Training the Next Generation of Iraqi Leaders

PRESS RELEASE

Training the Next Generation of Iraqi Leaders

GPD Charitable Trust Partners with American University of Iraq, Sulaimani and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung to Train Young Iraqi Leaders in Advocacy and Campaigning Skills

October 2017

On October 24 – 25, 2017, GPD Charitable Trust partnered with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) to train twenty-two emerging Iraqi leaders in advocacy and campaign skills.

The young leaders came from a diverse range of backgrounds, but were united in their passion and dedication for improving governance in Iraq. The participants included Kurds, Arabs, Yezidis, a range of religious and sectarian affiliations, and adherents to an array of ideological outlooks. The young leaders encompassed a variety of different approaches towards political activism, including those who had chosen to join existing political parties, those who were creating their own political parties, as well as civil society actors, and protests movement leaders. The workshop took place against a highly charged political backdrop in Iraq, just after Baghdad retook disputed territories from the control of the Kurdistan Regional Government. Yet the participants from opposing sides of the conflict engaged with each other with curiosity, openness and respect, and friendships and networks were developed between different groups of Iraqis who rarely have the opportunity to interact.

We are excited to be part of a great program supported by both the American University of Sulymaniyah and KAS. Developing the next generation of leaders in Iraq is critical to developing a better future for both Iraq and the region. We hope to create a world-class leader-development program along the lines of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Initiative which seeks to develop policies that lead to positive change by inspiring leaders to participate in civic action.

- John DeBlasio, Executive Director of the GPD Charitable Trust

The young leaders participated in a series of teambuilding exercises, and in interactive sessions exploring effective advocacy techniques, including how to define goals, identify support bases, address spoilers, reach decision-makers, and building sustainable campaigns. Participants then created mock campaigns, based on a template outlining a range of laddered campaign strategies, and presented them to the group. Based on this learning, participants are now engaged in creating campaign plans for real life campaigns that they will launch, with ongoing mentoring from our team. The young Iraqis also met with activists from Beirut Madinati, a new political movement in Lebanon which upended Lebanese politics by participating in municipal elections in Beirut with a radically governance focused agenda. The Iraqis were inspired by the strategies used by their Lebanese counterparts, and participated in a lively exchange of ideas.

Syria Direct’s Journalist Training Program Highlighted in Washington Post

Syria Direct's Journalist Training Program Highlighted in Washington Post

August 4, 2016

Syria Direct received national attention for its efforts to bring timely, accurate and on-the-ground news from Syria to the rest of the world through their breaking news website, journalist training program and research service.

Founded in 2013 with support from GPD, Syria Direct is an Amman-based nonprofit organization that trains highly talented, aspiring Syrian and American journalists in professional news-gathering and accurate, in-depth reporting on the civil war in Syria.

To read the full article, go here.

Ukraine’s Army FM Radio Station is Featured on National Public Radio

Ukraine's Army FM Radio Station is Featured on National Public Radio

August 1, 2016

Jim Hake, CEO of Spirit of America, was interviewed on NPR about his organization’s efforts to support Ukraine’s Defense Ministry in countering Russian propaganda by launching a military radio station, Army FM. For the full transcript of the conversation, go here.

Army FM Draws Attention for Innovative Approach to Political Discourse in Ukraine

Army FM Draws Attention for Innovative Approach to Political Discourse in Ukraine

May 26, 2016

In March, Ukraine’s army launched Army FM, a radio station for soldiers created to provide content that counters the pro-Russia and pro-separatist programming from other local stations. Using a mix of humor, music and political satire, Army FM will seek to attract, engage, and inform an audience with limited access to credible news sources. Spirit of America, with support from the GPD Charitable Trust, worked with Ukraine’s Defense Ministry to get the project off the ground. For the full article in the Wall Street Journal, go here.

Interview with Head of the Task Force on the Future of Iraq

Interview with Head of the Task Force on the Future of Iraq

July 28, 2016

Nussaibah Younis, Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, spoke on NPR today about how the U.S. intervention in Iraq affected our involvement in Syria. To read the full transcript of her interview, go here.

Nussaibah Younis directs the Task Force on the Future of Iraq chaired by former Ambassador Ryan Crocker. The Task Force identifies ways to support the Iraqis in stabilizing their state, reconciling their warring communities, and building the basis for long term stability in the country.

GPD Supports the Launch of Atlantic Council Task Force on the Future of Iraq

PRESS RELEASE

GPD Supports the Launch of Atlantic Council Task Force on the Future of Iraq

New task force aims to identify ways to support Iraqis in stabilizing their state, reconciling their warring communities, and building the basis for long term stability in the country

February 2016

The Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East has established a Task Force on the Future of Iraq chaired by former Ambassador Ryan Crocker. The Task Force will identify ways to support the Iraqis in stabilizing their state, reconciling their warring communities, and building the basis for long-term stability in the country.

The Task Force comprises twenty-five top Iraq experts from around the world. They will convene in Washington, DC for the launch, and will conduct fact-finding missions in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Baghdad, and Najaf. The Task Force will consult European policymakers in Berlin. Finally, they will report their findings in November in order to recommend to the incoming US administration a long-term approach to the stabilization of Iraq. The Task Force on the Future of Iraq will tackle the following key issues:

  • The Future of the Popular Mobilization Units
  • The Status of the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq
  • Re-integrating Internally Displaced Peoples
  • Rehabilitating Iraq’s Sunni Community
  • Building Effective Governance
  • Reforming the Iraqi Economy
  • Re-Establishing Boundaries between Iraq and Regional Powers

GPD funding contributed to the creation of this task force.

GPD Receives Honorable Mention from McNulty Prize Catalyst Fund

PRESS RELEASE

GPD Receives Honorable Mention from McNulty Prize Catalyst Fund

January 2016

The GPD Charitable Trust received a $5,000 honorable mention contribution from the McNulty Prize Catalyst Fund in recognition of its support for Syria Direct.

The John P. McNulty Prize aims to galvanize efforts to address the foremost social, economic and environmental challenges of our time by recognizing exceptional leadership projects undertaken by the Fellows of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. The winner of the John P. McNulty Prize receives a $100,000 award to further his or her leadership project. The Prize is paid directly to the project over two years and is contingent upon continued progress. Each of the other laureates receives a $10,000 award.

Since 2008 the Prize winners and laureates have included B Lab, Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator in South Africa, Nutrivida in Costa Rica, Youth Local Councils in Palestine, Projecto Pais in El Salvador and FundWell in San Francisco.

Founded in 2013, Syria Direct is a non-profit journalism organization that produces timely, credible coverage of Syria while training highly talented, aspiring Syrian and American journalists in professional news-gathering and accurate, in-depth reporting.

The award will directly benefit Syria Direct.

McNultyPrizeLetter