NAFSA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo

Join peers and experts at the premier global professional learning and networking event for all international educators and organizations that support international education for the NAFSA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo, "Global Leadership, Learning, and Change."

A Gastrodiplomacy Experience

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 | Washington, DC

Join us for a conversation with Johanna Mendelson Forman, an expert on post-conflict transition and democratization issues and one of the leading voices in the emerging movement of social gastronomy that recognizes the nexus between food, war, and civic engagement. She is currently an adjunct professor at the School of International Service at American University and was formerly a senior advisor for humanitarian response at the U.S. Agency for International Development; director of peace, security, and human rights at the United Nations Foundation; and senior advisor the United Nations Mission in Haiti.

Mendelson Forman’s frontline experience as a policy maker on conflict and stabilization efforts drove her interest in connecting the role of food in conflict, resulting in the creation of Conflict Cuisine®: An Introduction to War and Peace Around the Dinner Table, an interdisciplinary course she teaches at American University. This ground-breaking curriculum explores new ways of looking at diplomacy, conflict resolution, and civic engagement and how food, as a form of Smart Power can drive these issues in the 21st Century.

Don’t miss this special opportunity to connect with fellow colleagues and engage in dialogue to better understand why food is central to survival and resilience in conflict zones and building our collective pathways to peace.


Wednesday, May 29
12:05 p.m.-12:10 p.m. Opening Remarks
Amy Anderson, PhD, Associate Provost for Global and Intercultural Affairs and Executive Director, Center for International Programs, University of Dayton, and Chair, NAFSA Peace, Justice, and Citizen Diplomacy Special Interest Group
12:10 p.m.-12:15 p.m. Sponsor Address
ISSO-Columbia University
12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m. Buffet Lunch and Open Networking Time
12:45 p.m.-12:50 p.m. Introduction of Keynote Speaker
Esther Brimmer, DPhil, Executive Director and CEO, NAFSA: Association of International Educators
12:50 p.m.-1:10 p.m. Keynote Presentation: Is Food a Recipe for Peace?
Johanna Mendelson Forman, PhD, J.D., Distinguished Fellow, Stimson Center and Adjunct Professor, School of International Service, American University
1:10 p.m.-1:35 p.m. Conversation with Johanna Mendelson Forman
Moderated by Esther Brimmer, DPhil, Executive Director and CEO, NAFSA: Association of International Educators
1:35 p.m.-1:55 p.m. Q&A with Johanna Mendelson Forman
1:55 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Concluding Remarks
Kelly Roberts, Assistant Director, Office for International Services, Fordham University, and Chair, NAFSA United Nations Special Interest Group

Keynote Speaker

Johana Mendelson FormanJohanna Mendelson Forman, PhD, JD
American University
Johanna Mendelson Forman is currently an adjunct professor at the School of International Service at American University and a Distinguished Fellow at the Stimson Center. She holds regional expertise in the Americas, with a special focus on the Caribbean, Central America and Brazil. Mendelson Forman has extensive field experience with the U.S. Government on transition initiatives in Haiti, Iraq, and Sub-Saharan Africa having served as a senior advisor for humanitarian response at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Her previous positions include serving as the director of peace, security, and human rights at the United Nations Foundation; senior advisor the United Nations Mission in Haiti, senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Program on Crisis, Conflict, and Cooperation and service with the World Bank’s Post Conflict Unit. Mendelson Forman holds a JD from Washington College of Law at American University, a master’s of international affairs, with a certificate of Latin America studies from Columbia University in New York, and a PhD in Latin American history from Washington University, St. Louis.


Amy AndersonAmy Anderson, PhD
University of Dayton
Amy Anderson is associate provost for global and intercultural affairs and executive director, Center for International Programs at the University of Dayton. She is also the chair of NAFSA's Peace, Justice and Citizen Diplomacy Special Interest Group. Anderson has over 25 years' experience working in international education. Her interest in intercultural affairs began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo, West Africa. She went on to develop a career in international education and has extensive international teaching, program development and leadership experience. In addition, Anderson has worked in the areas of international admission, international student advising, and study abroad. She has taught at both the graduate and undergraduate levels in the U.S., Chile, Thailand, and the British Virgin Islands and speaks both French and Spanish. The focus of her scholarship is on international education, intercultural sensitivity and equity. Anderson earned her PhD in educational leadership at the University of Dayton and has a BS and MBA in marketing and international business respectively.

Kelly RobertsKelly Roberts
Fordham University
Kelly Roberts is assistant director, Office for International Services at Fordham University, co-leader of the NAFSA United Nations Special Interest Group and also serves as one of NAFSA's NGO representatives at the United Nations as well as Fordham University's. Roberts has been involved with the UN NGO community since 2008. She has presented at the UN, EAIE, AIEA, Model UN and national and regional NAFSA conferences about engaging youth through university partnerships with the United Nations. Roberts has served as secretary and chair of the youth subcommittee for the NGO/UN Department of Global Communications Executive Committee Board for over 6 years. Previously, she was nominated to serve as co-chair; youth subcommittee of the conference planning committee for the annual UN DGC NGO conferences in France, Mexico City, Australia, and Germany. Roberts was recognized and awarded by her peers in fall 2018 for her work co-planning the first International Education Day at the UN. She received her MS in adult education and human resource management from Fordham University.


Esther BrimmerEsther Brimmer, DPhil
NAFSA: Association of International Educators
Esther Brimmer currently serves as the executive director and chief executive officer of NAFSA: Association of International Educators. She is on the Executive Committee of the Atlantic Council. Brimmer’s distinguished career includes three appointments within the US Department of State, serving most recently as the assistant secretary for international organization affairs from April 2009 to 2013. Prior to joining NAFSA, she was professor of practice of international affairs at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs where she served a two-year term as the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor. Brimmer was also an adjunct senior fellow for international institutions at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a senior adviser at McLarty Associates. She was previously deputy director and director of research at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) from 2001 to 2009 and was a member of the SAIS faculty. Brimmer also taught at the College of Europe in Belgium, and from 1995 to 1999, she was a senior associate at the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict.