The Practitioner in Residence program was launched to strengthen the Einaudi Center’s connections with policy-makers and those who are engaged with international affairs outside of academia such as diplomacy, journalism, arts, and international civil society. The center plans to host a highly accomplished practitioners each academic year who can spend an extended time at Cornell and can offer faculty and students a grounded and policy-relevant view, as well as a unique perspective and understanding of global affairs and international public service.
The Einaudi Center is deeply grateful to the San Giacomo Charitable Foundation for their support to this program which serves to enrich and strengthen the Center’s commitment to increase its engagement with policy makers and international relations practitioners.
Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi was the inaugural fellow in this program. He has led a very distinguished diplomatic life negotiation peace and resolving international and national conflicts. He is a former Algerian freedom fighter, Algerian Foreign Minister 1991-1993, conflict mediator and UN diplomat; an expert in peacekeeping and post-conflict reconstruction (UN Special Representative in Afghanistan 2001-2004; UN Special Envoy in Iraq 2004; Joint Special Representative of the UN and Arab League for Syria 2012-2014).
During his stay on the Cornell campus in March and April 2016, Ambassador Brahimi was a keynote speaker in a roundtable discussion about the refugee crisis in Syria, taught a class on diplomacy and conflict resolution, led a group of students to the United Nations headquarters in New York, and interacted with faculty and students.
Ambassador Brahimi, alongside Prof. Muna Ndulo, co-taught a course titled, “International Conflict and Conflict Resolution” (Law 6190). 23 students from both graduate and undergraduate programs were enrolled in the class – these included students from the International Relations minor that is run by the center. The class was a seminar style class, where Ambassador Brahimi discussed several conflicts where he had personally been involved with negotiations and resolution, representing the UN in several of these. The discussions panned through several geo-political regions like, Afghanistan, Syria, North Africa, South Africa, Israel and Palestine.
The center hosted a roundtable conference titled, “Syria and the Middle East: Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons and Asylum Seekers in the Long-term Global Crises.” Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi, Professor T. Alexander Aleinikoff and Dr. Lisel Hintz discussed the refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe in a discussion moderated by Professor Chantal Thomas. Ambassador Brahimi delivered the keynote address for the discussion which was attended by a packed audience in Cornell Law School. A full video of the event is available on Cornell Cast. It was also covered by the Cornell Daily Sun and the Einaudi Center.
Ambassador Brahimi also organized and led a highly successful one-day trip to the United Nations headquarters in New York City, on March 29, 2016. The group of 22 students had discussions with and lectures by UN diplomats including the Permanent Representatives of Russia and Brazil to the UN, the Executive Director of UNICEF, and President of the General Assembly.
Ambassador Brahimi interacted with faculty and students during his time on campus and contributed to the undergraduate course GOVT 3553 “Issues behind the News: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Current Events” taught by Professor Chris Way. He was interviewed by Al Jazeera and The Nation on the present situation and international response to the Syrian Crisis.