2018 Global Leadership Forum: A Shared Future and Beyond

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2018-2019 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows

Date: Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018

Time: 11:00 AM

Location: Key Bridge Marriott Hotel – Arlington, VA

Mission: 150 Humphrey Voices; 97 Countries; 13 U.S. Campuses; 1 Destination… at the 2018 Global Leadership Forum (GLF), creating one shared future

Marking the 40th anniversary of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program and the beginning of a new year in my lifetime, the 2018 Global Leadership Forum will certainly remain once-in-a-lifetime experience and a delightful memory that will forever live with me.

AU & ASU Cross-Campus Collaboration

This distinctive journey was launched by a joint collaboration in Washington D.C. between Humphrey Fellows at the American University and our Humphrey Cohort at the Arizona State University, 3 days ahead of the Global Leadership Forum (GLF) official kick-off. Both Law and Human Rights, and Media Humphrey Fellows’ intersecting professional interests in areas of human rights, media freedom, security and counterterrorism defined the success of this collaboration.

American University & Arizona State University Humphrey Fellows


Global Leadership Forum

However, the highlight of the 2018 GLF was its purposeful mission. 150 Humphrey voices from over 97 countries had a very busy agenda of week-long conferences and meetings, including some with top-ranking U.S. government officials, to come up with a shared vision for our common global challenges. Characterized by richness and diversity, the GLF’s most flamboyant feature, in my opinion, was its regional group discussions. Over 3 consecutive days, all of us the fellows from different walks of life have been divided into regional groups in which we discussed our regions emerging challenges, thus proposing possible solutions for those challenges.

Middle East & North Africa Regional Group Presentation

On the other hand, Humphrey Cohorts from different areas of expertise presented about the emerging challenges in their corresponding fields. This gave us the opportunity, as the Journalism and Mass Communication Humphrey Cohort, to touch on the most serious rising threats to press freedom.

U.S. Department of State Reception

The most thrilling night of all was that of the U.S. Department of State Reception for all  Humphrey Fellows at the Department of State’s Benjamin Franklin Room. Inspired by a magical ambiance, I was delighted to meet with U.S. Department of State representatives, Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board members, as well as Hubert Humphrey’s family members, and discuss matters of common interest.

The Embassy of Lebanon in Washington D.C.

On the margin of the GLF, I twice had the honor of being invited to the Embassy of Lebanon in Washington D.C. and meeting with the Ambassador H.E. Gabriel Issa. Those meetings were great opportunities to learn more about the Lebanese capacities in the states as well as the outstandingly active role of the Embassy in this community. Needless to say, it’s always great to feel at home!

With the Ambassador of Lebanon to the United States H.E. Gabriel Issa

Friendships & Memories…

But above all, the charm of the GLF experience extends beyond its professional value. The quality time spent with fellows from other campuses brought us closer to each other, and we found ourselves spontaneously building new friendships that shall hopefully live forever.

It is the memories and moments we experience in life that make us the unique human beings we are… and for me, the GLF experience is absolutely one of those memories that will shape my future and being.