Wellesley College to welcome Madeleine Albright and others for public forum on global refugee crisis

Madeleine Albright
Photo credit: Timothy Greenfield Sanders

On Sunday, February 26, 10:15am – 3:30pm, the Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs at Wellesley College will convene two panels of international leaders and experts for a free and public forum on the global refugee crisis and its many sociopolitical and geopolitical ramifications.

Beginning with a keynote from Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright ’59, the day-long dialogue will feature a variety of perspectives, including international reporters, nonprofit leaders, and academics. The Public Dialogue, “From Exodus to Action: Claiming our Common Humanity in the Refugee Crisis,” aims to tackle the demands of advancing beyond resettlement into rebuilding society.

Some of the many speakers who will attend include George Papandreou, president, Socialist International, and former Greek Prime Minister; Anne C. Richard, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration; Manal Omar, Associate Vice President, Center for Middle East and Africa, United States Institute for Peace; and ten other renowned professionals.

Former Secretary Albright stated, “We are privileged to welcome 13 esteemed experts who each offer valuable insight on the refugee crisis facing our global community. Now is the time to engage in open discussion on how we as leaders and global citizens alike can join forces to best manage this international crisis. I am delighted that Wellesley College offers us an inclusive environment where we can have these important conversations.”

“History is watching our action (and inaction) as the displaced, the persecuted, and those fleeing war and strife seek safety, new lives, new homes,” said Wellesley College President Paula Johnson. “We must not forget that women and girls are especially at risk. These same women and girls — as well as the millions fighting for their rights — will be the agents of change we need to create a way forward for everyone. Wellesley College is proud to be part of that movement, and this year’s Albright Institute Public Dialogue is evidence of our commitment.”

As part of its mission, the Albright Institute provides Wellesley students a transformative experience that allows them to apply their liberal arts education toward solving problems in the international arena. The students, known as Albright Fellows, spend three weeks in January learning about global affairs in intensive classes and panel discussions as well as working together in interdisciplinary groups to address pressing current issues.

“The administration constantly looks at how our liberal arts school can, simply, provide an excellent education that will prepare our students to make a difference in the world,” Johnson said.

For those who cannot attend, these events will be live-streamed on Wellesley’s website, and the Twitter hashtag #AlbrightDialogue will be used for social media posts related to the event, including live tweeting.