Events

Each year CFR organizes more than one hundred on-the-record events, conference calls, and podcasts in which senior government officials, global leaders, business executives, and prominent thinkers discuss pressing international issues.  
  • Health

    In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries are working to improve access to and quality of primary health care. How do we measure and monitor the progress? Please join our speakers, Dan Schwarz, director of primary health care at Ariadne Labs, and Frederico Guanais, deputy head of the health division of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, to discuss metrics and evaluation in primary care. 
  • Russia

    Ukrainian writers and human rights defenders discuss the threat to Ukraine’s sovereignty, cultural heritage, and identity and the current atmosphere for the country’s authors and activists. This meeting is cosponsored with PEN America.
  • Climate Change

  • Public Health Threats and Pandemics

    If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught the world anything about public health, it is humility: the United States has as much to learn about public health practices from its foreign counterparts as they have to learn from the United States. This symposium explores ways in which global public health systems can be strengthened, discusses lessons learned from public health officials, and provides a path forward for practitioners and the public during the pandemic and beyond. The full agenda is available here.  The Global Health Symposium is made possible through the generous support of Bloomberg Philanthropies.  
  • Economics

    Panelists discuss digital assets, including virtual currencies and central bank digital currencies, and the implications for U.S. foreign policy and the global financial system.
  • Technology and Innovation

    Russia has made a concerted effort to discredit Western vaccines, while simultaneously promoting its own Sputnik V vaccine by paying influencers and creating misleading articles. China has also amplified disinformation aimed at sowing doubts about Western coronavirus vaccines and other countries’ response to the virus. These digital threats have real-world implications. The barrage of COVID-related disinformation has eroded trust in public health officials and vaccinations, and dramatically curtailed our ability to respond to both current and future pandemics. Steven Wilson, Assistant Professor of Politics, Brandeis University and Graham Brookie, Senior Director of the Digital Forensic Research Lab, Atlantic Council discuss how the United States improve its information security and combat malicious state-sponsored narratives in a roundtable discussion moderated by Jennifer Nuzzo.
  • Economics

    Martin Wolf discusses the global economy, the repercussions of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The C. Peter McColough Series on International Economics brings the world's foremost economic policymakers and scholars to address members on current topics in international economics and U.S. monetary policy. This meeting series is presented by the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies.
  • Politics and Government

    Senator Bill Cassidy discusses issues in the United States and how the US and its allies should work closely together to counter Russian power and Chinese influence, such as energy independence, international environmental standards, anti-money laundering, and anti-corruption initiatives.
  • Economics

    Panelists discuss U.S. trade policy, including the challenges of anti-globalization sentiment, the changing trade environment, and how the United States can develop a more coherent plan on trade. With its Renewing America initiative, CFR is evaluating nine critical domestic issues that shape the ability of the United States to navigate a demanding, competitive, and dangerous world.
  • Diplomacy and International Institutions

    U.S. Representative and Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff discusses the evolving situation in Ukraine, including congressional responses to the war, and the state of democracy in the United States and abroad. 
  • Education

  • Global Governance

    Our new series spotlights individuals within the Stephen M. Kellen Term Member Program. Drawing on the enormous amount of talent and expertise within the Council’s Term Member Program, this series features a term member in conversation with a fellow term member discussing their career path, how they got to where they are, the challenges they have faced along the way, and the current work they are doing. We hope this regular series will provide an opportunity for Council term members to better engage and learn from one another, draw upon shared experiences within the group, and connect across geographies. Our second installment in this series features fifth-year term member Hagar Chemali, CEO and founder of Greenwich Media Strategies, in conversation with second-year term member Brit McCandless Farmer, digital producer at 60 Minutes. For those of you who do not know her yet, Hagar's impressive career includes serving twelve years in the U.S. government as director for Syria and Lebanon at the National Security Council, spokesperson for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and director of communications and spokesperson for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. Following her time in government, Hagar has gone on to found a communications strategy firm and to be a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Economic Sanctions Initiative. She also hosts, writes, and produces a weekly world news show on YouTube called Oh My World! that covers the top news stories in a fun, accessible, and humorous way.
  • Democracy

  • Health

    Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra discusses the agency’s global footprint, including how COVID-19 exposed systemic disparities in healthcare at home and abroad, plans to prepare for future pandemics, and efforts to restore global partnerships. 
  • Technology and Innovation

    On April 20th, 2022, The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Roundtable Series on Technology, Innovation, and American Primacy sponsored the virtual roundtable, “Reimagining U.S. Foreign Policy to Meet the Challenges of Strategic Competition.” The event was organized and moderated by James Dougherty, Adjunct Senior Fellow and the panel included Mr. Earl Carr, founder and CEO of CJPA Global Advisors and editor of the new book "From Trump to Biden and Beyond: Reimagining US-China Relations” and Dr. Carolyn Kissane, NYU Academic Director, Center of Global Affairs, & Director of SPS Energy, Climate Justice and Sustainability Lab. 
  • Russia

    This symposium convenes senior government officials and experts from think tanks, academia, and the private sector to address the interaction of cyber conflict and foreign policy goals, examining the current state of Russian, Chinese, Iranian, and North Korean cyber operations, as well as how the United States is responding and its own vulnerability to cyberattacks as a symptom of a broken geopolitical order. Click here to download the full agenda for the symposium.
  • United States

    A democracy has never succeeded in being both diverse and equal. Yet, treating members of many different ethnic or religious groups fairly is central to the democratic project in countries around the world. It is, Yascha Mounk argues, the greatest experiment of our time. In The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure, Mounk examines how diverse societies have long suffered from the ills of domination, fragmentation, or structured anarchy and shows that the past can offer crucial insights for how to do better in the future. The CFR Fellows’ Book Launch series highlights new books by CFR fellows. This meeting is part of the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Project on the Future of Democracy.
  • Education

