Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Humphrey Fellow Ben Said interviewed on Global Observatory--International Peace Institute

Inclusiveness the Key to Keeping Tunisia’s Peace: Q&A with Ikram Ben Said
Unless Tunisian society becomes more inclusive, many marginalized youth will continue down one of two paths: crossing the Mediterranean to Italy or joining the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), said civil society advocate Ikram Ben Said, founder and president of Tunisia’s Aswat Nissa (Voices of Women).

Ms. Ben Said, who is also a Humphry Fellow at the University of Minnesota, said many members of the Tunisian public felt excluded from the country’s political process, lacking the economic opportunities or social space to participate.“They cannot identify in the project of the society, they cannot see themselves in the speech of the political parties, they cannot see themselves in people who are actually active in civil society,” she said.

Speaking with International Peace Institute Policy Analyst Margaret Williams, Ms. Ben Said said civil society groups such as hers needed to recognize the importance of fostering inclusiveness and social justice, economic opportunities, and human rights to help maintain peace.She highlighted two ways in which Tunisian civil society groups had helped to bridge the gap between the political process and citizens in the past few years.“The first is the effort made by local organizations in helping organize the group of Les Mères des Disparus (Mothers of the Disappeared), dealing with disappeared children who died in the Mediterranean Sea while they were trying to go to Italy,” Ms. Ben Said said.“And another example is what we did in Aswat Nissa during the two elections, in 2011 and 2014, working with women in the suburbs of Tunis and in rural areas to raise their awareness about elections and to encourage them to vote and to make their voice heard.”This interview has been edited for clarity and length. 

Drawing on your Tunisian experience, what role does civil society have in bridging the gap between governments and citizens, as well as between citizens themselves?After the Tunisian Revolution in 2011, there was a lot of effort and commitment from Tunisian civil society groups. They worked with citizens—especially in raising awareness, helping groups of citizens to organize themselves, and to advocate for their rights, showing them how to get in touch with decision-makers.One example of that is the effort made by local organizations in helping organize Les Mères des Disparus (Mothers of the Disappeared), dealing with disappeared children who died in the Mediterranean Sea while they were trying to go to Italy. And so they helped them—having meetings with government officials, members of parliament, and to advocate for their right to know the reality of their children and their destination.Another example is what we did in Aswat Nissa during the two elections, in 2011 and 2014, working with women in the suburbs of Tunis and in rural areas to raise their awareness about elections and to encourage them to vote and to make their voice heard.Regarding the efforts of civil society groups in Tunisia toward political institutions, especially toward the parliament—there were thousands and thousands of law proposals and amendments during the three-year process. It was a lot of effort of advocacy and lobbying during those three years, and the civil society groups took the first draft of the constitution and held town hall meetings and conferences, and they collected citizens’ feedback and I can say that they were able to create a lot of change.

Could you tell us about strides made and challenges ahead for civil society in Tunisia, particularly related to opportunities for influencing government policy on local, regional, and national levels?I think it will be good for everyone if civil society groups get out from their bubbles and be more inclusive. Because I think that there are a lot of civil society groups, but they are a little bit elitist. And what I mean by that is, how can we open our arms and our hearts, and welcome citizens and marginalized groups? How can we work with them, and work with people as real partners, and not just beneficiaries? And how can we engage them in the design of the project, from the beginning?This is the first challenge. The second is, how can we build strategic alliances? And how can we work together not just to be against something, but also to be together for something? Because usually, when we are afraid of new policy or law, it’s automatic that we will work together because we are against this party or against this group. But let’s be strategic and think long-term, and work together…in a pragmatic way. With limited resources and global challenges, one NGO cannot do the whole job. So we should think, how can we collaborate?And I think the third challenge is how civil society groups in Tunisia could be more professional, using all the modern ways of working without being dependent on donors and without forgetting why they are in civil society. 

What has been the role and representation of women in civil society in Tunisia until now, and do you see this changing?Since the revolution, Tunisian women have been alongside men in the street. They were, and they are, still on the frontlines. They are in leadership positions in civil society, and they get things done! However, citizens cannot really see that, because the media has not informed them. And I think women are so busy doing the job that they don’t have time to highlight themselves and highlight their work. So they are doing a great job, but I think that Tunisian women now should start thinking about how can they tell their stories and inspire other women and men. I think they are doing a great job, but they have to show up. 

