Practitioner Talks

The Sié Center brings prominent practitioners from governments, civil society groups, activist organizations and beyond to the Korbel School for a set time — whether several days, weeks, or a quarter — to share practical insight and expertise with students and faculty. Depending on the length of their stay, practitioners may teach a class, guest lecture, share field knowledge or policy conundrums, and give career advice to students. They also give a public talk to share their experiences.

  • 2019

    The Creative Use of Media in Peace and War with Honey Al Sayed

    September 23, 2019
    12:00 p.m. Sié 5025, Maglione Hall

    This was the IGLI Practitioner-in-Residence talk featuring Honey Al Sayed, Founder and CEO of Media & Arts for Peace (MAP).

    Eight years ago, Honey Al Sayed had the opportunity to say, "Good morning, Syria!" to millions of listeners across Syria during her 3-hour live radio show. She broke new ground in Syria's media scene with her #1 rated morning show, but was forced to leave her homeland in 2012 when the conflict escalated. After arriving in the U.S., Honey had to rebuild her life from scratch. She successfully co-founded an online radio station, SouriaLi, reaching 500,000 Syrians daily.

    Today, Honey is the Founder and CEO of Media & Arts for Peace, a creative consulting and talent agency representing media and arts professionals from conflict zones and diasporas. She shares her experiences with the next generation through courses at Georgetown University, Geneva Centre for Security Policy, U.S. Institute of Peace, and this quarter at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies as an inaugural practitioner-in-residence with the Sié Center's Inclusive Global Leadership Initiative (IGLI).

    A refugee twice in her lifetime, join us September 23rd to hear Honey speak about her work and life in the media, arts, peace, and conflict.

  • 2018

    Financing Peace: An Explainer with Riva Kantowitz

    November 5, 2018
    12:00 p.m. Sié 1020, "The Forum"

    This was a Practitioner-in-Residence talk featuring Riva Kantowitz, who is a Visiting Scholar at NYU's Center for International Cooperation.

    Innovative finance tools are gaining traction in addressing humanitarian and conflict-related issues, yet a systematic, rigorous, and well-tested framework and examination of key assumptions are needed to apply them effectively. Riva Kantowitz, Visiting Scholar at New York University and former Team Lead for Conflict Response at the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, will explore innovative finance from a peacebuilding perspective by describing important related conversations in the humanitarian and peacebuilding sectors, and efforts and tools in finance that could be utilized for sustaining peace. Riva will also look at a few "game changers" that connect the tools of innovative finance with peacebuilding.


    Hungry Planet, Sustainable Future?

    October 26, 2018
    12:00 p.m. Sié 1020, "The Forum"

    This was a panel featuring our practitioner-in-Residence, Kimberly Pfeifer, Head of Research at Oxfam America.

    As the global population surges toward 9 billion, how can we feed the future in sustainable, just ways? Alongside Kimberly Pfeifer is Hussein Amery, Professor at the Colorado School of Mines, and Brian O'Neill, Professor at the Korbel School of International Studies and the Director of Research for the Korbel's Pardee Center for International Futures.

  • 2017

    Effective Development in National Security Policy-Making

    Wednesday, November 1, 2017
    12:00 p.m. Sié Complex, "The Forum"


    A Practitioner-in-Residence Talk with Barbara Smith

    There is a growing recognition in policy making circles that sustainable, resilient short, medium and long term development programming can play a critical role in mitigating fragility, preserving gains and preventing further erosion of confidence in conflict-prone countries. However, despite this recognition and some notable efforts made to elevate development within the previous administration, our development institutions still lack adequate and appropriate resources and expertise needed to help national leaders address the world's most pressing national security challenges.

    Drawing on her own experience working in Washington and abroad - from country contexts to thematic areas - Barbara Smith will discuss what steps have been taken and what more might be done to further integrate development into the policy making process.