    Tony Allen, president of Delaware State University, leads a conversation on the role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the United States. FASKIANOS: Welcome to CFR’s Higher Education Webinar. I am Irina Faskianos, vice president of the National Program and Outreach here at CFR. Today’s discussion is on the record, and the video and transcript will be available on our website, CFR.org/academic. As always, CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy. We are delighted to have Tony Allen with us today to talk about the role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the United States. Dr. Allen is president of Delaware State University. Previously, he served as the university’s executive vice president and provost. In 2021, Dr. Allen was appointed by President Biden to chair the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. And he also served as CEO of Biden’s Presidential Inaugural Committee. Prior to his time at Delaware State University, he worked at the Bank of America for thirteen years, where he developed and led the Corporate Reputation Group. And he is the founding president of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, co-founder of Public Allies Delaware, and chair emeritus of the National Urban Fellows. So, Tony, thank you very much for being with us today. I want to just turn it over to you to talk about the role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in higher education in the United States historically and today. ALLEN: Thank you for having me. It’s a real pleasure to be with all of you, certainly with the Council on Foreign Relations. I just want to start—personally, I am a first-generation college student, and my mother was a teenage mom and my father never finished the eleventh grade. So being able to be in this role means a lot to me from a proximity standpoint, and really being able to guide one of the nation’s leading HBCUs is really the professional dream of my life. So I take this very personally, in addition to trying to run a great institution. With respect to Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country, we are almost at 175 years in existence. I don’t think I need to tell anybody on the phone that we were started for some very specific reasons as it related to higher education access for African American students, but we have really become a powerhouse, a force not only in the African American community but in the broader citizenry at large. There are only 3 percent of Historically Black—excuse me, there are three thousand colleges and universities in the country; only 3 percent are historically Black colleges. Only 3 percent. But even today, we still produce 20 percent of all Black graduates. So just think about that for a moment, the power of our return on investment across many, many disciplines. You may have heard these numbers, but 80 percent of Black judges and lawyers start out in an HBCU. More than 50 percent of all Black doctors started at an HBCU. Forty percent of Black congressmen today started at an HBCU. And the number-one driver for lower-income African American people to get into the American middle class today is still their attendance at a Historically Black College or University. So the real power and frame of our institutions are significant, but our voices over the years have been quieter. We don’t have the same kinds of profile. A lot of it has to do with the fact that many of us are still low-resource institutions, even though we’re providing great value to the students that come here. Since the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and so many others during that summer of 2020, we’ve actually seen our profile grow significantly. We’ve tried to take advantage of that to tell the HBCU story in a much richer way than we had been able to do in the past, and we think that’s had some significant merit. I can tell you when we think about COVID-19 we say that one pandemic—COVID-19 itself—exposed another, which is continuing: race relations in America. And when I thought about it this time around—we’ve had these kinds of experiences as it relates to public safety, interaction with police for a long, long time here—but this felt like the first time that so many folks were watching the same thing. So regardless of where you come from or what you look like, you could not turn your eyes away from some of the tragic incidents we saw in that summer. And I think that has people thinking in a much more deliberate and different way. Couple that with what we’ve seen with respect to the elections that ensued, the political unrest that came after that, we find ourselves in a place where Historically Black Colleges and Universities are becoming a real sign—true sign of opportunity for folks, again regardless of what you look like or where you come from, that are otherwise underserved or locked out of the education system. There are 101 of them. Some of you will know what I’d say are the usual suspects: the Howard Universities of the world, the Morehouse, the Spelman, North Carolina A&T, FAMU. But there are 101 across the country. We spend our time not only providing the type of quality education that our students deserve, but also being engines of social justice and change, and research for that matter. So our ability to look through a lens with respect to research, regardless of discipline, is unique in the space because we’re able to come from a place where we are trying to understand the forces and phenomena of the world, and often how those forces and phenomena disproportionately affect people who don’t have as much as others. We take great pride in that as well. I also would like to talk a little bit about the communities we find ourselves in. You usually find an HBCU adjacent to or very much in a low-resource community. What that means for that community is that they are an economic engine for that community. The 101 HBCUs at last look contributed more than $14 billion collectively to the gross domestic product in the country. So we’re not just educational institutions, but real forces of economic opportunity and growth as well. I like to say I think we are the best return on value in the higher-education landscape because of who we prepare. So many of our students are first-generation college students like me. More than three-quarters of them are Pell Grant-eligible, which I think you know is a low-income standard. And we are changing the trajectory of their lives and their family’s lives. So being able to spend time thinking through what that means not only as it relates to opening economic doors of opportunity for them, but also giving them this notion that it’s not simply enough to graduate, get a great job; you also have to give back as you’ve been given, too, which is a theme I’d say across the HBCU landscape. I think it’s why you find so many African American leaders in this country across disciplines, as I mentioned, having gotten their start at an HBCU, because there is this ethic of service that really threads the needle across the HBCU landscape. Having said that, you heard my role as chair of the Board of Advisors for the president on HBCUs. That board has been around since 1976, really started under President Carter. And there has been an executive order issued each year to make sure that the White House initiative on HBCUs gets its attention and the board helps serve a role of guidance and oversight. Let me give you a sense of the four priorities we are just beginning to outline in that role. As you know, we just named the full council about two weeks ago, and we are thinking about four things that we really want to focus on. First is infrastructure. At HBCUs there’s a systemic disparity between HBCUs and other similarly situated universities who are predominantly white. That has a lot to do with the fact that we were not always able to, and in some cases still don’t, get equitable funding for our living and learning spaces. So while we’re able to provide the quality education, we want the environment to look like the quality education that our students are receiving. That’s particularly important for any number of reasons, most notably our ability to attract and retain our students over the long term as well as some faculty and staff when you think about the learning spaces as it relates to laboratory and research. Being able to have first-class operations there really sends a message about our—how serious we are about creating the right environment. Second is the opportunity for us to access more partnerships and, quite frankly, dollars from the federal government by really being able to engage in a thoughtful way with those institutions. Many of those institutions, as you know, provide research grants and other support to many institutions—higher-education institutions throughout the country. We want to make sure that we’re getting our fair share of that as well. Some of you probably know that there are three research classifications put out by Carnegie: research 1, research 2, and research 3. Research 1 is the highest, and there are no HBCUs that have cracked that threshold of research 1. That’s important, as well. As I said, lots of the research we do crosses any number of disciplines, but when you’re thinking about building capacity for the longer term you do want to have a few, I would say, comprehensive research 1 HBCUs. That’s a bit priority, I know, for the president, and certainly has been and will be for the council. And it’s a growing movement that folks are just beginning to talk about in a real thoughtful and focused way. The third is more support for low-resource students. We’ve had some progress, actually, on that score. There have been some increases in Pell. In the president’s budget, in fact, there’s a $2,100 increase. That has a lot of significance for continuing to retain our students. I can tell you on any number of occasions the number-one factor, particularly for low-resource students, is their ability to continue to pay. And some of that is significantly reduced from a burden perspective by scholarships and the like, but oftentimes even those small dollars—things we might think of as small dollars—are really significant dollars not only to their students, but to their families. So having more opportunities for tuition support in particular is critical. And then the last one is focusing on the smaller HBCUs in our space. So, like I said, you have historically heard of the more notable HBCUs—as I said, Howard University, Morehouse, Spelman, et cetera—but there are a subset of smaller HBCUs that are delivering first-class quality education that need our attention and support. I say that to my HBCU colleagues as much as I do to anybody else. When one of us is uplifted, we all need to figure out a way to uplift everyone else. And that’s important now more than ever because there’s been such an attention on the HBCU community. So I’ve probably talked too much, but—(laughs)—just as an opening salvo just wanted to give you a sense of the scale, the importance, and the ongoing impact of the HBCU community. FASKIANOS: Wonderful. Thank you so much, Tony. That was really terrific. We’re going to go now to all of you for questions and comments. (Gives queuing instructions.) So I’m going to go first to Mojúbàolú Olufúnké Okome. Q: Thank you very much. HBCUs are very important. I’m from Brooklyn College. I teach political science. But you know, and I think they punch way above their weight, but there’s a persistent underfunding of HBCUs. So what will it take for these institutions to be funded well enough so that they can do the good job that they are doing with less stress and more excellence? ALLEN: Great question. Two responses. First, under the Biden administration, since he took office, HBCUs have received about $5.8 billion in additional incremental support. A lot has to do with COVID for sure. And we, like most colleges and universities, were significantly impacted from a revenue standpoint with respect to COVID. But that historic funding is an important first step. I always say it’s a first step, it’s not the only step, because I think to your question relative to sustainability of our institutions it is critical that we have deeper, more significant, and sustained partnerships, I’d say particularly with the federal government. As I said, there are lots of opportunities for us to do good work there. We’ve made some good progress at Delaware State with the USDA, who has increased their funding significantly this year and in years prior. We just completed a memorandum of understanding with USAID last fall and we expect that to have some meritorious results too. We all have relationships with the likes of NIH and NSF, but not—certainly not enough. So really having a sustained effort that folks can goal against. So if you are in a specific department relative to your engagement with HBCUs, we are making that a priority. The president has already done that himself; just our responsibility to make sure that folks are following through. So that’s first order of business. Second, there are some unique partnerships that have emerged, again, in the wake of summer 2020. So there have been a significant onslaught of support for HBCUs. But what I have tried to do, at least from a Delaware State perspective, is create unique opportunities for that funding to not be one time. Case in point, we’ve gotten a couple million dollars from two major banks in the country. And instead of simply being able to use that for ongoing scholarship support or other needs that we have at the university, we built a career pathways program that is really allowing us to access a number of employers who want to engage with HBCUs but just don’t know how. And that is creating a new pipeline. Not only is it going to help us with respect to placing our students, we actually think it’s a significant benefit to the companies themselves in both the cases. And one was Bank of America and one was JPMorgan Chase. Their funding has actually been catalytic in encouraging more corporate partners to take a look at HBCUs. And we think that is really, really important. FASKIANOS: Great. Next, written question from Robert Ford, who’s retired from Southern University, Dillard, FVSU and Texas Southern University. And he went to Southern University Baton Rouge. He didn’t hear anything about international development, especially Africa. Does your university have an international footprint? And does the HBCU White House initiative have an international program initiative? What progress can be cited? ALLEN: Yeah, before I answer that question, I just want to shoutout every HBCU you mentioned. They’re all terrific—Southern, Dillard, I think you said Fort Valley State, and Texas Southern University. Incredible HBCUs in their own way. With respect to my institution here at Delaware State, we actually have a Center for Global Africa. We started that Center four years ago now, run by a professor named Ezrah Aharone. And the idea is for us to push much of our curriculum and study to not only the African continent, but the African diaspora. So we see there are lots of opportunities for that to emerge. We’ve created some significant partnerships with the African Union and the like on that score. And I can tell you there are—I’m just mentioning the institutions that we’re more close to, but there are a number of HBCUs that are doing similar situations on the continent and in the diaspora. Most notably is Morgan State University led by President David Wilson. And I think, as we continue to gain profile and momentum, I think you’ll see us internationally across the world in a much more clear and concerted effort. At Delaware State we actually have been on mainland China for seven years, having exported three programs there. One in accounting, one in physics, and one in sports management. And the interesting thing about that, in each of those programs, three different universities, 98 percent of those students are first-generation college students. So we have stayed true to our mission as we’ve gone international. We have some similar programs in Jamaica and Costa Rica as well. So we’re building capacity to make sure that we can take the HBCU experience across the continent. FASKIANOS: Thank you. I’m going to go next to Susan King, who has raised her hand. Q: Let me just ask you—I’m at UNC, so I have a great interest in Howard and the new center at Howard that Nikole Hannah-Jones is doing, partly because she’s not coming with us. How will that benefit all the HBCUs, do you think? ALLEN: That’s so funny. Her team has reached out to me, I