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Archive for the 'SFSAlumni' Category

A recent announcement from the White House included several new nominations within the administration, including BSFS alumna Piper A.W. Campbell being nominated as Ambassador to Mongolia.

Piper A. W. Campbell is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and has served as Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Basrah, Iraq since July 2011.  Prior to her time in Iraq, Ms. Campbell was Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources.  From 2006 to 2009, she was the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S Embassy in Cambodia.  Other overseas posts have included Counselor for Humanitarian Affairs for the U.S. Mission to the UN in Geneva, Switzerland; Advisor to the USAID Mission Director in Croatia; Senior Advisor to the Head of Civilian Affairs for the United Nations Transitional Administration in Eastern Slavonia, Croatia; General Services Officer in Belgium; and General Services Officer and Consular Officer in the Philippines.  Domestically,  Ms. Campbell has served as an Advisor on Asian Issues for the U.S. Mission to the U.N.; Human Rights Officer in the Bureau of International Organizations; and a Watch Officer in the State Department’s Operations Center.  Ms. Campbell holds a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and an M.P.A. from Harvard Kennedy School.

Read more about the nominations announced by the White House.

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President Obama recently announced his intent to  to nominate Richard Norland as ambassador to Georgia. Congrats to a BSFS grad!

Ambassador Richard Norland, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, serves as the International Affairs Advisor and Deputy Commandant at the National War College.  From September 2007 to July 2010, he was U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Uzbekistan.  Prior to which, he served for two years as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.  Additional overseas assignments have included: Deputy Chief of Mission in Riga, Latvia; Diplomat with the U.S. Army Civil Affairs team in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan; Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Dublin; and Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.  He was Director for European Affairs on the National Security Council for two years during the Clinton and Bush administrations.  Ambassador Norland has a B.S. from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and master's degrees from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and National War College. 

Read more about Richard Norland.

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Another exciting announcement about a SFS alumna comes from the President's office! BSFS alumna Erin C. Conaton has been announced the nominee for Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness at the Department of Defense.

Erin C. Conaton is currently the Under Secretary of the Air Force.  Prior to her confirmation in 2010, she served on the House Committee on Armed Services as Staff Director (2007-2010), Minority Staff Director (2005-2007), and Professional Staff Member (2001-2005).  From 1998 to 2001, she worked on the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century, also known as the Hart-Rudman Commission.  She holds B.S. from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and an M.A. from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Read more about Erin and other White House nominations.

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SFS alumna Ambassador Nancy E. Soderberg was recently included in President Obama's announcement of intent to appoint several individuals to key administration posts. Amb. Soderberg will be appointed for Chairperson of the Public Interest Declassification Board.

Read more about Amb. Soderberg's background and the other appointees from the White House.

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One of Israel’s most celebrated novelist, Meir Shalev is a bestselling author in Israel, Holland, and Germany. Shalev’s writing is often compared to Gabriel Garcia Marquez for his ability to create worlds inhabited by the richness of invention and obsessiveness of dreams....He delivers both startling imagery and passionate, original characters whose destinies we follow through love, loss, laughter and death. Shalev will be interviewed about his latest memoir My Russian Grandmother and Her American Vacuum Cleaner.

From the author of the acclaimed novel A Pigeon and a Boy comes a charming tale of family ties, over-the-top housekeeping, and the sport of storytelling in Nahalal, the village of Meir Shalev’s birth. Here we meet Shalev’s amazing Grandma Tonia, who arrived in Palestine by boat from Russia in 1923 and lived in a constant state of battle with what she viewed as the family’s biggest enemy in their new land: dirt.

Grandma Tonia was never seen without a cleaning rag over her shoulder. She received visitors outdoors. She allowed only the most privileged guests to enter her spotless house. Hilarious and touching, Grandma Tonia and her regulations come richly to life in a narrative that circles around the arrival into the family’s dusty agricultural midst of the big, shiny American sweeper sent as a gift by Great-uncle Yeshayahu (he who had shockingly emigrated to the sinful capitalist heaven of Los Angeles!). America, to little Meir and to his forebears, was a land of hedonism and enchanting progress; of tempting luxuries, dangerous music, and degenerate gum-chewing; and of women with painted fingernails. The sweeper, a stealth weapon from Grandpa Aharon’s American brother meant to beguile the hardworking socialist household with a bit of American ease, was symbolic of the conflicts and visions of the family in every respect.

The fate of Tonia’s “svieeperrr”—hidden away for decades in a spotless closed-off bathroom after its initial use—is a family mystery that Shalev determines to solve. The result, in this cheerful translation by Evan Fallenberg, is pure delight, as Shalev brings to life the obsessive but loving Tonia, the pioneers who gave his childhood its spirit of wonder, and the grit and humor of people building ever-new lives.

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Flory Jagoda (born Flora Kabilio in 1925 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina) is a Jewish American and Bosnian guitarist, composer and singer. She is known for her interpretation of Ladino songs.

