Regional Autumn Meeting: Perspectives on Brexit

November 3-5, 2017

A weekend seminar program to commemorate EF Day, organized in Dundalk, by Stephanie O’Keeffe ’15, with a supporting team of Lourda Geoghegan ’10, Oonagh McPhillips ’16, John Collison, ’14, Dearbhail McDonald ’12, Donal de Buitleir ’87 and Dan Flinter ’89 featured high-level discourse focused on “Brexit and its Implications”.  A strong turnout of Fellows from the North and South, including several who were involved directly and indirectly in crafting and negotiating the 1998 Good Friday Agreement made for dynamic interchange. 


Key speakers included Mairead McGuiness, Vice President, EU Parliament and Representative of the Midlands-NorthWest constituency, Ireland; Brendan Halligan, Chair, Institute of International and European Affairs, former Member of the Irish Senate, the EU Parliament and General Secretary of the Labour Party, Ireland; Mark Durkan, former Deputy First Minister, N. Ireland and Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore (Brian Kerr ’99), Justice, U.K. Supreme Court and former Chief Justice, N. Ireland.


Key issues relating to the Irish border, trade, economics, peace, the law and European integration were discussed and debated.  Presentations showed starkly just how much complex work is involved in achieving Brexit and the extent of the difficulties that Brexit presents, not just to the UK and Ireland but to the EU as a whole. Negotiating frameworks, strategies and likely scenarios were discussed in a wide-ranging debate. The extraordinary extent to which the EU is enmeshed in UK law and the detail of the difficulty in unraveling it was explained. Ireland’s relationship with the Union, its experience in building peace and the importance of the Good Friday agreement were identified as key support pillars in finding a path through Brexit. It was recognized that Brexit presents challenges of historic proportions to peace, prosperity and stability in Ireland North and South.


A dinner address by U.S. Chargé d’affaires, Reece Smyth, referenced  the strong relationship between the U.S. and Ireland—continuing with the current administration.  


The great significance and impact that Brexit will have on the lives of all in Ireland, North and South in the coming years is considered monumental and the Fellows resolved the absolute necessity to ensure there will be no return to violence.


Diane Shoemaker, EF Senior Director for Global Fellow Affairs was honored with a special tribute by the Fellows for her 30 years of service with EF.

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Violent Extremism: The Real Deal and What Can We Do About It?

November 9, 2017, Ayala Museum, Makati City

The forum started with a touching dedication to Washington Sycip, remembered for his unyielding commitment to his core values of integrity, excellence and love of country.


After a history of EF in the Philippines and a report on the contributions of the current Fellows, the US Ambassador specifically praised the consequential outcomes program of EFAP, thanking his co-speaker Lt. Gen Charlie Galvez for his important role in ending the Marawi crisis. This was followed by presentations from three local chief executives all dealing with violent extremism. They represented the Municipality of Butig in Lanao del Sur, the Province of Basilan and the Province of Saranggani. All these areas face local terrorist groups who receive support from the Islamic State in the Middle East.  


The next set of speakers gave the audience perspectives from their research in the field. Sam Chittick of  the Asia Foundation explained factors of violent extremism and what programs can actually help to keep them from growing.  Dr. Pancho Lara provided fascinating analysis from data sets his agency has been collecting over the last 10 years. Finally Charlie Galvez shared his perspectives from his experience in pursuing violent extremists from Basilan to Sulu and in Marawi. 


The forum was relevant and well-received, providing insights to understanding violent extremism and also sharing programs to help make the highly complex issues manageable and perhaps even to combat it. 


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New Zealand

Dinner with speaker: His Excellency Tantowi Yahya (Indonesia '05), Ambassador to New Zealand

October 16



Class of 2007 celebrated their 10th anniversary along with EF Day

October 13-14, 2017

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October 12, 2017

Download the pdf here



Fellow Reunion

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Recognizing leading Spanish journalists committed to the defense and promotion of freedom of expression and of the press, the Eisenhower Fellows of Spain honored four individuals and two organizations at the 5th annual First Amendment Awards in New York City on May 8. 


Javier Cremades, President of the EF Spain chapter, and George de Lama, EF President, along with Pedro Morenés,  Spanish Ambassador to the U.S., presided over the awards held for the first time at the Cervantes Institute in mid-town Manhattan.


Honorees include Susanna Griso, Antena 3 for audio visual journalism, the City University of New York for innovation in academics, radio personality Carlos Herrera for commitment to freedom of expression, columnist Manuel Alcantara for lifetime service, Jorge Ramos of Univision for Spanish language journalism, and Grupo Vocento for public service.


“Each year the Spanish Association of Eisenhower Fellows commemorates EF Day by seeking to capture the legacy of President Dwight D. Eisenhower in promoting the spirit of democracy and free societies,” said Cremades. “Without freedom of expression there is no free public opinion and without it, there is no democracy, nor state.”


The Eisenhower Day of Fellowship originally celebrated on October 14, President Eisenhower’s birthday, has come to be celebrated throughout the year as Fellows across the globe gather to organize significant events dedicated to the vision and mission of Eisenhower Fellowships and its namesake, President Dwight D. Eisenhower.


Press articles and photos from the May 8 celebration here.




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The South Asia Rising conference in Dubai may be over, but the ideas, discussions and connections continue among Eisenhower Fellows and international leaders alike.  EF President George de Lama opened the largest regional conference in Eisenhower Fellowships history, with the two-day conference attracting nearly 250 registrants, including Fellows from 19 countries.  This successful effort was led by Eisenhower Fellows Shahid Mahmud (Pakistan ’01) and Raman Madhok (India ’04), resulting in timely, dynamic and relevant panels and discussions that made an inspiring contribution to international understanding.  Speakers addressing the conference included Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf; Susan Eisenhower, CEO and Chairperson of The Eisenhower Group, and Eisenhower Fellow Arvind Gupta (India '14), head of IT for the Indian Government. EF Fellows David Lavery (N. Ireland ’89) and Patrick Teahon (Ireland ’89)  led a lively discussion about their roles in negotiating the Good Friday Peace Agreement.


Read the full report here.

Watch a video round up here.



Under the leadership of their President, Francisca Valdes (Chile ’08), the Eisenhower Fellows of Chile organized a successful regional conference where substantive themes such as pensions, sustainability and politics were discussed.

  • Francisca Valdes (Chile ’08), Monica Bordon (Argentina ’97) and Diane Shoemaker

The gathering, titled Next Challenges for Latin America, was held April 19-21 in Santiago.  There were over 50 attendees, including 30 Fellows from across Latin America (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay) and the United States.  This was the eighth EF Latin America regional conference since 1994 and the first one to take place in Chile. 


Read the full story here