think it was just last week, to talk about the Center for Journalism and how she wants to extend opportunities for aspiring Black journalists in particular at HBCUs, but also wants to help tell the HBCU story in a much more comprehensive way. So I can’t wait to spend time with her, and hopefully leverage her tremendous talent in doing that. I have said on many occasions, HBCUs have a great story, but we do not have enough storytellers. So being able to demystify what it has been that has really built a leadership talent pipeline, and the economic opportunity pipeline, for so many low-resource folks who are now leaders in our country, is a story that deserves its time in the sun. And we as presidents, my colleagues and I, have to be much more deliberate about that in our ongoing work. I’m hoping that the board of advisors and things like Professor Jones’ Center, gives us the kind of elevation we need so we can have other partners, like the Council on Foreign Relations, help us sustain that moment where we find ourselves. FASKIANOS: Wonderful. And I’m going to take the prerogative of the moderator. I mean, we here at CFR are very much committed to diversity and looking at the pipeline for—into the foreign policy track. So what are the things that you’re doing, that HBCUs are doing? And what could we be doing at CFR to help the next generation of leaders, graduates from HBCUs, get into diplomacy and State Department and just into this field? ALLEN: So, great, thank you for making that point. Here’s what I would say—and this is not to you, but just to the broader community. First job is to show up. I have been—particularly in the corporate side, I find myself in a lot of corporate circles where CEOs are always saying, hey, we wish we could find more Black talent. We just can’t find them. And normally what I say is, you’re not looking hard enough. As I said, we’re producing over three hundred thousand Black graduates every year. And that’s just HBCUs. I haven’t talked about historically Black Greek letter fraternities and sororities. I have not talked about special associations that find themselves in respective disciplines. We are out here. And in the case of the Council in particular, and my students don’t often think first about international development or diplomacy. And the way to get to have that sense is to be in conversation, regular conversations, with organizations like yours. A great example is we were able to bring the director of USAID, as I said to sign the MOU last fall. She talked about, first of all the largess of that institution, the number of critical opportunities that she would have across the organization. And you could see, our students just lit up because they didn’t know. That wasn’t their—weren’t their first thoughts. The other thing I’d say is the more we’ve been doing this more and more, particularly at Delaware State but at HBCUs across the country, are creating more international opportunities. Remember, because we have so many first-generation college students, oftentimes that means those students are first-generation in many things. So they might not have gotten on a plane, might not have had the same dinner conversations that more well-suited families had when they were sitting down for dinner, and that sort of thing. So it behooves us to make sure that we come to them, and we come to them early. The pipeline program that I talked about with you effectively says: If you want to be with Delaware State over the long term, don’t show up in our—in a student’s rising junior or rising senior year, looking for the best in class in our institution. Show up for the moment they come to the institution. So we’re creating a new kind of mentor network and opportunity so those students can learn what’s available to them, the institutions themselves can get a sense of the quality of our students, and they can have the kind of conversations they might not have their first day on the internship or their first day on the job, having not been in that environment or not been connected to that environment previously. FASKIANOS: Thank you. And there’s a nice note from Laurette Foster at Prairie View A&M University. So she’s at the HBCU Faculty Network. Thank you for your institution coming on board with the HBCU Faculty Development Network. And she says, we’re one of their great supporters. And that’s because of Laurette. So we usually go out to their annual conference in October to—in the fall, to present on CFR resources. And, we are looking for more opportunities like that with different networks to sort of connect, and talk, and sort of make connections so that we can start feeding that pipeline. I’m going to go next to Jill Humphries, who’s raised her hand. You can unmute yourself. Thank you. Q: Hello. Thank you. First of all, I want to say, both of my questions—primary questions were asked—(laughs)—about the institutional pipeline for diplomacy and then also the way in which HBCUs are particularly going to be involved in national development. But so I’ll ask this question. I’ve been an education exchange professor several times in several African countries. And when I’ve interfaced with the embassies there, and they talk about opportunities for, in this particular context, African students coming to study in the U.S., and they give their presentations, they’ve always left off HBCUs. And I’ve had to, in fact, remind them—even though I’m teaching at University of Toledo in the African Studies Department. So I am actually interesting in the way in which you’ve, at an institutional level, addressed this issue of whether it’s just benign oversight of when the public affairs officers at our embassies, wherever they are in the world, talk about exchange—educational exchange opportunities—there are so many under the ECA, Department of State’s ECA Bureau—that they include HBCUs. And then the other part of that is, how do you see the particular way in which HBCUs or, more specifically Black thought—Black political thought—may in fact influence our foreign affairs and diplomacy approach, particularly in Africa. Is there a unique, particular perspective that we bring, as African American or Black diaspora, in these arenas? ALLEN: Well, the short answer is, yes. (Laughs.) To your last question. And I don’t limit that to products of HBCUs, necessarily, but I do think Black political thought generally speaking across the globe is important contextually for a couple of reason. One, the way in which Black Americans, in particular, have had to navigate the landscape here now for hundreds of years is an important lesson in perseverance, context, the framework of what I’d say classism, certainly sometimes racism is systemic in its effort, as well as sexism, which I think shows up particularly for Black women regularly as well. The second part about that is as these things are happening across the world, I think our position relative to being able to influence is critical. This is an American point I’m going to make, but just remember—and this is no commercial for the president—but at the time that President Biden was running and the campaign was suffering mightily, there was a Black man in South Carolina, proud HBCU grad, Congressman Jim Clyburn who said: I know Joe Biden, and Joe Biden knows us. And it changed the state of his election. Talks significantly about our power bloc when we operationalize that. We don’t always do that in the American context, but when we do it’s clear and compelling. And I think I won’t go over the events that happened as a result of that. The other point, I think your first question was just about how folks engage with HBCUs more clearly in the international space. It does really come down to two things. One, we think HBCU leaders like myself have to be much more concerted and thoughtful about where we see the opportunities. When you’re in a low-resource institution, a number of things come up that can take you away from building capacity for your institution. So you have to be deliberate about it. It’s one of the reasons I think the advisory board has had many iterations but this, in particular because of the moment, I think will put us in some positions that we have not seen before. You may know that—I believe it’s in every federal department now—but the president is making it a point to have racial equity as a priority, and a person that’s in charge of that. So I think you’re going to see more opportunities there. I have not talked to as many federal government officials ever in my career as I have during this administration, because there’s a clear priority on it. But that is our job, to make sure that we’re telling that story, as I’ve said before. Then I think the unique programs, particularly as it relates to international exchange, we talk a lot about students. I would make sure that we spend equal time trying to export our intellectual capital in our faculty too. They need the opportunities themselves. Many times have the expertise and more often than not, in my case, have unique partnerships in country because they’re—sometimes they’re from a set country. So being able to give them that support I think will have significant long-term results. But we have to be concerted in how we position all of it. FASKIANOS: Thank you. I’m going to take the next written question from Ambassador June Carter Perry, formerly of the State Department, retired, and former diplomat in residence at Howard University, and currently a board member at American Diplomacy Publishers in Chapel Hill. What is your relationship with national universities’ African American programs, such as the one at Princeton directed by Dr. Eddie Glaude? ALLEN: I don’t have direct contact with Dr. Glaude. I’m aware of his work, but I don’t have direct contact there. I can tell you, and this could be a conversation for us, we have not been as concerted in developing those partnerships with national universities that have African American programs. Some of it has just to do with making sure that we’re elevating our voice in the conversation. And a lot of it is just historic stuff, I’d say. (Laughs.) And I know that’s not an academic word, but I’d say historic stuff between larger predominantly white institutions (PWIs) and HBCUs, particularly those who are in near proximity one to another. Sometimes limits our ability to be more thoughtful about those kinds of partnerships and collaboration. That’s no excuse. I just think that’s the reality. What we do—how we do partner, particularly in the STEM disciplines, I think is more—is becoming more and more significant. For the first time, we got a—I think it’s a $10 million grant several years ago in partnership with the PWI up the street from us, University of Delaware, and it was the first time we were the lead partner in the grant. And that sends a lot of messages to my faculty and the importance of what they can do, and how they can lead really big grants. I think you’re beginning to see some of those partnerships emerge too across the landscape. So doing more on that score in disciplines that are not specific to African American programs I think is important. And certainly, really engaging thoughtfully with those institutions who are serious about the African American studies discipline is certainly important to us, but not near what we should be doing in this space. FASKIANOS: Thanks, Tony. You referenced this a bit in your remarks, but can you talk about how the pandemic affected HBCUs, and how you’re coming out of it? ALLEN: Yeah. I was reluctant to tell this story because I feel like I’ve told it a hundred times, but like other universities we sent our kids home in the March timeframe—all but about two hundred, because those two hundred were otherwise homeless without Delaware State University, literally. We knew that was, one, a proxy for some of the students we actually had sent home who were from very vulnerable situations, but we knew we had to keep at least those two hundred. That was significant for a couple of reasons. And this before any funding came our way—CARES Act, American Rescue Plan. We just used our own coffers to make sure that they were fed, that they were not getting anything, with respect to academic continuity that that was progressing nicely. In some cases we were sending money to them for them to send home. What it was, was an opportunity for us to say—and we knew it deep down, but it was clear—that our students are coming to these institutions not just for the quote/unquote “college experience.” They’re trying to change their—largely, the economic trajectory for themselves, their families, and their communities. And it’s not easy. So our ability to get our students back on campus was the first order of business, and to do that quickly. We were able to develop a program with a place called Testing for America, which helped us develop our protocol, paid for all our tests for about two years, and allowed us to bring our students back right at the fall of 2020, and keep them safe throughout that time. So we’re testing faculty, staff, and students three times a week, at that time. We were doing—aggressively, had really strong protocols, and had a less than 1 percent positivity rate on our campus, which we take great pride—took great pride in then, and take great pride in now. What I’d say for the broader HBCU community, we were fortunate. Some of my other colleagues weren’t as fortunate relative to being able to bring their students back quickly. A lot hangs on the fact that we don’t have major endowments. The resources, let’s say, like I said before, are often low as compared to our predominantly white peers. So it is significant. And the problem is that if you’re not able to keep the academic continuity for many of my students, they will not come back. And we just couldn’t accept that. What I can say though is many in the HBCU community did pretty well based on these notions—that they knew who their students were, that they knew they were going to have to deliver something extra that was not foreign to them—sort of classic wraparound services that we already are known for, but to up that game wherever they found themselves, I think, was important for our own students’ survival. And I think what you’ve seen, you’ve seen this generally at HBCU communities, certainly in Delaware State, our retention rates increased. Our graduation rates were up. And equally important, because of the summer of 2020, in many cases in the world HBCU’s enrollment has gone up, and students have taken a look at HBCUs, what that means for sort of their own cultural identity, and how they want to contribute to the world. And they’re choosing us in a much different way than they had been even five, ten years ago. FASKIANOS: Great. I’m going to go to Jennifer Brinkerhoff. She doesn’t really have a question, but you might want to—if you want to just talk a little bit about your book. Q: Yes. I’m not sure, can you hear me? FASKIANOS: We can. ALLEN: Yes. Q: Awesome. Thank you so much. So we would be very pleased to engage with folks from HBCUs around a new book that I had the privilege of working on with Aaron Williams and Taylor Jack. Aaron Williams is retired USAID and was a sector leader in international affairs in the nonprofit sector of government and the private sector. And this was his legacy upon retirement, was to engage his peers, his colleagues, all of the giants who went before, to be able to collect advice and guideposts to the next generation of young Black leaders who were interested in international affairs. So we would love to share that material with you, and with support from the Hewlett Foundation we are able to engage in some related events and provide copies of the book. So I can put my email address in the chat, but we’re very much interested in the intergenerational dialogue that this book represents, because we really believe that this is what the next generation needs, is to learn from those of you who went before and have succeeded, and know better than anybody else what the challenges are and how best to navigate them. Thank you so much for the opportunity to share this important work, and I hope that we can partner together. Thank you. ALLEN: Hey, Jen, let me—let me just say quickly, I saw this question earlier. I already taped it—I mean, copied it and emailed it to myself before you—(laughs)—before you talked. So I do want to talk to you, one. And then there is our chair of political science, economic development and international affairs, Dr. Donna Patterson, who will be a great point of contact for you. So please put your email in the chat and I’ll send you a note. FASKIANOS: Thank