What are some of the limitations and opportunities for civil society in strengthening citizen engagement in political processes, particularly for women and youth?The great opportunity now for the political participation for women and youth is the coming municipal elections—the first municipal elections after the revolution. And citizens are really waiting for this election because they understand that it affects their daily lives.The challenge facing civil society is political participation. Firstly there are non-democratic and non-gender-sensitive internal policies among the political parties. When political parties start meetings at 6PM, 7PM, and they have no places that women can put their kids, it’s a gender-sensitive issue. And when you observe the leadership of the political parties, there are very, very few women. But women, actually, are doing the job on the ground, especially during the election. So, we should talk to political parties and push them to be more democratic and more gender-sensitive, and actually convince them that the party will win if it involves more women.And we need youth because they are the great majority of our population. We should not only talk about youth, we should involve youth. Youth should be at the table to raise their voices. Youth also must show up…youth are very engaged in civil society, but they are separated from political parties. Political parties have the responsibility to offer a safe space to learn, to be engaged, to be committed, and they will win if they engage youth and women.We at Aswat Nissa work with women politicians and we see that they want to run for office, but they have many internal challenges, and they have also private challenges. Recently, Tunisian gender profile studies have shown that Tunisian women work eight times more than men in private house in cleaning, in cooking, etc. So while men are attending meetings and advocating and making decisions, women are at home taking care of children. So the private space is not playing a big role to empower women, and we in civil society, we don’t have the responsibility to interfere, but we can lobby for new laws, we can raise awareness and, actually, we have to open the conversation to talk about the private sphere because we consider that it’s private, it’s personal, but actually the personal is political. 

How might civil society voices more effectively contribute to policies that promote inclusive peace going forward?I think when we talk about peace we should talk about the inclusive process. I will again advocate that civil society groups should really embrace the diversity because now we are very different, with a different ideology and backgrounds, and mission and vision. So we should first embrace this diversity and we should not be worried because we are different. It’s a part of democracy. So once we embrace our diversity, we will not start fighting each other because we are different. We will focus on what we have as a common ground and being aware of what we have as differences.We cannot talk about peace without talking about social justice, without talking about equal opportunities for everyone, without talking about human rights. Tunisian people were on the street in 2011 because of these issues. Because there is a huge number of the Tunisian population excluded from the process, they don’t have the tools to participate, they don’t have the space to participate, and they don’t have the economic opportunity to participate. So, they feel that they are excluded, they cannot identify in the project of the society, they cannot see themselves in the speech of the political parties, they cannot see themselves in people who are actually active in civil society. They feel that they are marginalized, and once they feel that they are marginalized, the youth, they have, I think, two ways; going to Italy or joining ISIS (the so-called Islamic State). And I think it’s our responsibility to understand that social justice, economic opportunity, and human rights are the priorities to ensure peace.

About the Global Observatory
The Global Observatory provides timely analysis on peace and security issues by experts, journalists, and policymakers. It is published by the International Peace Institute. The views expressed here represent those of the contributors and not IPI.

The International Peace Institute is an independent, international think tank located in New York, Vienna, and Manama, dedicated to the settlement and prevention of armed conflict.

reprinted from

Oct 22 HHH Info Session: Job & Internship Opps at J-PAL

Humphrey School Information Session: Job & Internship Opportunities at J-PAL
12:00 noon - 1:30 pm
Room 215 Humphrey School (Wilkins Room)
Learn about J-PAL’s work in development & poverty alleviation.

Registration required. Sign up today at
This event is open to Humphrey School students only and is not open to the public.

Ben Jaques-Leslie from J-PAL wants to talk with first and second year students who have taken coursework in economics, have strong quantitative skills, and care deeply about using evidence to tackle some of the most pressing policy challenges in development and poverty alleviation.

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) was established in 2003 as a research center at the Economics Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since then, it has grown into a global network of researchers who use randomized evaluations to answer critical policy questions in the fight against poverty.

J-PAL’s mission is to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. We do this through three main activities:

• Conducting Rigorous Impact Evaluations: J-PAL researchers conduct randomized evaluations to test and improve the effectiveness of programs and policies aimed at reducing poverty.
• Policy Outreach: J-PAL’s policy group analyzes and disseminates research results and builds partnerships with policymakers to ensure that policy is driven by evidence, and effective programs are scaled up.
• Capacity Building: J-PAL equips practitioners with the expertise to carry out their own rigorous evaluations through training courses and joint research projects.

