2015-11-16 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. (EST) Seminar Free 2015-11-13 United States Institute of Peace 2301 Constitution Avenue, NW, 20037

Through international education, students become more effective communicators, more engaged citizens, and learn to think critically about the relationships between local and global issues. These skills are all vital to building peace in a world full of conflict.

To celebrate this capacity of international education during International Education Week, NAFSA, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), and the Alliance for Peacebuilding invite you to a free panel discussion on the role of international education in peacebuilding.


This webcast is optimized for viewing on desktop and laptop computers, and mobile devices. If you need technical assistance, please contact NAFSA at [email protected].

Experts in conflict resolution and peacebuilding will:

  • Provide a high-level overview about the ways in which international engagement and global learning can help mitigate conflict and empower individuals to become peacebuilders.
  • Share key strategies and approaches available to educators to engage students in peacebuilding both locally and globally.
  • Examine the role of global learning in the peacebuilding process.

This event is free and open to the public. Space is limited. Advance registration required. All guests are required to enter USIP through the 23rd street entrance for building access and must provide photo identification and pass through security.

Follow the conversation on social media through Twitter (@nafsa) using the International Education Week 2015 hashtag #IEW2015.


Fanta Aw
American University

Fanta Aw, PhD, is assistant vice president of campus life at American University. Aw advises university senior leadership on campus internationalization, and on matters of diversity and inclusion. She received her MA in public administration with a focus on organizational development and her PhD in sociology from American University. Her areas of specialization include transnational migration, international education, and intercultural communication. Aw joined the NAFSA Board of Directors in 2009 and became president and chair in 2013.

Melanie GreenbergMelanie Greenberg
Alliance for Peacebuilding

Melanie Cohen Greenberg is president and CEO of the Alliance for Peacebuilding. Before joining the Alliance, she was the president and founder of the Cypress Fund for Peace and Security, a foundation making grants in the areas of peacebuilding and nuclear nonproliferation. From 2003 to 2004, she was a visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies, focusing on issues of justice in post-conflict peacebuilding. From 2000 to 2002, Greenberg was director of the Conflict Resolution Program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. She previously served as associate director of the Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation and deputy director of the Stanford Center on International Conflict and Negotiation. In her work on international conflict resolution, she has helped design and facilitate public peace processes in the Middle East, Northern Ireland, and the Caucasus.

Jeffrey Helsing - Moderator
United States Institute of Peace

Jeffrey Helsing, PhD, oversees the content of USIP’s education and training programs, as well as curriculum development in the United States and in conflict zones abroad. Helsing has close to two decades of conflict resolution training globally, particularly in the Middle East. For more than eight years, Helsing worked with groups in Israel and the Palestinian Authority training educators, nongovernmental organization workers, university students, and young leaders in developing conflict resolution, nonviolence, human rights, and communication and facilitation skills. He has 20 years of experience as an educator, including teaching at the American University in Cairo, George Washington University, Swarthmore College, and the University of Pennsylvania. Helsing has taught a broad range of international relations subjects, including conflict resolution, human rights, comparative foreign policies, American foreign policy and international relations theory. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Stanford University and a doctorate in political science from Columbia University.

Shamil Idriss
Search for Common Ground

Shamil Idriss is the president of Search for Common Ground, a global conflict transformation organization with offices in 35 countries. Idriss was previously appointed by United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Kofi Annan as deputy director of the UN Alliance of Civilizations. Upon departing his staff position there in 2008, Idriss retained the role of senior advisor to the UN, facilitating dialogue between religious and political leaders from the Arab region, Europe, and the United States before, during, and after the revolutions known as the “Arab Spring.” Idriss has also served as senior advisor at the World Economic Forum and member of the Steering Committee of the Forum’s Council of 100 Leaders. As CEO of Soliya from 2008-2014, Idriss worked with public and private sector leaders to establish the field of virtual exchange, an effort that gained substantial traction with the announcement of the J. Christopher Stevens Virtual Exchange Initiative by President Obama in February 2015.

Kurt Paterson
James Madison University

Kurt Paterson, PhD, currently serves as academic unit head of the recently launched engineering program at James Madison University. There, he has partnered with faculty, students, and stakeholders to craft a 21st century engineering education for 21st century needs. His scholarly interests include the creation of effective learning communities, contribution-based learning, and community-based design. Paterson’s students have worked on small-scale water, sanitation, and energy projects with communities in more than forty economically developing countries. He has been PI on several research projects assessing the impacts of community engagement on communities, students, and faculty around the world. He has served Engineers without Borders as a faculty mentor, conference facilitator, special advisor, and instructor since 2005.

Donald Steinberg
World Learning

Donald Steinberg is president and CEO of World Learning, an international nonprofit organization that provides education, exchange, and development programs in more than 60 countries. Steinberg brings more than 35 years of experience in government and nongovernmental organizations, and expertise in the fields of international relations and development. Prior to World Learning, Steinberg served as deputy administrator at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), director of the U.S. Department of State’s Joint Policy Council, White House deputy press secretary, National Security Council senior director for African Affairs, special Haiti coordinator, U.S. Ambassador to Angola, and the president’s special representative for Humanitarian Demining. In addition, Steinberg was deputy president for policy at the International Crisis Group and a Randolph Jennings senior fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace. He holds MAs in journalism from Columbia University and political economy from the University of Toronto, and a BA from Reed College.