you. And if we could be sure we send it—and Jennifer you’re at George Washington University, correct? Q: Yes, I am at GW, yeah. FASKIANOS: Great. And Pearl Robinson of Tufts has put in the chat, what’s the title of the book? And the title of the book is The Young Black Leader’s Guide to a Successful Career in International Affairs. It’s in the Q&A, so you can get the link there. All right. So if others have questions, please raise your hand. I’m going to call upon President Verret to ask a question. I’m putting him on the spot, but. Q: Thanks for putting me on the spot. I guess the question that I would ask is also about the Americans—the nation's talent needed—from a national security perspective, also from an economic perspective, the talent that is needed to actually drive the American economy, drive America’s leadership position. And as the United States is becoming essentially majority-minority, can the United States—how important is it that we develop the talent that is in our underrepresented populations in order to sustain America’s leadership? ALLEN: Yeah. Well, Mr. President, I’m sure you know the answer to that question. (Laughs.) It’s critical. It’s absolutely critical. And like I said—as you all know, we find ourselves looking at work and the future of work in a much different way than I imagine any of us thought possible at this pace that we’re moving. Effectively, it’s to say that we are training students for jobs that have not yet been invented. So how we do that relative to their ability to analyze critically, write in a way that not only is clear but is compelling with respect to how they tell stories, be creative in the ways in which they want to engage in the world, and how they think about themselves as citizens. It couldn’t be more important. And I’d say, particularly in the African American communities and other communities of color, it’s critical relative to the future of those communities. As I said—and you know this—that the contributions of HBCUs, just as one example from an economic development standpoint, are substantive, but they represent a proxy for much broader contribution from communities of color throughout this country. And, we’ve seen some symbols just recently. If you look at the president’s Cabinet, the most diverse cabinet in the history of the United States. Obviously, I know many of you probably saw the hearings for soon-to-be Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson—and you saw the good and bad of that and what that might portend for our own civility in this country. So I get up every day thinking about the fact that I have a lot of students whose life circumstances are changing because of Delaware State, and in so doing—at least in part—in so doing they have to be a part of the solution for really salvaging our democracy. So that is not just your new engineer or your new political scientist or your new accountant or banker, you have to be really apart of this process if we want to get it right. So I appreciate the question, and I know you all know just how important it is not only in the American context, but around the globe. FASKIANOS: Thank you. I’m just going to take another question from Xavier University of Louisiana. We just heard from the president, but now from Pamela Waldron-Moore, who’s on the political science and international relations faculty. Q: I’ve taken my role of internationalizing our students very seriously. Many of my department’s graduates have gone on to be Foreign Service Officers thanks to the Rangel and Pickering Fellowships made available to them. Today many have lost interest in international service seeing their service and diplomacy more as tokens than as valued for their intellectual capital. Fewer are interested in pursuing international diplomacy. What encouragement can you give international faculty who recognize the importance of Black students representing the Black story? ALLEN: Well, first of all, it’s a great question, and international development is not the only space where folks check a box on the number of students of color they might have in a program. And that’s problematic for all the reasons you outlined. Some of the things we’re doing, again with our Career Pathways programming, is suggesting that the institutions that we’re working with think of doing business with us in cohorts. So it’s not just the one person that got the one opportunity, and then nothing else happens. But you build capacity for four or five, eight or ten students to get a similar situated opportunity, where they can lean on each other but also see faces that look like them and can be encouraging in that way. That’s one. Second is the institutions themselves have to really look at their own pipelines for senior leadership, which is really challenging. So it’s not just that you can find the young Black or brown—the new young Black or brown talent out there, but does your organization look like the community you serve up and down that organization? And that’s a little bit of—has been my struggle in trying to provide some advice and counsel to institutional leaders who are really serious about this business because it does take some bold leadership—looking in places you had not looked before, opening doors you might not have otherwise seen, and then recognizing that if you do that, your pipeline will grow as a result because those students will see the institution as serious about the issue. So I would say don’t give up. I would say press harder. FASKIANOS: Thank you. So next question from Dr. Todd Barry, professor at Hudson County Community College. How far north geographically do HBCUs go? And he hails from Connecticut. ALLEN: (Laughs.) I’m only laughing because I don’t think I’ve ever gotten that question before. But I’m pretty North, actually. Most of the HBCUs are in the Southeast—not all of them, but most of them. The northern most, I guess, would be Cheyney University, the first one. There are two in Pennsylvania—Cheyney University and Lincoln. Lincoln is basically the second—though they will fight over that reputation. (Laughs.) And they are about 20 minutes from each other, and then I am about an hour and ten (minutes) from them, so the northern most are really Cheyney and Lincoln. FASKIANOS: Thank you. Next? Any other questions? I want to just say that next week we are hosting an in-person workshop in New York for college and university professors on the 28th and 29th of April, and we have several professors from HBCUs, which we’re really excited about. But if you want to send any more our way—(laughs)—we would welcome it. The other thing that we do every year is we host a Conference on Diversity in International Affairs. So it’s a collaboration that CFR does with the Global Access Pipeline and International Career Advancement Program, and the dates of that are May 20—let’s see, I think 24 and 25. And we have students come for that, and it’s great professional development. So hopefully if those of you on the call want your students to come—sorry, May 25 and 26—I was off by a day—if any of you want your students to come, we would love to have them. That takes place in D.C. OK. So I’m just looking for any other questions? The other thing I would love for you to talk a little bit—you mentioned your emphasis now on partnerships with government and getting more support from the federal government, but your background, you also had a corporate background. ALLEN: Mm-hmm. FASKIANOS: So how have you in your position—how have HBCUs traditionally leveraged corporate and industry partnerships to build awareness and foster engagement? And what are you specifically doing given your background in that space, thirteen years that you’ve spent? ALLEN: That’s actually—I shouldn’t say it this way, but that has not been as challenging. I think the corporate community, and recently in particular, they’ve showed up in a pretty thoughtful way on balance, on balance, d I don’t just mean in Delaware State, but I think at institutions across the country. The one caveat to that is that fourth priority I mentioned, which is sometimes our smaller HBCUs are left out of that equation because folks don’t know the whole story—that there are 101 of them, that they cut across any number of disciplines, that they’re all doing really high-quality work. So being able to, as I said, build the profile of HBCUs is important. With respect to what we’ve been able to do, we’ve had some significant really record-breaking fundraising over the last two years with the corporate community, and the idea has cut across a number of opportunities for us. One is that catalytic engine I just mentioned, without JPMorgan Chase or Bank of America we wouldn’t have forty other corporate partners who really want to be doing business with us in a much different way than they have in the past. And then the emerging opportunities, there’s an organization called Propel [Center] out of Atlanta. If you don’t know that one, you should. It’s largely funded by a Southern Company and Apple, and it’s all a part of their racial, equity and inclusion efforts. And the idea is that you would create a virtual HBCU space for all HBCUs to have their students engage across a number of core disciplines. For us, we’re spending a lot of time being at Beacon School for Agricultural Technology. For others, it’s the arts, et cetera, et cetera. And it’s a way for the HBCU students to connect with each other across these emerging disciplines and older disciplines; and also, for the companies to connect with these students as well and give them some practical experience relative to what’s happening in the new workspace, what the expectation is in those workspaces, what’s coming down the pike that many of us hadn’t seen before. So it is a unique opportunity because more businesses are coming into that space. They’re finding out about HBCUs in a much different way, and that is creating obviously new opportunities for the students themselves, but, as I said, equally important for the companies who are serious about their business of diversity, equity, and inclusion. FASKIANOS: Fantastic. I’ll just note Ambassador Perry has a comment in the Q&A box about—as a co-drafter of the Rangel program and enabling students to enter the Pickering program, there are opportunities at the State Department that offer paid internships so that’s important to mention. So now I’m going to go to Harold Schmitz, a senior scholar at the University of California Davis, who has raised his hand. Q: Hi. Yeah, it’s Harold Schmitz. And thanks for this. So I’m actually serving on a Blue Ribbon Panel at the National Academy of Sciences, and so we’re looking at it from a land grants perspective, you know, across 1862-1890 and 1990s—thinking specifically about food and agriculture research and how to enhance collaboration between the whole land-grant enterprise as opposed to the traditional sort of 1862s. And so I’d really appreciate hearing your views on how would you see the land-grant enterprise from your perspective operating at a much higher and more collaborative sort of speed and nature than it currently is? ALLEN: It’s an interesting question, Harold. I’m glad you asked it. And a couple of observations. For one, I serve on the Council of 1890s, and for the room, there are about eighteen HBCUs that are 1890 land-grant institutions. And the idea is that we would spend and build deeper relationships with some of our 1860 PWI counterparts, but also among each other. I think the one thing that we as HBCUs, generally in 1890s in particular, can do a bit more clearly is find those unique opportunities in our own space and build capacity together. I did mention Cheyney and Lincoln, and I saw that one of our colleagues corrected me. There absolutely are two great HBCUs in Ohio in Central and Wilberforce as well. But what—we do it from time to time, but what we don’t do often enough is find a way to really build collaborative, comprehensive research projects across our spaces, and proposals, and then present them as unique opportunities. We usually—this is unfortunate, but it is a fact—go to the larger PWIs who have bigger capacity, more staff, more opportunity, and then when we do that, we become a sub to that project, which nothing wrong with being a sub but if you’re always a sub then you’re not going to get the kind of capacity to really build your own research protocol and framework. So we’re trying to do a better job of that as we move forward. And then, as I said, because of the profile that we have received here recently, many more opportunities are coming our way, and what I mean by that is many more conversations. We’ll see if those conversations turn into substantive research dollars and the like, but we are having many more conversations with the right people around how we are able—how we can build support and capacity for our own research interests. FASKIANOS: Great. Thank you. Any other questions? We’re coming to the end of our time, so. There are a lot of, sort of, compliments in the Q&A box saying that this has been a very inspiring discussion. Thank you for your important work. And so just noting that. In our final minutes, Tony, it would be great if you could talk about, what are—you mentioned the four areas that you’re going to focus on with President Biden, but what do you want to—what would you say to all of us to be doing in our communities to help with these efforts? ALLEN: Well, just put HBCUs aside for a second. The story of the country is a story of struggle, right? And that’s certainly true in the African American context, but I think that’s true overall. And our ability to be a more thoughtful, civil society that really lifts all boats is the final—in my view, is the final frontier for the country and I think an opportunity for the world if we get it right. So, oftentimes I say it’s a little less difficult for you to find diverse talent pipelines if your proximity is one that has diverse pipelines in it, which is to say, who do you go to church with, who do you eat dinner with? Who do your friends talk to? Those are the opportunities that I’ve had in my life kind of in the reverse, right, that has helped me—helped open doors for me, helped me get connected in the right ways, helped me open doors for other people. But if we are living largely separate, distinct, homogenous lives based on our race, ethnicity, or gender, it’s going to be a much difficult and really more—you’d have to have a much more concerted effort to break the barriers that are largely artificial in our context. They really are largely artificial when you think about them. They have been cemented by, sort of, these systemic concerns, but they are largely artificial. And this—having an opportunity like this in front of the Council I think is actually a pretty important part of the process because you’re going to expose yourself in a way that you might not have thought of. Quite frankly, it’s one of the reasons I said yes to doing this because I’m exposing myself to something I might not have—just might not have crossed my mind in my business. Now I know just why important it is. So I would just have you think about proximity in your own lives, as I certainly do, and where you see the opportunity to make a real difference, do it and do it boldly. FASKIANOS: Wonderful. Thank you, and well—this has been really terrific opportunity for us, too, to have this exchange with you. Thank you for your leadership. If nobody else has a question, we will close a couple minutes early because I know that everybody is busy, and we really appreciate you taking the time from your busy schedule to do this. So thank you for that. And thanks to everybody for their comments. We can circulate links after this to the transcript of video as well as some of the resources that have been mentioned. Again, I’m just going to say, if you have a professor that you want to send next week to our College and University Educators Workshop, reach out to me—(laughs)—and of course, we will be sending out information about our diversity conference because this is extremely important to us. We also have paid internships at CFR, which is extremely helpful and important as we look to diversify. So thank you, again, Dr. Allen. Appreciate it. ALLEN: Thank you. FASKIANOS: And to all of you, please continue follow us at @CFR_academic on Twitter, visit CFR.org, ForeignAffairs.com and ThinkGlobalHealth.org. I know this is a busy time for all of you with finals, graduation, and everything else. So good luck with the rest of the semester, and we look forward to your continued participation. ALLEN: Take care. (END)
  • Economics