    Civilian Peace Operations: Reflections on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine

    Tuesday, September 19, 2017
    12:00 p.m. Josef Korbel School's Maglione Hall, 5th Floor

    A Practitioner-in-Residence Talk with Ambassador Fred Tanner

    How effective are civilian peace operations by international organizations in civil wars? International organizations such as the United Nations and regional bodies such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have deployed civilian peace operations in zones of conflict to monitor compliance with peace agreements and to backstop efforts to build a lasting peace. Sié Center Practitioner-in-Residence Ambassador Fred Tanner of Switzerland will present his reflections on the OSCE's Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine. Among the issues he will address are the safety of monitors, their role in dialogue facilitation, and the use of new technologies such as drones. When can civilian peace missions contribute to lasting peace in the wake of civil wars? What is the prognosis for the Ukraine and for the OSCE's efforts to prevent the conflict from erupting anew and for its long-term resolution in a volatile region.


    How to Design and Facilitate Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships

    Thursday, September 14, 2017
    12:00 p.m. Josef Korbel School First Floor Forum, Room 1020


    A Practitioner-in-Residence Talk with Herman Brouwer

    In recent years, multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) have become popular for tackling the complex challenges of sustainable development. This lecture provides a practical framework for the design and facilitation of these collaborative processes that work across the boundaries of business, government, civil society and science. Based on experience of working as a facilitator with MSPs in many countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia, as well as global MSPs, Herman Brouwer of Wageningen University, The Netherlands, will speak about success- and failure factors of MSPs. The lecture also covers how to deal with power differences and conflicts between stakeholders, and which skills, competencies and methodologies are required to design and facilitate multi-stakeholder collaboration. The current question is: in which situations can an MSP be an effective, efficient and legitimate strategy? MSPs are currently seen as an important way to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and contribute to global governance — therefore expectations are high. But the jury is still out on whether MSPs can live up to these expectations. Herman Brouwer, the lead author of The MSP Guide, will also share examples from the fields of agriculture and natural resource management.

    Watch on YouTube

  • 2016

    Suits and Punks: How Corporations, Investors, Activists and Governments Clash but Change the World

    Thursday, November 10, 2016
    12:00 p.m. Josef Korbel School First Floor Forum, Room 1020

    Bennett Freeman

    A Practitioner-in-Residence Talk with Bennett Freeman

    Over the last 15 years of a three decade-plus career, Bennett Freeman has worked at the intersection of governments, international institutions, multinational companies, investors and NGOs to improve corporate conduct and to promote human rights and sustainable development.Bennett Freeman is an innovative leader in business and human rights, natural resource governance and responsible investment, and has played key roles in developing several major multi-stakeholder initiatives and global standards. Throughout his career, he has worked as a consultant, board member and speaker on business and human rights, sustainability, and responsible investment, and served in three positions as a Clinton presidential appointee in the State Department, including as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor from 1999 to early 2001 with responsibility for bilateral human rights diplomacy.


    From Principles to Practice: Supporting On-the-Ground Implementation of Business and Human Rights Multistakeholder Initiatives

    Wednesday, May 18, 2016
    12:15 p.m. Sié Complex 1150 (formerly Sié 150)

    Anne-Marie Buzatu

    A Practitioner-in-Residence talk by Anne-Marie Buzatu, Deputy Head of the Operations IV division (Public-Private Partnerships), Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)

    This talk presented current efforts of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces' (DCAF) Public-Private Partnerships Division to support effective, on-the-ground implementation of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers. It also considered more broadly the contribution of these and similar efforts to the global policy process.

    This event was co-sponsored by the Daniels College of Business.


    The New Faces of Human Rights: Google as Government and Newmont as a Transnational Norm Entrepreneur

    Friday, April 29, 2016
    12:15 p.m. Sié Complex 1150

    Jason Pielemeier

    A Practitioner-in-Residence talk by Jason Pielemeier, Special Advisor and Head of the Internet Freedom, Business and Human Rights Section in the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

    Mr. Pielemeier discussed his career path and the Department's work in emerging areas of human rights policy and practice.


