This is a virtual program, instructions on how to join this meeting will be sent the day before the event.
The war in Yemen is now in its sixth year, with tens of thousands killed, millions displaced, and many more dependent on humanitarian assistance for survival. Yemen now constitutes one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with nearly 80 percent of the country’s 28 million residents requiring assistance. How do the dynamics of Yemen’s civil war shape the country’s humanitarian crisis, how do broader geopolitical divides tie into the conflict? Join the World Affairs Council on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 5:00pm PST for a discussion with Ambassador Barbara Bodine, former U.S. ambassador to Yemen, on the war, the humanitarian crisis, and U.S. policy and interests.
This program is free for educators. Educators will receive two free clock hours and a comprehensive curriculum resource guide for attending this event. Educators who register will be sent a second zoom link to join a brief information session after the program where we will go over how you can receive your resource guide and clock hours.
About the Speaker
Ambassador (ret.) Barbara K. Bodine is Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy and concurrent Director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. Prior to joining Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, she taught and directed policy task forces and policy workshops on US diplomacy in the Persian Gulf region, including Iraq and Yemen for seven years at Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs and served as Director of the School’s Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative, a fellowship program for students pursuing careers in federal service.
Ms. Bodine’s over 30 years in the U.S. Foreign Service were spent primarily on Arabian Peninsula and greater Persian Gulf issues, specifically US bilateral and regional policy, strategic security issues, counterterrorism, and governance and reform. Her tour as Ambassador to the Republic of Yemen, 1997-2001, saw enhanced support for democratization and increased security and counterterrorism cooperation. Ms. Bodine also served in Baghdad as Deputy Principal Officer during the Iran-Iraq War, Kuwait as Deputy Chief of Mission during the Iraqi invasion and occupation of 1990-1991, and again, seconded to the Department of Defense, in Iraq in 2003 as the senior State Department official and the first coalition coordinator for reconstruction in Baghdad and the central governorates. Her first assignment in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs was as Country Officer for the two Yemens and security assistance coordinator for the peninsula. She later returned to that office as Deputy Director.
In addition to several other assignments in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, she was Deputy for Operations, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism and subsequently acting overall Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Director of East African Affairs, Dean of the School of Professional Studies at the Foreign Service Institute, and Senior Advisor for International Security Negotiations and Agreements in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. Ambassador Bodine is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Secretary’s Award for Valor for her work in Occupied Kuwait. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Diplomacy, co-chair of the International Forum on Diplomatic Training, an associate fellow of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Since leaving the government, Ambassador Bodine has been founding Director of the Governance Initiative in the Middle East and Senior Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government and the Robert Wilhelm Fellow at MIT’s Center for International Studies. She is a past president of the Mine Awareness Group, America, a global NGO that provides technical expertise for the removal of remnants of conflict worldwide.
A native of St. Louis, Mo., Ms. Bodine is a Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara in Political Science and East Asian Studies and earned her Master’s at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. A recipient of distinguished alumni awards from both UC Santa Barbara and the Fletcher School, she is a Regent Emerita of the University of California. She resides in Alexandria, VA.
About the Moderator
Payton Knopf is a senior advisor to the Africa program where his work focuses on the intersecting political, economic and security dynamics in the Red Sea. He is concurrently an advisor to the European Institute of Peace.
Knopf is a former U.S. diplomat with expertise in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, and the Middle East. Immediately prior to joining USIP, Knopf was the first coordinator the United Nations Panel of Experts on South Sudan, from its inception in 2015 until April 2017. He was also formerly a senior advisor at the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI)/Martti Ahtisaari Centre and the PeaceWorks Foundation.
Before leaving government, he was spokesman at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations under then-Ambassador Susan E. Rice, having previously served as a policy advisor to U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell. From 2006 to 2008, he was based at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, where he advised the then-U.S Special Envoys for Sudan Andrew Natsios and Richard Williamson on issues related to the conflict in Darfur and to the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for Sudan.
His other State Department assignments included in the Office of Egypt and the Levant and at the U.S. Consulate General in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He was an International Affairs fellow in residence at the Council on Foreign Relations from 2010-2011 where is researched focused on diplomatic engagement with non-state armed groups.
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