor spent 24 years as an award-winning on-air reporter, producer, and Bureau Chief for ABC News and CNN, covering the White House and conflicts in Bosnia, Chechnya, Northern Ireland, Israel, Ossetia, Ingushetia and the fall of Communism from bases in London, Moscow, Tokyo and Washington. Her pro bono work centered on human rights issues for individuals and various non-governmental organizations, such as the Center for Justice and Accountability, the Women's Refugee Commission, and Vital Voices. Ms. O'Connor has a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, a post-graduate Diploma in World Politics from the London School of Economics, and B.S. in Business Administration from Georgetown University. Ms. O'Connor is an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University Law Center, and a member of the Atlantic Council.

Nasria Pashtun

Second Year Fulbright Student

Nasria Pashtun was born in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Her family immigrated to Quetta, Pakistan, when conditions in her home town were not favorable. She did her schooling and two years of college in Pakistan where she pursued an associate's degree in Psychology. In 2006, Nasria joined American University of Afghanistan and received her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, in 2010. Nasria has Fulbright full-scholarship and is pursuing her MBA at the Willamette University, Atkinson Graduate School of Management (AGSM), majoring in entrepreneurship and Finance. She is the Vice President of a student association (Atkinson Student Association) in AGSM. Nasria began her career as assistant to registrar at the American University of Afghanistan, in 2007. Later, she served as the assistant Math professor in Math Department, in 2010, at the university. She completed her six months internship with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Initiative;she was instructor of finance and marketing. Based on her performance during the internship she was offered a permanent position with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Initiative, from 2010 to 2012. Her last job was as the director of a non-for-profit organization, where literacy training were conducted in different parts of Afghanistan. Nasria academic performance and career along with her interpersonal and communication skills stands her out among her colleagues and fellow students.

Brooke Pearson

Program Officer, South and Central Asia Branch
Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs
U.S. Department of State

Brooke Pearson is a Program Officer in the South and Central Asia Branch, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. In this role, she coordinates the Fulbright Student program for Afghanistan and Central Asia. Prior to joining the State Department in 2011, Ms. Pearson worked with the Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program, and is an alumnus of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program in Macau. Hailing from Maryland and Kentucky, she pursued her Master's studies at GWU in Global Communication, and her bachelor's studies at Azusa Pacific University in California.

Jeremy Pittman

Deputy Field Director
Human Rights Campaign (HRC)

Jeremy Pittman joined the Human Rights Campaign in early 2007 as Deputy Field Director. He manages the day-to-day operations of HRC's talented field organizing team and coordinates organizing activities between HRC staff working in policy, politics and communications and HRC's volunteer leadership across the country. Prior to joining HRC, Jeremy was the Deputy Director of MassEquality in Massachusetts, where he played a significant role in building the unprecedented political campaign to protect America's first equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. As Deputy Director at MassEquality, he oversaw the organization's administrative, communications, membership engagement and public education functions. Before working full-time in the movement for equality, Jeremy spent seven years at management consulting firm Towers Perrin where he specialized in designing executive compensation programs for biopharmaceutical companies. Jeremy served for two years as the chair of the board of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Political Alliance of Massachusetts, and has also served as a director for the Equality Federation, the Bromfield Street Education Foundation, Citizens for Participation in Political Action, and the Alternatives to Marriage Project.

Beirne Roose-Snyder

Public Policy Director
Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE)

Beirne Roose-Snyder earned her J.D. and certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies from Georgetown University Law Center, where she concentrated her studies on global health and human rights. She previously worked with the Center for HIV Law &Policy in New York, where she was managing attorney, after years of working with AIDS services and education in the United States and Northern Ireland. Her research has focused on broadening access to essential medicines, and the role of perceived blameworthiness in AIDS funding priorities.

Sarah Safi

Second Year Fulbright Student

Sarah Safi has had the privilege of changing her passion, which is the inclination for helping others, into a profession. Following her dreams, she joined the Kabul Medical University in 2005 where her journey of acquiring the required competencies for promoting people's health started. In year 2013 she was thrilled to be granted a Fulbright scholarship to pursue a Master's degree in public health, at Georgia State University. Her public health experience includes a summer internship with the Global Disease Detection Branch in Global Health Protection Division in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She also has work experience with Afghan National Public Health Institute as a researcher and the General Directorate of Policy and Planning of Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health. She is a co-founding member of three prestigious social organizations and networks. The first one is South Asia Regional Youth Network, an advocacy group supported by the International Planned Parenthood Foundation working to improve and promote sexual and reproductive health and rights of South Asian youth, especially the minority populations. The second organization is Youth Network of the Afghan Family Guidance Association where she served as the president of youth network and member of the executive board. Their mission was to increase the level of awareness and access of the Afghan Youth to the reproductive health services and to advocate their rights. The third body is Afghanistan Social aid Foundation, where she served as the head of environmental protection department. She worked to protect the environment through raising awareness on environmental contaminants and the effects of the polluted environment on prevalence of communicable and non-communicable diseases, celebrating the international days related to environmental protection, organizing go green activities and conducting cultural events.