    James Bullard of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis discusses interest rates, inflation, and the challenges facing U.S. economic growth. The C. Peter McColough Series on International Economics brings the world's foremost economic policymakers and scholars to address members on current topics in international economics and U.S. monetary policy. This meeting series is presented by the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies.
  • West Africa

    Our panelists discuss the most recent rise in violent conflict and coups in Africa, the threats these coups pose to fragile democratic institutions, governance, and civil society, and options to prevent further military takeovers on the continent. 
  • Elections and Voting

  • Russia

    More than six weeks into its invasion of Ukraine, the Russian military is hindered by an inability to gain air supremacy, supply chain breakdowns, and dangerously low morale. Our panelists discuss the state of Russia's military and the effect on the war in Ukraine.
  • Global

    Anne C. Richard, distinguished fellow and Afghanistan coordination lead at Freedom House, will lead a conversation on refugees and global migration. FASKIANOS: Thank you. Welcome to the final session of the Winter/Spring 2022 CFR Academic Webinar Series. I’m Irina Faskianos, vice president of the National Program and Outreach here at CFR. Today’s discussion is on the record, and the video and transcript will be available on our website, CFR.org/academic. As always, CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy. We are delighted to have Anne Richard with us today to talk about refugees and global migration. Ms. Richard is a distinguished fellow and Afghanistan coordination lead at Freedom House. She has taught at several universities including Georgetown, University of Virginia, Hamilton College, and the University of Pennsylvania. From 2012 to 2017, Ms. Richard served as an assistant secretary of state for population, refugees, and migration, and before joining the Obama administration she served as vice president of government relations and advocacy for the International Rescue Committee. She has also worked at the Peace Corps headquarters and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and is a member of CFR. So, Anne, thank you very much for being with us today. With your background and experience, it would be great if you could talk from your vantage point—give us an overview of the current refugee trends you are—we are seeing around the world, especially vis-à-vis the war in Ukraine, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, et cetera. RICHARD: Thank you so much, Irina, for inviting me today and for always welcoming me back to the Council. And thank you to your team for putting this together. I’m very happy to speak about the global refugee situation, which, unfortunately, has, once again, grown yet larger in a way that is sort of stumping the international community in terms of what can well-meaning governments do, what can foundations and charitable efforts and the United Nations (UN) do to help displaced people. I thought we could start off talking a little bit about definitions and data, and the idea is that I only speak about ten minutes at this beginning part so that we can get to your questions all the more quickly. But for all of us to be on the same wavelength, let’s recall that refugees, as a group, have an organization that is supposed to look out for them. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees is the title of the number-one person in the organization, but the entire organization is known by that name, UNHCR, or the UN Refugee Agency. It also has a convention—the 1951 Refugee Convention—that came about after World War II and was very focused on not allowing to happen again what had happened during World War II where victims of the Nazis and, as time went on, people fleeing fascism, people fleeing communism, couldn’t get out of their countries and were persecuted because of this. And there’s a legal definition that comes out of the convention that different countries have, and the U.S. legal definition matches very much the convention’s, which is that refugees have crossed an international border—they’re not in their home country anymore—and once they’ve crossed an international border the sense is that they are depending on the international community to help them and that they’re fleeing for specific purposes—their race, their religion, their ethnicity, their membership in a particular social group such as being LGBTQ, or political thought. And if you think back to the Cold War, these were some of the refugees coming out of the former Soviet Union, coming out of Eastern Europe, were people who had spoken out and were in trouble and so had to flee their home countries. So what are the numbers then? And I’m going to refer you to a very useful page on the UN High Commissioner for Refugees website, which is their “Figures at a Glance” presentation, and we’re going to reference some of the numbers that are up there now. But those numbers change every year. They change on June 20, which is World Refugee Day. And so every year it hits the headlines that the numbers have gone up, unfortunately, and you can anticipate this if you think in terms of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. It’s usually June 20, 21, 22. So June 20, that first possible day, is every year World Refugee Day. So if you’re working on behalf of refugees it’s good sometimes to schedule events or anticipate newspaper articles and conversations about refugees ticking up in—at the end of June. So if you were paying attention last June for World Refugee Day, UNHCR would have unveiled a number of 82.4 million refugees around the world, and so this upcoming June what do we anticipate? Well, we anticipate the numbers will go up again and, in fact, yesterday the high commissioner was in Washington, met with Secretary of State Tony Blinken, and they met the press and Filippo Grandi, the current high commissioner, said that he thinks the number is closer to ninety-five to ninety-six million refugees. So, clearly, a couple things have happened since last June. One is that so many people are trying to flee Afghanistan and another is so many people have fled Ukraine. So if we went back to that $82.4 million figure that we know we have details on, we would find that this is the figure of people who are displaced because of conflict or persecution around the world. The ones that count as refugees who have actually crossed an international border is a smaller number. It’s 20.7 million people that UNHCR is concerned about and then another close to six million people who are Palestinians in the Middle East whose displacement goes back to 1948, the creation of the statehood of Israel, and upheaval in the Middle East region as Palestinians were shifted to live elsewhere. And so—and they are provided assistance by a different UN agency, UNRWA—UN Relief Works Administration in the Near East—and so if you see a number or you see two sets of numbers for refugees and they’re off by about five or six million people, the difference is the Palestinian, that number—whether it’s being counted in, which is for worldwide numbers, or out because UNHCR cares for most refugees on Earth but did not have the responsibility for the Palestinians since UNRWA was set up with that specific responsibility. So what’s the big difference then between the eighty-two million, now growing to ninety-five million, and this smaller number of refugees? It’s internally displaced persons (IDPs). These are people who are displaced by conflict or are displaced by persecution, are running for their lives, but they haven’t left their own countries yet. So think of Syrians who, perhaps, are displaced by war and they have crossed their own countries and gone to a safer place within their own country but they haven’t crossed that border yet. Others who have crossed into Lebanon or Turkey or Jordan or Iraq or have gone further afield to Egypt, those would be considered refugees. Who’s responsible for the IDPs then? Well, legally, their own countries are supposed to take care of them. But in my Syria example, the problem is Syria was bombing its own people in certain areas of the country, and so they were not protecting their own people as they should be. People can be displaced by things other than war and conflict and persecution, of course. More and more we talk about climate displacement, and this is a hot issue that we can talk about later. But who’s responsible then when people are displaced by changing climactic conditions and it’s their own governments who are supposed to help them? But more and more questions have been raised about, well, should the international community come together and do more for this group of people—for internally displaced persons—especially when their own governments are unwilling or unable to do so? What about migrants? Who are the migrants? Migrants is a much broader term. Everyone I’ve talked about so far who’s crossed a border counts as a migrant. Migrants are just people on the go, and the International Organization for Migration estimates there’s about 281 million migrants on Earth today—about 3.6 percent of the world population—and one of the big issues I’ve pushed is to not see migrants as a dirty word. Unfortunately, it often is described that way—that migratory flows are bad, when, in fact, lots of people are migrants. Students who travel to the U.S. to take classes are migrants to our country. The secretary general of the United Nations, António Guterres, who was himself for eleven years the high commissioner for refugees, he says, I am a migrant, because he’s a Portuguese person working in New York City. People hired by Silicon Valley from around the world to work in high-paid jobs, legally in the United States, they are migrants. More concerning are vulnerable migrants, people who are displaced and don’t have the wherewithal to, necessarily, protect themselves, take care of themselves, on the march or where they end up, or also if they’re seen as traveling without papers, not welcome in the places where they’re going, that can be a very, very dangerous situation for them. So be aware that migrants is a really broad all-encompassing term that can include travelers, businesspeople, as well as vulnerable and very poor people who are economic migrants. Finally, immigrants are people who set out and migrate because they intend to live somewhere else, and when we were talking about the Trump administration’s policies to reduce the number of refugees coming to the U.S. we also see that immigration to the U.S. also was decreased during that administration as well. So both the refugee program and a lot of the immigration pathways to the U.S. are now being examined and trying to be not just fixed, because a lot of them have needed care for quite some time, but also put back on a growth trajectory. And then asylum seekers are people who get to a country on their own, either they have traveled to a border or they pop up inside a country because they have gotten in legally through some other means such as a visitor visa or business visa, and then they say, I can’t go home again. It’s too dangerous for me to go home again. Please, may I have asylum? May I be allowed to stay here and be protected in your country? So that’s a lot of different terminology. But the more you work on it, the more these terms—you get more familiar using them and understand the differences between them that experts or legal experts use. So ninety-five to ninety-six million people, as we see another eleven million people fleeing Ukraine and of that four million, at least, have crossed the borders into neighboring countries and another seven million are internally displaced, still inside Ukraine but they’ve gone someplace that they feel is safer than where they were before. When we looked at the eighty million refugees and displaced people, we knew that two-thirds of that number came from just five countries, and one of the important points about that is it shows you what could happen, the good that could be done, if we were able to push through peace negotiations or resolutions of conflict and persecution, if we could just convince good governance and protection of people—minorities, people with different political thought, different religious backgrounds—inside countries. So the number-one country still remains Syria that has lost 6.7 million people to neighboring countries, primarily. Secondly was Venezuela, four million. Third was Afghanistan. The old number from before last August was 2.6 million and some hundreds of thousands have fled since. And the only reason there aren’t more fleeing is that they have a really hard time getting out of their country, and we can talk more about that in a moment. The fourth are Rohingya refugees fleeing from Burma, or Myanmar. That’s 1.1 million, and the fifth was Southern Sudanese, 2.2 million, who have fled unrest and violence in that country. So we know that we have not enough peace, not enough solutions, and we have too much poverty, too, and dangers. In