Rumi Forum's blog on Hizmet, Fethullah Gulen, peacebuilding, education and interfaith efforts.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Taking Action to Stop Hate with Farah Anwar Pandith and Hannah Rosenthal



Farah Pandith was appointed Special Representative to Muslim Communities in June 2009. Her office is responsible for executing Secretary Clinton's vision for engagement with Muslims around the world on a people-to-people and organizational level. She reports directly to the Secretary of State.


Prior to this appointment, she was Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. In this role she was focused on Muslim communities in Europe where she was responsible for policy oversight for integration, democracy, and Islam in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. She also worked on issues relating to countering violent Islamic extremism.


Before joining the Department of State, she served as the Director for Middle East Regional Initiatives for the National Security Council. She was responsible for coordinating U.S. policy on "Muslim World" Outreach and the Broader Middle East North Africa initiative. She reported directly to the Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy. Special Representative Pandith served on the staff of the National Security Council from December 2004 to February 2007.


Prior to joining the NSC, Special Representative Pandith was Chief of Staff for the Bureau for Asia and the Near East for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). She worked directly for the Assistant Administrator for the bureau responsible for more than $4 billion in programs throughout the Middle East, South Asia, and Asia -- including Iraq, Afghanistan and Gaza/West Bank. In 2004, she spent two months in Kabul, Afghanistan.


From 1997 to 2003 Special Representative Pandith was Vice President of International Business for ML Strategies in Boston, Massachusetts. She received a Master's degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where she specialized in International Security Studies, Islamic Civilizations and Southwest Asia, and International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. She concentrated on the insurgency in Kashmir and has spoken on the subject in international and domestic forums.


Prior to graduate school, Special Representative Pandith worked at USAID as the Special Assistant to the Director of Policy. She has been a consultant in both the public and non-profit sectors. Special Representative Pandith has served on several boards with a focus on international affairs including the World Affairs Council of Boston, the Council for Emerging National Security Affairs, and the British-American Project. She was a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


Special Representative Pandith received an A.B. in Government and Psychology from Smith College, where she was president of the student body. She has served as a Trustee of alma maters Smith College and Milton Academy. She is currently a member of the Board of Overseers of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

She was born in Srinagar, Kashmir, India.


Hannah Rosenthal was sworn in as Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism on November 23, 2009. Sparked by the work and experience of her father, a rabbi and Holocaust survivor, and her own experience studying to become a rabbi, Hannah Rosenthal has led a life marked by activism and a passion for social justice.


Before joining the State Department, Ms. Rosenthal was Executive Director of the Chicago Foundation for Women, where she led one of the largest women's funds in the world. Prior to that, she was Executive Director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs for five years, where she worked on domestic and international policy for the organized Jewish community in North America.


Ms. Rosenthal served as Midwest regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the Clinton Administration. She was involved in community organizing, and the antiwar and civil rights movements in the 1960s.


Ms. Rosenthal attended graduate school for rabbinical studies at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem and Los Angeles, and holds a bachelor's degree in religion from the University of Wisconsin. Ms. Rosenthal has two grown daughters who are busy mending the world with their mom.


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