    Nonviolent Campaigns for Democracy and Human Rights: Is There a Right or Responsibility to Assist?

    Wednesday, March 2, 2016
    12:15 p.m. Sié 150

    Hardy Merriman

    Hardy Merriman, practitioner-in-residence and President of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict

    Ordinary people in countries around the world are increasingly engaging in nonviolent civil resistance — involving actions such as strikes, boycotts, mass demonstrations, and a wide variety of other forms of noncooperation — to hold powerholders accountable and win rights, freedom, and justice. In response, many governments are systematically attempting to repress these movements by sharing resources, information, and best practices, as well as providing each other with political, economic, and military support. As nonviolent movements encounter this active backlash, there is renewed urgency around the question of what actions sympathetic external actors can take to support these movements.

    This talk made the case that external actors have a right to provide certain forms of assistance to nonviolent movements struggling for democracy and human rights. It discussed the challenges, risks, and advisability of certain kinds of support.


    Developing and Sharing Knowledge about Civil Resistance with Grassroots Organizers

    Tuesday, March 1, 2016
    12:15 p.m. Ben Cherrington Hall, Room 301

    Hardy Merriman

    Hardy Merriman

    Civil resistance campaigns for rights, freedom, and justice are capturing the world's attention as never before. Nonviolent campaigns against corruption and dictatorship and for women's rights, indigenous rights, minority rights, labor rights, and government and corporate accountability are all examples in recent years of a profound global shift in how political power is developed and applied.

    Learning best practices from activists around the world and from academic research can increase a campaign's chances of success. This presentation focused on the importance of developing and sharing knowledge about civil resistance with grassroots organizers, and looked at the complexities and nuances of working in this field.

    Hardy Merriman is President of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC). His work focuses on how grassroots civil resistance movements around the world can successfully fight for rights, freedom, and justice. He lectures widely to practitioners, scholars, and members of civil society. He visited as a practitioner-in-residence February 29 - March 4, 2016.


    Engaged Scholarship

    February 11, 2016
    12:15 p.m. Sié 150

    Celestino Perez, Jr., Colonel, U.S. Army; Matthew Taylor, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and the Environment; Karin Wedig, Assistant Professor, Josef Korbel School of International Studies; Deborah Avant, Professor and Sié Chéou-Kang Chair for International Security and Diplomacy, Josef Korbel School of International Studies

    How should academic scholarship inform and be informed by policy and practice? Who has responsibility to "bridge the gap" between academia and the policy world? How does academia reach beyond policy elites to impact companies, NGOs, local civilian groups, and others? This panel brought several different perspectives and vantage points on the relationship between academics and the "real world" into conversation with one another.


    Gender, Peace and Security: What's Next?

    January 13, 2016
    12:15 p.m. Sié 150

    Julie Arostegui

    Julie Arostegui

    Despite UN and national commitments, there is still significant progress to be made in the full inclusion of women in peace and security processes – ranging from political participation to police reform. With the state of world affairs, it is more important than ever to advance gender equality and inclusive processes in order to establish sustainable peace. Julie Arostegui, a lawyer and expert in gender and international human rights, highlighted the current issues and opportunities promoting women and gender in international security. Drawing on her extensive experience in the field, she shared strategies for students and professionals to get involved in these pressing issues.

    Julie L. Arostegui, J.D., is a member of Women in International Security and serves as an international advocate, advisor, trainer, speaker, researcher, and writer for the civil society, political, security, and justice sectors. She has worked with a wide range of institutions and most recently led the Women, Peace and Security program at Women's Action for New Directions (WAND), working to empower women politically both in the U.S. and in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Middle East and North Africa as leaders on critical issues of conflict prevention, peace building, violence against women, and national and global security. Previously she worked with groups in the Great Lakes region of Africa to integrate gender equality and women's rights into post-conflict legal structures.

