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October 2018 Newsletter


GPD has had an incredible month. From New York to El Salvador, Ukraine, and Chicago —we’ve been on the move, promoting, advocating, and working to create collaborative opportunities for GPD’s Partner and Stardust organizations.

Below is a recap of some of our recent activities.

As always, feel free to reach out if you would like to learn more about GPD’s work with these incredible organizations.

NPH Showcases Leadership at CADF Forum

Last week, Donna Egge, the International Director of Family Services for Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH), and Neftali Sola, educator and hermano mayor from El Salvador and graduate from various NPHI Leadership programs, spoke on a GPD Sponsored Plenary Panel: ‘Top-Down and Bottom-Up Leadership Strategies in Central America’. Held at the Central American Donors Forum led by the Seattle International Foundation in El Salvador, d the discussion explored NPH’s “bottom-up” approach to investing in leaders in order to stimulate social change in the region. Donna spoke of NPH’s nurturing leadership practices that are intended to foster a new generation of globally minded leaders. Neftali also spoke about his appreciation for his experiences in the NPH International Youth Conferences as well as his experience with GPD sponsored programs like iLeap/Perennial Leadership Development.

NPH also held their annual Chicago Gala this past weekend at Latinicity Food Hall and Lounge. Hundreds gathered in support of the NPH USA Viva La Familia Gala. GPD Executive Director John DeBlasio was on hand to offer remarks as well as to commit $100,000 as a call to action for attendees to match funds raised.

Critical Threats Project visits Chicago

This Month, GPD had the honor of welcoming Fred Kagan and Katherine Zimmerman of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and Kim Kagan and Jennifer Cafarella of the Institute for the Study War (ISW) to Chicago. The visit was a showcase of their joined efforts on the Critical Threats Project (CTP), an ongoing intelligence analysis on unclassified information that produces continuous assessments of threats to the U.S. and its allies.

While here, they headlined a panel discussion —‘The Collapse of ISIS and Its Aftermath’— at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, met with leaders across Chicago’s business community, and spent time with graduate students and researchers at GPD grantee, the University of Chicago’s Chicago Project on Security and Threats.

The full video of their discussion at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs can be found here

iLeap creates lasting impact for NPH Leaders

Earlier this year, GPD funded the third small cohort of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos’ (NPH) staff-level leaders to attend iLEAP's three-week, intensive Emerging Leaders Program in Seattle, WA. iLeap, which exists to nurture a new generation of globally-minded leaders, created custom programming for NPH leaders to better serve thousands of orphaned, abandoned, and disadvantaged children across Latin America.

A few weeks after the 2018 program’s conclusion, GPD received a letter from one of the graduates which included the above sentiment.

President Weah of Liberia Visits West Point

As part of the programming for GPD Partner organization, the Center for the Study of Civil-Military Operations (CSCMO) at West Point, Cadets welcomed President Weah of Liberia earlier this month.

CSCMO Program Director, John Melkon weighed in: “It was an amazing exchange among him, the Superintendent and our cadets, for which we are eternally grateful. My class is inspired to better understand how they can serve their nation and work with their international counterparts to bring positive change in the world. From the Ambassadors to our local staff we are grateful for all of the interest and effort.”

In the News: University of Denver MENA and Northwestern University MENA

GPD’s University Partners — University of Denver (CMES) and Northwestern University (MENA) each made local, national, and international headlines this month.

Nader Hashemi, Director of the University of Denver MENA and Danny Postel, Assistant Director of Northwestern University MENA released a co-written article titled ‘Playing with Fire: Trump, the Saudi- Iranian Rivalry, and the Geopolitics of Sectarianization in the Middle East.’ The article examines the dramatic deterioration of sectarian relations in the Middle East and the escalation of the Saudi-Iranian regional rivalry. It was published in the Mediterranean Yearbook 2018 by the European Institute of the Mediterranean.

New York Times: Why the Arab World Needs Democracy Now
Fox 31 Denver: University of Denver Honors Missing Saudi Journalist
Quantara: The West's "intellectually lazy" obsession with sectarianism

John DeBlasio joins Advisory Board of the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis

This month, GPD Founder and Executive Director John DeBlasio accepted the invitation to join the Advisory Board of the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis. The Crown Center, founded in 2003, is committed to conducting balanced and dispassionate research of the modern Middle East that meets the highest academic standards. The Crown Center’s approach is multi-disciplinary in its study of the politics, economics, history, security, sociology, and anthropology of the region’s states and societies. In addition to hosting conferences, seminars, and workshops, the Center publishes the Middle East Brief series, which are concise analyses of contemporary developments and events in the Middle East.

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