addition to the Venezuelans, another group that has approached the U.S. from the southern border that were in the paper, especially around election times, is from the Northern Triangle of Central America, so El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. These are people who could be fleeing because of economic situations and could also be fleeing from criminal violence, gangs, warfare, narcotraffickers. And so if they are fleeing for their lives and approaching our southern border, we are supposed to give them a hearing and consider whether they have a case for asylum, and the—unfortunately, that is not well understood, especially not by folks working at our borders. The Customs and Border Protection folks are more and more focused on, since 9/11, ensuring that bad guys don’t come across, that terrorists don’t come across, that criminals don’t come across. And we heard in the Trump administration conversations about Mexicans as rapists, gang warfare being imported into the U.S. from Central America when, in fact, some of it had been originally exported, and this sense that people from the Middle East were terrorists. And so really harsh language about the types of people who were trying to make it to the U.S. and to get in. Some final thoughts so that we can get to the question and answer. The U.S. government has traditionally been the top donor to refugee and humanitarian efforts around the world. The bureau at the State Department I used to run, the Population, Refugees, and Migration Bureau, was a major donor to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees—UNRWA—the International Committee of the Red Cross, and also the International Organization for Migration, which used to be an independent organization and is now part of the UN since 2016. We were also the number-one resettlement location, the formal program for bringing refugees to the United States, and when I was assistant secretary we brought seventy thousand refugees per year to the United States, invited them to come through a program that took eighteen months to twenty-four months, on average, to get them in because they had to be vetted for security reasons. They had to pass medical tests. Their backgrounds had to be investigated to see that they were who they said they were. And that number went higher in the last year of the Obama administration to eighty-five thousand refugees and, in fact, the Obama administration proposed some very strong additional measures to help refugees. But the Trump administration threw that all into reverse with a completely different set of policies. So the numbers then became reduced every year—fifty-three thousand in the first year of the Trump administration, 22,500 the next year, thirty thousand in 2019, 11,814 in 2020, a similar number in 2021, and slow numbers coming today, this despite bringing so many Afghans through an evacuation exercise last summer. Many of the people who were evacuated were American citizens or green card holders. Afghans who had worked for the U.S. but did not have their formal paperwork yet were brought in under what’s called humanitarian parole, and the problem with that program is that it’s no guarantee for a longer-term stay in the United States. So there’s a bill in Congress right now to address that. A lot of the people who worked on that, especially within the U.S. government, are proud that they’ve scrambled and brought so many people so quickly—120,000 people brought from Afghanistan. At the same time, those of us who are advocates for refugees would say too many people were left behind and the evacuation should continue, and that’s a real concern. In terms of resettlement in the U.S., it’s a program run—public-private partnership—and we’ve never seen so many volunteers and people helping as there are right now, and initiatives to help welcome people to the United States, which is fantastic. I would say the program should be one of humanity, efficiency, and generosity, and that generosity part has been tough to achieve because the government piece of it is kind of stingy. It’s kind of a tough love welcome to the United States where the refugees are expected to get jobs and the kids to go to school and the families to support themselves. So let me stop there because I’ve been just talking too long, I know, and take questions. FASKIANOS: It’s fantastic, and thank you for really clarifying the definitions and the numbers. Just a quick question. You said the U.S. government is the top donor. What is the percentage of DVP? I mean, it’s pretty— RICHARD: Tiny. Yeah. FASKIANOS: —tiny, right? I think there’s this lack of understanding that it may seem like a big number but in our overall budget it’s minuscule. So if you could just give us a— RICHARD: Yeah. It’s grown in the last few years because of all these crises around the world to ten to twelve million—I mean, ten billion dollars to twelve billion (dollars) between the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department, which was bigger. It was around seven or eight billion (dollars) when I was the assistant secretary five, six years ago. But the important part of it was it provided the whole backbone to the international humanitarian system. Governments, some of them, saw Americans sometimes as headaches in terms of we, Americans, telling them what to do or we, Americans, having our own ideas of how to do things or we, Americans, demanding always budget cuts and efficiencies. But the fact is the whole humanitarian enterprise around the world is based on American generosity, especially the big operating agencies like World Food Programme, UNHCR, UNICEF, UN Development Program. FASKIANOS: Great. Thank you. So now we’re going to go to all you for your questions. Hands are already up and Q&A written questions. So I’ll try to get to everybody as much as I can. I’m going to go—the first question from Rey Koslowski, and if you can unmute yourself and give us your institution that would be fantastic. RICHARD: Hi, Rey. Q: All right. Rey Koslowski, University at Albany. Hi, Anne. Good to see you. I’d like to pick up on the use of humanitarian parole. So, as I understand it, it’s being utilized for Afghan evacuees, Afghans, who you mentioned, who didn’t—weren’t able to get on the flights and were left behind, but also for Ukrainians. You know, President Biden announced a hundred thousand Ukrainians. I mean, a very—we’re using other channels but we’ve had, I believe, three thousand at the U.S.-Mexican border and, I believe, they’re being paroled for the most part, right. As I understand it, we’re—one DHS letter that I saw said that there were forty-one thousand requests for humanitarian parole for Afghan nationals. But I’m wondering about capacity of the USCIS to handle this, to process this, because, you know, normally, I think, maybe two thousand or so, a couple thousand, are processed, maybe a couple of people who do this, and also in conjunction with the challenges for processing all of the asylum applications. So, as I understand it, back in the fall there was some discussion of hiring a thousand asylum officers—additional asylum officers. I was wondering, what are your thoughts about our capacity to process all of the—the U.S. government’s capacity to process the humanitarian parole applications and the asylum applications, and if you have any insights on new hires and how many— RICHARD: Well, you know, Rey, at Freedom House now I’m working on a project to help Afghan human rights defenders and— Q: Right. RICHARD: —the idea is that they can restart their work if we can find a way for them to be safe inside Afghanistan, which is very hard with the Taliban in charge right now, or if in exile they can restart their work. And so we’re watching to see where Afghans are allowed to go in the world as they seek sanctuary and the answer is they don’t get very far. It’s very hard to get out of the country. If they get to Pakistan or Iran, they don’t feel safe. They have short-term visas to stay there, and the programs that might bring them further along like resettlement of refugees are—take a much longer time to qualify for and then to spring into action, and so they’re stuck. You know, they’re afraid of being pushed back into Afghanistan. They’re afraid of becoming undocumented and running out of money wherever they are, and so they’re in great need of help. The humanitarian parole program sort of—for bringing Afghans into the U.S. sort of understood that our eighteen- to twenty-four-month refugee resettlement program was a life-saving program but it wasn’t an emergency program. It didn’t work on an urgent basis. It didn’t scoop people up and move them overnight, and that’s, really, what was called for last August was getting people—large numbers of people—out of harm’s way. And so when I was assistant secretary, if we knew someone was in imminent danger we might work with another government. I remember that the Scandinavians were seen as people who were more—who were less risk averse and would take people who hadn’t had this vast vetting done but would take small numbers and bring them to safety, whereas the U.S. did things in very large numbers but very slowly. And so this lack of emergency program has really been what’s held us back in providing the kind of assistance, I think, people were looking for the Afghans. I was surprised we even brought them into the United States. I thought after 9/11 we’d never see that kind of program of bringing people in with so little time spent on checking. But what they did was they moved up them to the front of the line and checked them very quickly while they were on the move. So it was safe to do but it was unusual, and I think part of that was because the military—the U.S. military—was so supportive of it and U.S. veterans were so supportive of it and we had, for the first time in a while, both the right and the left of the political spectrum supporting this. So the problem with humanitarian parole is I remember it being used, for example, for Haitians who had been injured in the Haitian earthquake and they needed specialized health care—let’s say, all their bones were crushed in their legs or something. They could be paroled into the U.S., get that health care that they needed, and then sent home again. So we’ve not used it for large numbers of people coming in at once. So what refugee advocates are seeking right now from Congress is the passage of the Afghan Adjustment Act, which would give people a more permanent legal status. They would be treated as if they were—had come through the refugee resettlement program and they’d get to stay. So you’re right that the numbers being granted humanitarian parole at one time is just not the normal way of doing things. You’re also right that the—this is a lot of extra work on people who weren’t anticipating it, and more can continue with the hundred thousand Ukrainians who the president has said we will take in. And so the thing is when we have these kind of challenges in the United States one way to deal with it is to spend more money and do a better job, and that seems to be an option for certain challenges we face but not for all challenges we face. With these more humanitarian things, we tend to have tried to do it on the cheap and to also use the charity and partner with charities and churches more than if this were sort of a more business-oriented program. So we need all of the above. We need more government funding for the people who are working the borders and are welcoming people in or are reviewing their backgrounds. We need more assistance from the public, from the private sector, from foundations, because the times demand it. And it’s very interesting to me to see Welcome US created last year with three former U.S. presidents—President Bush, President Clinton, President Obama—speaking up about it, saying, please support this, and people from across the political aisle supporting it. I wish that had existed in 2015 when we were grappling with these issues at the time of candidate Trump. So the needs are greater. Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean we have to just suffer through and struggle through and have long backups like we do right now. We could be trying to put more resources behind it. FASKIANOS: I’m going to take the next written question from Haley Manigold, who’s an IR undergrad student at University of North Florida. We know that the war in Ukraine is going to affect grain and food supplies for the MENA countries. Is there any way you would recommend for Europe and other neighboring regions to manage the refugee flows? RICHARD: The first part of that was about the food issue but then you said— FASKIANOS: Correct, and then this is a pivot to manage the refugee flows. So— RICHARD: Well, the Europeans are treating the Ukrainians unlike any other flow of people that we’ve seen lately. It goes a little bit back and reminiscent to people fleeing the Balkans during the 1990s. But we saw that with a million people in 2015 walking into Europe from Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan—mix of economic migrants and real refugees—that Europe, at first, under Angela Merkel’s leadership were welcoming to these folks showing up, and then there was a backlash and the walls came up on that route from the Balkans to Germany and to Sweden. And so in the last few years, Europeans have not been seen as champions in allowing—rescuing people who are trying to get to Europe on their own. You know, especially the Mediterranean has been a pretty dismal place where we see Africans from sub-Saharan Africa working their way up to North Africa and trying to get from Libya across the Mediterranean to Europe. These are mostly economic migrants but not solely economic migrants, and they deserve to have a hearing and, instead, they have been terribly mistreated. They get stopped by the Libyan coast guard, the Europeans push boats back, and they are offloaded back into Libya and they are practically imprisoned and mistreated in North Africa. So that’s a terribly inhumane way to treat people who are trying to rescue themselves, their families, and find a better life. And another point to the Europeans has been, couldn’t you use these young people taking initiative trying to have a better life and work hard and get on with their lives, and the answer is yes. Europe has this sort of aging demographic and could definitely use an infusion of younger workers and talented people coming in. But, instead, they have really pushed to keep people out. So what’s happened with Ukrainians? They’re seen as a different category. They’re seen as neighbors. There’s a part of it that is positive, which is a sense that the countries right next door have to help them. Poland, Moldova, other countries, are taking in the Ukrainians. The borders are open. If they get to Poland they can get free train fare to Germany. Germany will take them in, and that’s a beautiful thing. And the upsetting thing is the sense that there is undertones of racism, also anti-Islam, where darker-skinned people were not at all welcome and people who are not Christian were not welcome. And so it’s probably a mix of all the above, the good and the bad, and it’s potentially an opportunity to teach more people about “refugeehood” and why we care and why it affects all of us and what we should do about it and that we should do more. FASKIANOS: Thank you. All right, I’m going to take the next question from Kazi Sazid, who has also raised their hand, so if you could just ask your question yourself and identify yourself. Q: Hello. So I’m Kazi. I’m a student at CUNY Hunter College and I happen to be writing a research paper on Central American and Iraq war refugee crises and how international law hasn’t changed the behavior of a state helping them. So my question is, how does confusion and ignorance of migration and refugee terminology by state leaders and the general populace impact the legally ordained rights of refugees such as having identity documents, having the right to education, refoulement, which is not being sent back to a country where they are danger? One example is like Central Americans are termed as illegal immigrants by the right wing but the reality is they are asylum seekers who are worthy of refugee status because gang violence and corruption has destabilized their country and the judicial systems. I think femicide in El Salvador and Honduras is among the highest and—so yeah. RICHARD: Yeah. Thank you for asking the question, and I have a soft spot in my heart for Hunter College. Only one of my grandparents went to college and it was my mother’s mother who went to Hunter College and graduated in the late 1920s, and as we know, it’s right down the street from the Harold Pratt House, the home of the Council on Foreign Relations. So I think a lot of what you—I agree with a lot of what you’ve said about—for me it’s describing these people who offer so much potential as threats, just because they are trying to help themselves. And instead of feeling that we should support these folks, there’s a sense of—even if we don’t allow them in our country we could still do things to ease their way and help them find better solutions, but they’re described as these waves of people coming this way, headed this way, scary, scary. And if you follow the debates in the United States, I was very alarmed before and during the Trump administration that journalists did not establish that they had a right to make a claim for asylum at the border. Instead, they talked about it as if it were two political policies duking it out, where some people felt we should take more and some people felt we should take less. Well, the issue that was missed, I felt, in a lot of the coverage of the Southern border was the right to asylum, that they had a right to make a claim, that we had signed onto this as the United States and that there was a very good reason that we had signed onto that and it was to make sure people fleeing for their lives get an opportunity to be saved if they’re innocent people and not criminals, but innocent people who are threatened, that we’d give them a place of safety. So I agree with you that the lack of understanding about these basic principles, agreements, conventions is something that is not well understood by our society, and certainly the society was not being informed of that by a lot of the messengers describing the situation over the past few years. FASKIANOS: Thank you. So I’m going to take the next question from Lindsey McCormack who is an undergrad at Baruch—oh, sorry, a graduate student at Baruch College. My apologies. Do you see any possibility of the U.S. adopting a protocol for vetting and accepting climate refugees? Have other countries moved in that direction? And maybe you can give us the definition of a climate refugee and what we will in fact be seeing as we see climate change affecting all of us. RICHARD: I don’t have a lot to say on this, so I hate to disappoint you, but I will say a couple things because, one, I was on a task force at Refugees International, which is a very good NGO that writes about and reports on refugee situations around the world and shines a light on them. I was part of a task force that came out with a report for the Biden administration on the need to do more for climate migrants, and so that report is available at the Refugees International site and it was being submitted to the Biden administration because the Biden administration had put out an executive order on refugees that included a piece that said we want to do a better job, we want to come up with new, fresh ideas on climate migrants. So I don’t know where that stands right now, but I think the other piece of information that I often give out while doing public speaking, especially to students, about this issue is that I feel not enough work has been done on it, and so if a student is very interested in staying in academia and studying deeper into some of these issues, I think climate migration is a field that is ripe for further work. It’s timely, it’s urgent, and it hasn’t been over-covered in the past. I admire several people, several friends who are working on these issues; one is Professor Beth Ferris at Georgetown University who was, in fact, on the secretary general’s High Level Panel on Internal Displacement and she made sure that some of these climate issues are raised in very high-level meetings. She was also part of this task force from Refugees International. Another smart person working on this is Amali Tower, a former International Rescue Committee colleague who started a group called Climate Refugees and she’s also trying to bring more attention to this; she’s kind of very entrepreneurial in trying to do more on that. Not everybody would agree that the term should be climate refugees since “refugees” has so much legal definitions attached to it and the people displaced by climate don’t have those kind of protections or understandings built around them yet. But I think it’s an area that there definitely needs to be more work done. So I think the basic question was, did I think something good was going to happen anytime soon related to this, and I can’t tell because these crazy situations around the world, the war in Ukraine and Taliban in charge in Afghanistan—I mean, that just completely derails the types of exercises that the world needs of thinking through very logically good governance, people coming together making decisions, building something constructive instead of reacting to bad things. FASKIANOS: Thank you. I’m going to take the next question from raised hand Ali Tarokh. And unmute your—thank you. Q: Yes. OK, I am Ali Tarokh from Northeastern University. I came here in the United States ten years ago as a refugee. And I was in Turkey—I flew Iran to Turkey. I stayed there fourteen, sixteen months. So this is part of—my question is part of my lived experience in Turkey. So one part is humanitarian services, helping refugees move into the third country, OK? The one issue I—it’s my personal experience is the UNHCR system, there is many corruptions. This corruption makes lines, OK, produce refugees—because some countries such as Iran and Turkey, they are producing refugees and there is no solution for it, or sometimes they use it as—they use refugees as a weapon. They say, OK, if you don’t work with me—Turkey sent a message to EU: If you don’t work with me, I open the borders. I open the borders and send the flow of refugees to EU. Even some—even Iran’s government. So my question is, how can we in the very base on the ground—the level of the ground—how can we prevent all these corruption or how can we work out with this kind of government, countries that are—I named them the refugee producers. And by the time there is two sides of the refugees—one is just humanitarian services, which is our responsibility, United States playing globally there; and other side it seems refugees issue became like industry. In Turkey, the UNHCR staff, some lawyers/attorneys, they take money from people, they make fake cases for them. Even they ask them: Hey, what country—which country would you like to go, United States, Canada, Scandinavian countries? So what is our strategy? What is our solution to help real refugees or prevent produce refugees? RICHARD: Well, there’s several things that are raised by your question. Turkey and, now we see, Russia have both been countries where we have seen instances where they can turn on the flow of refugees and turn it off. And Turkey was watching people walk through Turkey, cross the Mediterranean is very scary, dangerous trip between Turkey and Greece in these rubber boats in 2015, 2016, and then they would make their way onward, and then, because of this big EU-Turkey deal that involved 3 billion euros at the time, all of a sudden, the flow stopped. And then in further negotiations going on and on, Turkey would say things that seemed like it came right from a Godfather movie, like, gee, I’d hate to see that flow start up again; that would be a real shame. And so it was clear it was sort of a threat that if you didn’t cooperate it could play this very disruptive role on the edges of Europe and deploying people, as you said, which is so cruel not just to the people who are receiving them but to the individuals themselves that they’re not being seen as people who need care but instead as a problem to be deployed in different directions. And we saw that also with Belarus and Poland and now also it may have been part of the thinking of Vladimir Putin that by attacking Ukraine, by going to war with Ukraine that there would be exactly what is happening now, people scattering from Ukraine into Europe and that that would be a way to drive a wedge between European countries and cause a lot of not just heartache but also animosity between these countries. So what the Russians didn’t seem to appreciate this time was that there would be so much solidarity to help the Ukrainians, and that has been a bit of a surprise. So you’ve also talked about corruption, though, and corruption is a problem all over the world for lots of different reasons, in business and it’s embedded in some societies in a way that sometimes people make cultural excuses for, but in reality we know it doesn’t have to be that way. But it is very hard to uproot and get rid of. So I find this work, the anti-corruption work going on around the world, really interesting and groups like Transparency International are just sort of fascinating as they try to really change the standards and the expectations from—the degree to which corruption is part of societies around the world. So UNHCR has to take great care to not hire people who are going to shake down and victimize refugees, and it’s not—there’s never a perfect situation, but I know that a lot of work is done to keep an eye on these kinds of programs so that the aid goes to the people who need it and it’s not sidetracked to go to bad guys. And the way I’ve seen it is, for example, if I travel overseas and I go to someplace where refugees are being resettled to the U.S. or they’re being interviewed for that, or I go to UNHCR office, there will be big signs up that will say the resettlement program does not cost money. If someone asks you for money, don’t pay it; you know, report this. And from time to time, there are mini scandals, but overall, it’s