    View PowerPoint

    CORD logo           WIIS Denver
    This event is co-sponsored by the Center on Rights Development and the Denver chapter of Women in International Security.

  • 2015

    The Cost of War, The Price of Peace

    November 9, 2015

    Kathy Kelly

    Kathy Kelly

    Drawing from experiences living alongside ordinary people trapped in war zones, Kathy Kelly recommends heightened empathy and suggests practical steps toward abolishing all wars.

    Kathy Kelly and her companions with Voices for Creative Nonviolence believe that where you stand determines what you see. They oppose all forms of war, and try to help educate people about the cost of war and "the price" of peace. As a guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, Kathy Kelly has lived alongside ordinary Afghan people in a working class neighborhood in Kabul. She most recently traveled to Kabul in September of 2015. On April 21st Kelly was released from federal prison after serving a three month sentence for non-violently protesting drone warfare at Whiteman AFB which operates weaponized drones in Afghanistan.

    She lived in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead and immediately following Israel's Pillar of Cloud attacks on Gaza. As a member of international peace teams, she has traveled to Sarajevo, Lebanon, the West Bank and Iraq. She lived in Iraq throughout the "Shock and Awe" bombing and traveled there 27 times between 1996 and 2003 to break the economic sanctions against Iraq. In 1988, she was sentenced to one year served in a maximum security prison for planting corn on nuclear weapon sites. Since 1981, as a war tax refuser, she has successfully refused all payment of federal income tax, primarily through lowering her income beneath the taxable level.


    Revolution of Justice

    October 1, 2015

    Claudia Paz y Paz

    Claudia Paz y Paz

    As Guatemala’s first female Attorney General, Dr. Claudia Paz y Paz Bailey prosecuted organized criminals and perpetrators of mass human rights abuses despite threats to her own safety. She was a 2013 nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.


    Claudia Paz y Paz ~ En Español

    October 1, 2015
    Highlands Methodist Church, 3131 Osceola St. Denver

    Latin America Center

    A pesar de las amenazas a su propia seguridad, la Dra. Claudia Paz y Paz Bailey, primera mujer Procuradora General de Guatemala, procesó criminales organizados y perpetradores de abusos masivos de derechos humanos. Ella fue candidata en el 2013 para el Permio Novel de la Paz. La Dra. Paz y Paz también ha sido miembro del Grupo de Expertos de la Comisión Interamericana sobre los 43 desaparecidos de Ayotzinapa.


    The Revolution Is Not a Protest Movement

    August 26, 2015

    Rhize logo

    Erin Mazursky

    Studies show that the number of protest movements have increased exponentially over the last decade. But are these movements the Civil Rights, Anti-Apartheid, independence movements of our time? Or are they simply flashes of trending topics on Twitter?

    This talk discussed what happens after the protest and if we can really point to these mass mobilizations as a means for structural change. Erin examined historical examples of successful social movements while discussing present-day examples of the inner-workings and struggles of some of today's movements to arrive at Rhize's current approach for supporting movements around the world.

    Erin Mazursky is the Founder and Executive Director of Rhize, a new venture that is re-designing and the function and experience of democracy towards more participatory, just and flourishing communities through the innovation of collective action. She is visiting the Sié Center as a practitioner-in-residence with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.


    Is Authoritarianism Staging a Comeback?

    May 21, 2015

    Is Authoritarianism Staging a Comeback?

    A Book Launch and Discussion with Maria Stephan

    Maria Stephan, a practitioner-in-residence at the Sié Center, is a senior policy fellow at the United States Institute of Peace. She is co-leading an initiative at the Atlantic Council on how external actors can reverse authoritarianism's recent gains by boosting democracy's prospects. Her new co-edited book Is Authoritarianism Staging a Comeback?  explains why the world is experiencing a global democratic recession and how civil resistance movements can effectively combat authoritarian regimes.

    This event was part of the Sié Center initiative to "bridge the gap" between academia and policy supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.