Hanan Thabet

Assistant Director, Africa, Near East, South &Central Asia
Fulbright Foreign Programs Division
Institute of International Education

Hanan Thabet works for the Institute of International Education (IIE) where she is Assistant Director for Africa, the Near East and South and Central Asia for the Fulbright Foreign Student Program. For over seven years, Hanan served as a Senior Program Officer in IIE's Global Scholarships Program Division. There she specialized in managing complex international education-based scholarship programs and corporate responsibility initiatives, both domestically and internationally. Hanan has also held significant internships with organizations focused on the region, including UNDP, Human Rights Watch and the Coalition for the International Criminal Court for the Middle East and North Africa.  Hanan received an M.A. in Near Eastern Studies from New York University in 2006, where she was a recipient of a FLAS fellowship. She received her B.A. Magna Cum Laude from the American University in Cairo in 2002. She is fluent in written and spoken Arabic and is conversant in French.

Ann Timmons

Communications Consultant

Ann Timmons helps clients discover and embrace their unique leadership presence. Clients include current political leaders at the local, state and national levels, as well as national association leaders and executives. Ann has designed and run workshops for diverse organizations and businesses, including the Embassy of Switzerland, the Department of State/Wilson Center's Women in Public Service Program, The Ferguson Group, Latham &Watkins, LLP, and The Kaiser Family Foundation. She has taught public speaking and presentation
skills for the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign
 Service at Georgetown University, The Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, and the Women and Politics Institute in the School of Public Affairs at American University, where last spring she received the prestigious Alice Paul Award.

Professor Gary Weaver

Dr. Gary Weaver passed away peacefully on March 11th, 2017. He had been a faculty member at the School of International Service since 1968.

Gary R. Weaver

Professor; and Founder and Executive Director
Intercultural Management Institute (IMI), School of International Service, American University 

For forty-five years Dr. Gary Weaver has been a member of the faculty of the School of International Service at American University. Since 1999, he has served as Executive Director of IMI through which each year he gives hundreds of keynote addresses, lectures, training seminars, and workshops to various universities, nonprofit groups, government agencies, professional organizations and business groups in the U.S. and abroad. His topics include various aspects of intercultural relations such as working in a multicultural workforce, law enforcement in a cultural diverse community, culture shock, cross-cultural negotiation, cultural aspects of conflict resolution, American identity movements and multicultural childcare. Dr. Weaver created and directed various academic programs including the Seminar on Managing a Multicultural Workforce, the Fulbright Pre-Academic Program, and the Community Studies Program, an academic program intended to meet the needs of inner city students attending American University. He has also taught courses on multicultural management for the National Training Laboratory's (NTL) graduate program at American University. In addition, Dr. Weaver has designed and directed over a dozen Navy Intercultural Relations Training Seminars in the U.S. and overseas. These weeklong programs provide cross-cultural orientation training skills for international relocation and human resources officers. In 1999, he developed a twenty-hour videotape series in Intercultural Relations Training for the Navy, and also helped to create an Internet course and manuals to accompany the series. He teaches a weeklong graduate course entitled "The Art of Negotiation" for military officers from around the Western Hemisphere at the Inter-American Defense College and teaches a one-day component on Intercultural Negotiations for a course on Multi-Party Negotiation/Conflict Management designed by the Air Force's Negotiation Center of Excellence. Professor Weaver received his Ph.D. in International Relations from American University with studies at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and the Psychoanalytic Institute of Mexico and post-doctoral studies at the Washington School of Psychiatry. He has numerous publications on intercultural relations including most recently "Intercultural Relations: Communication, Identity, and Conflict".

Brett Weisel

Director of Advocacy
Feeding America

Brett Weisel is the Director of Advocacy at Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization. As the Director of Advocacy, Weisel is responsible for designing and executing grassroots campaigns to raise public awareness, mobilize advocates, build capacity for advocacy across the Feeding America network, and educate lawmakers about public policy solutions to hunger in America. Prior to joining Feeding America, Brett served in multiple positions at DDC Advocacy, a grassroots public affairs firm. While at DDC Advocacy, Brett helped build their Advocacy Center and managed both grassroots and grasstops campaigns for a variety clients.  Weisel received his Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Villanova University and his Masters in Applied Politics from American University.  

Ruth Zaplin

Executive-in-Residence, School of Public Affairs, Department of Public Administration & Policy and Director of International Programs, Key Executive Leadership Programs, American University

Ruth Zaplin is an Executive-in-Residence, School of Public Affairs, Department of Public Administration &Policy and also Director of International Programs, Key Executive Leadership Programs at American University. Dr. Zaplin has developed and led enterprise-wide transformation plans, large-scale government reform, workforce restructuring, and work redesign initiatives in both the public and private sectors. Her background includes executive leadership of a nationally known non-governmental organization, university-level teaching and social science research in criminal justice. She is the editor of two internationally known textbooks. Dr. Zaplin holds a doctorate in public administration and is certified as an Executive Coach by the International Coach Federation. She is one of only 30 researchers in the country certified to score the subject-object qualitative research methodology developed at Harvard University.