Biography Flory Jagoda arrived in America as a war bride in 1946. She grew up in the Bosnian village of Vlasenica and in Sarajevo. She grew up in the Sephardic tradition in the musical Altaras family.

The Sephardic community of Sarajevo and its surrounding communities were nearly obliterated during World War II. During the war Jagoda was interned on the island of Korcula on the Dalmatian Coast. Her family escaped to Italy where she met and soon married Harry Jagoda, then in the U.S. military after which she immigrated to the United States.

Jagoda's recording Kantikas Di Mi Nona (Songs of My Grandmother) consists of songs her grandmother, a Sephardic folksinger, taught her as a young girl. Following the release of her second recording, Memories of Sarajevo, she recorded La Nona Kanta (The Grandmother Songs), songs she herself wrote for her grandchildren.

Now in her 80’s Flory has stated that Arvoliko: The Little Tree, released in 2006, will be her final solo recording. The tree, located in Bosnia, is said to be the only marker of the mass grave of 42 massacred members of the Altaras family. She refers to her four recordings as representing the four musical stages of her life. In 2006 she also released a series of duets with Ramón Tasat, Kantikas de amor i vida: Sephardic Duets.

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Jason Whitely (JD/MSFS '09) will be signing his book Father of Money: Buying Peace in Baghdad at Barnes and Noble in Georgetown this Friday, October 8 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Whiteley reveals the dark details of his time spent on the streets of Baghdad as a soldier rebuilding the Iraqi political system from the ground-up. He would discover that it would take more than American ideals to complete the task.

Reviewing the book for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Jim Drury said it's a compelling read.

Part memoir and part military history, Jason Whiteley’s Father of Money is more of a Heart of Darkness-tale of personal introspection than a full, comprehensive description of the American occupation of Iraq. And while the author deftly describes his experiences in the Al Dora district of Baghdad from 2004 to early 2005, the book is most valuable for its disturbing revelations of how unprepared the United States Army was for the job entrusted to it. The American Armed Forces completed their mission in a matter of weeks when they destroyed Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. It was a complete and unequivocal success, traditionally speaking. Unfortunately, the Iraq War is inherently untraditional. For Whiteley, the problem lay not in the Army’s execution, which was top notch, but in the mission after the mission. As governance officer of Al Dora, Whiteley is at the tip of the spear in the Army’s second battle, which is rebuilding Iraq. His position in Baghdad allows him to explain the confusing struggle between Shi’ites, Sunnis and Americans with considerable authority.

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SFS' Security Studies Program (SSP) has reason to be proud as a recent alumna and a current student took first and second place respectively in a national essay contest commemorating the September 11th attacks.

Sara Moller (G’06), won first place and a scholarship of $20,000 in the National Richard A. Clarke Graduate Student Monograph Contest sponsored by the California-based Center for First Amendment Studies.

Second place and a scholarship of $10,000 went to Dimitar Georgiev (G’13).

“It’ a great honor and also very personal for me,” Moller says. “For my generation and many others 9/11 was a defining moment. ... It forced me to re-examine what I thought I knew and believed about the world.

Her monograph titled, “Lessons Learned and Unlearned: The Tenth Anniversary of September 11, 2001” made several policy recommendations, including an overhaul of the Department of Homeland Security.

Read the full story from Georgetown University's Office of Communications.

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SFS' Security Studies Program (SSP) has reason to be proud as a recent alumna and a current student took first and second place respectively in a national essay contest commemorating the September 11th attacks.

Sara Moller (G’06), won first place and a scholarship of $20,000 in the National Richard A. Clarke Graduate Student Monograph Contest sponsored by the California-based Center for First Amendment Studies.

Second place and a scholarship of $10,000 went to Dimitar Georgiev (G’13).

“It’ a great honor and also very personal for me,” Moller says. “For my generation and many others 9/11 was a defining moment. ... It forced me to re-examine what I thought I knew and believed about the world.

Her monograph titled, “Lessons Learned and Unlearned: The Tenth Anniversary of September 11, 2001” made several policy recommendations, including an overhaul of the Department of Homeland Security.

Read the full story from Georgetown University's Office of Communications.

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The Hindu American Foundation sponsored an essay contest, which prompted participants to answer: "Every day, my Hindu-ness makes me a better American because... " Sohini Sircar graduated from the STIA program this May with a concentration in Biotechnology and Global Health and a certificate in International Development. She is currently working at the National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health. Most recently, she attended and helped organize a conference hosted by Hindu American Seva Charities at the White House and at Georgetown University and hopes to continue with her work with these and other Hindu organizations. Read an excerpt from her essay here:

Essence By Sohini Sircar Many American Hindus view their lives as having two poles. They display their Hindu side at home or at the temple amongst family and their American side at school or work. This dual life–almost like split personality–can be confusing when the two areas converge. But this is not the only way to live as an American Hindu. In fact, I strongly believe that these two identities are inextricably linked in my existence as a Hindu in the United States.

Read the full essay at the Huffington Post.

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