remarkable how much corruption is kept out of some of these programs. But it’s a never-ending fight. I agree with you in your analysis that this is a problem and in some countries more than others. FASKIANOS: So I’m going to take the next question from Pamela Waldron-Moore, who’s the chair of the political science department at Xavier University in New Orleans. There are reports in some news feeds that African refugees from Ukraine are being disallowed entry to some states accepting refugees. I think you did allude to this. Is there evidence of this, and if so, can the UN stop it or alleviate that situation? RICHARD: We saw before the Taliban took over in Afghanistan that some European countries were saying it was time for Afghans to go home again, and the idea that during this war it was safe for Afghans to go back—and especially for Afghans who are discriminated against even in the best of times in Afghanistan, like the Hazara minority. It’s just—I found that sort of unbelievable that some countries thought this was the right time to send people back to Afghanistan. And so at the moment there’s a weird situation in Afghanistan because it’s safer in some ways for the bulk of the people because the active fighting has—in large parts of the country—stopped. But it’s deadly dangerous for human rights defenders, women leaders, LBGTQ folks—anyone who tries to stand up to the Taliban—you know, scholars, thinkers, journalists. And so those are the folks that, in smaller numbers, we need to find some kind of way to rescue them and get them to safety while they are still inside Afghanistan or if that’s outside Afghanistan and in the region. The borders—the border situations change from time to time. For a while they were saying only people with passports could come out, and for most Afghan families, nobody had a passport or, if they did, it was a head of household had a passport for business or trade. But you wouldn’t have had passports for the spouse and the children. And so this has been a real dilemma. We also see a whole series of barriers to people getting out; so first you need a passport, then you need a visa to where you’re going, and then you might need a transit visa for a country that you are crossing. And what has come to pass is that people who are trying to help evacuate people from Afghanistan—a smaller and smaller number as the months go on; people are trying to make this happen because it’s so hard—that they will only take people out of the country if they feel that their onward travel is already figured out and that they have their visas for their final-destination country. So the actual number that’s getting out are tiny. And the people who have gotten out who are in either Pakistan or Iraq are very worried. And they’re afraid to be pushed back. They’re afraid they will run out of money. They are afraid—I think said this during my talk before—they’re afraid that there are people in Pakistan who will turn them in to the Taliban. And so it’s always hard to be a refugee, but right now it’s really frightening for people who are just trying to get to a safe place. FASKIANOS: And in terms of the discrimination that you referenced for refugees leaving the Ukraine, I mean, there have been some reports of EU—discrimination in European countries not accepting— RICHARD: Well, like African students who are studying in Ukraine— FASKIANOS: Yes. RICHARD: —who were not treated as if they were fleeing a country at war— FASKIANOS: Correct. RICHARD: —but instead were put in a different category and said, you know, go back, go home. FASKIANOS: Yes. RICHARD: Yeah, that’s—that is quite blatant— FASKIANOS: And there’s— RICHARD: And that was happening at the borders. FASKIANOS: Is there anything the UN can do about that, or is that really at the discretion of the countries—the accepting countries? RICHARD: Well, the—yeah, the UNHCR has these reception centers that they’ve set up, including between the border of Poland and Ukraine, and I think the other neighboring countries. And so if one can get to the reception center, one could potentially get additional help or be screened into—for special attention for needing some help that maybe a white Christian Ukrainian who spoke more than one language of the region would not need. FASKIANOS: Great. So let’s go to Susan Knott, who also wrote her question, but has raised her hand. So Susan, why don’t you just ask your question? And please unmute and identify yourself. KNOTT: OK, am I unmuted? FASKIANOS: Yes. KNOTT: OK. I am Susan Knott, University of Utah, Educational Policy and Leadership doctoral program. I am also a practicum intern at ASU, and I’m also a refugee services collaborator. And I’m engaged in a research project creating college and university pathways for refugees to resettle. I’m just wondering what your feel is about the current administration efforts in seeking to establish the pathway model similar to ASU’s Education for Humanity Initiative with Bard, and is there helping lead the Refugee Higher Education Access program that serves learners who require additional university-level preparation in order to transition into certificate and degree programs. And I just—I’m not just—and all of this buzz that’s going on since all of terrible crises are occurring, I’m not seeing a whole lot that—based on my own experience working with refugee education and training centers at colleges—on the college level, and learning about the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Ed and Immigration. I’m just wondering—and they’re saying let’s have this be more of a privately funded or partnerships with the university scholarships and private entities. What about a federally-funded university sponsorship program for refugee students given that the numbers or the data is showing that that age group is the largest number of just about every refugee population? RICHARD: That’s a really fascinating set of issues. I’m not the expert on them, so I’m going to disappoint you. but I appreciate that you took a little extra time in how you stated your intervention to add a lot of information for this group, which should very much care about this. I get a lot of questions every week about university programs that Afghan students could take advantage of. I don’t have a good handle on it, and I’m trying to do that with—I’m overdue for a conversation with Scholars at Risk in New York. Robert Quinn is the executive director of that, I believe. And so I’m glad you raised this and I’m not going to have a lot of extra to say about it. FASKIANOS: Anne, are there—is there—there’s a question in the chat in the Q&A about sources for data on U.S. initiatives toward refugees. Where would you direct people to go to get updates on the latest programs, et cetera? RICHARD: Sometimes I’m embarrassed to say the best summaries are done by not-for-profits outside the government than by the government. The best source for data on resettlement of refugees to the U.S. is a website that is funded by the U.S. government called WRAPSNET.org—WRAPS spelled W-R-A-P-S-N-E-T dot-O-R-G. And in double-checking some of the things last summer, I felt that DHS had better descriptions of some of the programs than the State Department did, and that’s my bureau that I used to—run, so—but they are responsible for determining who is in and who is out of these different programs, so maybe that’s why they do. So there’s a lot on the DHS website that’s interesting if you are looking for more information. And one of the things the Council does, it has done a number of these special web presentations: one on refugees that I got to help on a couple of years ago, and I think there’s one up now on Ukrainians. And this is the type of public education function that the Council does so well I think because they fact-check everything, and so it’s very reliable. FASKIANOS: Thank you for that plug. You can find it all on CFR.org—lots of backgrounders, and timelines, and things like that. So we don’t have that much time left, so I’m going to roll up two questions—one in the Q&A box and one because of your vast experience. So what role do NGOs play in refugee crises and migration initiatives, particularly in resettlement? And just from your perspective, Anne, you have been in academia, you’ve worked in the government, you worked at IRC, and now are at Freedom House. And so just—again, what would you share with the group about pursuing a career in this—government, non-government perspectives and, what students should be thinking about as they launch to their next phase in life. RICHARD: Yeah, that we could have a whole ‘nother hour on, right? That’s—(laughs)— FASKIANOS: I know, I know. It’s unfair to, right, do this at the very end, but— RICHARD: NGOs play really important roles in both the delivery of humanitarian assistance overseas and the help for resettlement in the United States. In the U.S. there are nine national networks of different groups; six are faith-based, three are not. They are non-sectarian, and they do amazing work on shoe-string budgets to—everything from meeting refugees at the airport, taking them to an apartment, showing them how the lights work and the toilet flushes, and coming back the next day, making sure they have an appropriate meal to have, and that the kids get in school, that people who need health care get it, and that adults who are able-bodied get jobs so they can support themselves. The other type of NGO are the human rights NGOs that now I’m doing more with, and I guess if you are thinking about careers in these, you have to ask yourself, you know, are you more of a pragmatic person where the most important thing is to save a life, or are you an idealist where you want to put out standards that are very high and push people to live up to them. Both types of organizations definitely help, but they just have very different ways of working. Another question for students is do you want high job security of a career in the U.S. government—say, as a Foreign Service Officer or as a civil servant where maybe you won’t move up very quickly, but you might have great sense of satisfaction that the things you were working on were making a difference because they were being decisively carried out by the U.S. or another government. Or do you prefer the relatively lean, flatter organizations of the NGO world where, as a young person, you can still have a lot of authority, and your views can be seen—can be heard by top layers because you’re not that far away from them. And so, NGOs are seen as more nimble, more fast moving, less job security. Having done both I think it really depends on your personality. Working in the government, you have to figure out a way to keep going even when people tell you no. You have figure out—or that it’s hard, or that it’s too complicated. You have to figure out ways to find the people who are creative, and can make thing happen, and can open doors, and can cut through red tape. In NGOs you can have a lot of influence. I was so surprised first time I was out of the State Department working for the International Rescue Committee one of my colleagues was telling me she just picks up the phone and calls the key guy on Capitol Hill and tells him what the law should be. That would never happen with a junior person in the U.S. government. You have to go through so many layers of bureaucracy, and approvals, and clearances. So, really, it depends on the type of person you are, and how you like to work, and the atmosphere in which you like to work. I can tell you you won’t get rich doing this type of work, unfortunately. But you might be able to make a decent living. I certainly have, and so I encourage students to either do this as a career or find ways to volunteer part-time, even if it’s tutoring a refugee kid down the block and not in some glamorous overseas location. I think you can get real sense of purpose out of doing this type of work. Thank you, Irina. FASKIANOS: Thank you very much. And I have to say that your careful definitions of the different categories—and really, I think we all need to be more intentional about how we explain, talk about these issues because they are so complex, and there are so many dimensions, and it’s easy to make gross generalizations. But the way you laid this out was really, really important for deepening the understanding of this really—the challenge and the—what we’re seeing today. So thank you very much. RICHARD: Thank you. Thanks, everybody. FASKIANOS: So thanks to all—yeah, thanks to everybody for your great questions. Again, I apologize; we’re three minutes over. I couldn’t get to all your questions, so we will just have to continue looking at this issue. We will be announcing the fall Academic Webinar lineup in a month or so in our Academic Bulletin, so you can look for it there. Good luck with your end of the year, closing out your semester. And again, I encourage you to go to CFR.org, ForeignAffairs.com, and ThinkGlobalHealth.org for research analysis on global issues. And you can follow us on Twitter at @CFR_Academic. So again, thank you, Anne Richard. Good luck to you all with finals, and have a good summer. (END)
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