Learn more at

Jane Vega
Employer Relations Coordinator
Career Services
Humphrey School of Public Affairs
University of Minnesota
301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
t 612-624-1440
f 612-626-0002

University of Minnesota
Driven to Discover

HHH students? Applying for the Rosenthal? Information here

Questions about the Rosenthal application process? Please contact Martha Krohn at, Jen Guyer-Wood at or Sherry Gray at

Please note past HHH awardees:

Ido Sivan Sevilla, MPP, internship in the Office of California Congressman Ami Bera

Syed Ghazi Ghazan Jamal, MPP, interned at the office of US Senator Sherrod Brown
Jan Saxhaug, MPP, interned at the office of US Senator Mark Udall


Marie Kurth, MPP, internship in the State Department in the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Programs (INL/AP)

Cody Nelson, MPP, internship in the United States Treasury, Office of International Affairs - South/Southeast Asia

Rosenthal Fellowship in International Relations - Summer 2016 in DC Internal application deadline: 11:59 pm, Monday, November 2, 2015.

The Harold W Rosenthal Fellowship in International Relations Summer 2016 offers students pursuing a career in international affairs the opportunity to spend a summer in professional fellowship positions in the US Congress or at a US government agency (including the State Department and the Department of Defense) in Washington, DC.

Eligibility: The program is open to all graduate students enrolled in APSIA-member schools (Humphrey is an APSIA member school), are returning to school full-time in Fall 2016, can demonstrate a commitment to public service and express a keen interest in international relations.
For more information about Harold Rosenthal and the Rosenthal Fellowship including where previous fellows have interned, go to
- A stipend of $2,000 will accompany a limited number of awards
- Fellowship positions are chosen to ensure they provide substantive work experience in international relations and security policy
- International students may apply for the program but are limited to Congressional placements
- Each school may nominate up to 3 candidates
- Semi-finalists for the program will be notified on January 31, 2016
- Interviews and final selections will take place in Washington, DC on March 7-8, 2016, with travel costs the responsibility of the nominees. (Remote interviews may be available under certain circumstances.)
- Finalists will be notified of their selection as soon as possible after March 8th.
- By accepting a Rosenthal Fellowship, finalists agree to accept their Rosenthal-provided internship placement and to write a memo to the Fellowship Committee at the end of the summer describing their experiences.

Additional benefits of the program: The Fellowship program offers after-hours lectures, roundtables and networking programs.
Note: Students may apply to the Fellowship with an internship at a qualifying US government agency already in hand (thus, applying for stipend support only) or for just the internship placement if they already have a source of funding available.
Rosenthal Fellows also receive preferred consideration for the European Union Visitors Program.

(DEADLINE - 11:59 pm, Monday, November 2, 2015)
Please submit the following materials to Martha Krohn at by 11:59 pm on Monday, November 2, 2015. Materials should be attached to your email as Word documents. Please put Rosenthal Application Materials in the subject line of the email.
1. A brief (300 words or less) statement as to why you would like to be a Rosenthal Fellow and how that relates to your education and career goals.
2. Resumé (1-2 page) showing education and experience relevant to a career in international affairs*
3. A two-page (single-spaced) original policy memo style essay written for this application on a current international affairs topic of the student's choice. The essay should not refer to you personally. This essay is key; it must be succinct, well-written and showcase your knowledge of a current international affairs topic.*

*Note: The resumé and original essay should be your best first-draft work. If you are chosen to be a nominee, we will work with you in polishing both for final submission.
You will be notified by no later than Thursday, November 12 whether you have been chosen as an HHH nominee.

If you are a nominee, all remaining materials (unofficial transcripts, letter of reference, application form and final copies of your resumé and essay) will be due to Martha Krohn ( on Monday, November 23, 2015.
1. Unofficial transcripts: An academic transcript from universities previously attended (unofficial accepted). An academic transcript from your current graduate program. The Fall 2015 semester transcript with grades should be sent when available (in early January 2016).
2. Reference Letter: If you are selected as a nominee, you will need to submit a letter of reference from a professor or professional associate with direct knowledge of your interests and abilities. NOTE: Please inform your proposed recommender that you may be requesting such a letter in mid-November. It may also be helpful to offer to draft the letter.
3. Application form

Martha Krohn, MA | Associate Director of Career Services

Humphrey School of Public Affairs - University of Minnesota | Ph: 612.625.3585 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 612.625.3585 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting | Fax: 612.626.0002
Fall 2015 Drop-In (No Appointment Needed!): Wednesdays, 1-2:30 in Room HHH280
To make an appointment online, go to our website:

Oct 29 50 Years of Immigration History Research Center & Archives

Oct. 29 - Exhibit reception: People on the Move

The Immigration History Research Center will celebrate its 50th anniversary with the opening of "People on the Move: 50 Years of Documenting and Researching Migration Experiences at the Immigration History Research Center & Archives." 5-7 p.m., Elmer L. Andersen Library. Register and learn more >

Oct 19 "Covering National Security Issues in the Post 9/11 World"

