A Night with Greg Mortenson: How U.S. Higher Education Can Help Women in Afghanistan and Pakistan

November 09, 2010 | Topics: Foreign Policy, Education Abroad

By Katie O'Connell

Last night at the National Geographic Society Headquarters in Washington, DC, I had the privilege of listening to Greg Mortenson speak passionately about his life’s work of building schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. You may know him as the author of the bestsellers Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School at A Time and Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is also co-founder of the nonprofit Central Asia Institute and founder of Pennies for Peace.... See More

From the Back of an Envelope: How NSEP Was Born

October 13, 2010 | Topics: Advocacy and Public Policy, Education Abroad

By Janice Mulholland

Yesterday evening, I had the opportunity to hear former Senator David L. Boren (D-Okla.), now president of the University of Oklahoma, recount the creation of the National Security Education Program. I found the story to be so interesting and refreshing considering today’s difficult and tenuous political environment that I wanted to share it with you.

It was 1991, and Senator Boren had just come out of a meeting about the need for national mineral reserves and was headed to the Senate floor for a vote on the Intelligence Authorization Act. The meeting about creating mineral reserves prompted him to start thinking about which other reserves the country could benefit from having. What he realized on his way to the Senate floor was that the country desperately needed a talent reserve – a reserve of graduates who could speak other languages, understand other cultures, and help provide the nation with a level of security it couldn’t have absent those skills. He said he got to the floor, discussed his idea with Senator Cohen (R-Maine), and then scribbled an amendment on the back of a torn brown paper envelope to establish a program that would begin to create this talent reserve. He then sent the envelope up to the parliamentarian as an amendment to the intelligence act.

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