Theater production: Dear Children, Sincerely… Seven Decades of Sri Lanka
January 10 , 2018 (postponed from fall 2017)
The Sri Lankan chapter celebrated EF Day with a theater production which reflected critically on the past 70 years of Sri Lanka’s self-rule, and was shown in lieu of the 70th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s Independence. A matinee show had an audience of 400 students, 37 teachers, 2 principles, 11 university lecturers and 1 vice-chancellor from 11 schools and 2 universities across 4 districts. Students and faculty members alike were greatly appreciative of efforts in opening up public spaces for discussion around sensitive historical issues - in particular the debate on how turbulent political history should be captured in local school curricula.
The evening show had an eminent audience drawn from leadership across the sectors of politics, law, media, business, civil service and education. The post-show discussion on both occasions yielded very interesting issues pertinent to post-war Sri Lanka, which were discussed openly in the public forum. A considerable number from both the public and the school show stayed on for the discussion.
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.
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.
Dinner with speaker: His Excellency Tantowi Yahya (Indonesia '05), Ambassador to New Zealand
Class of 2007 celebrated their 10th anniversary along with EF Day
October 13-14, 2017
October 12, 2017
Dubbed ‘the Future of Work”, the inaugural EF Day event was hosted by the Kenyan Fellows at the Strathmore University Business School. The discussions explored the future of various industries and sectors including energy, construction and education among others. The impact of technological disruptions, innovations and developments and the new normal this presented was explored. Cutting edge research in areas such as harvesting space-based solar, the importance of connectedness, employing critical thinking in pursuit of goals were among the areas of discourse with the lively audience, which included students and faculty of Strathmore University as well as professionals from diﬀerent sectors.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.