Nobel Peace Laureate and Human Rights Activist Tawakkol Karman to Speak at NAFSA 2015 International Education Conference in Boston



Contact: Rebecca Morgan,, 202.495.2553
Katie O’Connell,, 202.495.2559

For Release: November 18, 2014

WASHINGTON, November 18, 2014 – Journalist, politician, human rights activist, and Nobel Peace Laureate Tawakkol Karman will speak at NAFSA: Association of International Educators’ 2015 Annual Conference & Expo in Boston. As one of the youngest Nobel peace laureates to date, Tawakkol Karman advocates for human rights and freedom from government corruption in Yemen.

Karman is president of Women Journalists Without Chains, an organization she founded in 2005 to develop the media skills of journalists, promote freedom of expression, and fight against injustices and corruption. In 2007, she began organizing weekly protests in Yemen’s capitol of Sana’a, targeting government repression. Karman’s weekly protests continued until 2011, when she redirected protesters to support the Arab Spring. 

“We have the power to end corruption, extremism, and human rights abuses in our society,” said Karman. “But we cannot overcome the obstacles and challenges before us until we understand them, and that is why education and open dialogue are the foundation for a peaceful future. It will take full participation from all of us to get there. We each have a role to play in educating our brothers and sisters and the future global leaders of tomorrow. ”

Karman is a mother of three, a senior member of the Al-Islah political party, and serves on the board of several international human rights organizations. Known as the “mother of the revolution” and “the iron woman” amongst Yemen’s youth movement, Karman spends much of her time in a tent in Change Square in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, continuing her peaceful protests for justice and freedom.

“Tawakkol Karman is a powerful change maker,” stated NAFSA Executive Director and CEO Marlene M. Johnson. “Her commitment to human rights and building peace in Yemen reflect the shared values of international educators, who believe that international education lies at the core of an interconnected world characterized by peace, security and well-being for all. Karman will inspire us to continue to work for this shared future.”

Karman will address the NAFSA conference on Friday, May 29, 2015 in Boston. Learn more about the speakers as they are announced at

About the NAFSA Conference
NAFSA’s 67th Annual Conference and Expo is the world’s largest gathering of professionals in international education with an expected 10,000 attendees from over 100 countries. The conference offers a wide array of learning and networking opportunities for international educators, and features more than 200 sessions and workshops focusing on the most crucial topics in international education and exchange and global learning. It will be held in Boston, May 26-29, 2015.

A major highlight of the conference is the International Education Expo Hall, which features over 400 exhibitors representing hundreds of organizations from around the world including colleges and universities, study abroad and intensive-English programs, embassies and government agencies, and more. The conference theme for 2015 is “New Horizons in International Education.”

Learn more at

With nearly 10,000 members, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education. Visit us at To learn more about our advocacy efforts on behalf of international education, visit