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The GPD Report 


By investing in programs and organizations that improve the world, the GPD Charitable Trust honors our commitment to those who have helped sustain this mission for more than 13 years. It is with their contributions in mind that we remain committed to fostering new relationships for our grantees, expanding opportunities for our communities, and supporting our friends and stakeholders’ in this shared mission.   

In this newsletter, you’ll find the GPD Charitable Trust’s monthly update on our initiatives empowered by your support. As always, feel free to reach out directly if we can be a resource to you or if you would like to explore ways we can work together.

Iraqi Leadership Fellow Begins Journey with CANVAS Freedom Fellowship

This month, Hanar Marouf, a current fellow of GPD Partner Organization, the Iraqi Leadership Fellows Program, began her journey with the prestigious CANVAS Freedom Fellowship, sponsored by GPD. Hanar is an activist on human rights issues, a journalist, and has published articles in international media outlets. Hanar founded the first English-Kurdish magazine for youth in Iraq. She is also a PhD candidate in Politics and International Relations at the Kurdistan University of Hewler.

As part of the Canvas Freedom Fellowship Hanar will participate in the Oslo Freedom Forum, she will travel to Belgrade and New York, and she will work with young leaders and mentors from around the world.

GPD Establishes Partnership with The Foreign Policy Research Institute

This month, GPD established a partnership with The Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) to inform policy related to Iraq’s democracy and political institutions. Despite the continued American commitment to Baghdad’s political success, Iraqi domestic politics remains relatively understudied. Iraq’s political evolution is also often an after-thought in American political discourse, which remains narrowly focused on the security situation and internal political debates that look backward at the American military experience between 2003-2011.

The FPRI project, led by Aaron Stein, will produce papers for what will become an edited volume, followed by events in Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Chicago, and Denver to discuss the project’s key findings and policy recommendations. The papers will be published for download online, in addition to the complete printed volume that will be distributed at events.

John DeBlasio Visits Syria Direct in Amman, Jordan

This May, John DeBlasio, Executive Director of the GPD Charitable Trust visited the Syria Direct headquarters in Amman, Jordan. John said: “Helping seed and grow Syria Direct into the organization it has become over the last 6 years has been one of the highlights in my life.”

Founded in 2012, Syria Direct has graduated nearly 200 Syrians from its civilian-journalism training program and has published 500+ published for its 100,000+ readers. In the coming months, Syria Direct will undergo a governance structure, including a seven-person Board of Directors and bylaws that align with Syria Direct’s mission to produce timely, credible coverage of Syria while training a small group of highly talented, aspiring Syrian and international journalists.

In Chicago, Illinois Joining Forces Celebrates Memorial Day

This month, GPD Partner organization Illinois Joining Forces (IJF) celebrated Memorial Day on WGN Morning News. There, IJF’s Executive Director, Brigadier General Ret. Stephen K. Curda, PH.D. spoke about the many ways we can all come together in support of the 650,000 Veterans across the state of Illinois.

IJF is a statewide not-for-profit that bridges the gap between public and private networks and their support of service members, veterans, and their families in Illinois.

The Chicago Project on Security and Threats Announces Inaugural Hagel Leadership Lecture

On May 30, 2019, GPD Stardust grantee, the Chicago Project on Security & Threats (CPOST) at the University of Chicago, hosted its inaugural Hagel Leadership Lecture, Building Stability in a Contentious World.

The event featured a keynote address by Madeleine Albright, the 64th Secretary of State, along with a panel discussion featuring former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Secretary Albright, and was moderated by CPOST Director Dr. Robert Pape. The discussion focused on why civil discourse and an all-American approach to national security challenges is needed now more than ever. 

This lecture is the first in a series of annual leadership events hosted by Secretary Hagel and CPOST intended to better prepare tomorrow’s leaders to address the most critical issues facing the United States. Video footage from the event can be found here.

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