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The GPD Report 


In the coming months, the GPD Charitable Trust will be releasing a series of updates and announcements related to bringing increased value to our Partner organizations and Stardust grantees.

For the time being, we bring you our monthly newsletter — an update on the impact of the hard work of our grantees.

In this newsletter, you’ll find GPD’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.

West Point Holds Its Annual Class of 1978 Student Workshop on Civil-Military Operations

This April, GPD partner, The Center for Civil Military Operations (CSCMO) at West Point, held its annual Class of 1978 Student Workshop on Civil-Military Operations (SWCMO). 

The first of its kind, 
SWCMO is a venue for students to learn and develop skills supporting Civil-Military Operations. Its full day program is dedicated to student learning and margin of excellence activities that bring subject matter experts from the focus-fields to the West Point cadets. The program reinforces GPD’s mission of developing all West Point leaders in Civil-Military Operations (CMO) to better understand the challenges they will face in military service.

Illinois Joining Forces Welcomes New Executive Director, Brigadier General Ret. Stephen K. Curda, PH.D

This April, GPD Partner organization Illinois Joining Forces (IJF) announced the appointment of Brigadier General Ret. Stephen K. Curda, PH.D. as its new Executive Director. 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.

Dr. Curda (Ret) joins IJF after serving as the former Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA). At IDVA, Curda was responsible for serving more than 650,000 Veterans across the state of Illinois. Curda succeeds LTC Jaime Martinez (Ret), who served as IJF’s Executive Director from 2017-2018.


Iraqi Leadership Fellows Program’s Nussaibah Younis Visit Chicago

This April, Nussaibah Younis, founder of GPD Partner organization the Iraqi Leadership Fellows Program (ILFP), visited Chicago twice and spoke at several major events held by GPD's grantees. She headlined a talk titled 'Iraq: Will This Be the Last Time We Fight ISIS?' at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, spoke at University of Chicago's Pearson Institute’s one day workshop titled, “The Darker Side of Peace Agreement” and spoke at Northwestern University's Weinberg MENA program. 

Nussaibah is an expert on the politics, economy and foreign policy of Iraq. Through her leadership at the  Iraq Leadership Fellows Program (ILFP) at the American University of Iraq, Iraqi political and social activists have the opportunity to learn and strengthen campaign skills critical to developing the future of Iraq.

GPD Sponsors Iraqi Leadership Fellow for CANVAS  

This April, GPD sponsored a fellow from its partner organization, the Iraq Leadership Fellow Program (ILFP), to attend the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) Freedom Fellowship Program.

The CANVAS Fellowship is a program that empowers civil society activists with training, mentoring, and support through a global network of mentors specializing in activism, design technology and digital security. Throughout the year-long program, each fellow will design and implement a project related to the opening of social or political space in a repressive country and will receive feedback and guidance from mentors. By the end of the program, participants will gain specialized knowledge, allowing them to more effectively achieve results, defend rights and freedoms, and promote political and social change.

This partnership will further the ILFP mission to contribute to the positive transformation of Iraqi politics and governance by equipping young activists and future political leaders with the skills they need to lead positive change. The ILFP further seeks to diminish ethno-sectarian divisions in Iraq by creating a space for future Iraqi leaders to develop relationships and friendships with peers from different backgrounds based on respect and mutual understanding.


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, will host its inaugural Hagel Leadership Lecture, Building Stability in a Contentious World.

The event will feature 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, moderated by CPOST Director Dr. Robert Pape. The discussion will focus on why civil discourse and an all-American approach to national security challenges is needed now more than ever. It will also focus on the importance and impact of America’s heartland in national defense strategy, and how principled foreign policies that align with US international allies and partners serve our country in the modern world.  

The lecture is the first in a series of annual leadership events hosted by Secretary Hagel and CPOST to better prepare tomorrow’s leaders to address the most critical issues facing the United States.


In Chicago, GPD Co-hosts Private Dinner for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Emerging Leaders and Former Career Ambassador Ryan Crocker

This month, the GPD Charitable Trust co-hosted a private, roundtable dinner for the class of 2019 Emerging Leaders from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs (CCGA) and with Ryan Crocker, Former Career Ambassador and Danielle Pletka, Senior Vice President of Foreign Policy and Defense at the American Enterprise Institute.

The dinner took place after both Crocker and Pletka headlined a CCGA discussion ‘How Effective is America's Middle East Strategy?’ which can be found here.  

GPD’s Executive Director, John DeBlasio, is a 2013 alum of the prestigious Emerging Leaders Program, led by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The year-long program provides exclusive opportunities for a diverse group of Chicago’s best and brightest to engage directly with top international influencers and thinkers while expanding their global acumen and key professional skills.

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