30th Annual Silha Lecture:
"Clear and Present Danger:  Covering National Security Issues in the Post 9/11 World"
with James Risen, Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times investigative journalist, and attorney Joel Kurtzberg

October 19, 2015  7:30 PM
Coffman Theater, Coffman Memorial Union
University of Minnesota East Bank

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, government officials often justify secrecy as necessary to protect national security. But without information, how can citizens hold their government accountable? To gather the news the public needs to know, journalists may turn to sources who will speak only on the condition that their identities are kept confidential. When leaks trigger criminal investigations, zealous prosecutors subpoena reporters to force them to reveal their sources. Journalists who refuse to testify face the threat of fines and jail. The result is a no-win situation for sources, for journalists, and for the public.

One journalist who has faced this predicament is New York Times investigative reporter and Pulitzer Prize-winner James Risen. On Monday, October 19, 2015, Risen and his attorney, Joel Kurtzberg, will discuss the legal and journalistic challenges that arise when reporting the national security beat and using confidential sources at the 30th Annual Silha Lecture, “Clear and Present Danger: Covering National Security Issues in the Post-9/11 World,” sponsored by the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law.

In 2011, Risen was subpoenaed to testify in the prosecution of Jeffrey Sterling, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer accused of several counts of violating the Espionage Act. During a four-year court battle, federal prosecutors demanded Risen’s testimony, claiming he was the only person who had direct knowledge of whether Sterling had actually disclosed classified material. Despite orders instructing him to testify, Risen refused to identify the confidential sources for his book, State of War, and two articles on national security issues, one of which quoted Sterling. Risen appealed the orders to the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to hear his case. In January 2015, Department of Justice officials finally conceded in court filings that Risen’s consistent and steadfast refusal to identify his source “laid to rest any doubt concerning whether he will ever disclose his source or sources. He will not.” They dropped the subpoena, and Sterling was later found guilty of violating the Espionage Act without Risen’s testimony.

Despite this victory for his client, Kurtzberg said Risen’s battle demonstrates how far the government will go to force a reporter to reveal confidential communications. “The significance of this goes beyond Jim Risen. It affects journalists everywhere. Journalists need to be able to uphold that confidentiality in order to do their jobs,” Kurtzberg told the New York Times. The newspaper commented in an editorial that “The abandoned pursuit of Mr. Risen leaves behind an atrocious legal precedent: a 2-to-1 ruling in 2013 by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Virginia, which denied the existence of any reporter’s privilege in the First Amendment or common law.”

The 30th Annual Silha Lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. on October 19 at the Coffman Theater in Coffman Memorial Union on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus. James Risen’s book, Pay Any Price, will be available for purchase and signing immediately following the Silha Lecture.

The Silha Lecture is free and open to the public. No reservations or tickets are required. Parking is available in the East River Road Garage. Additional information about directions and parking can be found at

The Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law is based at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Minnesota. Silha Center activities, including the annual Lecture, are made possible by a generous endowment from the late Otto Silha and his wife, Helen. For further information, please contact the Silha Center at 612-625-3421 or, or visit

About the Speakers:

James Risen is a graduate of Brown University, where he majored in history, and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He joined the New York Times in 1998 after previously working for the Los Angeles Times. He has won several awards for his journalistic work, including Pulitzer Prizes in 2002 and 2006, the 2006 Goldsmith Prize for investigative reporting, and the 2003 Cornelius Ryan Award from the Overseas Press Club. He is the author of four books, two of which are national bestsellers: State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration (Free Press, 2006), and Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014).

 Joel Kurtzberg is a partner at the law firm Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP in New York who focuses on general commercial litigation. He has extensive experience in legal issues related to media organizations and the First Amendment, representing reporters in cases involving former CIA operative Valerie Plame and alleged spy Wen Ho Lee. He teaches a mass media law course as an adjunct professor at Brooklyn Law School as well as a course on Internet law as an adjunct professor at Fordham University School of Law. He formerly served as the New York State Bar Association’s chair of the Media Law Committee. Kurtzberg graduated from Harvard Law School in 1996.

UMN Global Food System resource

Food Matters

IonE has a new online resource that will provide primers and visuals covering the global food system for use by those who influence or educate environmental decision makers.

Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota
1954 Buford Avenue
325 Learning & Environmental SciencesSaint Paul, MN 55108
The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

Oct 8, 4pm at Northrop: Engaging Communities in the Heartland

Engaging Communities in the Heartland: An Archaeology of a Multi-Racial Community with Paul Shackel
Thursday, October 8, 4 p.m., Crosby Seminar Room, 240 Northrop

© 2015 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy Statement